I listened a lot to the Spygate controversy this week on the radio and TV. Yes, I’m a biased Patriots fan, but my opinion of the whole thing dramatically changed after listening to Goodell’s press conference, the Boston Herald retracting the walk-thru tape story, and John Tomase officially apologizing for printing the story. Let’s review some things I learned anew this week:
Fact #1: It is illegal to have cameras in unauthorized places. THAT’S IT! No more no less. Go re-read the rule.
Fact #2: It is NOT illegal to steal signals. Goodell said as much.
“According to NFL policy, it is permissible to scout people’s coaching signals, and as you know, clubs go to great lengths to protect those.”
Fact #3: It was NOT illegal for Matt Walsh to see the walkthru or tell anybody about it. Again, re-read Goodell’s statements.
Until this week, I didn’t know Fact #2 and #3 were true. So, what the Patriots are *really* guilty of is using a camera in an un-authorized place. (They are actually allowed to use cameras in authroized places, again, go read the rules). When you put it in that perspective, how trivial is this whole thing? Pretty….
If the media hadn’t made such a big deal out of this, the Patriots would probably have lost at most a 3rd/4th round pick, about as stiff of a penalty as your Superbowl winning Broncos, who CHEATED on the salary cap, not once, but twice.