Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The End of Spygate ... Really

I just caught the tail end of Roger Goodell's press conference on ESPN radio, highlighting his discussions with former Patriot video assistant Matt Walsh, and, I hope, finally closing the book on spygate. According to Goodell, the conservation provided no further incriminating evidence. The only bit of new evidence was a 2001 tape of a Patriots player practicing while supposedly on injured reserve. And, as was reported last week, there was no Rams walk through tape, nor did Walsh have any knowledge about any such taping ever ocuring.

So as I said, hopefully this is the end. The media and the Patriots haters may wish it was more, but that doesn't make it true. I bring up the 2001 injury tape to make one final point, a point I've neglected to make previously. This tape shows a rules violation that I don't doubt the Patriots probably did violate. I don't remember any other specific instances in recent years of teams allowing players on IR to practice, but I'm sure it is the sort of thing that happens. The injury case made me think of the rules about reporting injuries, rules that I believe both Belichick and Denver coach Mike Shanahan have been caught violating in the past. The ambiguous "unfair advantage" would certainly have been gained for violating these rules as well. So I'll ask the haters, one last time, isn't the whole spygate fiasco much closer to these rules about injuries being broken than it is to something like bugging your opponents locker room or tapping into their electronic signals?

Yes, the Patriots cheated, if by cheated you mean broke the rules. But they're not the only cheaters in the league and spygate was never the story the haters and the media wanted it to be.

Updated 5/13/08 @ 1:15 PM: One final note. I link here to news from back in 2000 of the NFL's final settlement with former 49ers GM Carmen Policy over salary cap violations in the 90's. Cheating (or a violation of the rules)? Certainly. Worse than spygate? Honestly, I couldn't say- arguments probably could be made both ways. But what's definitive- the media circus about this violation was no where near what we've seen during spygate.


Anonymous b.rose said...

It was pretty well inforced by the stuff that came out yesterday that Belichick certainly did know he was breaking a rule. That's not the point of your blog, but was discussed in the past.

9:17 AM  

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