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83-Steelers-43
02-01-2008, 10:00 AM
At least somebody is not letting it just blow over....

Report: Senator demands 'Spygate' details
The Sports Network

2/1/2008 10:53:41 AM

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Senator Arlen Specter, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to explain why the league destroyed evidence related to spying by the New England Patriots, according to a report in the New York Times.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was fined the maximum of $500,000 by the league for the use of equipment to videotape the New York Jets' defensive signals in Week 1.

In addition, Goodell fined the club $250,000, and stripped the Patriots of their first-round draft choice in 2008.

According to the New York Times, Specter, a Republican from Pennsylvania, said that Goodell would eventually be called before the committee to address the destruction of the tapes that revealed spying by the Patriots. Also, he said Goodell would be called to address the league's antitrust exemption in relation to its television contract.

"That requires an explanation," Specter said to the paper. "The N.F.L. has a very preferred status in our country with their antitrust exemption. The American people are entitled to be sure about the integrity of the game. It's analogous to the C.I.A. destruction of tapes. Or any time you have records destroyed."

Specter first wrote the commissioner about the tapes on November 15th, and wrote again after more than a month passed without a response.

The spokesman for the league said the letters did not reach the league office until late last week, according to the report. The league added that it spoke to the Senator's office several times during November and December, but that the letters were never mentioned. Specter said the league told his office last week it would not respond until after the Super Bowl.

http://www.tsn.ca/nfl/news_story/?ID=228671&hubname=

SteelCityMan786
02-01-2008, 10:04 AM
Good Work Senator Specter. I look forward to helping him get re-elected in 2010 if he does so chooses.

83-Steelers-43
02-01-2008, 10:43 AM
Good Work Senator Specter. I look forward to helping him get re-elected in 2010 if he does so chooses.

Good ol' Arlen. Unfortunately, the NFL already decided to push this incident under the carpet, but I find it comforting to hear somebody in the spotlight bring it up every once in a while and not in a "It's no big deal, everybody does it" type of fashion..:smile:

stlrtruck
02-01-2008, 10:49 AM
It's about time someone else was curious about Commissioner Good Deal's actions.

Atlanta Dan
02-01-2008, 12:04 PM
Goodell better make nice - Specter (aka the Senator from Comcast) already has been making noise about monkeying with the NFL's anti-trust exemption because of broadcast issues such a NFL Network games and DirecTV having exclusive rights to Sunday Ticket.

Delighted to see Spygate pops up Super Bowl weekend to put a cloud over the Pats. Maybe Specter can subpoena Belicheat to testify what was on the tapes
:sofunny:

FYI is the link to the ESPN.com article on Specter's conversations with Goodell.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3225539

tony hipchest
02-01-2008, 12:06 PM
while im sure sportscenter will run a 1 hour special update on tom bradys fabricated ankle injury, i bet this doesnt even get a mention.

stlrtruck
02-01-2008, 12:23 PM
Damn Tony - why do you have to steal my joy so soon before the big game!! :flap:

jjpro11
02-01-2008, 01:05 PM
we should take up a collection to get this guy to talk.

PFT and http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/01/sports/football/01nfl.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=sports

POSTED 12:29 p.m. EST, February 1, 2008

MEET MATT WALSH

Buried in the Friday New York Times article regarding the desire of Senator Arlen Specter are the first on-the-record comments regarding Spygate from Matt Walsh.

Who's Matt Walsh, you ask? He was an employee of the New England Patriots from 1996 through 2003, spending most of his time there in the video department.

Matt Walsh is now an assistant golf pro in Hawaii. And the Times sent a reporter all the way there to interview him.

As talk goes among some of the folks we know in the NFL media, Walsh knows something. Something big.

We're not reporting at this time that Walsh knows anything. But we know for a fact that multiple members of the media were chasing Walsh in the wake of Spygate, trying to get him to talk on the record about what he knows. One came fairly close, but it ultimately didn't happen.

Why? Because Walsh is scared. And rightfully so. He's scared of getting sued into Mike Tyson-style bolivian.

"After speaking to my lawyers and whatnot, I can't really talk to you about anything," Walsh told the Times. "And I can't show you anything. If someone wanted me to talk and tell them things, I would craft an agreement where they would agree from now until the end of my existence to pay for any legal fees that came up in regards to this, whether I'm sued by the Patriots, the [NFL], anybody else."

Wow.

Folks, guys don't say things like that when they don't know anything, or when they don't think that what they know is important.

And though we don't know what Walsh knows, we know what a couple of writers think that he knows. If they're right, and if Walsh talks, it could have huge ramifications.

We know that our bread is partially buttered by the NFL, and we appreciate the relationship. But every owner, G.M., coach, and player is a steward of a game that hopefully will continue for centuries after we're all gone. So we're committed to holding today's stewards of the game accountable for their actions, even if it makes said stewards of the game upset with us. One way or another, Walsh needs to have a forum to tell what he knows. He might collapse like a wet cracker under cross examination, or his story might be flimsier than a kite made out of Kleenex. But this guy has a story to tell, and it needs to be heard.

"If I ever got brought in for a deposition or something, then I would just face the whole gauntlet of questions," Walsh said. "There would be things I'd be forced to answer that some people haven't taken responsibility for."

OneForTheToe
02-01-2008, 01:06 PM
Don't count me as one of those cheering for "pristine bullet" Specter on this issue. Come on, so because of the antitrust exemption the government can involve itself in any league matter? This is a bigger stretch than baseball and steroids, which the Feds might have a compelling interest in regarding steroids and kids.

In sum, my hate for the Pat's might be great, but not great enough to cheer the Feds on when they stick their collective nose where it doesn't belong.

Atlanta Dan
02-01-2008, 01:28 PM
Don't count me as one of those cheering for "pristine bullet" Specter on this issue. Come on, so because of the antitrust exemption the government can involve itself in any league matter? This is a bigger stretch than baseball and steroids, which the Feds might have a compelling interest in regarding steroids and kids.

In sum, my hate for the Pat's might be great, but not great enough to cheer the Feds on when they stick their collective nose where it doesn't belong.

The NFL did not hesitate to get Congress to "stick its collective nose" into the operations of professional football when it needed an anti-trust exemption to first get its league-wide TV contract with CBS in the early 1960s and then get an exemption for the merger with the AFL in the mid-1960s (the payoff for the AFL merger being blessed by Congress was then House majority leader Hale Boggs of Louisiana getting a franchise put in New Orleans).

The NFL is glad to be subject to federal oversight when it serves its purposes - as far as Goodell now being questioned by Specter, that's the breaks - you cannot pick when and when not you should be subject to federal oversight. If Goodell does not mind losing his anti-trust exemption then he can tell Specter to get lost - if not, then he needs to answer the questions. It is Goodell's own damn fault he is even facing this issue by trying to cover this up last September.

Edman
02-01-2008, 01:38 PM
And this is why people...New England will NOT get respect should they win.

MasterOfPuppets
02-01-2008, 01:39 PM
if it means dragging the patsys through the mud....i'm all for it...:thumbsup:
if goodell won't properly police the nfl with an even hand, and make the punishment fit the crime, then somebody needs to step in. he suspends players for thier off the field activitys, because its viewed as making the league look bad, but yet nothing significant was done for cheating the entire league, from the other team owners other team players, all the way down to the other team fans !!!

jjpro11
02-01-2008, 01:43 PM
a pats employee had to copy a tape or something so that down the road he could make some money off it. i just cant imagine all the evidence being completely gone forever.

MasterOfPuppets
02-01-2008, 01:47 PM
a pats employee had to copy a tape or something so that down the road he could make some money off it. i just cant imagine all the evidence being completely gone forever.
all the evidence isn't gone.....

"If I ever got brought in for a deposition or something, then I would just face the whole gauntlet of questions," Walsh said. "There would be things I'd be forced to answer that some people haven't taken responsibility for."

OneForTheToe
02-01-2008, 02:02 PM
The NFL did not hesitate to get Congress to "stick its collective nose" into the operations of professional football when it needed an anti-trust exemption to first get its league-wide TV contract with CBS in the early 1960s and then get an exemption for the merger with the AFL in the mid-1960s (the payoff for the AFL merger being blessed by Congress was then House majority leader Hale Boggs of Louisiana getting a franchise put in New Orleans).

The NFL is glad to be subject to federal oversight when it serves its purposes - as far as Goodell now being questioned by Specter, that's the breaks - you cannot pick when and when not you should be subject to federal oversight. If Goodell does not mind losing his anti-trust exemption then he can tell Specter to get lost - if not, then he needs to answer the questions. It is Goodell's own damn fault he is even facing this issue by trying to cover this up last September.


Well, of course Goodell needs to answer Specters questions. After which point, Arlen, who like to "edubicate" his fellow Senators publicly with vast legal knowledge, will drop the subject quietly. Arlen just needs a stage. As stated in the article compare this to the CIA possibly destroying interigation records, Pleeeaaaseeee.

Heck, Arlen isn't even the committee chairman at this point.

Sorry, I just don't think this is a federal matter, since the original "crime" was not a violation of a criminal statute that I am aware of (there you go making me defend the cheatriots - I'm going to be sick). Yes, I can't stand the Pat's but I don't think the Feds should be reviewing every league decision because they granted the league the antitrust legislation. Maybe Arlen has an opinion on Pacman Jones? I know let's not even wait to see if the owners will open up the labor agreement or if the players will strike in response. How about Arlen Specter devises his own fair labor agreement and tells the two sides to accept it or else?

Crushzilla
02-01-2008, 02:11 PM
The only thing that bothers me is that ESPN's Outside the Lines referred to Specter as a "Senator from Pittsburgh."

As if to spin this in a way that the city of Pittsburgh and Steelers Nation wants to bring it back into the spotlight.

I know some of you don't mind, but I'd rather not have the city or the organization linked to what could be an ugly process.

Personally, and I know '76 agrees, I wouldn't mind seeing Bristol dropping into the Atlantic Ocean....

Atlanta Dan
02-01-2008, 02:34 PM
I wonder if Goodell had a Pats cap on when he gave these statements today?

N.F.L. Commissioner Defends Destruction of Tapes

''The reason I destroyed the tapes is they were totally consistent with what the team told me,'' Goodell said during his State of the NFL speech. ''It was the appropriate thing to do and I think it sent a message.

What message is that? We will help cover-up wrongdoing if your owner is in the league's inner circle and you are a top of the line franchise?

Goodell said there were six tapes, some from 2007 preseason games and the rest from 2006. Another reason he destroyed them was one tape was leaked to the media just after the Patriots-Jets game.

''We wanted to take and destroy that information,'' he said. ''They may have collected it within the rules, but we couldn't determine that. So we felt that it should be destroyed.''

Does anyone actually believe this started in 2006? When did the taping start and when were those other tapes destroyed? And exactly how is taping signals possibly within the rules? Is Goodell saying it was OK until the memo directing teams not to tape went out in September 2007?

''The actual effectiveness of taping and taking of signals from opponents -- it is something done widely in many sports. I think it probably had limited, if any effect, on the outcome of games.

Is it widely done in the NFL - is it widely done in any other sport - what sport? Are you saying having a team's signals would not have an effect on future games with that opponent?

Today is not exactly Goodell's shining moment, is it now?

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/sports/AP-FBN-Super-Bowl-Goodell.html?hp

Three cheers for Senator Specter forcing Godell to address this in his annual "State of the NFL" press conference the Friday before the Super Bowl and reminding everyone how loathsome Belicheat is.

OneForTheToe
02-01-2008, 02:44 PM
To each his own, I guess, Atlanta Dan. At least we can agree that the best outcome would be a Giants victory. :jammin:

rbryan
02-01-2008, 02:46 PM
Like I said a while back this story is long from over. You can parade all the ESPN cronies in front of the camera you want to try and downplay this. Everyone knows the patsies cheated.

I'll be very interested in hearing what this guy Walsh has to say once the squeeze gets put on him. Stay tuned, Belliprick and Kraft will get run out of the league by the time this is over.

Atlanta Dan
02-01-2008, 02:58 PM
To each his own, I guess, Atlanta Dan. At least we can agree that the best outcome would be a Giants victory. :jammin:

:thumbsup:

OneForTheToe
02-01-2008, 02:58 PM
Like I said a while back this story is long from over. You can parade all the ESPN cronies in front of the camera you want to try and downplay this. Everyone knows the patsies cheated.

I'll be very interested in hearing what this guy Walsh has to say once the squeeze gets put on him. Stay tuned, Belliprick and Kraft will get run out of the league by the time this is over.


I stand by my opinion that this is not the Feds business, but I wouldn't shed a tear if that happened.

rbryan
02-01-2008, 03:55 PM
I don't think they should have stuck thier nose in baseball/steroids either, but in this instance I'll make an exception.lol

IMO the patsies have been cheating for years and filming defensive signals is just the tip of the iceberg

Atlanta Dan
02-01-2008, 03:58 PM
I stand by my opinion that this is not the Feds business, but I wouldn't shed a tear if that happened.

This has very little to do with Specter being interested in investigating Spygate and everything to so with Specter squeezing the NFL on behalf of a corporate master. Seems as if I am not the only one who sees Comcast as a prime mover in Specter's sudden interest in Spygate.

Roger Goodell, responding to a question about the NFL's troubles in getting its network placed on broader cable tiers, declined to say whether Sen. Arlen Specter's ties to Comcast might be linked to his comments in the New York Times urging the NFL to be more transparent in its handling of the Spygate incident. "I'm not addressing that point," he said.

http://myespn.go.com/profile/hashmarks

IMO if Sunday Ticket was opened up to Comcast the NFL would have no more problems with Specter.

The relationahip of Specter & Comcast reminds me of that between Nevada Senator Pat Geary & Michael Corleone in Godfather Part II

MarylandSteeler
02-01-2008, 05:55 PM
Everybody always has an angle.

Although I think that it is strange that the tapes were destroyed.

HometownGal
02-01-2008, 07:54 PM
GO Arlen! :cheers: Senator Specter is a fighter - always has been. When he smells :poop:, out comes the enema. :jammin:

I agree - this is just the tip of the iceberg. Should be very interesting . . . .

revefsreleets
02-01-2008, 08:44 PM
Kudo's to "One for the Toe" on the pristine bullet reference.

Any Kennedy assassination buffs out there will know that Specter was pretty much the architect and biggest cheerleader of the bogus "single bullet theory".

It doesn't even matter if you buy into the conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy's death. Specter made the conclusion fit the preferred explanation, and not the other way around. His whole career was based on that sell out.

rbryan
02-01-2008, 10:01 PM
Show me a politician whose career isn't based on selling out.

stillers4me
02-01-2008, 10:40 PM
I knew someone would eventually blow the whistle on this.

......snicker.............I can't wait. I'm so tired of hearing the "everybody does it" excuse.

Preacher
02-02-2008, 01:43 AM
This has very little to do with Specter being interested in investigating Spygate and everything to so with Specter squeezing the NFL on behalf of a corporate master. Seems as if I am not the only one who sees Comcast as a prime mover in Specter's sudden interest in Spygate.

Roger Goodell, responding to a question about the NFL's troubles in getting its network placed on broader cable tiers, declined to say whether Sen. Arlen Specter's ties to Comcast might be linked to his comments in the New York Times urging the NFL to be more transparent in its handling of the Spygate incident. "I'm not addressing that point," he said.

http://myespn.go.com/profile/hashmarks

IMO if Sunday Ticket was opened up to Comcast the NFL would have no more problems with Specter.

The relationahip of Specter & Comcast reminds me of that between Nevada Senator Pat Geary & Michael Corleone in Godfather Part II

Honestly,

I don't understand this "He is backing corporate interests" stuff.

If the/a company is a senators' area of representation, then the senator represents to company to the govt. as well... because the company is NOTHING BUT THE PEOPLE WHO OWN AND WORK THERE.

I just don't get the "No, not the corporation" mentality.

Elvis
02-02-2008, 06:08 AM
Has Paul Tagliabue taken a job anywhere else yet?
Maybe he needs to come back and show Roger how to take care of
business.
:coffee:

83-Steelers-43
02-02-2008, 08:01 AM
ESPN bottom line was scrolling something about The video tapper still having some video that would be damaging to the Pats and the NFL.. Wonder what that is all about? I'm glad it is coming up now, maybe Goodell will step in and have the Refs throw the game so the pats lose and thsi will all go away..

And now, Walsh, 31, an assistant golf pro on Maui, might be positioned to further pull back the curtain on the Patriots' taping history, expose where and how they gained advantages and, perhaps even, turn over video proof.

If Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is serious about calling a hearing to delve into the issue -- particularly the questions of why the NFL hastily destroyed all evidence, including tapes handed over by the Patriots, and what other as-yet-undisclosed material might be out there -- perhaps one of his first calls should be to Walsh, who in conversations with ESPN.com suggested he has information that could be damaging to both the league and the Patriots.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3226465

83-Steelers-43
02-02-2008, 08:04 AM
Destruction of Spygate tapes a crooked act?
Saturday, February 02, 2008
By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PHOENIX -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was essentially unflappable yesterday in the face of New York Times-reported criticism by flap-friendly U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who has exchanged letters with the commissioner over the league's decision to destroy all evidence in September's Spygate case involving the New England Patriots.

Asked the same question eight different ways yesterday in his annual Super Bowl news conference, essentially why six videos of opposing coaches shot illegally at the direction of head coach Bill Belichick and notes taken as a possible result of such contraband were eliminated within 72 hours of being turned over by the club, Goodell responded with eight consistent answers amounting to a metaphorical shrug.

"There was no purpose for keeping them," Goodell said evenly. "They were totally consistent with what I'd been told. The tapes showed the coaching signals, then a scoreboard shot of down and distance. In one of them, a coach waved at the camera, indicating that he knew he was being taped.

"I concluded that they had a limited effect, if any, on the outcome of any game."

That's his story, and he's sticking to it, but it doesn't make any more sense today than it did in September.

This column was on record at the time objecting strenuously to the tapes' destruction, inasmuch as it left open the possibility that the league had found something on those tapes that gained New England an advantage in one of their three Super Bowl victories, jeopardizing public confidence in the league's prime brand name.

"That's a definite possibility," one high-ranking management source told me at the time. He said it again for emphasis. "That's a definite possibility."

Frankly, I believe Goodell when he tells me it's not true, but there are those less inclined to believe him, some of them in cities with franchises who lost Super Bowl games to Belichick, some of them lifelong fans of the Patriots' most recent victim, the Philadelphia Eagles, some of them apparently named Specter.

"I am very concerned about the underlying facts on the taping, the reasons for the judgment on the limited penalties and, most of all, on the inexplicable destruction of the tapes," Specter told the Times, adding that Goodell's explanations "make(s) absolutely no sense at all."

It never really did, but ostensibly the destruction was to insure that the intelligence gathered couldn't be used again, especially by the Patriots, but by any club who might subsequently employ someone with access to it.

"There was no indication," Goodell said again yesterday, "that it benefited them in any of their Super Bowl victories."

Goodell seemed to allow that part of the decision to destroy the evidence might have been informed by the fact that one of the tapes was leaked to Fox TV. The league launched an investigation, and soon made sure there were no more tapes to leak.

"I don't think you have to have a law broken to have a legitimate interest by the Congress on the integrity of the game," Specter told the Times by way of explaining his intense interest in the matter. "What if there was something on the tapes we might want to be subpoenaed, for example? You can't destroy it. That would be obstruction of justice."

Specter said that Congress might call Goodell to testify, but the whole story has some odd timing issues and perhaps conflict issues as well.

The Patriots, maybe you've heard, are widely considered on the verge of a fourth Super Bowl victory in a matter of hours, and the league is still lobbying to get the NFL Network included on Comcast's basic cable package. Comcast isn't budging, which is perfectly within its prerogatives, but it's perhaps worth pointing how Comcast's political action committee (PAC) was the second biggest contributor to Specter in the 2006 election cycle at more than $102,000. Further, as the Post-Gazette's Bob Smizik pointed out in a recent TV column, Specter intervened when it appeared the Federal Communication was going to vote on a proposal that would have brought the NFL Network and the cable giants to compulsory arbitration.

"I'm not addressing that [Comcast] point," Goodell said in response to a question yesterday from the Philadelphia Inquirer. "There were six tapes, some from 2007 and some from late 2006, and notes that had been collected, which I imagine many teams have, but these might have been collected by using an illegal action, so we wanted to destroy that, too, and we did."

But he shouldn't have, for any reason, perhaps the least of which was to save himself the eventual designation of pen pal to Arlen Specter.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08033/854258-13.stm

Atlanta Dan
02-02-2008, 08:11 AM
Honestly,

I don't understand this "He is backing corporate interests" stuff.

If the/a company is a senators' area of representation, then the senator represents to company to the govt. as well... because the company is NOTHING BUT THE PEOPLE WHO OWN AND WORK THERE.

I just don't get the "No, not the corporation" mentality.

Oh come on Preach

Specter last year said he might need to look into the NFL's anti-trust exemption if the NFL did not open up Sunday Ticket to the cable companies (no mention there of how the Comcast/Time-Warner duopoly that controls cable TV is not a fitting subject for Senator's Specter's anti-trust concerns)..

Specter co-signs a letter with Leahy to the NFL the week before the Pats-Giants game saying he may have to look into the NFL 's anti-trust exemption if NFL Network (which is in a pitched battle with Comcast over getting carried on a non-premium tier of cable channels) does not get Pats-Giants on an over the air network.

Now Specter writes Goodell about Spygate? I am glad to see the league embarrassed on this issue but do you really think Specter gives a rat's ass about that - this is simply intended to embarrass the league

We will agree to disagree on whether using the threat of government oversight to carry water for a business competitor of the NFL has anything to do with the free market principles of business competition that the Republican Party of which Specter is a member used to support. Just because politicians regularly use their office to harass the competitors of their corporate contributors does not make it a shining example of representative democracy in action. Representing the public good used to be part of the job description.

83-Steelers-43
02-02-2008, 08:28 AM
Everybody always has an angle.

Although I think that it is strange that the tapes were destroyed.

Personally, I really do not care what Specter's "angle" happens to be. I'm just happy to hear somebody bring it back to light and he couldn't have had better timing. At least somebody is talking instead of pretending it never existed.

Now Specter has Matt Walsh as an option, maybe it will get interesting, but I'm not holding my breath.

rbryan
02-02-2008, 08:34 AM
I read yesterday that Obama raised $32 million in campaign contributions in the month of Jan alone. I assume the other candidates are raising comparable numbers. Whose interests do you really think they will represent if elected?

Stlrs4Life
02-02-2008, 08:44 AM
And the plot thickens! Get them Specter!

Atlanta Dan
02-02-2008, 09:49 AM
I read yesterday that Obama raised $32 million in campaign contributions in the month of Jan alone. I assume the other candidates are raising comparable numbers. Whose interests do you really think they will represent if elected?

IMO Comcast will get a bigger direct return on its investment by bundling $100,000 in contributions to Specter than I expect to get for my contribution to Senator Obama.

And IMO there is a difference between contributing to a candidate who may share your interests on public policy goals that you hope will be advanced if he or she is elected and having a candidate be your attack dog to go after a business competitor through the threat of government oversight authority.

Contributors buying tax breaks that are put in legislation by the representatives they support financially is offensive enough, but having an elected official use his office to advance your interests in a fight with a business competitor that should be resolved in the market is loathsome.

I-Want-Troy's-Hair
02-02-2008, 10:23 AM
I am just absolutely tickled this issue has reared (no pun intended) it's ugly head again.

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/football/patriots/view.bg?articleid=1070762&srvc=sports&position=0

PHOENIX - One night before the Patriots [team stats] face the Giants in Super Bowl XLII, new allegations have emerged about a Patriots employee taping the Rams? final walk through before Super Bowl XXXVI.

According to a source, a member of the team?s video department filmed the Rams? final walk through before that 2002 game. The next day, the Patriots upset St. Louis, 20-17, on a last-second field goal by Adam Vinatieri for their first championship.

A walk through involves practicing plays at reduced speed without contact or pads. It is common for teams to film their own walk throughs and practices.

When contacted last night, Patriots vice president of media relations Stacey James said: ?The coaches have no knowledge of it.?

Yesterday, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) stated that he plans to summon NFL commissioner Roger Goodell before Congress to explain why he destroyed tapes that showed the Patriots stealing defensive signals over the last two years.

After his state of the NFL press conference yesterday, Goodell was asked if the league?s investigation into the Pats included allegations that they recorded the Rams walk through in 2002.

?I?m not aware of that,? Goodell said.

?We have no information on that,? seconded NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

According to a source close to the team during the 2001 season, here?s what happened. On Feb. 2, 2002, one day before the Patriots? Super Bowl game against heavily favored St. Louis in New Orleans, the Patriots visited the Superdome for their final walk through.

After completing the walk through, they had their team picture taken and the Rams then took the field. According to the source, a member of the team?s video staff stayed behind after attending the team?s walk through and filmed St. Louis? walk through.

At no point was he asked to identify himself or produce a press pass, the source said. The cameraman rode the media shuttle back to the hotel with news photographers when the Rams walk through was completed, the source said.

It?s not known what the cameraman did with the tape from there. It?s also not known if he made the recording on his own initiative or if he was instructed to make the recording by someone with the Patriots or anyone else.

The next day, the Patriots opened a 14-3 halftime lead on the Rams, who were 14-point favorites and operators of an offense known as ?The Greatest Show on Turf.?

The Rams didn?t begin moving the ball until the fourth quarter, when their 14-point rally pulled the teams into a 17-17 tie with less than two minutes remaining. Tom Brady [stats] then led the most famous drive in Patriots history for the winning field goal.

The Patriots were fined $750,000 and docked a first-round draft pick for breaking league policy and filming the Jets? defensive signals from the sideline in September.

Asked yesterday if he believed the Pats used similar films to achieve their three Super Bowl victories, Goodell was adamant.

?No,? he said. ?There was no indication that it benefited them in any of the Super Bowl victories.?

83-Steelers-43
02-02-2008, 10:27 AM
And the plot thickens! Get them Specter!

You can say that again. I would love to know what they this guy knows about the situation....

"No, the league has never called me," he said. "Neither have the Patriots. And really, I would be surprised if they did. Then all of a sudden -- I don't know how much the league or Patriots know about my stance or how I feel about things -- for them to put in a call to me, what are they going to say? Are they going to try and threaten me? Or say, don't talk about it? Then, they are putting themselves out there and looking bad as far as if I turn around and say, 'Hey, guess what, the league called me and said [we're] gonna take away your pension if you say anything about this.'"

stillers4me
02-02-2008, 10:32 AM
If taping the other teams didn't benefit the Pats* (19-0 patent pending) in any way, why did they keep doing it?????? Especially after the memo went out to every team telling them not to do it, which was in essence a strong warning to the Pats* (19-0 patent pending) to knock it off. The whole green dot on the QB's helmet thing was another warning that the league was on to them.

lamberts-lost-tooth
02-02-2008, 10:33 AM
You can say that again. I would love to know what they this guy knows about the situation....

I am loving this....anything to take the whitewash off of the Patriots* outhouse.

fansince'76
02-02-2008, 10:56 AM
I got a pretty good chuckle out of the bandwagon's comments at the end of the article. Very amusing stuff. :toofunny:

Comments from the Peanut Gallery (http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/football/patriots/view.bg?articleid=1070762&format=comments#cnum144651)

Atlanta Dan
02-02-2008, 10:58 AM
http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/football/patriots/view.bg?&articleid=1070762&format=&page=1&listingType=pats#articleFull

Looks like the Patriots may have filmed the Rams pre-game walkthrough before they played them in the SB

So much for Goodell saying all the tapes were made in 2006 and preseason 2007

SteelCityMan786
02-02-2008, 10:59 AM
I say Force the Pats to forefit any super bowl they have won to the AFCCG runner up! :rofl:

83-Steelers-43
02-02-2008, 11:06 AM
Asked yesterday if he believed the Pats used similar films to achieve their three Super Bowl victories, Goodell was adamant.

“No,” he said. “There was no indication that it benefited them in any of the Super Bowl victories.”

And how exactly does he know that for sure? Did Goodell ever put forth a full and thorough investigation? All I recall is......the story broke, tapes were confiscated and it was conveniently pushed under the rug. Unless I missed something here?

Like I said, would love to hear what Mr. Walsh has on that "classy" organization. F-Kraft and F-Belicheat.

BlastFurnace
02-02-2008, 11:15 AM
Goodell is a puppet for the select owners who are in control of the NFL. That is why he was hired.

jjpro11
02-02-2008, 11:31 AM
if someone could produce a video tape of the pats filming the rams walk through, that could really do them in. i dont think goodell would be as easy on him the first time since he asked for ALL evidence. withholding videos like that would be blatantly lying to the commish and league officials. he would be pressured into issuing severe sanctions from the fans and owners.

OneForTheToe
02-02-2008, 11:49 AM
if someone could produce a video tape of the pats filming the rams walk through, that could really do them in. i dont think goodell would be as easy on him the first time since he asked for ALL evidence. withholding videos like that would be blatantly lying to the commish and league officials. he would be pressured into issuing severe sanctions from the fans and owners.


If that tape exsisted, I guarentee it was destroyed after the Super Bowl. Belicheat may be evil, but he ain't stupid


[Goodell is a puppet for the select owners who are in control of the NFL. That is why he was hired.

Yes, like Dan Rooney who is one of his biggest supporters? Funny how people are bothered by Goodell being run by the powerful owners he works for, but don't have a problem with Specter being run by Comcast whom he doesn't work for. I guess anything a Rep or Senator does is fine as long as he is going after those we want to "get."

Arlen may also be overstepping his power. Last I checked the Republicans, of which he is one, were the minority in the Senate and on the Judiciary Committee. Maybe Arlen should make sure he has the votes to even call the committee in this matter before making threats.

Go Giants - you can fix this whole mess.

Rhee Rhee
02-02-2008, 12:55 PM
YAY... this will definitely get NE a 1 in the L coloumn... at least im hoping... those cheaters... i also heard about them taping a rams walkthrough when they played in like 2001 i tink..

lamberts-lost-tooth
02-02-2008, 01:49 PM
if someone could produce a video tape of the pats filming the rams walk through, that could really do them in. i dont think goodell would be as easy on him the first time since he asked for ALL evidence. withholding videos like that would be blatantly lying to the commish and league officials. he would be pressured into issuing severe sanctions from the fans and owners.


Not only tapes,,,but "supposedly"...Goodall was promised that it was a relatively isolated period of time.

revefsreleets
02-02-2008, 07:44 PM
The NFL needs to take REAL action soon. This is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better. The old saying about smoke and fire is no longer applicable. There is smoke because there is a giant raging fire! Pretending there isn't a problem (when there clearly is a big one)isn't going to work forever...

rabidsteelerfan
02-02-2008, 09:00 PM
This thing is just getting uglier and uglier, pats* fans will probably do their celebrating after the SB and then promptly stick their heads in the sand!

Aussie_steeler
02-03-2008, 01:41 AM
This thing is just getting uglier and uglier, pats* fans will probably do their celebrating after the SB and then promptly stick their heads in the sand!


Right beside Roger Goddell who is currently resting in the Nevada desert.

http://emmanuel.godisjesus.net/head-in-sand.jpg

Atlanta Dan
02-03-2008, 06:38 AM
NY Times has an article today on "see no evil" Goodell's "investigation" in which former federal prosecutors state having the perp investigate himself probably isn't the most effective way of verifying what really occurred.

Ex-Prosecutors Question Handling of Spying Case

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/sports/football/03nfl.html

?Generally speaking, an investigator would not leave it up to the subject of the investigation to voluntarily select what evidence it wishes to turn over,? said Mathew Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor who helped investigate a cabinet member in the Clinton administration. ?Allowing the subject of an investigation to determine what is incriminating can obviously undermine the integrity and credibility of the investigation.?...

After the evidence was handed over, the N.F.L. asked the team to sign a statement that it had indeed given all evidence that tied the team to taping opponents? signals. The statement said the Patriots would be punished further if it was later revealed that they had not surrendered all incriminating evidence.

?Just because the request was made that way doesn?t mean the investigation is completely bogus, but it puts an awful lot of responsibility about the subject of the request to be as truthful as possible, and if they are not, then it undermines the investigation,? said Tony West, a defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor in Northern California.

Then there is this gem from the league office:

?We put the burden on the Patriots, which is consistent with how federal investigations, criminal prosecutions and civil litigation matters are conducted,? Jeff Pash, the N.F.L.?s executive vice president and legal counsel, said. ?In response to the notion that we should have asked them to produce all of the tapes, that would have been impractical and unnecessary because we put the burden on the Patriots to make a full production of the tapes and the notes.?

That is nonsense - federal criminal investigators often go to the site and seize the records while witnesses are invited to stop on by the grand jury to be questioned under oath - if the Feds investigated Michael Vick in the same manner Goodell "investigated" the Pats, Vick would still be the Falcons QB.

Cape Cod Steel Head
02-03-2008, 10:14 AM
Well the spin up here is the connection between Sen. Spector and the Comcast contributions to his campaigns, and the fact that Spector is "a huge Eagles fan" and he may think that the Patsy's might have done something illegal during their Super Bowl victory against "his Eagles".

Atlanta Dan
02-03-2008, 10:28 AM
These sorts of columns presumably are not what Goodell wants on the day of the Pats Super Sunday coronation - excerpts and link below

Dishonest club wrong team to make history
By Terence Moore - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

As a JFK assassination buff, I never was an Arlen Specter fan. ...

Now Specter is a U.S. senator instead of a member of the Warren Commission, and I like him. That’s because he finally has gotten it right after all these decades when it comes to conspiracies. It’s the revolting one surrounding the NFL and the New England Patriots. Courtesy of commissioner Roger Goodell using his version of the “magic bullet” theory to describe this ongoing Spygate mess, the Patriots are a Super Bowl victory away today at University of Phoenix Stadium from continuing as the biggest frauds in league history.

So where to start? I mean, you have nose guard Vince Wilfork’s $37,500 worth of fines this season to lead a group of cheap-shot artists on what supposedly is a disciplined team.... You have those lies about Tom Brady’s supposedly bum shoulder, but despite the Patriots listing it for more than three years on the NFL’s injury list, Brady has started 126 consecutive games, the third-longest streak in NFL history.

Let’s return to Specter, though, who wants Goodell to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee to explain why in the name of Richard Nixon the commissioner destroyed all of those tapes and notes after the Patriots were nailed earlier this season to initiate Spygate....

Logic would say that the Patriots and their CIA wannabe coach, Bill Belichick, had done those things and whatever else many times before. Logic would say that since Goodell’s stated mission in life is to “protect the shield,” he was obsessed with covering up the Patriots’ numerous bad deeds. After all, not only are the Patriots seeking to join the league’s all-time elite with a fourth world championship in seven years, they can finish an unprecedented 19-0 with a victory over the New York Giants.

Logic would say that Goodell wished to keep the world from discovering a grassy knoll on his watch along the way to folks declaring the Patriots as frauds.

Which the Patriots are. Among other accusations within the past few days, ESPN.com reported that former video guy Matt Walsh has evidence that Belichick was doing ugly things in the shadows during Walsh’s seven year with the Patriots’ through the 2002 season. Interestingly, that was the season after the Patriots began their streak of dominance with an upset of the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl.

“It could be zero in the loss column for them, and they could beat all of those teams for an entire season, but the reality is, people always will have thoughts of ‘What happened?’ and ‘Yeah, really,’ and ‘Tell us the real story?’ ” said Michael Irvin, the star receiver on three Super Bowl champions for the Dallas Cowboys. “All stories get greater later. So even though [the NFL and the Patriots] claim that it only happened in the first quarter in the first game of this season, it’s going to get greater later.

“Thirty years from now, we might even have them spying and stealing signals in some of those Super Bowls. When it comes to their whole season, it’s going to be tainted, and that’s just the truth.”

That’s because we’ve yet to hear the truth on the matter..

http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/sportscolumns/entries/2008/02/02/dishonest_club.html

fansince'76
02-03-2008, 10:55 AM
These sorts of columns presumably are not what Goodell wants on the day of the Pats Super Sunday coronation - excerpts and link below....

The blogs after some of these articles are priceless - here's one gem in particular that I found hilarious:

By Jedi Falcon

February 2, 2008 10:56 PM

Wow. This article is incredibly stupid.

I think Mr. Moore is just angry that the Patriots are a mostly white football team that has succeeded into becoming a dynasty.

:toofunny: :toofunny: :toofunny:

jjpro11
02-03-2008, 11:06 AM
goodell is scared.. he doesnt want to have his legacy and reputation based on the patriots spygate.

83-Steelers-43
02-03-2008, 11:36 AM
Goodell to meet with Sen. Specter about Spygate
ESPN.com news services
Updated: February 3, 2008, 11:10 AM ET

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., plans to call NFL commissioner Roger Goodell promptly to discuss the Spygate controversy and suggested Sunday that Senate hearings could result from his investigation.

On ESPN's "Outside The Lines", Specter told host Bob Ley that he will call Goodell on Monday morning, just hours after the Patriots and Giants play in Super Bowl XLII.

"It could go to hearings," Specter said. "This is a matter to be considered by the [Senate Judiciary] Committee. I don't want to make any broad assertions or elevate it beyond what I have a factual basis for doing, We're going to follow the facts and if warranted, there could be hearings."

Specter told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio that after hearing Goodell's depiction of why evidence provided by the Patriots was destroyed, he wanted more answers.

"The commissioner's explanation as to why he destroyed the tapes does not ring true," Specter said.

Shortly after Specter's comments Sunday morning, Goodell said on ESPN's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" that he would be "more than happy to meet with the senator at the earliest possible moment."

Goodell said his plan was to head to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii after the Super Bowl in Arizona, but would adjust his plans if necessary.

Specter wants to know if Goodell spoke to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to determine if Brady benefited from any of the illegally gathered material.

When asked on "OTL" if he would interview any players, Specter said it was possible, but not a certainty.

"I'm going to take it a step at a time," he said. "... I want to see what [Goodell] has to say. But when you have an investigation that hasn't talked to this fella Matt Walsh ... and didn't go back beyond 2006, it's obviously a very incomplete investigation."

Specter said plans to contact former Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh to see what he knows about the Patriots allegedly videotaping the St. Louis Rams' Super Bowl XXXVI walk-through in 2002. The Patriots have denied they videotaped the practice.

Goodell, who said he reserved the right to address the investigation again if new information arose, said that if Walsh "has information inconsistent with what we have, we want to talk to him."

The commissioner said it's his responsibility to look into any rumor regarding the investigation and dismissed any talk of a cover up.

"People are implying that this is some type of cover up," Goodell said. "... I think it's exactly the opposite. We were the ones who brought these facts out to light. We were the ones who took the unprecedented discipline to send a very strong message to people [to] don't violate the rules. And I think that's what we want. We want every team playing on a level playing field and I think that's what we have."

After the league investigation into the original Spygate incident after New England's victory over the New York Jets in Week 1, Goodell fined Patriots coach Bill Belichick $500,000, the maximum amount, and docked the team $250,000 and a first-round draft pick. It was the biggest fine for a coach and the first time in NFL history a first-round draft pick was confiscated as a penalty.

Mike Martz, who was St. Louis' head coach during the Super Bowl game in question, spoke to ESPN.com investigative reporter Mike Fish about the allegations.

"I hope that is not true," Martz said. "I have great respect for Bill Belichick. It's hard to believe that is true. It's a serious allegation and I hope it is not true.

"Obviously if there is enough substance to it the league should look into it.''

Former Rams quarterback Kurt Warner, currently with the Arizona Cardinals, told Fish that if the league has heard those claims, he is surprised it has not spoken to Walsh. He said if Walsh or any other source has information, it should be investigated.

Walsh has suggested to ESPN.com that he has information that could have exposed the Patriots prior to the Week 1 incident.

"If I had a reason to want to go public, or tell a story, I could have done it before it even broke," Walsh told ESPN.com. "I could have said everything rather than having [Jets coach Eric] Mangini be the one to bring it out.

"If they're doing a thorough investigation -- they didn't contact me. So draw your own conclusions. Maybe they felt they didn't need to. Maybe the league feels they got satisfactory answers from everything the Patriots sent them."

Told of the newest allegation, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press on Saturday:

"We were aware of the rumor months ago and looked into it. There was no evidence of it on the tapes or in the notes produced by the Patriots, and the Patriots told us it was not true."

Patriots media relations official Stacey James reiterated that sentiment.

"The suggestion that the New England Patriots recorded the St. Louis Rams' walk-through on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI is absolutely false," James said. "Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue."

Rams spokesman Rick Smith, reading a statement from team president John Shaw, said, "At this point, we have no comment."

On Friday, Specter said he had written Goodell seeking an explanation as to why evidence in the NFL's investigation of the Patriots videotaping was destroyed.

"I am very concerned about the underlying facts on the taping, the reasons for the judgment on the limited penalties and, most of all, on the inexplicable destruction of the tapes," Specter wrote.

Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the matter could put the league's antitrust exemption at risk. In a phone interview with The New York Times, which first reported Specter's interest in the matter, he said the committee at some point will call Goodell to address the antitrust exemption as well as the destruction of the tapes.

Goodell, in his previously scheduled news conference Friday from Phoenix, said, "There are very good explanations why the tapes were destroyed by our staff -- there was no purpose for them."

There were six tapes, according to Goodell -- some from the 2007 preseason and the rest from 2006. He said he had them destroyed because he was confident the Patriots had turned over all of the tapes and notes the NFL had requested in its investigation. He also said they were destroyed in order to prevent leaks to the media -- as some footage from one of the tapes was leaked shortly after the story broke.

"We wanted to take and destroy that information," Goodell said. "They may have collected it within the rules, but we couldn't determine that. So we felt that it should be destroyed."

Belichick had little to add on the subject.

"It's a league matter," he said Friday during his news conference. "I don't know anything about it."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs07/news/story?id=3228494

tony hipchest
02-03-2008, 11:45 AM
hard to trust goodell when he says things like "i think it was 6 tapes that were destroyed".

i would think he would be a little more sure of such details.

83-Steelers-43
02-03-2008, 11:47 AM
and the Patriots told us it was not true

There we go!! See that!! Case closed!! Nothing more to see here folks. The Patriots told us it was not true.

"It's a league matter," he said Friday during his news conference. "I don't know anything about it."

Uh-huh. Yeah, we know Bill.

fansince'76
02-03-2008, 11:53 AM
Waits patiently for news story about Matt Walsh having an unfortunate "accident." :whistle:

stillers4me
02-03-2008, 11:56 AM
I'm loving every minute of this.

stillers4me
02-03-2008, 11:57 AM
Waits patiently for news story about Matt Walsh having an unfortunate "accident." :whistle:

......and that crossed my mind,too! (he doesn't happen to know Bill and Hillary, does he??)

83-Steelers-43
02-03-2008, 11:57 AM
I can see it now....

Patriots hire Paulie Walnuts to 'talk' to Mr. Walsh...

http://search.tvnz.co.nz/photogallery/images/gallery/entertainment/p_tony.jpg OH!!! What tapes?!?!? Fughetaboudit you rat bastard!!!

Haiku_Dirtt
02-03-2008, 12:05 PM
hard to trust goodell when he says things like "i think it was 6 tapes that were destroyed".

i would think he would be a little more sure of such details.

Unless Goodell is the kind of person who forgets how many children he has.

Yeah. That's why he is commish. For his absentmindedness.

The "cat out of the bag" is slowly becoming the "genie out of the bottle" for Bill and the Pats. Is it really too much to ask to for? Can the genie get so big that we can finally put a nail into his legacy?

GOD LET'S HOPE SO. :popcorn:

I need some :coffee:

Atlanta Dan
02-03-2008, 12:10 PM
The blogs after some of these articles are priceless - here's one gem in particular that I found hilarious:

:toofunny: :toofunny: :toofunny:

Blogs in the AJC on virtually any subject quickly turn to the race card being slammed down:dang:

jjpro11
02-03-2008, 12:35 PM
POSTED 1:09 p.m. EST, February 3, 2008

IF WALSH HAS VIDEO, BELICHICK DONE FOR A YEAR

ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reports that, if it turns out that former Patriots employee Matt Walsh has in possession video of the Rams' final walk-through practice from Super Bowl XXXVI, New England head coach Bill Belichick will be suspended.

For a year.

Wow.

If Walsh has a such a tape, and if Belichick knows or suspects that he does, it could have a profound affect on Belichick as he prepares for the final act in a possible 19-0 season. We're not saying that it'll affect his coaching in any way; it might actually make him more focused and determined. But the knowledge that this game could be his last one for 19 months, and possibly his final time on the sidelines with the Patriots ever, is likely something that not even the modern-day Bud Grant would be able to conceal.

Indeed, if Belichick knows that he's toast, he might opt to retire before "Spygate II" hits the fan. And he'll be carrying those thoughts somewhere in his brain throughout the day and night in Phoenix.

And given that the Patriots have issued a statement calling Saturday's report from the Boston Herald "absolutely false," evidence to the contrary might compel owner Bob Kraft to fire his head coach on the heels of a fourth Super Bowl win in seven seasons.

Though plenty of folks are questioning the timing of these new disclosures, the fact is that if there's any truth to the report and that truth comes out, the guy who'll pay the biggest price is Belichick.

Either way, this is something that needs to be investigated quickly, so that if there's nothing to it the Pats and Belichick can have the cloud of suspicion removed.

I-Want-Troy's-Hair
02-03-2008, 01:55 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/080202&sportCat=nfl

The timing on all this is impeccable.

The second act of the "Spygate" scandal began late in Super Bowl week. I'd like to drop my Tuesday Morning Quarterback persona and offer some observations on why these events are happening now and what they mean.

First, the timeline: The initial incident happened in September. After the New England Patriots were caught violating league rules by filming the New York Jets' sideline during a Week 1 game, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stripped New England of a first-round draft choice, fined the team $250,000, fined coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and issued a harsh statement saying the Patriots' actions constituted a "calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid long-standing rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition."

Roger Goodell answered a lot of questions Friday that the NFL had refused to answer for months.
Belichick responded with a brief apology that referred only to sideline taping during games. Then, the first of many strange things happened. Goodell went on national television and implied the Patriots were dragging their feet about his order to hand over other cheating materials; he threatened them with more penalties. And then, the second of many strange things happened. Four days later, the NFL announced it had destroyed all cheating materials and refused to say what had been destroyed.

From that moment in late September until Friday, the NFL never answered the questions of exactly what the Patriots did and why the evidence was destroyed. People, including me, put these questions to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello and to Goodell, but were told the league would not reveal what was in the destroyed evidence. In December, The New York Times pressed the NFL to say what was in the destroyed materials, and again, the league refused. At his annual state of the league address Friday, Goodell made his first public comments about the destroyed evidence.

So, if you are a New England supporter, or simply a sports fan, wondering, "Why is all this coming out right before the Super Bowl?" the answer is, "Because the NFL would not answer the questions until Goodell was in front of the media this week." Some of this information might have emerged weeks or months ago, had the NFL not acted as if there were something to hide on the tapes.

ESPN and other outlets have been working on Spygate stories for weeks or longer, and all competing to be first with any further revelations. I can assure you there was no attempt to time this to the Super Bowl. Far from it.

Flash back to September. After the league made its strange decision to destroy the materials, then refused to say what they contained, several media figures, including me, did this Journalism 101 exercise: Current scandal involves current taping by the Patriots. Are there any former Patriots video officials from New England's Super Bowl runs? That led to a former New England scout and video department official named Matt Walsh, who now lives in Hawaii. Simultaneously, the NFL grapevine was alive with rumors -- caution, rumors -- that the Patriots were guilty not just of taping sidelines during games but rather of much more serious transgressions. The primary rumor, which was reported Saturday by the Boston Herald, was that the Patriots secretly taped the St. Louis Rams' private walk-through before Super Bowl XXXVI, that the Pats knew some of the Rams' plays and formations in advance.

Taping from the sidelines during games, although forbidden, is regarded as a minor violation of the rules. Secret taping of a Super Bowl opponent's practice, if true, would be much more serious.

Throughout the fall, I, as well as other journalists, had many conversations with Walsh. He would not say he taped the Rams' walk-through, but he would not deny it, either. He would not go on the record about what he knows.

Late in Super Bowl week, Walsh agreed with ESPN and the Times to go on the record as saying he knows damaging information about the Patriots that he will reveal if asked by the NFL. Walsh further noted that, although the NFL announced it had investigated New England's videotaping practices, the league had never spoken to him. People are right to be skeptical about Walsh's saying he knows something damning but not revealing it. Walsh says he fears legal retaliation by the Patriots because he signed a non-disclosure agreement when he left the team. He has been advised by an attorney that he will be on firmer ground if he reveals what he knows only at the request of the NFL or Congress.

(CONT)

I-Want-Troy's-Hair
02-03-2008, 01:55 PM
(con't)
Simultaneously, the Times learned that Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania -- the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has some jurisdiction over the NFL's precious antitrust exemption -- wants to hold hearings on why the material collected in the NFL's investigation was destroyed.

Think Congress has no business investigating sports? Most NFL teams play in publicly subsidized stadiums, and NFL games are aired over public airwaves controlled by federal licenses. The licenses, among other things, prohibit any pre-arrangement or artifice in what is presented as live competition. If a Super Bowl were affected by cheating, that would be a legitimate matter of concern to Congress. Plus, the recent lesson learned via baseball and steroids was that Major League Baseball did not clean up its own house until Congress put some pressure on.

At his annual Super Bowl news conference Friday, Goodell was peppered with questions about why the New England materials were destroyed. This was painful to watch; the NFL is an image-based enterprise, yet painted itself into a public relations corner by acting in a high-handed, suspicious way. If Goodell had been forthright about the tapes in the first place, perhaps no one would be spoiling the Super Bowl party.

At the news conference, Goodell disclosed several things the NFL previously had refused to discuss. He said that only six tapes and some notes had been turned over to the league by the Patriots, not voluminous materials, as had been assumed; that the tapes all contained only in-game film of opponents' sidelines; and that the oldest tape was from the 2006 regular season, with nothing before that year. Goodell went on to say several times that attempting to steal sideline signals during games is common in football and, although not encouraged, is viewed as an occupational hazard in the sport. Goodell also asserted the Patriots' questionable activities did not alter the outcome of any game.

Goodell's remarks were puzzling in several respects. First, if the Patriots were guilty only of occasional sideline taping, this would seem to merit a letter of reprimand. So why were the Patriots hit with the harshest fine in NFL history? When the scandal first broke, Goodell used extremely strong language about New England's sins. Now, he was implying the whole thing was no big deal.

Next, Goodell did not clarify whether the league had asked only for sideline tapes taken during games or whether this was all the Patriots volunteered. If New England gave the league only video taken from the sidelines during games, plus notes developed from such videos, there would be no evidence of really serious cheating, such as clandestine taping of other teams' walk-throughs.

Finally, Goodell declared that the materials the league destroyed contained no evidence of Super Bowl cheating. But the material went back only to 2006. The Patriots' Super Bowl wins came in 2002, 2004 and 2005. Of course the material contained no evidence of Super Bowl cheating! Did the league ask just for materials dating to 2006, or was that all the Patriots volunteered? Either way, it is more than curious that the league inspected one tape from this season and the rest, materials from a year when the Patriots did not appear in a Super Bowl.

Saturday morning, the Boston Herald ran a story asserting the Patriots secretly taped the Rams' private walk-through before Super Bowl XXXVI. The Herald cited an unnamed source and did not name Walsh as the person behind the camera.

Ty Law and the Patriots defense stymied the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. Law's first-half interception helped the Pats beat the NFL's highest-scoring team.
Also Saturday, Mike Fish reported on ESPN that St. Louis' walk-through was devoted to red zone plays -- all new plays and new formations the Rams had not shown during the season. Going into that Super Bowl, the Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" was the league's highest-scoring team. In that game, St. Louis was held to a field goal in the first half. The Rams kept getting bogged down, as if New England knew what plays were coming. If the Patriots secretly taped the Rams' walk-through, then stopped the red zone plays the Rams showed in that walk-through, then won that Super Bowl by three points, then logic says New England materially benefited from cheating in the Super Bowl. If true, this would be the worst sports scandal since the Black Sox.

Let's put that in capital letters: IF TRUE. We don't yet know whether the Super Bowl allegations are true. Then again, we are into only the second day of information going on the record and the league finally answering some questions about the subject.

The Patriots, for their part, are denying the allegations.

"The suggestion that the New England Patriots recorded the St. Louis Rams' walk-through on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI is absolutely false," Patriots spokesman Stacey James said. "Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue."

Here's another unanswered question. If the materials the Patriots turned over and the league destroyed really were just six sideline videos and some notes, that's pretty innocuous. So why didn't the NFL reveal what was destroyed? If the materials really were minor stuff, why the months of "No comment"?

When news of the second act of Spygate hit the sports world Friday, there was considerable backlash. Many radio and TV analysts initially reacted angrily, as if to say, "This is our private universe. In our private universe, everything is perfect. Keep reality out." But if you love athletic competition, if you want sports to be important and generate lots of money and attention, the games must be honest. Any indication of dishonesty should be deeply unsettling.

Footnote: The Giants held a final walk-through for Super Bowl XLII on Saturday, but the Patriots did not.

OneForTheToe
02-03-2008, 02:01 PM
Waits patiently for news story about Matt Walsh having an unfortunate "accident." :whistle:

Hey four people a decade dye when being hit by golf balls. You can't fight fate.:wink02:

SteelCityMan786
02-03-2008, 02:06 PM
Well Bill, if you're a guilty son of a gun, see you in the 2009 season. Enjoy your extended off-season.

Edman
02-03-2008, 02:44 PM
Wow, after one year on the job Goodell and the NFL is already under fire. Thanks to Beliprick and the Puketriots.

The future doesn't bode well for the NFL with this guy at the controls.

Rhee Rhee
02-03-2008, 03:17 PM
good! now the punishment i'm hoping for is taking away each and every player's superbowl ring... and banning the patriots from ever playing in the NFL... and also put a * next to every game they've won since belichick became coach... also goodell should be fired... and taglibue coming back...

Atlanta Dan
02-03-2008, 04:10 PM
About to head off to a Super Bowl party (I am watching tonight's game and the anticipated Pats victory with the same sense of dread I will have watching the election returns in November if Hillary is the Democrat nominee), but wanted to link to this game day post from Dr. Z. He is not given to overstatement and has covered the game since the 60s - accordingly his post indicates Coronation Day is proceeding under gathering storm clouds:

This morning as Super Bowl Sunday dawned the whole landscape changed. The story that broke out of Boston, that the Patriots had taped the Rams' walkthrough before the 2002 Super Bowl, places the whole event under suspicion. Cheat in a Super Bowl? I mean, it's one thing to get caught cheating at the beginning of the regular season, but to take it to the biggest arena of all? Wow, this puts the whole thing under a cloud.

How shallow it makes the entire promotion seem, the parties, the endless hype, the reams of copy devoted to the magnificence of the unbeaten Patriots. Of course there might be nothing to the story, but still, suspicion hangs over this game like some deadly fog. It makes everything we've read all week, all the stories we've gathered ourselves, seem like the ultimate in hypocrisy. It puts the league itself under suspicion and brings the commissioner, Roger Goodell, into sharper focus for his failure to answer the question of why, indeed, he destroyed the Spygate tapes earlier this season. This was the major news angle that came out of his Friday presentation, which still left the matter unanswered, in my opinion.

If the Spygate II story is correct, then the Patriots have blinded a lot of people in their devious march to immortality.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/dr_z/02/03/superbowl.diary/index.html?eref=T1

fansince'76
02-03-2008, 11:34 PM
If the Spygate II story is correct, then the Patriots have blinded a lot of people in their devious march to immortality.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/dr_z/02/03/superbowl.diary/index.html?eref=T1

Too bad for the arrogant, smug pr*cks that the "march" was unceremoniously halted one game short today isn't it? Can't wait to see the screws get put to those bastards during the offseason. Mr. Walsh, come on down and tell us and show us everything you know.

jjpro11
02-04-2008, 12:18 AM
spector and walsh needs to kick them while their down to finish em off.

stlrtruck
02-04-2008, 08:19 AM
Beware Commissioner Good Deal!!!!

Hines0wnz
02-04-2008, 02:41 PM
I hope this is isnt just a big smokescreen.

klick81
02-04-2008, 03:02 PM
I'm sure absolutely nothing will come of this.