Why Spygate Is The Most Disgraceful Episode In Recent Sports Media History

Lets get this out of the way first -Bill Belichick and the Patriots broke the rules. There is no disputing that. They were punished for it.

Yes, I’m trying to put this all behind me, but I think it’s important to review just how disgraceful the behaviour of national media was during this whole episode, and attempt to put as much of it on the record as I can here.

Yes, disgraceful.

I suppose it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise given the news/sports climate in which we live, one that is dominated by sensationalism, exaggeration, rush to judgement and opinion. But things really got out of hand with this one. Let’s review a few of the ways:

The myopic media have chosen to focus solely on the sensationalistic aspects of this case, right from the beginning.

Whether or not this was really a major rules violation that garnered a significant advantage is not the point. THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS CHEATED AND ALL THEIR CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE NOW TAINTED. That’s the message that has been sent out, and that which has been pounded repeatedly into the conscious of the American public.

The implication has been that the taping of signals is the golden lamp which when rubbed, automatically ensures victory. They insist that the advantage gained by these tapes is the single most important factor (even if some faint voices say otherwise) in the Patriots success this decade.

Never mind that the stealing of signals has been going on in all sports almost from the beginning. Never mind that other teams have been caught doing the same or worse. Ignore all of that.

Ignore this statement:

Taping from the sidelines during games, although forbidden, is regarded as a minor violation of the rules.

You know who wrote that?

The one and only Gregg Easterbrook. (On February 3, 2008)

Yeah, the same guy now advocating a lifetime ban of Belichick.

For a “minor violation of the rules.”

Nothing has changed since that day, in fact, the Patriots position has improved, as the notion of the walkthrough video has been dismissed. The Boston Heraldand John Tomase have apologized for putting out this false information. Yet now Easterbrook wants the lifetime ban?

They’ve also shown that just because something has already been reported, it doesn’t mean you can’t write it again and shout from the rooftops that there is a new angle.

One of the prominent figures of this whole saga has been ESPN “investigative reporter” Mike Fish. For someone billed as an investigative reporter, I haven’t seen this guy yet bring something of value to the table. You’d think an investigative reporter would…you know…investigate. He would look into all aspects of a story, uncover new facts, perhaps expand the scope of the story to include other teams and their practices, to see if what the Patriots did was really out of line with what other teams were doing to get an edge.

Nope. He’s been solely focused on the Patriots. He hands in pieces like this, which have absolutely no new information whatsoever.

I’m tempted to dub him Mike Fishwrap, but that would be an insult to paper that is actually used to wrap dead fish.

Ready, Fire, Aim.

This will somehow get blamed on the internet, I’m sure, but this whole episode has consisted of events where reporters and media have shot first and asked questions later. The rush to be first get the news out there and garner attention has overidden everything else, including journalistic standards. Tomasegate is the prime example, but there are others.

Remember in the last few weeks when there was a big rush of OFFENSIVE SIGNALS headlines(That Fish guy again) after Walsh turned over his tapes? Some speculated that this was a new facet of the cheating that could open up the case even more and end up in that eagerly anticipated suspension for Belichick.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick could be hit with more sanctions in connection with the team’s past videotaping activities.

This was despite the official comment from the league:

“This is consistent with what the Patriots had admitted they had been doing, consistent with what we already knew,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press.

That statement didn’t stop the media from running with the OFFENSIVE SIGNALS storyline. That went on for a few days before dying out when people finally realized that the offensive signals weren’t really of any use.

From Trent Dilfer in Peter King’s MMQB column this week on the news that the league will be instituting coach-to-defensive-captain communication via radio:

videotaping “will be irrelevant. Now the offense will have no way of stealing signals anymore, because they’ll be done the same way the offense sends in signals — from the coach to a player on the field [through a microphone and speaker].

What that quote is saying is that taping offensive signals in the past was irrelevant – because there are no hand signals to steal.

So besides the fact that the tape were consistent with what the NFL already knew, it’s also come out that the taping of offensive signals was pretty much of no value.

We’ve had columnists and talking heads insinuate that there really was a tape of the Rams walkthrough, but that the Patriots “made it go away.” Or, as this guy asserts, they simply paid off Walsh:

For all we know, Walsh may have had more information and more damning evidence of the Patriots and their use of the infamous practice and signal tapes, but money has a way of making everything better. Again, no one, but Walsh and a few people with the New England franchise, will ever know the truth.

If the Patriots paid Walsh to destroy the tape, couldn’t they just have slipped him a few more bucks just to shut up all together? These types of unsubstantiated claims and assertions have been just far too common during this whole time.

Here’s one more example, from just last night.

DID PATS TAPE RAMS’ SIGNALS DURING 2001 SEASON?
Posted by Mike Florio on May 19, 2008, 9:45 p.m. EDT

One issue that has been overlooked by many/most/all of the media, and of which a reader has reminded us recently, is the question of whether the Patriots used their videotaping system on the St. Louis Rams when the two teams met in the 2001 regular season, only a couple of months before Super Bowl XXXVI.

Even though we now know that the Pats didn’t videotape the Rams’ walk-through prior to the game, it doesn’t mean that there was no cheating on the biggest stage in sports.

It’s unclear whether the question has been asked, but it sure doesn’t appear to us that the question has been answered. And it’s a simple question — did the videotaping of defensive coaching signals include the November 18 prime-time game between the two teams, which the Rams won, 24-17?

Another prime example of “Let’s throw something out there without making any effort to check into it at all.”

From Walsh’s New York Times sitdown:

Q. The regular-season game against the Rams in 2001, what were your duties?

A. I remember before the game, our video room was located right next to the visitor’s locker room. Even though the locker room doors were closed, myself and Pepper Johnson were outside the video room right before the game. And we were able to hear, through the doors, Mike Martz giving his pre-game speech to the team. Trying to incite them about, you know, it was Sunday night football. How good they were. And how we were just another A.F.C. team.

They won by a touchdown, so I guess it worked.

Q. And what did you do during the game?

A. Filmed, to the best of my recollection. I can’t specifically say I remember the details of what I filmed.

Conveniently, Walsh doesn’t “remember the details.” He seems to remember everything else about that season, including meaningless preseason games, but he doesn’t remember this game and what he was doing. (Though he remembers the pregame incident from that same game.) If he DID film that game, don’t you think he would’ve said so directly, rather than vaguely dodging the question by saying he must’ve filmed, but doesn’t remember the details?

That tells me he didn’t film it. In fact, if he did, don’t you think that would’ve been one of the tapes he would’ve taken before he left the organization, given the significance of that game later on down the line?

This tells me two things…one, Florio truly was just “throwing it out there” – shooting before aiming, a problem throughout this entire episode – and two, the more you look into it, how much of anything Walsh says can you really believe?

That hasn’t stopped the media from breathlessly taking his words and running with them.

They’ve behaved with the subtlty of a pack of screaming jackals.

You can’t turn around these days without someone howling about the integrity of the game, about tainted championships, about lifetime suspensions.

They’ll howl at whatever camera, microphone or keyboard is in front of them. Attempts to reason with them go about as well as a carcass trying to talk its way out of getting torn to shreds by the pack.

These are the same ones who were (and are) screaming about “running up the score” and “sportsmanship” and even Belichick’s postgame handshakes.

They haven’t even bothered to hide their agendas

Everyone with an axe to grind against the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick has taken full advantage of the opportunity to kick them while they’re down. They don’t even try to hide why they’re doing it. Here’s a few of the key players:

Matt Walsh – Disgruntled ex-Patriots employee who was fired from his job for recording conversations with his superiors. ‘Nuff said

Arlen Specter- Disgruntled Eagles fan, who is also trying to strongarm the NFL into granting more favorable terms to Comcast, one of his key campaign contributors. He apparently believes everything he hears from Mark Schlereth on ESPN and what he reads in the New York Times, which may not be such a great idea. (See below.)

Greg Bishop, New York Times – You can detect a clear pattern in his stories. Let’s see, a puff piece on Charley Casserly in April leads to a piece in May with a “longtime N.F.L. team executive.” Think they’re not one and the same?

Another puff piece on Michael Levy in March leads to the Times getting the 8 Tapes from Walsh before the NFL did and also an exclusive interview with Matt Walsh.

Why in the world would the New York Times write a piece on Drew Bledsoe? (March 10) Well, on February 22nd, Bishop got a “a former Patriots player” to talk about the Patriots taping signals as far back as 2000. Is it too much of a stretch to consider that Bishop wrote the article on Bledsoe’s wine and coffee business ventures as payola for the info in the Feb 22nd article?

Mark Schlereth, ESPN – Prior to the Patriots, his Denver Broncos were considered a mini dynasty of their own. Now, relegated to a footnote Schlereth has tried to discredit the Patriots at every turn. He insists that the team used the filmed signals during the same games, something that not only defies logic, (How could the team edit all that raw footage into a usable video AND decipher the signals within the same game?) but that even Walsh has denied.

Schlereth has convienently not addressed the fact that the Broncos circumvented the salary cap so they could pay John Elway and Terrell Davis $29 million in deferred payments. This allowed them to stock their team and win those two Super Bowls. I kind of think this is worse than the taping of signals…

There’s plenty more out there. Just look at any of the key figures and think about what their ties to the stories are or what their history with the Patriots is…

Tomasegate gave new life to the story that should have been put to bed.

The same media types who are shaking their heads at John Tomase for his handling of the Rams walkthrough video story were the first ones to gleefully run with his story when it came out. The walkthrough video story dominated ESPN’s Bottom Line and NFL Network’s ticker as well. Columnists and reporters around the country lined up for a second shot at the team and coach, and this has continued for three and a half months.

Had Tomase not published his story, perhaps this thing would be a dead issue by now. Instead, the witch-hunt has intensified, and even though the Tomase story has been retracted and an apology issued, the Spygate hysterics are back in full swing.

Tomase’s story is the single most egregious part of this entire matter, and he has skated, scot-free. As Patriots Daily pointed out today, Tomase may be accountable for his actions, but he hasn’t yet been held to account.

Rather than doing their jobs the way they’ve been trained, the media have taken as gospel the words of someone whose only true value was fueling the fire. To the media, everything is all about “advancing the story” – Walsh and Tomase were supposedly doing this, yet we see after the fact that they didn’t have anything new to offer.

A Real Reason for the Hate is Lack of Access

Even though they’ll dismiss this notion out of hand, this whole episode boils down to access. Can you sit there and realistically say that had it been Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden or Herman Edwards that did this that the stories and commentary would be as nasty and personal? If Bill Belichick sat down with the likes of Peter King on a weekly basis and invited them to watch him mow his lawn like Brett Favre, how do you think this would’ve gone?

You can almost hear the excuses that would’ve been made had these ones offered the same explanations that Belichick has offered.

“Dungy’s got a such a strong moral fiber, he wouldn’t have done this unless he was firmly convinced his interpretation of the rules was correct.”

“Herm just wants to win so badly, ‘You play to win the game’ – that’s what he always says. This is just a reflection of that.” 

“Jon gets up at 3:30am every day to pour his soul into the preparation of his team, the taping and analysis of the signals just shows how obsessed he is with getting every detail just right.”

With Belichick, it’s because he is a cheater. All because he doesn’t “play the game” of keeping the media happy and well supplied with snappy quotes.

The actual accomplishments of the players and team are now dismissed. 

Regardless of perceived advantage that the filmed signals would’ve provided, the players on the field had to make plays in order for the Patriots to win their championships. They had to make key stops, they had to catch the ball, run through the hole, or knock the offensive lineman aside to get to the quarterback. Nothing gained through film work could possibly help the players on the field do these things.

Knowing the defensive signals didn’t help Ty Law pick off Peyton Manning in the playoffs. It didn’t help Rodney Harrison seal the Super Bowl against Specter’s Eagles with a pick.

This is perhaps the saddest aspect of the whole affair. The accomplishments of such talented players have been muddied because of how the scandal has been blown out of proportion. Sure, Belichick and the Patriots do deserve a share of the blame because they broke the rules and started this whole mess, but the media has taken this event and taken it entirely too far.

Soon they will move on like nothing happened

At some point, another big scandal will erupt in the world of sports. The sports media’s attention will shift to that, leaving this episode in the past, to be revisited whenever convenient. (Especially if the Patriots roar out of the gate next season, or perhaps even more so, if they struggle.) To be sure, this isn’t going away completely, but it will fade into the background somewhat, but the damage will be permanently done in its wake.

It all added up to the The Most Miserable 18-1 Season in History but it clearly hasn’t stopped there.

The amount of coverage given this scandal has been nothing short of overwhelming. The average fan trying to follow this story could find himself hopelessly lost in the shouting, conjecture and speculation. Unfortuately, responsible reporting has not prevailed at all in this case, and reason is a rare commodity among this crowd.

Keep in mind that most of these same reporters and outlets were silent during the whole steroid era in baseball – even though most of them had a pretty good idea of what was going on. Is the outcry over this story merely these same ones overcompensating for their silence on steroids? Or is it part of our society’s macabre habit of turning on and tearing down our heroes after we’ve built them up?

Whatever the reason, the stench from all of this mess is going to take a long time to wear off.

  • Paul

    Why do you use British spelling?

  • Tony

    Home Run Bruce,

    though I’m sure Mssrs. Felger and Masserroti would like to have a little chat with you about your blind “Belichicklet” homerism!!

    Remember, the walkthrough story was only a case of incorrect semantics…Mr. Sara Underwood says so!!

    Great job.

    This site is completely indispensible.

  • DV

    You’re right on Bruce.

    Unfortunately, for the rest of our lives, Patriot’s fans will be left to defend their team.

    The facts of the case are irrelevant, we as Patriots fans will forever be on the defensive.

    • Scott

      I don’t agree with this is any way shape or form. The whole idea of an article like this is to prove to you that the thing you should be on the ‘defensive’ against is a corrupt media populated by fat cats that will say anything and do anything to pay for that new addition to their house.

  • John

    I will agree with Pete the meat shepard on this. This was the most overblown story in the history of sports. What bothers me is that it seems only the Patriots fans see it that way. I can’t understand how anyone can see it any differently. I am glad you called out this guy Mike Fish. There could be so much good investigative pieces being run here about how teams change signals all the time, talking with former defensive coordinators about if they knew teams were taping the signals, did they do it too, etc, etc, etc. The media is too damn lazy. Or maybe, JUST MAYBE THERE IS NOTHING THERE!

  • MP

    This post belongs in your Hall of Fame. I’d love to see those media cowards that you call out respond to this. But they clearly won’t, since they’ve proven to specialize in gutless cheap shots and not responsible journalism.

    Another good example of Ready Fire Aim was the Brian Daboll accusation, which was completely unsubstantiated, yet treated like absolute truth, and repeated ad nauseam, from the moment it was uttered. And even worse, treated like the NFL was trying to bury some sort of smoking gun, even though, if substantiated, it was meaningless.

  • http://masshysteriasports.blogspot.com DaveR

    (stands and applauds)

    I think there’s another anti-Belichick angle that the media/talking heads have that you didn’t mention, Bruce. A lot of the press, especially the Schlereths of the world, talk about the “arrogance” of Belichick “thinking he’s smarter” than the NFL or whomever.

    But the truth is that Belichick IS much smarter than most people in football, and they know it, and they hate it. For the most part, Belichick and the scouting/development staff he has hired have won championships by drafting players that every other team in the league passed on at LEAST once. The shining example of that is Brady, who was passed over by every club in the NFL four times. Ditto guys like Asante Samuel, or Kevin Faulk, or David Givens.

    I think a lot of this boils down to (a) a troubling trend towards anti-intellectualism in society (when I hear Mike Golic — whom I like, incidentally, practically bragging about not knowing/understanding the “big words” that Mike Greenberg uses — which are really basic high school level vocabulary — I cringe), and (b) jealousy towards BB from people in football whose intellectual failings have been highlighted by his success. It’s the jocks trying to flush the nerd down the toilet.

    I don’t think I’m putting this well (no surprise there), but hopefully you see my general point.

    • Davey

      DaveR:

      You stated it perfectly and it is a GREAT point!

    • Joan

      Excellent point. But even though BB is probably smart than most football people, his plan for success is very simple and I think that makes people angry too because if its so simple, then why can’t they imitate it?

  • Denise

    Beautifully said Bruce.

  • Curtis

    Bruce – outstanding, exhaustive recap of a story that, in the end, was a lot of sizzle, not much steak. I do think though, that going forward in the new media with all of the various outlets that need content, we are only going to see more of this and I hope when the next team gets railroaded (whether it be the Pistons, Yankees or Colts) we apply the same standard we wanted applied to this story. Also, with so many outlets, we have to be careful generalizing the “evil national media” considering the most read columnist on ESPN.com is a devote Patriot fan (Simmons, Bill) and the best national sports show ever on TV (PTI) has always downplayed this story and laughed it off. I hope now that this story has been put to bed, we can develop somewhat thicker skins and just enjoy moments like Sunday at the Garden or last night at the Fens without worrying what everyone else thinks about us.

  • The Gimp

    That’s really impressive. It must be tough to read the hacks in this town, knowing you possess talent like that.

  • Doza

    You’re David Ortiz… right now in this town.

  • Chris

    The media deserves all the ‘piling on’ that they’re getting now, in the form of blogs and message boards and comments sections. If they want to ‘pile on’ when it comes to the teams, they deserve it right back in their pie-hole. They should get what they give. Three cheers for the creation of the Internet! That single breakthrough is causing tremendous upheaval in traditional media while angering the people inside it. I say the Internet is a keeper.

  • SteveC

    Bravo, another excellent analysis to go with your past efforts to spotlight this bizarre media hatred of Belichick both nationally and in Boston.

    What drives me the most crazy, and no one has said this, that for all the talk about the years of “cheating” as evidenced by Walsh’s stolen tapes, is the timeline. The rule in the bylaws clearly states that no videotaping should be done as it relates to use in that specific game. That was the governing rule until 2006, long after Walsh disappeared from the mainland, and Belichick broke that 2006 clarification. Nothing in the tapes that Walsh brought forward violated any NFL rule and is not evidence of any cheating unless you go by the idiots on NFL saying that the edited tapes must have been used in the games and especially the Super Bowl because of all the downtime. There was no “cheating” and you can lump in the rules violation they got fined for and what they did before the clarification. Walsh was just peddling a story the media wanted to hear, especially calling Belichick, gasp!!, arrogant. Nothing Walsh did at the time violated any NFL rule so why would anyone tell him to disguise what he was doing. But the coach is the bad person for going on CBS to clarify this and deserves suspension.

    Schlereth did address the Broncos salary cap cheating and dismissed it as “everyone does that”. Hmmmmm. Aren’t we idiot homers when we say the same thing about signals? Has anyone asked Herm Edwards about Walsh’s allegation of the Jets filming signals? Is anyone going to make the comment about “coaching trees” and indicting Tony Dungy like the ESPN idiots did with Belichick regarding the accusation that Nick Saban and the Dolphins tried stealing the Pats audio signals in 2006?

    If it wasn’t for Spygate, it would be something else to attack the coach. Either cutting a popular player (“they hate their coach”) before the season starts, not shaking someone’s hand, pushing a photographer, players dancing on the field after a playoff win and making fun of a steroid abuser’s dance, the tone of his postgame interview with Solomon Wilcots after a close loss in the AFC title game, not shaking Peyton Manning’s hand with enough enthusiasm, changing quarterbacks and not appreciating Bledsoe enough, innuendo about Weis and Crennel hating him, etc.

    • media-tor

      I’m so with you on this one, Steve. Thanks for reminding us that the act of videotaping itself wasn’t illegal earlier this decade, and for perfectly summing up that the local and national media who dislike Belichick for not being gregarious and forthcoming to them would have latched on to anything they could get that would bring the “HC of the NEP” down. Frankly, I find it sad and petty of those journalists who feel entitled to be handed information on a silver platter.

  • George

    I second that sentiment! Bruce, your site brings a much-needed dose of sanity and perspective. The print media should just go away as far as I’m concerned. As they have cleearly proven over the last 10 years, their liabilities far outweigh any benefits.

    Who cares about who actually breaks a story?!!! This insular mentality represents the crux of the issue. These idiots are basically addressing each other and playing competitive games that are largely irrelevant to their audience. Its basically more of the Big Show-treatment on a larger scale!

    Bruce, I want to say that as a sports fan, I find your site informative, insightful and extremely necessary to keep the media jackasses in check.

  • EC

    One quibble. “Tomase’s story is the single most egregious part of this entire matter.” I disagree. I think that Gregg Easterbrook is at least as culpable as Tomase, has openly lied about several events, and is skating. His latest column essentially states that without Matt Walsh, we never would have known that the Patriots had been taping since 2000, when in reality, John Clayton reported that back in September. He reports Matt Walsh’s accusations as fact when, to put it charitably, there is substantial dispute about his accusations. When he wrote his bizarre piece about Jews in Hollywood, I defended him from accusations of anti-Semitism. But the one-sided, reckless accusations that continued throughout the season should be enough to have him fired or suspended.

    • http://masshysteriasports.blogspot.com/ DaveR

      Agree with you, EC. I was an Easterbrook fan/defender at that time as well. But this anti-Patriots vendetta he’s been on has reached the point where it can only be described as “deranged”.

  • ozzy

    Absolutely tremendous job, Bruce. This is the column that should have been written a long time a go by Tony Mazz’ vaunted “responsible media”. There is no true journalism in this country today. Its all about “access”and maintaining it. Stenography passes for reporting. Tomase should be flipping Ken Powers for drinks somewhere and yet he is still employed. Why?

  • MJ

    Watch for the John Tomase- I Am A Victim- Tour. It’s already started. Printing lies and rumors doesn’t fit the story line so he’ll be absolved so they can get back to attacking the team and most especially the head coach. One of the many reasons I admire this coach is his treatment of the media hyenas. I expect I’m not alone.

  • longtimefan

    thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!

    :)

  • Rickkyboy

    You’re David Ortiz… right now in this town./ Doza

    Bruce,

    Get better soon. I hope that knee heals fast.

  • jon

    This post really is 100% accurate, and that in turn makes it 1000% sad. Not to get overly dramatic, but all things being equal, isn’t the media supposed to learn facts and then report on them to us, the uninformed reader or listener or viewer? You and I don’t have time (or the access) to ask defensive coordinators or secretaries of defense the inner workings of their craft, or of a specific facet of their craft. So we rely on journalists to do the work for us, and then to explain it to us in words and pictures we understand.

    So what the hell happened? The media learned about 3 facts (Pats taped signals since 2000, Pats got punished severely for infraction, Pats turned all materials over to NFL – were subsequently destroyed) and spent the next six months telling us how we should feel about it, not telling us anything else about it. No investigating, just one shouted rhetorical question after another.

    It’s no joke: the media really does think they are the arbiters of all that is moral or otherwise. They honestly believe you should listen to them when they tell you how to feel. They also feel the need to remind you of that whenever they get the chance.

    Despicable, disheartening, disgusting.

    Bruce, thank you so much.

  • David

    Great job Bruce. Unfortunately, outside of NE, it will fall on deaf ears. The media have it in for Belichick because he makes their job more difficult. The same reason it’s taking Jim Rice so long to get in the HOF. He wasn’t a good guy with the press, and they’re holding it against him now. Everyone wants to pile on the Patriots because success breeds contempt. Fans in other NFL cities are jealous of the Pats success and will look for any excuse for their teams failures. In an era bent on keeping teams competitive, the Patriots have excelled. Their organization is simply run better from the top down. For the rest of the country, that’s too much to swallow.

  • Glenn

    This column was a breath of fresh air after listening to the sickening defense of Tomase by his cohorts at The Herald this afternoon. Yeah, I get the “come to the aid of my fellow writer” thing, but Tomase and his brethern have come out of this stinking horribly, acting as if Tomase somehow advanced this story at all, and that it was an issue of semantics. Do these writers think we’re idiots? Oh wait, they do. Just ask Mazz, whose column was a big Middle Finger to anyone who enjoys sports as an escape from weightier issues. Anything Herald-related is now off My Favorites, never to be read again. Of course, Mazz and the Herald doesn’t care about “fans” like me, and thats fine. Just dont expect readership of the Herald to go UP after this sickening mess.

  • Lance

    Thanks Bruce. When time passes and the history of this episode is written, it will focus entirely on how an out-of-control press completely obliterated the facts to enhance it’s own agenda. This is just another bullet the mainstream press (as we know it) has used to shoot itself in the foot and many, if not most parts of it, will inevitably become extinct in our lifetime. Good riddance.

  • J.R.

    A magnificent recap of this entire cluster-bleep. Take a bow. Also, you gotta love how some in the media are constantly moving the goal posts. For example, Tony Spazz was on Fraudway’s show yesterday afternoon whining (yet again) how the Patriots keep track of their media coverage, as if this somehow “proves” how evil they are. When it was pointed out to him that ALL teams — and most companies, for that matter — routinely do the same thing (NOTE TO TONY: It’s called PR, dumb ass), he fell oddly silent. What a tool.

  • Murdle71

    This was very interesting,seems to point out all the bias against the Patriots.

  • NSW

    Great column…

    Honestly, though, I’m not even a little bit on the defensive and I think it’s funny that fans from other cities would care…if the national media wants to blather on about this, let them…like you perfectly say, they were the ones acting like Mark McGwire was the second coming of Ruth/Gehrig, so who cares what they think?

    When one takes an extreme position on something where it doesn’t belong, all that happens is the significance of the moment when that extreme position is actually warranted ends up being lessened. The real unfortunate thing, is the next time anybody cheats they can just say “well, what about the Patriots?”

    In the meantime – the NBA was ACTUALLY FIXED and nobody cares…and horses in the Kentucky Derby ACTUALLY DIE and it’s good clean, fun. So, screw them. I read sports to be entertained – and watching dancing monkeys like Easterbrook, Tomase and the rest is entertaining to me.

  • 02062

    Bruce – outstanding job.

    I can’t help but echo NSW’s comments about NBA games actually being fixed and ESPN and the rest not even mentioning it.

    Great job.

    Don’t know if you’d know this or not – but last week Walsh said a QB in 2000 told him that this worked 75% of the time.

    Has anyone from the media taken the time or even made the effort to contact the QB’s from that team to get their response?

    • ozzy

      Not even Mike Fish: “INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER”.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    Helluva job, Bruce, helluva job!……I think when some of these sports hacks started out they wanted to get into “hard news”, realized they weren’t smart enough and turned to sportswriting…that’s why they get so excited over this kind of stuff. They see it as their “Woodward & Bernstein” moment…….Great Work, BSMW is a voice of reason in these “LOOK AT ME!” times.

  • EC

    OK, not directly relevant, but when you hear Matt Walsh talk about how “he and Pepper Johnson” or “he and Brian Daboll”, doesn’t he kind of remind you of Forrest Gump (except that Forrest Gump never tried to eviscerate Lieutenant Dan with a blender blade)?

  • Tom

    Well done, Bruce. I feel like FINALLY someone actually wrote about how poorly this story was ‘covered’. It’s really amazing the totality of the lies that were written/spoken as fact, and the facts that there were written/spoken as lies.
    My favorite moment was Chris Carter who got so riled up on the day Walsh met Goodell that he said he would come out of retirement if stealing signals were legal, because he would have such an advantage, the offense couldn’t be stopped!
    Which, of course, is why the Pats had such a historic offense from ’00-’06… wait, what’s that you say? They didn’t? Well, they certainly did in ’07!… wait, what’s that you say? They didn’t tape signals in ’07? Aargh!!! There goes my argument!!!!! Sorry Chris!

  • Terri

    Thanks for being one of the few voices we have against this idiocy.

    What makes me crazy, which you point out, is that Spygate was pretty much a dead story until the Herald, Times and ESPN stories came out right before the SuperBowl. Some in the media even acknowledged that the original story was overblown. Hell, they awarded Bill Belichick Coach of the Year.

    It was the false Rams SuperBowl charge that brought the whole story back to light. The fact that that charge was false hasn’t stopped the media from being enraged all over again.

  • Nathan

    Media has changed forever. Now, this type of outlet is where you actually get good reporting and analysis. My old big media standby’s are a joke. Great job, Bruce.

  • frank

    Great job Bruce Allen…you nailed it – home run here.

  • http://sebringlisa Lisa

    I could not agree with Terri more. This whole thing was resurfaced again on the eve of the Superbowl, by a reporter that did not even check his facts. How unfair!! Thanks for giving us the facts.

  • Scott

    The other thing about Florio’s speculaation is that he is completely unaware of the facts of the first 01 game with the Rams – which is if Antowain Smith hadn’t fumbled at the goal line, the Patriots beat the Rams *sses twice that year.

    I suppose it was the tape from the 32-18 loss to the 3-10 Rams in 1998 that led to that, though.

    • John

      Excellent!

  • Angry Old Bastard

    Mike Florio of PFT is such a HYPOCRITE it’s almost comical…after Tom Brady sort of called out ESPN, Florio wrote a favorable column agreeing with Brady. saying there were certain segments of the media that, “want to keep the story alive no matter what”….Well one of those “segments of the media” would be HIM!..soon after, he threw Charlie Weis’s name against the wall…then yesterday he brings up the 1st game against the Rams…..

  • lobstah

    excellent !

  • Lou

    Great job Bruce. A well-written, reasoned analysis. So out of place in this town.

  • http://soxanddawgs.com Steve

    excellent Bruce. We ran a link to it for tomorrow at Sox & Dawgs.

  • Lisa

    great article, thank you for writing it.

  • gerard

    Great job Bruce. I think it was even more effective because you were reasonable and never jumped one way or the other. I live in Chicago now but go to your sight every day. Thank you.
    Lastly, Dan Pompei, from the Chicago Tribune has been the best voice of reason outside NE through all of this. I would suggest the readers google his articles.

    • http://masshysteriasports.blogspot.com/ DaveR

      I’ll second that — I’ve read some of Dan Pompei’s stuff, and it’s been consistently well-argued and balanced.

  • mandb97

    The next time mainstream media mocks blogs, they better look in the mirror.

  • Gil Santos

    A friend alerted me to your piece and I just finished reading it.
    In a word “BRILLIANT.”

  • Philip

    2 words:
    Character Assassination.

    That what this all was, plain and simple. Bob Ryan compared him to Nixon, he’s not Nixon. He’s Clinton and Spygate was his Monica. Why Clinton? Because he was damn good at his job but will be hated forever by some, and loved forever by others.

    • http://soxanddawgs.com Steve

      I thought maybe he wasa cigar afficianado

  • Patrick

    Bruce,

    Great column. Should be a must read for anybody in the media.
    What do feel about the chance that the Herald went with this story as they didn’t want to be beat by the Globe (owned by Times)?

  • Mahk

    I too say brilliant. I would add that one individual who contributed to the witch hunt is Roger Goodell. Being the new kid in town he over-reacted to the incident and handed out exhorbitant penalties to the Patriots. This fostered the mentality that the offense HAD to be significant if it cost a 1st round draft pick and $750,000. The commissioner however deemed that San Francisco’s tampering with free agent Lance Briggs was worth only a 5th round pick and 3rd round swap. Based on this my suggestion to Coach Belichick would be that in the future when he cheats he should steal players from the Eagles…it’s much less costly!

  • John

    Bruce,
    A spectacular piece of journalism. Your analysis of the media handling of Spygate is dead on. In fact, your piece should be sent to every journalism school in America. Why? Because your analysis of this sports story can be transposed to the media handling of current affairs. Let’s not be fooled by the “fair and unbiased” press. Global Warming is a bogus story where little or no opposition is allowed in print. We are about to witness the “canonization” of Obama and the media will not even mention him middle name Hussein. Pick a current story and you will find the media treating it as the NYT and ESPN led sports media handled Spygate. Don’t believe me…go to newsbusters.com

  • Corner Blitz

    Bruce, a tremendous article that should be required reading across the country. You hit the major points cogently with reasoned analysis. Mainstream media you aint, and we are all the richer for it. A tour de force that will have no rebuttal because there is none. We should hold these people accountable for their slanted writings and rantings, and you’re just the man to do it. Let’s take the cheese.

  • Gil Santos

    For the person who wondered if it was me who praised Bruce Allens piece of some,actually,much of the media castigating Bill Belichek,yes,it was me and I will be happy to confirm that if you want to call or e-mail me.
    I thought it was the most insightful and honest,no agenda driven piece I’ve read on it anywhere.
    Gil Santos
    WBZ/WBCN

    • media-tor

      Bruce, if this isn’t enough proof that your piece was extremely well done, I don’t know what is.

    • Lance

      Gil,

      You have never let me down. Your posts have only confirmed my belief you are the best. Thank you.

  • hotdogjax

    Bruce, unbelievable column! Too bad now your gonna be labled a “suckup”. Or that your “in the tank” for the home teams. I still think you have to look at that Mike Fish article on 2/1 and see who had a contributing line to tell you all you need to know.

  • Tom Brady

    Maybe if Belicheck has actually, you know, apologized the coverage of this would have been a little more favorable to him and his team. His ridiculous explanation has only increased any preexisting animosity the media may have had. Fortunately, everyone (including Goodell who pretty much called him a liar) sees through his weak attempt to portray the incident as a misinterpretation of the rules. Additionally, he loses even more credibility by by commenting on what Walsh’s lack of football knowledge when he previously stated he couldn’t pick him out of a lineup.

    • Chris in Illinois

      How does his comment about Walsh cost him credibility? If Walsh knew anything about football, BB would have know about it and he wouldn’t have been a bottom-feeding videotape guy. BB would have had no reason to believe that Walsh had any knowledge of football playmaking and strategy.

      You’re rationalizing to suit your own needs. You’re another one of the blind minions who can’t see the forest because of the trees.

    • Nopointe

      sounds like you have daddy issues, it’s ok to cry, cry em’ out!

  • Chris in Illinois

    A-freakin’-men!
    I’ve been trying to make this argument for months. You trumped me big-time.
    I bow to your greatness.

  • Tony

    Tom Brady,\

    Belichick did apologize at the NFL Owner’s meetings this past winter. And so did the Kraft’s. In fact, it was reported that both of them were warmly applauded.

    Was he supposed to apologize to the media; the same people who were already trying to turn him into a modern day Hitler-type figure simply because he didn’t shake Eric Mangini’s hand long enough after the 2nd Jets’ game in 2006? The same media who REPEATEDLY printed the lie that Belichick “snubbed” Peyton Manning on the field of the RCA Dome after the 2006 AFC title game, despite the fact that there is a picture available that shows Belichick, as plain as day, shaking Manning’s hand and congratulating him on the field as the blue and white “Colts” confetti reigns down from above.

    Don’t ever, EVER forget that the media hated Belichick and was engaged in the process of smearing him as much as possible LONG before Spygate ever broke.

    • Tom Brady

      Tony,
      You mean the handshake where BB barely even made eye contact with Peyton? Bwahahahahaha. Sorry, not impressed.

      Regarding the meetings in Palm Beach, by most accounts – Kraft was the one who received applause. BB continued to give everyone the same line of BS. The guy is a liar and a cheat is being portrayed as such. He has nobody to blame but himself. Perhaps if his reputation had been a little better leading up to this, the media wouldn’t have been so tough on him. However assaulting camera men, reneging on contracts, and being involved with married women aren’t really the acts of a quality individual.

      • Tony

        Tom, it sounds to me like you’re repeating a lot of stuff that you’ve HEARD about Belichick through the media….again, buyer beware.

        What contracts has he “reneged” on? There’s no such thing as a guaranteed contract in the NFL and therefore they cannot be reneged on. Your argument is a non-sequiter.

        And really, so now the problem is that the handshake with Manning wasn’t good enough? Before, the media were flat out telling us that he SNUBBED him and didn’t even congratulate him after the game. That was a LIE. Just because a guy doesn’t make your job easier to do does not give you license to betray your professional obligations and spread falsehoods about him.

        Trust me dude, I have a media background (I got out before they got their corrupt hooks into me too deep). I know what these people are and how they think.

        I wish he hadn’t said that he “misinterpreted” the rule. He should have been more honest and said something like: “in my 32 years in the NFL, this rule has never been enforced, so I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal.”

        But to just go off and call the guy a liar and a cheat because he said “misinterpreted” is a huge stretch. By all public accounts, Belichick cooperated fully with all NFL investigations into this matter, and he told the truth about not using the tapes during the games, AND it’s been confirmed that he was telling the truth about not taping the Rams’walkthrough.

        If you want to pin your “he’s a liar” statement on his use of the word “misinterpreted”, then go for it. But the fact remains that BB has lied one hell of a lot less than the media has during this entire affair.

        The media lies and distorts to further their own agendas. They do it all the time. It’s the modus operandi for far too many of them.

        You’re way off base on this one…but I suspect that your screen name is a smokescreen, and that you’re probably a non-Patriots fan who has merely come here to stir the pot a little bit.

        Nice try, but you’re simply dead wrong.

        • Tom Brady

          Tony,
          I’m talking about his own contract with the Jets…or am I going back too far for you? I know most Pats fans don’t remember much pre-2001 but it wasn’t THAT long ago. I’m aware that coaches walk out on contracts all the time, and I don’t blame him for walking out on that miserable franchise, but he clearly could have handled the situation with more class and respect to the Jets.

          Also, if what Walsh said was accurate about him being instructed to come up with cover stories for what he was filming…then it is NOT a stretch to call BB a liar for saying “misinterpreted” the rule.

          Saying he told the truth about not using the tapes during the games doesn’t do much for me considering that was his excuse for breaking the rule in the first place…lol.

          There have been plenty of coaches in many sports that were less than forthcoming with the media…so we’re not breaking any new ground in that area. If you’re constantly wondering why BB consistently never gets the benefit of the doubt when he’s involved in certain situations, ask yourself if he deserves it based on his track record of being a man of less than ideal integrity both on and off the field.

        • Tony

          Tom,

          I certainly remember the situation with the Jets…you were not specific when you said “reneging on contracts” in your previous post, so I assumed that you were referring to cutting players that were under non-guaranteed contracts.

          As for that situation, he resigned as Jets’ coach, so if you want to call that reneging on a contract, that’s fine. But he did legally resign the job, and then the Pats had to fork over a #1 pick to the Jets in order to have the right to negotiate with him. So that situation, no matter how you slice it, was handled in a strictly legal manner.

          As for your “pre-2001″ crack, I’ll have you know that I attended my first Patriots game in 1975.

          As for Walsh…do you think he was telling the truth that he was concealing his videotaping practices in light of the video tapes showing him running his video camera in full Patriots’ gear? How about Matt Estrella, who was on the Pats’ sideline in his bright red Pats’ shirt and kaki pants, pointing his video camera at the Jets’ sidelines in full view of 70,000 people.

          Saying he told the truth about not using the tapes during the game may not do much for you, but it’s still the truth.

          I don’t constantly wonder why BB consistently never gets the benefit of the doubt from the press. I know exactly why he doesn’t.

          He’s a jerk to them…but even worse, he’s an UNENTERTAINING jerk. Parcells treated them like vermin, so did Jimmy Johnson, but those guys also gave them “money” quotes that they could use for great soundbites on the TV news or use as headlines in the paper the next day.

          Belichick is not only guilty of being jerks to the press, but he’s guilty of the worst sin of all….not giving them any funny or cool quotes to use.

  • http://www.geocities.com/boompc99/he.html Jon

    Game.
    Set.
    Match.

  • Don

    Outstanding Bruce. Once again you’ve outdone the msm at their own game.

  • Chris in Illinois

    I certainly don’t blame fans of other teams for being pissed at BB about it. We all hated Al Davis, too. And we don’t like Bonds or McGwire or Clemens any more. People feel lied to, and nobody likes being lied to.

    But a lot of perspective has been lost.

    It’s like getting 3 years in jail for stealing a weedwhacker, albeit a top of the line weedwhacker, and then having to listen to people talk about you like you shot your neighbors’ dogs.

    I sure as hell didn’t hear this much of an uproar when we learned that oil company executives helped determine Bush’s energy policy, not even now when we’re paying $4/gallon for gas.

  • Dave G

    amazing piece….standing O

  • Angry Old Bastard

    All you have to do is look at the fact that the media has ALMOST IGNORED the fact that an NBA REFF bet on over 100 games HE was officiating……you tell me which SHOULD BE the bigger “scandal”

  • Hawg73

    Fantastic job of capturing how Patriots fans feel about this ridiculous hatchet job on Belichick and the Pats, largely because they are so damn good that people feel a reason to explain it in a way that doesn’t involve a lot of hard work, a great system and players and staff that bleed football from every pore.

    Bravo. A tour-de-force.

  • Dan

    Great article Bruce. I definitely and respectfully disagree with a lot of it and do think Belichick brought this on to himself (should have just admitted things in September and most of this would have gone away right then), but you made many, many excellent points.

    It is just amazing how the football gods work; Belichick gets caught cheating on a NY team, NE gets upset about the feedback from the whole situation and runs the table in the regular season almost in spite of everyone chastising them, and then it goes right back to a NY team and the NY team wins it all. Some strange irony there, no way any one predicted the NY Giants would win the Super Bowl at the beginning of the season!

    Keep up the great work Bruce!!!

    • Angry Old Bastard

      good grief, Dan…..are you serious?…have you been following this story at all?

  • chris

    Wow,great article,thanks!

  • Charlie

    Great article.

    Pats fans. Be very thankful.

    The media has played into our hands once again.

    The Pats will be great again this year in a large part because of the built in motivation.

    The media has exposed themselves this year as habitual liars. The best lies mix in a bit of the truth to make it easier to swallow. They are running out of the truth condiment.

    Don’t defend the Patriots, they were penalized, heavily.

    Attack the media. Make them accountable, if necessary boycott them and just watch the games. Who needs all that commentary anyway? Its not like most of them really understand football anyway, yes even former players.

    The Patriots are fun to watch because they play the game of football so well.

  • Ryan

    Bruce, check out Mike Florio’s post about Matt Walsh not taping the first Rams game. Seems like alot of that Greg Bishop info is very similar to your comments. Did you guys communicate about that?

  • Deof Movestofca

    Bill Belichick and the Patriots broke the rules. There is no disputing that. They were punished for it.

    The question, however, is whether the severity of the punishment was equal to the benefit gained by cheating. How many teams wouldn’t give up a 1st round pick and $750K in fines for three SB titles? And why would Belichick risk getting caught at cheating unless he thought he needed that extra edge?

    The implication has been that the taping of signals is the golden lamp which when rubbed, automatically ensures victory. They insist that the advantage gained by these tapes is the single most important factor (even if some faint voices say otherwise) in the Patriots success this decade.

    Strawman. I have yet to see anyone make anywhere close to such exaggerated assumptions. Automatically? No, only that it helps a great deal. Most important? No, but significant.

    Never mind that the stealing of signals has been going on in all sports almost from the beginning.

    Which ignores a significant detail: the Patriots were caught VIDEOTAPING (and not just “stealing”) signals.

    Nothing has changed since that day, in fact, the Patriots position has improved, as the notion of the walkthrough video has been dismissed.

    While the last part of the sentence about the walkthrough is accurate, the rest is not, as it is now clear that Goodell greatly understated the duration and importance of the cheating during his SB presser.

    What that quote is saying is that taping offensive signals in the past was irrelevant – because there are no hand signals to steal.

    On the contrary, you’re confusing the verb tenses between present/future (“are” and “will be”) and past (“was”). Thus the quote stating that the new system will make hand signals irrelevant implies they were relevant before thereby contradicting your assertion.

    They’ve behaved with the subtlty of a pack of screaming jackals.

    Blatant ad hominem attack.

    They haven’t even bothered to hide their agendas

    More ad hominem. Attempting to discredit the sources does nothing to refute what they claim. Otherwise, I could simply refute this entire article by stating that you haven’t even bothered to hide yours.

    Is it too much of a stretch to consider that Bishop wrote the article on Bledsoe’s wine and coffee business ventures as payola for the info in the Feb 22nd article?

    A peculiar statement from someone who decries “sensationalism, exaggeration, rush to judgement and opinion”. “Another prime example of ‘Let’s throw something out there without making any effort to check into it at all’” sound familiar?

    Schlereth has convienently not addressed the fact that the Broncos circumvented the salary cap so they could pay John Elway and Terrell Davis $29 million in deferred payments.

    Tu toque argument. That the Broncos cheated has no bearing on whether the Patriots cheated.

    I kind of think this is worse than the taping of signals

    Why? Because the Broncos did it instead of the Patriots?

    Tomase’s story is the single most egregious part of this entire matter, and he has skated, scot-free.

    I agree that he deserves more than a slap on the wrist for writing an unsubstantiated story, but then again, so does Belichick for cheating.

    A Real Reason for the Hate is Lack of Access

    Poisoning the well. Besides, it couldn’t have anything to do with Belichick cheating and basically getting away with it, could it?

    Can you sit there and realistically say that had it been Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden or Herman Edwards that did this that the stories and commentary would be as nasty and personal?

    Pure speculation.

    Regardless of perceived advantage that the filmed signals would’ve provided, the players on the field had to make plays in order for the Patriots to win their championships.

    Yet cheating makes it easier for them to be in the right position to make those plays. If you disagree, then I suggest a little experiment: why don’t the Patriots tell opposing teams what plays they’re basically going to running before every snap from now on. It shouldn’t matter, because the opposing teams still have to make the plays.

    Knowing the defensive signals didn’t help Ty Law pick off Peyton Manning in the playoffs. It didn’t help Rodney Harrison seal the Super Bowl against Specter’s Eagles with a pick.

    Which fails to address the possibility that opposing teams might have taken less risks when they had the ball if the Patriots’ offense hadn’t shown a near-miraculous ability to guess what their defenses were going to do (especially near the end of games, for some odd reason) or if the games weren’t as close as they were thanks to the Patriots’ unfair advantage.

    Whatever the reason, the stench from all of this mess is going to take a long time to wear off.

    A stench that Belichick and the Patriots well-deserve.

    • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

      Sorry, Deof Bruce > you

      Get used to it.

  • http://redsoxmaniac.com Redsoxmaniac

    Key : 1 – Bruce, 2- Critic 3- The MANIAC

    1. Bill Belichick and the Patriots broke the rules. There is no disputing that. They were punished for it.

    2. The question, however, is whether the severity of the punishment was equal to the benefit gained by cheating. How many teams wouldn’t give up a 1st round pick and $750K in fines for three SB titles? And why would Belichick risk getting caught at cheating unless he thought he needed that extra edge?

    3. Automatically, critic ASSUMES that the stealing of signals ( which the taping wasn’t considered illegal until 2005, do the math ) correlates into automatic SB Wins. He disregards the seasons they didn’t win, and has disregarded the Patriots being 20-2 post spygate. Essentially, they have a better record since Spygate, and lost on the best play in football history.

    —————————————————

    1. The implication has been that the taping of signals is the golden lamp which when rubbed, automatically ensures victory. They insist that the advantage gained by these tapes is the single most important factor (even if some faint voices say otherwise) in the Patriots success this decade.

    2. Strawman. I have yet to see anyone make anywhere close to such exaggerated assumptions. Automatically? No, only that it helps a great deal. Most important? No, but significant.

    3. The critic falls on his own opinion by not only defying Bruce’s alleged hyping of automatically, but forgot he essentially said the cheating gave the Patriots 3 SBs in his first sentence. Hypocritical at least, fumbling idiot at best.

    ——————————————————

    1. Never mind that the stealing of signals has been going on in all sports almost from the beginning.

    2.Which ignores a significant detail: the Patriots were caught VIDEOTAPING (and not just “stealing”) signals.

    3. Has not noticed that the rule was put into play in 2005, since videotaping was essentially hard to do since the required technology to do it well had yet to be harnessed. What if someone begins to telepathically steal signals? You have to put it in stealing signals category, since their are millions of ways to do it, and none of them, regardless of the efficiency, should be tolerated.

    —————————————————

    1.Nothing has changed since that day, in fact, the Patriots position has improved, as the notion of the walkthrough video has been dismissed.

    2.While the last part of the sentence about the walkthrough is accurate, the rest is not, as it is now clear that Goodell greatly understated the duration and importance of the cheating during his SB presser.

    3. Where is this information of the duration and importance? Does that mean the Patriots are just good forever because they stole signals. So when teams change their signals, which they do all the time, the Patriots have an advantage how? This is just a silly response.

    ——————————————————
    1.What that quote is saying is that taping offensive signals in the past was irrelevant – because there are no hand signals to steal.

    2.On the contrary, you’re confusing the verb tenses between present/future (”are” and “will be”) and past (”was”). Thus the quote stating that the new system will make hand signals irrelevant implies they were relevant before thereby contradicting your assertion.

    3. Therefore the whole taping is irrelevant since they always change, regardless of signals.

    ————————————————

    1. They’ve behaved with the subtlty of a pack of screaming jackals.

    2.Blatant ad hominem attack.

    3. I think you have a right to an opinion when a team is constantly berated by media with very little evidence. He even goes into detail into each person below. This editorial is meant to attack. That is like if someone tries to shoot someone, and you say ” He’s blatantly trying to shoot them!” Great analysis.

    —————————————————-

    1. They haven’t even bothered to hide their agendas

    2. More ad hominem. Attempting to discredit the sources does nothing to refute what they claim. Otherwise, I could simply refute this entire article by stating that you haven’t even bothered to hide yours.

    3. His agenda is to show that the media hyped the story. You can’t refute someone’s opinion, only the evidence from which it is based on.

    ——————————————

    1. Is it too much of a stretch to consider that Bishop wrote the article on Bledsoe’s wine and coffee business ventures as payola for the info in the Feb 22nd article?

    A peculiar statement from someone who decries “sensationalism, exaggeration, rush to judgement and opinion”. “Another prime example of ‘Let’s throw something out there without making any effort to check into it at all’” sound familiar?

    3. He did go overboard here.

    —————————————————

    1. Schlereth has convienently not addressed the fact that the Broncos circumvented the salary cap so they could pay John Elway and Terrell Davis $29 million in deferred payments.

    2. Tu toque argument. That the Broncos cheated has no bearing on whether the Patriots cheated.

    3. He is trying to show relevance to another writer on a similar story. A 5-year old understands this. Trying to latin only makes it weirder.

    1. I kind of think this is worse than the taping of signals

    2.Why? Because the Broncos did it instead of the Patriots?

    3. No. Because the Salary Cap keeps you from hoarding great players. Hoarding great players and stealing signs are two different beasts, but I bet most people would rather Terrell Davis and Elway over the run & shoot schemes of Michael Vick.

    ——————————————————
    1. Tomase’s story is the single most egregious part of this entire matter, and he has skated, scot-free.

    2. I agree that he deserves more than a slap on the wrist for writing an unsubstantiated story, but then again, so does Belichick for cheating.

    3. Again. Belichick gets fined and loses picks and he deserves more from someone who has never played the sport and understood the importance of the event. The difference is, Tomase made a lie and didn’t get punished. Belichick did. The punishment fit the crime, which he is proving it is overblown in the article.

    1. A Real Reason for the Hate is Lack of Access

    2.Poisoning the well. Besides, it couldn’t have anything to do with Belichick cheating and basically getting away with it, could it?

    3. And he put his argument there already by talking about the other coaches. Did you read this article?

    ——————————————————-\\

    1. Can you sit there and realistically say that had it been Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden or Herman Edwards that did this that the stories and commentary would be as nasty and personal?

    2.Pure speculation.

    3. That is what Tomase did, and that is what Bruce is doing. It is an editorial. Editorial’s passion are based on speculation.

    ——————————————————–

    1. Regardless of perceived advantage that the filmed signals would’ve provided, the players on the field had to make plays in order for the Patriots to win their championships.

    2.Yet cheating makes it easier for them to be in the right position to make those plays. If you disagree, then I suggest a little experiment: why don’t the Patriots tell opposing teams what plays they’re basically going to running before every snap from now on. It shouldn’t matter, because the opposing teams still have to make the plays.

    3. You still have to prove if it helped them. If they were losing, I understand. But 20-2, I’ll take that over cheating any day.

    1. Knowing the defensive signals didn’t help Ty Law pick off Peyton Manning in the playoffs. It didn’t help Rodney Harrison seal the Super Bowl against Specter’s Eagles with a pick.

    2.Which fails to address the possibility that opposing teams might have taken less risks when they had the ball if the Patriots’ offense hadn’t shown a near-miraculous ability to guess what their defenses were going to do (especially near the end of games, for some odd reason) or if the games weren’t as close as they were thanks to the Patriots’ unfair advantage.

    3. And in 2007, top 5 defense in the league? They had no clue, and they still won.

    1. Whatever the reason, the stench from all of this mess is going to take a long time to wear off.

    2.A stench that Belichick and the Patriots well-deserve.

    3. Well, they’re 3-1, and a miracle beat them. Try to beat us post-spygate.

  • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

    Come back and take your medicine, Deof.

    You just got owned again.