The NFL obviously doesn’t like to lose. Within mere days after Judge Berman’s ruling, all kinds of new lows have emerged from the depths:
- A misleading photo of Kraft with two other gentlemen, drinking and laughing is plopped smack under the headline ‘Patriots owner, ‘Deflategate’ judge mingle at a party‘. The truth? If you go to the New York gossip website Page Six who broke the story, you will see the names of those in the photo: Ron Perelmen, Robert Kraft, and Jack Welsh. No photo of the judge and Kraft exist, for the fact that they were introduced, spoke politely for a couple of minutes, and were never seen together before or since.
- On Tuesday…two days before the Patriots home-opening game…ESPN’s Outside the Lines, unleashes a forty page expose mixing facts with dazzling urban legends they have titled ‘Spygate to Deflategate: Inside what split the NFL and Patriots apart‘
- On the same day ESPN slammed the Patriots with a propaganda-esque style campaign fit for a John Steinbeck novel, Sports Illustrated’s article waves its magic football needle to pump more hot air into the heads of the true victims here: the general public.
The irony of all this? In a desperate attempt to smear the Patriots’ name and credibility, the NFL, ESPN, and Sport’s Illustrated, are destroying their own reputations. In choosing to become the voice for 31 other teams against the supposed injustices of the Patriots, ESPN, SI, and the NFL have become the same arrogant bullies they accuse the Patriots of being.
While ESPN mesmerized the masses with up-the-sleeve-card tricks, there was one Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports who was able to see though the illusion with a rare superhuman strength called basic common sense. Here’s a few of my favorite lines from his piece:
“Wait, wait, wait … so the Patriots were flat-out breaking into locker rooms and visiting team hotels to physically steal play sheets and other material?
And we just spent millions of dollars on PSI levels? These acts are possible felonies and, by far, the most damning thing ever alleged against the team, or maybe any NFL team. This isn’t videotaping opposing coaches from the sideline rather than the stands, which was allowed. This isn’t a question over whether the Deflator just needed to take a leak.“
You can read Mr. Wetzel’s article here.
Seems pretty strange that after a full fledged investigation in which cell phones of Patriots’ staff, players, coaches and employees were confiscated and scrutinized, Ted Wells and the NFL found nothing…not one stinking piece of evidence to confirm any of those other paranoid allegations that ESPN and SI has shoved down our throats. In fact, all they could come up with is “more probable than not” and “generally aware” on the matter of air in a football.
It makes me wonder if this investigation wasn’t really about deflated footballs as it was an opportunity to investigate the mysterious Patriots to begin with.
Oh, and as for the Patriots having taped 40 games since 2000. It wasn’t illegal for any of the teams doing it. It wasn’t until 2006 that a memo was sent out to 32 teams to tell them to stop filming from a certain position. Some complied, some didn’t…like Belichick. That’s Spygate.
There are tons of articles where many coaches and people in the NFL tell you about how they themselves or other teams tape and steal signals. Don’t believe me? Check out some of these links:
- Back in January of 2015, Sports Rant lists (along with links) all the ways various teams who have admitted to taping, stealing signals, stealing playbooks, and on and on and on…here.
- Madden, while commentating on a game, mentions how teams tape signals in this video.
- In his loss to the Patriots, Cower dismisses the impact of Spygate in this article on ESPN. Yes, the very same network where one of its reporters wrote 40 pages to paint a villainous picture of the Patriots, when many, if not all were doing the very same.
- Jimmy Johnson of the Cowboys was no stranger to taping signals either, and it comes straight from his mouth. You can read about that here.
- An article already debunking some of Sport’s Illustrated accusations.
- Update: An article on how ESPN “edited” an article of one of their own reporters who wrote a reaction piece with facts that negate some of the allegations in ESPN’s expose.
Let us also not forget that sleazy gossip tabloid and the attempts to smear the reputation of a respected Federal Judge. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote an interesting piece here in which he can’t help but sense that perhaps the NFL’s fingerprints were all over it.
In a weird twist of irony, the Patriots, Belichick, Kraft, and Tom Brady are quickly turning into the victims, all thanks to Roger Goodell, a handful of disgruntled and/or paranoid owners/teams, and the NFL’s two minions: ESPN and Sports Illustrated.