Thursday, May 08, 2008

The End of Spygate?

One of the most overblown scandals in the history of sports appears to be drawing to a close, now that former Patriot video assistant Matt Walsh has turned over eight tapes to the NFL. The tapes are solely of defensive (and apparently some offensive) signals. Despite reported rumors, there was no tape of the Rams Super Bowl XXXVI walk through. In fact, there doesn't appear to be anything new in these tapes, despite certain ex-Ram players and Pennsylvania senators who seemed certain Spygate was only a small piece of the Patriot's nefarious machinations.

The idea that Walsh- an ex-video assistant- would have anything super incriminating is just a joke. The reason it took him so long to talk to the league isn't because he had damaging information, but because he was quite possibly subject to a potential lawsuit by the Patriots for just having the tapes (which I'm sure he wasn't supposed to keep and copy) in the first place.

Hopefully this will close the door on spygate for good, and confused media, jealous fans, and the 1972 Miami Dolphins can get over themselves. To those who will insist that spygate was the scandal it was made out to be, I would suggest you go and check out Tim Donaghy and the NBA refereeing-gambling scandal and ask why a scandal whose results could be seen in the box score received far, far less media scrutiny than the spygate probe which has gone on for nine months.

2 Comments:

Anonymous b.rose said...

The thing was given marathon legs by Belichick and more importantly Goodell. Belichick for spending all of two seconds addressing it and Goodell deciding it was a good idea to destroy the tapes. That's great PR, really.

My personal opinion is this; the Pats cheated and the NFL got it mostly right by hitting their wallets pretty big. I think a one game suspension would've been warranted, but I'm ok with that. How much of an effect the taping had isn't for the NFL to decide. You simply enforce the rules you have in place, otherwise you eliminate them.

Personally, the effects of the taping are really hard to say. The only people I disagree with are those that say it didn't create any advantage for the Pats. Really? I don't think Bill Belichick is in the business of wasting time. Everything he does has a purpose and that purpose is winning. I can't buy into the idea that the cheating was winning superbowls for them, but it's also dumb to think the Pats weren't benefitting from it. I can't see Tom Coughlin, or Mike Tice getting much valuable information from the tapes, but if anyone is creating an advantage for his team with extra info...IT IS BILL BELICHICK, the smartest man in football.

Roger Goodell: WTF are you thinking destroying these tapes? You made the NFL look bad, you made the Pats look bad and your explanation as to why you did it held no water regardless of whether it was true or not. You are the main reason this thing dragged on for so long. You know there are clowns like Arlen Specter out there and you just created ammo for them and justifiably so.

10:59 AM  
Blogger lonely libertarian said...

The question of advantage is a relative one. Does a coach advantage himself when he spends two more hours than he had the previous week in preparing for a game? Maybe yes, maybe no, but the mere fact that he spent that extra time doesn't make it worthwhile. Coaches are notorious for their over-preparation and Belichick is one of the worst. Having a video guy tape opposing coaches was no sweat off his back, but having all that footage doesn't tell us how important it was- or if it was important at all.

Here perhaps the Belichick-Nixon comparison is useful. Nixon had all his secret tapes, not because he was "up to no good" but because he was a crazy paranoid fuck. Ditto Belichick.

11:45 AM  

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