From today’s Boston Herald:
On Feb. 2, 2008, the Boston Herald reported that a member of the New England Patriots’ video staff taped the St. Louis Rams’ walkthrough on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI. While the Boston Herald based its Feb. 2, 2008, report on sources that it believed to be credible, we now know that this report was false, and that no tape of the walkthrough ever existed.
Prior to the publication of its Feb. 2, 2008, article, the Boston Herald neither possessed nor viewed a tape of the Rams’ walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI, nor did we speak to anyone who had. We should not have published the allegation in the absence of firmer verification.
The Boston Herald regrets the damage done to the team by publication of the allegation, and sincerely apologizes to its readers and to the New England Patriots [team stats]’ owners, players, employees and fans for our error.
Wel, if I remember correctly this very blog had called for “a huge one page apology.” This morning readers of that paper were greeted with just that. But is it enough?
In a world where everyone is trying to beat the competition to the scoop has responsibility gone by the wayside? These are journalists being paid to do a job. Not like my blog where it’s a hobby that I’m aloud to spout my opinions without fear of repercussion.
Bob Ryan gets suspended a month for saying Jason Kidd’s wife needs to be smacked, Dennis and Callahan were suspended (two weeks if I remember correctly) for a botched joke interpreted as racist, and Ron Borges was suspended two months for plagiarism. Well I hope that these set the bar for what should be an unprecedented suspension for John Tomase.
I don’t want to mess with a man’s livelihood or anything, but again, he was irresponsible and needs to be punished. I say a three month minimum suspension without pay is a good starting point. I also think that like Ryan’s suspension he should not allowed to be on TV or anything during the suspension.
The second part of this that I don’t think too many people are touching on is what will the Patriots do? Bob Kraft didn’t get rich being stupid. I hope he has a team of lawyers working on a mutli-million dollar defamation case against the Herald and Tomase.
The only guy on ESPN that pronounced Spygate dead was John Clayton. Everyone else wanted to say how the Pats legacy was tainted, they should forfeit games like the NCAA does for rules violation, and saying that the 49′s and Broncos manipulation of the salary cap as well as the Steelers steroid use wasn’t nearly as bad as this.
The bottom line on the whole thing, as I mentioned in my previous column on the subject, is that people were doing this long before Belichick and likely at the same time the Pats were doing it. Jimmy Johnson had an interesting interview on the subject (On WFAN) that got buried in the anti-Patriots media reporting. Here’s the excerpt:
Q: How about the spying thing Jimmy. You’re a coach does that bother you what Belichick did?
JJ: Oh please. I’ve said it on our show. Eighteen years ago a scout for the Chiefs told me what they did, and he said what you need to do is just take your camera and you go and zoom in on the signal caller and that way you can sync it up. The problem is that if they’re not on the press box side you can’t do it from the press box, you have to do it from the sideline. This was 18 years ago.
Q: You think the NFL came down too hard on them?
JJ: No, no, I said it on the show. He was wrong for doing it for the simple reason that the league knew this was going on not just in New England but around the league. And the league sent out the memorandum to all of the teams saying you cannot do this. And so that’s when Bill Belichick was wrong. After he got the memorandum saying don’t do it any more, he did it.
Q: Did you ever steal signals?
JJ: Oh in a heartbeat, yeah. Yes I did.
Q: Via video, Jimmy? Or no?
JJ: Oh yeah, I did it with video and so did a lot of other teams in the league. Just to make sure that you could study it and take your time, because you’re going to play the other team the second time around. But a lot of coaches did it, this was commonplace.
Q: But did you do it by taping the signal caller?
Q: Oh you did.
JJ: That’s what I’m saying. I was saying one of Marty Schottenheimer’s scouts, Mark Hatley, who has passed away now, Mark told me that’s how they did it, and Howard Mudd their offensive line coach with Kansas City, who now coaches for Tony Dungy, he was the best in the entire league at stealing signals.
Q: Where’d you put your guy who was videotaping? Where was he?
JJ: My guy was up with my camera crew in the press box. So you’d just put an extra camera up with your camera crew in the press box who zoomed in on the signal callers. That’s the best way to do it, but anyway you can’t always do that because the press box camera crew might be on the same side as the opposing team. If they’re on the same side as the opposing team that’s when you need to do it from the sideline.
So as the headline pronounced it. Spygate is finally dead. Now let’s launch an investigation into the Colts pumping in crowd noise during home games. Get Arlen Specter on that. Let’s waste more tax payers dollars.