Vermeil Says Talk Of SpyGate Tarnishing Belichick “Not Legitimate”

As Felger and Massarotti continue their week of “All SpyGate, All The Time” I found their interview with former Eagles and Rams coach Dick Vermeil this afternoon pretty interesting. Especially this part:

Massarotti: …There was a story written in sports illustrated by Peter King, on Roger Goodell, and Goodel talked about the Spygate issue, with some of that stuff, and how certain requests, or demands that he made upon the Patriots he felt weren’t fulfilled. That part of it aside, the Spygate thing still sticks in the craw of people in New England and it hovers, in some capacity, – legitmate, or not – in regard to Belichick’s legacy?

Vermeil: Not Legitimate. I tell you, we live in America – we’re a nation that has learned to allow people to make mistakes, correct them, and move on. I mean, the greatest example right now is Michael Vick. OK? Why should that be restricted to just a player, or should that be restricted to a guy who runs a bank and made a mistake, you know? And I don’t think that’s a great reflection of Belichick, I just don’t. To me, move on.

Felger: Well, Dick Vermeil, you’re saying it was at least a mistake. I think there are a lot of people who would say, what did he do wrong, everyone was doing it?

Vermeil: Well, I don’t know if everyone was doing it, but everyone might’ve had a method of trying to do it. Maybe he did it better than everyone else. OK? And I’ll tell you this: In all honesty, I’ve coached as a head coach 15 years and an assistant four years, I know some things that have been done in the National Football League and I could document them, if I wanted to, that are far worse than that ever came close to being.

They also talked to Jamie Dukes of the NFL Network and put the Spygate “legacy” question to him. His response?

That’s silly. That’s just so silly. Because guess what? SpyGate didn’t play any games. The cameraman didn’t come down and get on the field and slap the tackle in the face. Guess what? You had to play the football game. And the truth of the matter is, you got the game footage to show what the people are doing in games. That’s just a canard for people…think about it… everybody, that’s how you guys got your job, and I’m a sports talk radio guy too, point being is, we get our jobs so we can stir it up and this is a format for fans, because every fan wants to feel good about his team, or bad about his team if things aren’t going real well. So all the fans from other teams and players from other teams, Marshall Faulk being one of them, who won’t let it go, Marshall won’t let it go, but it helps Marshall feel better about the fact that they didn’t get the job done.

  • supwithyou

    Awesome capture, Bruce. Must be painful to listen to Felger/Mazz to capture something as good as this… Unfortunately, this kind of stuff don't make it to national media… and some folks will forever be stuck with their wrongful first impression…

  • Tony

    Vermeil, Jimmy Johnson, Ditka, even Shula (before the Pats got to about 13-0 in 2007 and he began changing his tune about Spygate because the '72 Dolphins record was in jeopardy)–all former coaches, and all said way back in the beginning that the entire thing was ridiculous. The members of the media who were driving the "seriousness" of the entire thing–aside from the anti-Belichick sportswriters out there–were the ex-players like Schlereth, Steve Young and Collinsworth who, as Jimmy Johnson pointed out, "don't even know what their own coaches are doing (or did) behind the scences."

    Game, set and match here. I'm sure it killed Felger and Miserable-otti to have to listen to common sense for once–and not be able to cut off the talker.

  • Doc Michaels

    Incredible that 98.5 actually sent Felger and Mazz down to Dallas just so they could do a whole week worth of Spygate shows. As if there was any doubt as to where Felger was going to go in terms of steering a whole week's worth of Super Bowl talk.

    That said, kudos to Vermeil. I'm sure there really was a LOT worse than videotaping in the world of the NFL — then and now.

  • mandb97

    It has been a disastrous week for Felger and Maz. They start the week with Massarotti's imaginary belief that people think the Celtics are going to win the title after their win against the Lakers. He then downplays the win by saying the Lakers really did not try. This led to an all day bashing of Garnett by Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb. Unfortunately, DA continued the gasbag marathon. Now, thanks to Roger (I like to backstab people who are responsible for my job) Goodell, we get to hear what a bad person Bill Belichick is. It's not like he or the organization had to pay for Spygate. Oh wait, Belichick had to pay $500,000 and Kraft $250,000 plus the loss of a draft pick. Felger actually told T&R if Belichick had just given the media ten minutes this whole period would be over. I don't think I have heard a bigger bunch of B.S. in a long time. He, Maz and everyone else in the media would and will never let it go. Belichick, much to Goodell's chagrin, handled Spygate the best possible way.

    • tl;dr

      Well, the thing with Goodell is if he pisses too many people off (especially Kraft and others who lobbied for him to get his job) they can have a vote of no confidence or, when his term as Commish is up, not vote him back into his position.

  • Eddie
  • Carkmonsta

    As much of a fan that I want to be I've been constantly finding myself turning of Felger and Immasculotti lately. Can't figure out how and why they can't get Nuemie onto 98.5. I'd take Nuemie and Sheppard over these guys right now. Tony really is a waste of time, a contrarian if there ever was one and Felger has turned back to the only guy in town who knows what he's talking about…WHAT A FRIGGIN JOKE. These guys must have burns from jumping on the runaway locomotive storylines they hammer you with. I have regrettably begun to look at the radio and wonder if Glen Ordway and his band of goons might be worth tuning into….

    I'm a sports fan. I love the Pats, Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox. I don't have footy pajamas and I can see and acknowledge all the warts that each and everyone of these teams, front offices, coaches and players have. I also can see their triumphs and victories. Why does that make me any less intelligent than those 2 phonies?

    • tl;dr

      "Can't figure out how and why they can't get Nuemie onto 98.5."

      Before he settled on EEI (apparently) he was on both stations.

  • j0esixpack

    I'd think some of what Vermeil knows about other teams might be similar to this account from 1967 documenting George Halas and Lamar Hunt "cheating" as well
    http://www.thesportgallery.com/sport-stories/1967

  • mark

    These two clowns did the same thing on radio row during last year's Super Bowl. Try to get guests that will bash BB or the Patriots. I haven't listened to 30 seconds of their show since the Jets loss, it isn't worth it, shut it off.

    • http://twitter.com/JimMacLeod @JimMacLeod

      Good call Mark. I haven't listened to F&M since the Jets loss either. I can only imagine how insufferable they've been over the past few weeks. I think I'm a happier person for not listening to their constant negativity.
      CBS Radio is wasting a TON of money sending a baseball guy and hockey guy down to Dallas for the Super Bowl.

  • http://twitter.com/JimMacLeod @JimMacLeod

    Does anyone outside of Felger, Mazz, Marshall Faulk and the Steelers still talk about Spygate? I talk football with my buddies all the time and it never comes up.

  • APimpNamedDaveR

    Vermeil is a god. End of story.

    Actually, there's a surprising similarity between Vermeil and Belichick, given that they could not be more different people. They both have superior skills in motivating professional athletes (although their tactics are almost diametrically opposed); they both have superior skills in tailoring the team's playbook to the talent at hand; and they're both smart guys who live and breathe football. They're flip sides of the same coin in a way — similar strategic results from almost completely opposite tactical approaches.

    Having said that, I think I'd much rather play for Vermeil.

    Editorial disclosure: I spent part of my formative years in Philly during the Vermeil era there, and it's very difficult to overstate his importance to that team and that town.

  • Jack

    I think Felger is digging his own grave. The contrarian act has almost run its course and that's all he really has. Even on SOSH, where they hate WEEI and adore 98.5, I'm starting to see a lot of criticism of Felger. Posters who once sung his praises are now saying "I just couldn't listen anymore".