Patterico's Pontifications

2/3/2008

Super Bowl Sunday

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 10:56 am



[Guest post by DRJ]

It’s almost time for Super Bowl XLII between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. I don’t know who will win or whether this will be a close game, but I bet there will be a Senate investigation.

One reason why are new allegations that the Patriots spied on the Rams before Super Bowl XXXVI:

“An unnamed source has claimed a New England Patriots employee secretly videotaped the St. Louis Rams’ pregame walk-through the day before Super Bowl XXXVI, the Boston Herald reported Saturday.

According to the report, an unnamed source close to the team during the 2001 season said that following the Patriots’ walk-through at the Louisiana Superdome, a member of the team’s video staff stayed behind and taped the Rams’ walk-through
— a non-contact, no-pads practice at reduced speed in which a team goes through its plays.

The cameraman was not asked to identify himself or produce a press pass and later rode the media shuttle back to the Patriots’ hotel, the source told the Herald. It is not known what became of the tape, or whether the cameraman made the tape on his own initiative or at someone else’s instruction, according to the report.”

Reports have identified the employee as Matt Walsh who worked in the Patriots’ video department until 2003. It sounds like there will be a Senate Judiciary Committee investigation of the Patriots and the NFL about spying:

“The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee wants N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell to explain why the league destroyed evidence related to spying by the New England Patriots.

In the stretch of 12 days, from Sept. 9 to Sept. 20, the Patriots were caught filming the Jets’ defensive signals in violation of N.F.L. rules, ordered to hand over all tapes of illegal filming to the league office, fined $750,000 and made to forfeit a first-round draft pick.

Then the N.F.L. announced it had destroyed the evidence.

In a telephone interview Thursday morning, Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania and ranking member of the committee, said that Goodell would eventually be called before the committee to address two issues: the league’s antitrust exemption in relation to its television contract and the destruction of the tapes that revealed spying by the Patriots.

“That requires an explanation,” Specter said. “The N.F.L. has a very preferred status in our country with their antitrust exemption. The American people are entitled to be sure about the integrity of the game. It’s analogous to the C.I.A. destruction of tapes. Or any time you have records destroyed.”

Mr. Specter first wrote Mr. Goodell about the tapes on Nov. 15. After more than a month passed without a response, Mr. Specter wrote to him again.

The league responded to Mr. Specter late Thursday afternoon. A spokesman said the letters did not reach the league office until late last week. The league added that it spoke to Mr. Specter’s office several times during November and December, but that the letters were never mentioned. Mr. Specter said the league had told his office last week it would not respond until after the Super Bowl.

Joe Browne, the N.F.L.’s executive vice president for internal affairs, said, “The irony is that we have been in contact with the senator’s office several times in recent weeks.” He added that “the issue of these letters was not discussed.”

Mr. Specter called Mr. Browne’s response “untrue.”

“It’s the same old story,” Mr. Specter said. “What you did is never as important as the cover-up. This sequence raises more concerns and doubts.””

The Patriots and the NFL deny the allegations. Nevertheless, this morning Sen. Specter told ESPN he would call Commissioner Goodell tomorrow to discuss what it calls Spygate.

That’s sports, folks!

— DRJ

26 Responses to “Super Bowl Sunday”

  1. With all the major issues facing us, we’re going to investigate sports? Again?

    JayHub (0a6237)

  2. The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee wants N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell to explain why the league destroyed evidence related to spying by the New England Patriots.

    Because it wasn’t actually a crime, you fucks!!!

    Just because it’s against NFL rules doesn’t make it a crime, damnit!!

    God damnit Congress! Don’t you have, you know, important stuff to do? Or are you officially admitting you can’t get a God Damn thing done anymore if it will actaully have an impact?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  3. Why would Specter do this? Well, Comcast is one of his biggest donors, and they’re in a very public fight with the NFL right now over the NFL network. I’m not saying that that is the cause of it, but it does stink a bit.

    Skip (7ef1e3)

  4. If this is the best thing Specter could come up with for a target of investigation, DC and the Federal Judiciary must be full of incorruptibles. And I assume no judicial nominations are waiting to be heard by the Senate.

    (And if it’s antitrust, should that be Commerce and not Judiciary?)

    Excuse me, while I go look through my copy of the Constitution to find the article that specifies to which branch of government the NFL belongs to.

    kishnevi (d50358)

  5. US politicians assume they have jurisdiction over anything that calls itself a Patriot.

    DRJ (517d26)

  6. Ouch, DRJ! GOL (thats Groaning Out Loud :-) )

    JayHub (0a6237)

  7. I’d be willing to bet that the Giants would like to strangle Arlen Specter with his own colon for bringing this up *now*–if this season has proved nothing else, it has proved that the Patriots are rather vindictive regarding questioning of their legitimacy and tend to run up the score as retaliation. Expect a blowout, everyone.

    M. Scott Eiland (b66190)

  8. JayHub,

    I get that a lot. My humor is pretty corny and not near as subtle as Patterico’s.

    DRJ (517d26)

  9. But you look better in swimwear, so we forgive the groan-er humor. :)

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  10. As if we haven’t seen enough of them over the years, this is but another example of Senatorial overreaching.

    If the NFL already enforced its rules as it saw fit, why retain the tapes. It isn’t really “evidence” of anything but a violation of NFL rules. There was no civil action pending or likely, no criminal investigation pending or likely and no legal or ethical duty to retain them.

    Specter is a busybody.

    vnjagvet (d3d48a)

  11. Why? Because Specter is a disgruntled Eagles fan and an attention whore.

    He’s going to call Goodell in the morning, and Goddell won’t be taking his call. 7 to 1 says Arlen has a snit fit.

    Pablo (99243e)

  12. Oh, good grief! Even before the infamous “spygate” allegations about the patriots, you could watch coaches on the sidelines, talking into the microphones on their headsets, and they’d almost invariably cover their mouths with the clipboard they carried. they weren’t trying to keep background noise out; they were worried about people from the oter side having a camera on them and reading their lips!

    This has gone on for years. The Patriots happened to be the ones who got caught.

    Dana (556f76)

  13. they were worried about people from the oter side having a camera on them and reading their lips!

    Which is why you have a guy with a shotgun mic listening in on the coach… :)

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  14. ESPN Article

    Specter should be forced to catch 28 passes at 15 yds from each QB in the league! If he can stand after such then he can grab the ball and run against some linemen. He will no longer be a problem after that.

    What an attention whore. His actions are totally intentional and designed to grand stand his asinine influence over the people.

    If this little loud mouth prick is so concerned over justice, why has he remained mute about Nifong, Scruggs and the several other run amok public lawyers/judges.

    TC (1cf350)

  15. Who cares?! It is a GAME. Look up the word in your Funk and Wagnalls.

    I have never understood the emotion that some people can invest into things that really do not matter. The health of my family, happiness and PEACE for my grandchildren are some of the things that matter to me, not some !@#$%^& GAME!!

    Dave (a7494c)

  16. Even before the infamous “spygate” allegations about the patriots, you could watch coaches on the sidelines, talking into the microphones on their headsets, and they’d almost invariably cover their mouths with the clipboard they carried.

    Minnesota Viking coach Brad Childress was universally mocked by the local media for this, and two season ticket holders joined in by creating Chidress costumes complete with headgear and playcharts to cover their mouths as they spoke to each other.

    Simply amazing how fast that disappeared when Spygate made the headlines.

    This has gone on for years. The Patriots happened to be the ones who got caught.

    Exactly right.

    Paul (a46bb9)

  17. I don’t know who will win or whether this will be a close game

    Oh, come on, DRJ.

    On paper, this is the Mismatch of the Century.

    Paul (a46bb9)

  18. Well … I sure wouldn’t bet on the Giants unless you gave me a very big spread.

    Great picture, Paul.

    DRJ (517d26)

  19. Come to think of it, 12 points is a big spread. I might take that.

    DRJ (517d26)

  20. Giants: “We almost beat the Patriots once this year, and we can Almost do it again!”

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  21. Whoa…Giants up 10-7, and their defense have stopped the Patriots since the 1st quarter.

    This could become the Upset of the Century.

    Paul (a46bb9)

  22. I hope so.

    You can’t understand my hate for the Pats…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  23. Well, Scott, you got your wish…Upset of the Century.

    Now the obnoxious 1972 Miami Dolphins can finally pop the corks on their champagne.

    Paul (a46bb9)

  24. LOL

    God Eli id n amazing job. Simply amazing.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  25. TC, Specter would be dead after the first Brett Favre “Rocket Ball”.

    Honestly, someone ought to point out to Arlen that there are more important things a US Senator could be doing, like fixing Social Security or winning the War on Terror.

    PCD (c378fd)

  26. This has gone on for years. The Patriots happened to be the ones who got caught.

    This is not a very solid argument. The NFL gave out its biggest fines in its history and took a 1st round draft pick away from them. Clearly, this was not some small potatoes to the NFL. Plus, the Pats got caught doing this before, against the Packers, so they had some history.

    Personally, I would rather Congress screw around with things like this as opposed to screwing up the world. Gridlock is a good thing.

    JD (fc7319)


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