By: Russ Goldman
Just when you thought you heard the last of SpyGate, for some reason someone always feels the need to pick this week to bring it up.
In this week’s Sports Illustrated, Peter King did a very lengthy feature on Commissioner Roger Goodell of the NFL. In the story the commissioner reveals he felt deceived by Bill Belichick regarding SpyGate.
Below is an excerpt from a Mike Reiss story on ESPNBoston.com which has quotes from the Peter King article from Sports Illustrated.
Goodell told Kraft that, as part of the disciplinary action, Belichick would have to make a verbal apology in front of the press that week. Instead the coach issued a printed statement and refused to answer any questions on the topic. “I was given assurances that [Belichick] would tell his side of the story,” Goodell says. “He went out and stonewalled the press. I feel like I was deceived.”
The problem I have is making this public and bringing up the story of Spygate once again. What is there to gain from this? I don’t think he is going to get a public apology from Belichick now.
The league has much bigger issues right now than SpyGate which is something that happened over 3 years ago. I think Goodell has been a very good commissioner, but his legacy will be tested in the upcoming months. His number one priority should be getting a new CBA done and avoid a lockout. Enough already with SpyGate. Roger, it is time to move on along with the rest of the football world.
The problem is that many fans and media members just don’t want to let SpyGate go. This controversy gives fans of other teams the excuse they need that the Patriots cheated to win three championships. I will say this again. This type of talk regarding the Patriots is ignorant and the Patriots players and coaches earned those titles.
I wrote an article several weeks ago entitled SpyGate: The Most ‘Overblown’ Story Of The Decade. I am glad that I wrote this because I know I made a strong argument that SpyGate is really about “sign stealing” which has been a part of sports for decades. I feel that what the Patriots did was wrong, but it was not the reason for all of the success. In this article I have excerpts from interviews with Bill Cowher, Jimmy Johnson discussing SpyGate. I also have comments from Dan Leberfeld who originally broke the Spygate story.
Since writing this article I have come to a conclusion regarding the SpyGate controversy. It is not going away and maybe never will. I don’t think even winning another Super Bowl will change the minds of media members and fans.
It is sad because I think real football fans know the truth about the New England Patriots dynasty. The Patriots were dominant on the field and the Patriots players and coaches won those titles. The excuses from rival fans with the word SpyGate attached to it could be heard for years to come. But, in the end SpyGate has become one big excuse.
If you are a fan of a rival team who lost a championship to the Patriots it is time to look into the mirror and just admit that you were beat that day by a better team. I can certainly can do it this year. The Jets were the better team in the 2010 Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs and beat the Patriots. How difficult is it to just admit a loss? Now it is your turn.