Top Stories 2008: TomaseGate, Herald Declares War on Patriots

Our top Boston sports media story of 2008 is John Tomase’s accusation that the Patriots taped the Rams walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI. The story was picked up by the national outlets immediately and caused a maelstrom of media coverage around the team that lasted nearly halfway into the year.

The report was ultimately proven to be false, and the Herald issued an apology to the Patriots for the incident.

The damage was done, however. For nearly 5 months the Patriots and their fans had to deal with the nationwide assumption that the tape existed and that the Patriots had cheated to win their first Super Bowl championship. It’s hard to emphasize just how huge this story was nationally. All the major outlets took this report as fact, and ran with it…for months. You couldn’t turn around without hearing a reference somewhere to how the Patriots taped the Rams walkthrough prior to their first Super Bowl title.

The Herald retracted the story and issued the above apology only after former Patriots employee Matt Walsh debunked Tomase’s story. The paper then tried to capitalize on the publicity around the apology, proudly touting their “unprecedented” front page mea culpa.

One would think that the Herald would tread lightly regarding the Patriots for a while after this incident. Instead, after talking about the bond between a newspaper and its readers, and their dedication to maintaining that bond, on May 15th, Tony Massarotti, then still with the Herald, wrote a column belittling and blasting sports fans, and Patriots fans in particular – the very people responsible for the fact that he is gainfully employed.

By the way, did we mention that the Herald later hired notorious Patriots hater Ron Borges? (Though I have to say, he’s been on good behaviour thus far.)

Tomase remains on the Patriots beat to this day.

  • doug

    I can honestly say I used to buy the Herald every day and stopped the day after the Super Bowl and have never bought it since.

  • Lance

    Sure is hard to figure out why newspapers are losing readers. The fact lardass is still employed in these economic times makes one hope for the folding of the Herald.

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

    Again, I’ve posted this about a half dozen times, but the Herald has done everything possible to burn all of it’s bridges with the Pats: The Bellicheat headline, the Tomase story, Maz’s ill conceived story about “losers in Bruschi jerseys”, the Borges hiring, Howie the Hostage’s asinine gloating over the Brady injury…

    While I appreciate that people shouldn’t emulate Pete Sheppard and Fred Smerlas in pom-pom waving, there has to be a middle ground between acting as Bob Kraft’s personal lackey and the Pats bashing that the Herald has engaged in. There just HAS to be.

  • Adam Oates

    Pat Purcell is from Queens. That’s all you need to know about the anti-New England bias that the Herald continually spews forth. We have Yankee fans running both of our papers here.

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

      That does explain much.
      It doesn’t explain why they aren’t heaping this dislike on the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics, but it does explain much…

  • Angry Old Bastard

    The “Spygate” coverage and the CRAP it spawned (like Tony Maz’s foolish rant) was the straw that broke the camels back for me……..I used to read them all. Now I AVOID them all. (or almost all of them anyway)

  • Joe Scarpato

    It’s obvious. The Herald hierarchy has lost its mind…and its readership!

  • FR

    I don’t understand why Tomase still is employed. Because of his false accusation of the Pats, I don’t read his articles. Actually I don’t bother visiting the Herald website anymore.