With the denouement of Spygate mercifully near, a fascinating piece appeared on an ESPN chat board. Written by a guy styling himself "NEInsider," it ostensibly gave the Patriots' side of the story. A sample:
We were wrong and made a mistake. We as an organization failed and it will never happen againâ€¦
Here are the simple facts I know about Spygate and WalkthruGate:
1. We taped defensive signals and offensive formation signals and we still have video of other teams taping us. They are of little value since no team uses the same signals even from game to game, quarter to quarter, and sometimes from series to series. We do it to FORCE the opposition to stay on their toes and change signals hoping they mix up signals and have a bad play that results in a big play for us. There are no offensive signals only formation signals which are useless and they were taped at the same time as offensive signals and WERE possibly even on the Spygate tape. Any claims are baseless on thisâ€¦
3. We did not want the tapes destroyed. We preferred they be released since they basically proved we did nothing since some of the tapes destroyed were processed tapes that prove there was little value to us other than aggravating the other team . Several showed coaches waving to our videographer, several other with obscene gestures, coaches laughing at us, and some hot cheerleader video for the enjoyment of those given the boring job of processing video that had zero intrinsic value.
Interestingly, the word in the Boston sports media last night was that after Matt Walsh has his moment in the sun today, the Patriots would hit back and begin telling their side of the story. Obviously, after a year of mea culpas, the Patriots have begun talking to the media and are readying themselves to put this matter in perspective.
And then there was this shot across the commissioner's bow:
5. Goodell has serious issues within the NFL ownership. He has not made friends with his inability to keep his mouth shut before issues are resolved within the framework of the NFL structure. The Niners organization is livid at him for the sanction they received over free agent contact since they never initiated the contact and in this case everyone really does it.
6. The Kraft family was a Goodell supporter and will never openly criticize him but they are livid over the way Spygate was handled and the fact Goodell hung them out as "Cheaters" when he absolutely knew it never helped during a game and then on national TV aknowledged frivilous accusations like phone tampering etc. when he stated more punishment would be added if necessary instead of doing the right thing and stating such claims were baseless without proof since he knew we could never tamper with phones since we never knew what system or what frequency was availbale to us until game time. A little clue on this one. Not having Robert and Jonathon Kraft on your side makes job security an issue since they are the deal makers and the ownership most willing to compromise to help the smaller market teams. In other words they have lots of friends in the NFL ownership circle.
Of course, this chat board post could have been written by a psychotic living in his parents' basement. Even so, every word in it rings true to me, especially the part about Goodell really making a misstep in having irritated the wrong guys.
In a short while, Goodell will appear before the media, fresh from being enlightened by Matt Walsh. Hopefully that press conference will end the official part of this affair, and the Patriots will finally be able to make their case.