Is the case closed on Spygate?
May 13: Roger Goodell says no further sanctioning will be given to New England as a result of his meeting with Matt Walsh.
Essentially, the commissioner tried telling us what parents have been telling disagreeable kids for centuries. It’s over because I said it’s over.
“I think as I stand here today … I don’t know where else I would turn,” Goodell said after a 3½-hour meeting with former New England Patriots employee Matt Walsh on Tuesday morning. The commish said there were no new bombshells to drop, no surprisingly salacious tidbits to spread, no more blame to thrust upon the slightly tarnished legacy of the Patriots’ dynasty or their Machiavellian head coach Bill Belichick.
However, just like those disagreeable kids, I’m not in the mood to quickly dismiss anything just yet, even though the smooth and polished commissioner stood before a room full of inquisitors in New York and tried once again to minimize the colossal damage caused to the NFL’s integrity the Patriots created with the Spygate scandal.
If Spygate has come to an end, it’s not because the story no longer has legs. It’s only because Goodell wants it to go away. But we have tapes that conclusively tell a story that the team broke the rules. We have a coach and an organization that has repeatedly lied before, and now they deserve our suspicions that they probably are lying again when they say they didn’t understand rules so clear-cut and simply worded that only a blind man or a fool would misinterpret them.
So let’s begin with the first lie and see how it keeps us in a distrustful mood. We’re supposed to believe that the genius, Belichick, can read the most elaborate offenses and defenses in football history, but can’t read simple English in the NFL rulebook?
How exactly can you misinterpret that?
How did he read that memo and think it was OK to covertly tape other teams? Even Goodell said he never believed Belichick’s version. So why should we believe him now when the organization issued a statement saying essentially that they are vindicated, and in previous comments told us that Belichick never used any of the confiscated tapes improperly?
Why should we believe him when he says the tapes were only intended to be used against division rivals on their second meeting of the season when there were tapes of the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers and Cleveland Browns, none of whom play in the AFC East? Listening to the various versions of Belichick’s “truth,” I half expected him to trot notorious old boxing promoter Bob Arum as a team spokesman.
“Yesterday I was lying. Today I’m telling the truth.”
ProFootballTalk: Patriots QB Tom Brady addressed Wes Welker’s decision to head West to Denver. Brady says he isn’t surprised by anything after being in the league for so long and hopes that Welker has a great season with the Broncos.
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