Even when the Patriots are not playing in the Super Bowl, the nation (well, the media at least) is still obsessed with them. Yesterday was a double-dose of Patriots with the whole country talking about Peter King’s Sports Illustrated fawning and ingratiating column on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. (The Man Of The Hour)
Of the ten page column, in which there are plenty of topics worthy of further discussion, focus has fallen on two paragraphs on page eight:
Goodell didn’t make friends in New England in 2007 when he fined Patriots coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and the team $250,000 and docked the Pats a first-round draft pick for secretly videotaping an opposing team’s coaching signals. Owner Robert Kraft thought the penalty too severe. Goodell told Kraft that, as part of the disciplinary action, Belichick would have to make a verbal apology in front of the press that week. Instead the coach issued a printed statement and refused to answer any questions on the topic. “I was given assurances that [Belichick] would tell his side of the story,” Goodell says. “He went out and stonewalled the press. I feel like I was deceived.”
Belichick responds, “I did not make any assurances about thoroughly discussing the subject publicly. I said I would address it following the league’s review. I then did that in a way I thought was appropriate. I don’t think that was deceptive.”
This relaunched discussion of the Spygate scandal, especially on local sports radio stations. Then just a few hours later, word came out that Bill Belichick wins coach of year for the 2010 season.
As for the other links from this morning, they’re pretty thin outside of the usual Super Bowl-focused stuff. Here’s six:
Inside the Patriots: In Bill, Patriot Nation can still trust - Jonathan Comey says that the coach is still at the top of his game.
Should sportswriters be allowed to gamble on sports? - Sean Kerrigan in the Phoenix talks to Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan among other on the topic.
Celtics had a productive trip, with just one stumble - Julian Benbow has the Celtics returning home after a 3-1 West coast swing.
Lavarnway welcome, along with 19 others - Peter Abraham’s Red Sox notebook looks at spring training invitations handed out by the Red Sox.
10 Questions — No. 8: Sox closer in Sept? - Gordon Edes examines whether Jonathan Papelbon will still be the Red Sox closer at the end of 2011.
Nathan Horton heard from - Rich Thompson has the Bruins winger finally getting back in the scoring sheet.