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View Full Version : Why did Roger Goodell instruct NFL officials to destroy all the Spygate evidence?



WMR
02-01-2008, 04:38 PM
This is the question a senator wants answered and I find it perplexing as well.

Very interested to hear what Goodell says about this... his explanations to date have been very lame.

Bip Roberts
02-01-2008, 04:43 PM
Because it only hurts the NFL to tell the truth.

klw
02-01-2008, 05:43 PM
:rolleyes:Gee glad to see the Senate is focusing on important national issues.

Bip Roberts
02-01-2008, 05:46 PM
NFL gets a anti trust exemption. IMO they should be forced to explain things instead of making some type of obvious cover up.

Roy Tucker
02-01-2008, 06:05 PM
I agree the NFL should be scrutinized about its anti-trust exemption (like the exclusivity of the NFL Ticket Sunday Ticket with DirectTV is complete crap), but I don't see what the Spygate thing has to do with it.

Bip Roberts
02-01-2008, 06:14 PM
I agree the NFL should be scrutinized about its anti-trust exemption (like the exclusivity of the NFL Ticket Sunday Ticket with DirectTV is complete crap), but I don't see what the Spygate thing has to do with it.

Because the fans deserve the right to be sure about the integrity of the game.

pedro
02-01-2008, 06:21 PM
sad part is it's not even some rookie senator trying to make a name for himself it's Arlen Specter.

UKFlounder
02-01-2008, 06:26 PM
sad part is it's not even some rookie senator trying to make a name for himself it's Arlen Specter.

Even sadder is he's doing this now instead of 4 or 5 months ago when it was an issue.

Roy Tucker
02-01-2008, 07:05 PM
Because the fans deserve the right to be sure about the integrity of the game.

Specter will ask all the questions that have been previously asked and Goodell will give the answers that were given before. Which I think were a little suspect but plausible.

And so then what do you want to have happen? Specter to say "are you sure?".

It was an internal League matter and that's how they decided to deal with it. It's not like it was going through US Federal courts and they destroyed legal evidence.

I agree with whoever said it before, this country has a lot bigger problems than a senator worrying about this.

Bip Roberts
02-01-2008, 07:08 PM
I think its not unfair for the NFL to discuss it a little more than just "there is nothing to see here"

The NFL could cover a bunch of things up even more major if you just allow them to do it. Heck I already think they cover a bunch of stuff up just to not take the PR hit. If the spygate story never got the medias attention I doubt much of anything would have been done.

pedro
02-01-2008, 07:10 PM
Personally, I think a much bigger issue is the crappy health benefits and pensions that pro football players get compared to other sports such as baseball.

Bip Roberts
02-01-2008, 07:13 PM
Personally, I think a much bigger issue is the crappy health benefits and pensions that pro football players get compared to other sports such as baseball.

Pretty sure they are already on that one.

pedro
02-01-2008, 07:15 PM
not that I think the senate needs to get involved, i just think it;s a bigger issue for the sport.

Unassisted
02-01-2008, 07:23 PM
Since the season was underway when it happened, it was neater to just mete out a punishment and move on than to spend weeks and weeks wrangling over what to do. They had to be concerned that a lawsuit with all kinds of messy consequences like injunctions might result. Destroying the evidence would just about eliminate the possibililty of that happening. It strikes me as a reasonable notion for the government to make known its strong preference for preserving evidence in the event there are future cases that reflect on the integrity of the game.

Bip Roberts
02-01-2008, 07:25 PM
I find it a little fishy that they destroyed the tapes so quickly. If there was nothing on them then why destroy them?

WMR
02-01-2008, 07:28 PM
I find it a little fishy that they destroyed the tapes so quickly. If there was nothing on them then why destroy them?

Goodell's excuse for destroying them was just stupid.

"I destroyed them so I would know that if anything else came to light, it would mean that they had lied b/c they signed a form that this was everything they had dealing with illegal videotaping."

HUH??? :rolleyes:

I'm pretty sure you could easily compare "new" evidence that came to light and tell pretty easily if it was something that had already been submitted.

Worried about the video leaking?

You're telling me Roger Goodell doesn't own a safe? A lock box? Give me a freaking break.

This has cover-up written all over it.

KronoRed
02-01-2008, 07:53 PM
Because the Pats weren't/aren't the only team doing it, better to get it under the rug.

deltachi8
02-01-2008, 08:49 PM
:rolleyes:Gee glad to see the Senate is focusing on important national issues.

Yep, makes you feel good about them tax dollars sent to Washington

blumj
02-01-2008, 10:40 PM
This is silly. You know why? Because it's not like the NFL sent the FBI over to Gillette stadium with a search warrant, why in the world would the Pats have turned over evidence the NFL didn't already know existed? If there was any, they could have just destroyed it themselves without ever giving it to the NFL in the first place.

Ltlabner
02-01-2008, 10:50 PM
Personally, I think a much bigger issue is the crappy health benefits and pensions that pro football players get compared to other sports such as baseball.

Wasn't Ditka trying to pump up support for this issue sometime reciently?

Chip R
02-01-2008, 11:08 PM
Even sadder is he's doing this now instead of 4 or 5 months ago when it was an issue.


Actually he wrote Goodell about this a few months ago.


http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3225539



Specter said the explanation "absolutely makes no sense at all," and blasted the commissioner for failing to respond to his inquiries on the matter for more than two months. His initial letter to the league is dated Nov. 15, 2007; the follow-up letter is dated Dec. 19. Goodell said in his letter to Specter that he just became aware of Specter's questions Thursday.

WMR
02-01-2008, 11:10 PM
"Just became aware of Specter's questions Thursday."

That's rich!! :lol:

WMR
02-01-2008, 11:10 PM
Someone's not giving the Commish his mail!! :lol:

Chip R
02-01-2008, 11:16 PM
Someone's not giving the Commish his mail!! :lol:


He's got important things to do like going over Cincinnati and northern Kentucky police blotters. ;)

WMR
02-01-2008, 11:23 PM
I'm ecstatic that Senator Specter is doing something about this.

SOMEONE needs to call out Goodell for his crap excuse. Does he think people are stupid? His explanations to date have certainly implied that.

Who else has the ability to make Goodell give the public some real substantive answers on this situation? I'm glad that at least SOMEONE is going to tell him how absolutely nonsensical his "reasoning"(:rolleyes:) behind destroying the tapes is.

Further, funny that Goodell claims they conducted an exhaustive search into this matter, yet they failed to even INTERVIEW the Pats video coordinator from 1996 to 2003 (Kelly). This man has come forward and stated his willingness to speak to Congress and says that he has videotapes in his possession extremely damaging to the reputation of the Pats and the NFL. What if it turns out the Pats have been doing this--or tactics even worse than this--throughout their 4 Super Bowl victories? The damage to the NFL would be MONUMENTAL. And rightfully so. And if it comes out--which it eventually will, if it occurred--that they participated in a cover-up, the damage will be even greater; again, rightfully so.

traderumor
02-01-2008, 11:27 PM
He's got important things to do like going over Cincinnati and northern Kentucky police blotters. ;)That's my thought, he's got no problem whacking around the bad boy players like Henry and Pacman, yet he's sitting on a cheating undefeated team with a coach who was very smug about it all (gee, wonder why?) and its totally been swept under the carpet. Specter goes up a notch for this one (not Ronnie).

WVRed
02-01-2008, 11:36 PM
I look for there to be another strike anyways. The owners are wanting to opt out of the CBA and Upshaw is threatening the players will walk.

Even with the pensions, I have always been under the impression that the NFL has always been the most well managed compared to MLB, NHL, and the NBA.

I don't really know if I want to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday. If the Patriots win, it will just justify everything I have thought about spygate and the NFL. If they lose, we will get to hear how this in addition to Tom Brady's health was the reason they lost. Its like the long layoff for Ohio State before the BCS title game.

Chip R
02-01-2008, 11:50 PM
I don't know if Specter and/or Congress should be sticking their noses into this but I get the feeling that the NFL doesn't feel accountable to anyone. If people think their steroid and HGH problems are non-existant compared to MLB's they have another thing coming. And that's not to mention the pain medication problems that go on. They have great PR and this is just another example of it. They have a problem with the government and writers and fans say, "Let's keep government out of football" while encouraging Congressional hearings when baseball has problems.

pedro
02-02-2008, 12:02 AM
Honestly, I couldn't care less about the whole Patriots cheating scandal.

Yachtzee
02-02-2008, 12:48 AM
Personally, I think a much bigger issue is the crappy health benefits and pensions that pro football players get compared to other sports such as baseball.

While I think the NFL could do good by former players by providing them with lifetime quality health care, I think the former players are largely to blame for their pension situation. In baseball, a player can't start drawing on their pension until they reach 62. Meanwhile, former NFL players have always been allowed to draw pensions at the age of 55 and, under previous rules, players had the option of drawing a larger pension at age 55 or getting a smaller pension if they started drawing at age 45. It's just like the retirement benefits everyone else gets. If you wait longer to start drawing, you get more money because you've allowed your investment to grow.

The problem with a lot of the sob stories that people like Ditka cite is that these players elected to start drawing money at age 45, often when they were still in good health and had other income streams, and now find themselves hurting now that they've retired from their other work and haven't saved that money. In fact, NFL players have a history of taking more money up front. Even today, players eschew guaranteed contracts in favor of bigger signing bonuses up front. They'd rather have money now rather than financial stability in the future.

So basically, the former players want the bigger pensions they would have gotten had they waited till 55 to start drawing their money. I think it's a bit unfair that Ditka paints the NFL and the Union as being stingy while neglecting to mention that many players are in the position they are now because they were irresponsible in opting to take early withdrawals from their pension when they were still gainfully employed in other post-football pursuits.

pedro
02-02-2008, 01:02 AM
While I think the NFL could do good by former players by providing them with lifetime quality health care, I think the former players are largely to blame for their pension situation. In baseball, a player can't start drawing on their pension until they reach 62. Meanwhile, former NFL players have always been allowed to draw pensions at the age of 55 and, under previous rules, players had the option of drawing a larger pension at age 55 or getting a smaller pension if they started drawing at age 45. It's just like the retirement benefits everyone else gets. If you wait longer to start drawing, you get more money because you've allowed your investment to grow.

The problem with a lot of the sob stories that people like Ditka cite is that these players elected to start drawing money at age 45, often when they were still in good health and had other income streams, and now find themselves hurting now that they've retired from their other work and haven't saved that money. In fact, NFL players have a history of taking more money up front. Even today, players eschew guaranteed contracts in favor of bigger signing bonuses up front. They'd rather have money now rather than financial stability in the future.

So basically, the former players want the bigger pensions they would have gotten had they waited till 55 to start drawing their money. I think it's a bit unfair that Ditka paints the NFL and the Union as being stingy while neglecting to mention that many players are in the position they are now because they were irresponsible in opting to take early withdrawals from their pension when they were still gainfully employed in other post-football pursuits.

That's interesting. I didn't know that.

TC81190
02-02-2008, 02:53 PM
The Pats may have filmed the Rams before SB XXXVI, according to FOX.


Report: Pats employee filmed Rams
Updated: February 2, 2008, 12:30 PM EST

Maybe there is more to Spygate than meets the eye.

On the eve of Super Bowl XLII, a published report out of Boston claims that a Patriots employee filmed a Rams' practice prior to beating St. Louis in Super Bowl XXXVI.

A source told the Boston Herald that a member of New England's video department filmed the Rams' final walkthrough before the 2002 game, which the Patriots later won 20-17 on a last-second field goal by Adam Vinatieri.

"The coaches have no knowledge of it," Patriots vice president of media relations Stacey James said when contacted by the Herald.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also said he had no knowledge of the situation when questioned during his state of the league address on Friday.

"I'm not aware of that," Goodell said, according to the report.

The Patriots were first to have their final walkthrough that day, the report said, and the employee stayed behind to film the Rams. He was never asked to identify himself or produce a press pass, according to the report. The cameraman then rode the media shuttle back to the hotel, the report said.

It is not known what happened with the tape after that point, the report said, nor if the cameraman acted alone or was instructed by the Patriots.

The Patriots were heavy underdogs in the game but still opened up a 14-3 halftime lead against the powerhouse Rams offense. The Rams rallied to tie in the second half before Vinatieri's game-winner.

New England was fined $750,000 and had a first-round draft pick taken away after the league determined the team violated policy by filming the New York Jets' defensive signals during a September game, a saga that has since been dubbed

Matt700wlw
02-02-2008, 03:01 PM
Hey senate...vote on something important instead of trying to clean up sports.

GoReds33
02-02-2008, 03:29 PM
Hey senate...vote on something important instead of trying to clean up sports.Yep. We certainly have more pressing issues. The economy is going into the dump, we have a war going on, and we're focusing on steroids and the NFL. I don't get it.

WMR
02-02-2008, 03:31 PM
It's called multi-tasking, people. Sports issues comprises less than 1% of these peoples time throughout the year. The anti-trust exemption makes this sort of oversight absolutely essential in order to maintain the integrity of these sports.

Dom Heffner
02-02-2008, 03:55 PM
we're focusing on steroids and the NFL. I don't get it.


Asking questions or having a hearing isn't "focusing on."

The whole country doesn't get a pass to act as it wants just because there are more important things going on.

Matt700wlw
02-02-2008, 04:49 PM
Seems like a waste of our tax dollars, and votes for them to be worrying about sports when there are CLEARLY important things that needs fixing.

pedro
02-02-2008, 04:54 PM
Since when is maintaining the "integrity" of professional sports an issue that requires government intervention?

I find the idea that it is "essential" to be perhaps the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard.

WMR
02-02-2008, 04:59 PM
Since when is maintaining the "integrity" of professional sports an issue that requires government intervention.

I find the idea that it is "essential" to be perhaps the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard.

You didn't understand my post properly. I didn't say that such oversight is essential, I said that such oversight is essential in order to maintain the integrity of these sports.

Where would the steroid policy in MLB be if our gov't hadn't rattled the saber of taking away baseball's anti-trust exemption or legislating drug-testing policy themselves? :rolleyes:

pedro
02-02-2008, 05:05 PM
You didn't understand my post properly. I didn't say that such oversight is essential, I said that such oversight is essential in order to maintain the integrity of these sports.

Where would the steroid policy in MLB be if our gov't hadn't rattled the saber of taking away baseball's anti-trust exemption or legislating drug-testing policy themselves? :rolleyes:

Well there is a big difference between rampant illegal drug usage and destroying videotapes that were evidence of cheating.

Bill Bellichick broke now laws. But hey, you're the one studying to be a lawyer, I figured you'd get the distinction. ;)

WMR
02-02-2008, 05:11 PM
Well there is a big difference between rampant illegal drug usage and destroying videotapes that were evidence of cheating.

Bill Bellichick broke now laws. But hey, you're the one studying to be a lawyer, I figured you'd get the distinction. ;)

Understood, but if you've got a league office complicit in a potential cover-up that cuts to the heart of fair play in a league, what higher power is there to step in and get us some answers?

pedro
02-02-2008, 05:15 PM
Understood, but if you've got a league office complicit in a potential cover-up that cuts to the heart of fair play in a league, what higher power is there to step in and get us some answers?

again, who cares?

If the fans don't like it then stop watching.

What's next? a congressional investigation into chop blocking?

WMR
02-02-2008, 05:19 PM
again, who cares?

If the fans don't like it then stop watching.

What's next? a congressional investigation in chop blocking?

I guess I care. :)

Yachtzee
02-02-2008, 05:26 PM
Well there is a big difference between rampant illegal drug usage and destroying videotapes that were evidence of cheating.

Bill Bellichick broke now laws. But hey, you're the one studying to be a lawyer, I figured you'd get the distinction. ;)

I think it comes down to business practices. Government investigates shady business practices all the time. It's just that it typically occurs at the state level. However, in this case it is an interstate business where the shady practices affect consumers nationwide. It's also a business in which the franchises receive large subsidies from state and local governments in order to keep them doing business in the state. If the NFL is destroying evidence or hiding information that certain teams have had an unfair advantage in championship games, then that is borderline consumer fraud. As the government is responsible for investigating charges that companies like Enron may have manipulated energy markets to drive up rates in California, so too must the government investigate this. Just because one industry is energy and the other is entertainment doesn't mean that potential consumer fraud carries less weight for one than it does the other.

pedro
02-02-2008, 05:28 PM
I guess I care. :)

I can't possibly imagine why.

Biggest. non issue. ever.

TMBS, I think people who are truly concerned about this apparent travesty ought to vote with their dollars rather than expecting the government to oversee professional sports when they can't even oversee themselves.

pedro
02-02-2008, 05:30 PM
I think it comes down to business practices. Government investigates shady business practices all the time. It's just that it typically occurs at the state level. However, in this case it is an interstate business where the shady practices affect consumers nationwide. It's also a business in which the franchises receive large subsidies from state and local governments in order to keep them doing business in the state. If the NFL is destroying evidence or hiding information that certain teams have had an unfair advantage in championship games, then that is borderline consumer fraud. As the government is responsible for investigating charges that companies like Enron may have manipulated energy markets to drive up rates in California, so too must the government investigate this. Just because one industry is energy and the other is entertainment doesn't mean that potential consumer fraud carries less weight for one than it does the other.

I respect your opinion Yachtzee, I really do, but there a big difference in between Enron defrauding folks of their pension and investments and a cover up in cheating in a professional sports league which has no actual tangible effect on peoples lives.

WVRed
02-02-2008, 05:40 PM
I respect your opinion Yachtzee, I really do, but there a big difference in between Enron defrauding folks of their pension and investments and a cover up in cheating in a professional sports league which has no actual tangible effect on peoples lives.

Antitrust. Professional sporting associations do not have to pay the same amount in taxes and with this coming to light could lead to millions of tax dollars being lost on a league(two if you count baseball) that is full of corruption.

This could have a colossal impact on not only football, but the NBA, NHL, and MLS as well. One positive, salaries being paid to players like Johan Santana would not be the norm.

pedro
02-02-2008, 05:46 PM
Antitrust. Professional sporting associations do not have to pay the same amount in taxes and with this coming to light could lead to millions of tax dollars being lost on a league(two if you count baseball) that is full of corruption.




Anti-trust laws exist in order to protect consumers from the negative effects of monopoly or other conspiratorial efforts. I fail to see how the american people are harmed in any way by "spygate".

WVRed
02-02-2008, 06:12 PM
Anti-trust laws exist in order to protect consumers from the negative effects of monopoly or other conspiratorial efforts. I fail to see how the american people are harmed in any way by "spygate".

Spygate isn't the issue, it's destroying the tapes that made this a bigger mess.

Let's say you were a Jets fans and bought tickets to watch the Patriots and Jets play in week one. You then found out the Pats were videotaping the plays the Jets were running during the game giving them an advantage and were obviously cheating. The league gives the Patriots a slap on the wrist basically and destroys the tapes.

Like it or not, the government regulates monopolies. NFL and MLB are monopolies in that industry, and if they cannot take care of themselves, as has been evidenced, they will be policed by the government. If you are paying for a service such as gas or electric and they were cheating you, wouldn't you want something done about it?

edabbs44
02-02-2008, 06:13 PM
Anti-trust laws exist in order to protect consumers from the negative effects of monopoly or other conspiratorial efforts. I fail to see how the american people are harmed in any way by "spygate".

If a major sports league were to come out and say that the outcome of their games were scripted (or at least partially staged) like the WWE, it would be a complete disaster.

Maybe it wouldn't "harm" people to the level of an Enron or Worldcom type fraud, but it would still rock this country and have far reaching effects that a lot of us wouldn't even begin to think of.

pedro
02-02-2008, 06:14 PM
Spygate isn't the issue, it's destroying the tapes that made this a bigger mess.

Let's say you were a Jets fans and bought tickets to watch the Patriots and Jets play in week one. You then found out the Pats were videotaping the plays the Jets were running during the game giving them an advantage and were obviously cheating. The league gives the Patriots a slap on the wrist basically and destroys the tapes.

Like it or not, the government regulates monopolies. NFL and MLB are monopolies in that industry, and if they cannot take care of themselves, as has been evidenced, they will be policed by the government. If you are paying for a service such as gas or electric and they were cheating you, wouldn't you want something done about it?

It's SPORTS.

It has absolutely no meaning.

If people don;t like the product don't buy it.

traderumor
02-02-2008, 06:22 PM
It's SPORTS.

It has absolutely no meaning.

If people don;t like the product don't buy it.

I have posted the same thoughts myself at times, but someone made a good point about what big business sports are, and while it should be a hobby for the masses, it is much more than that and is an integral part of our economy. That might not mean that this particular incident is worthy of Congress' attention, but this is a product that has a national impact and deserves our government's attention at times. Plus, I don't get why someone spending several hours of week on RZ is trying to minimize the importance of sports ;)

pedro
02-02-2008, 06:36 PM
.... Plus, I don't get why someone spending several hours of week on RZ is trying to minimize the importance of sports ;)

maybe we should have congress investigate how my lack of productivity is effecting the economy? ;)

Roy Tucker
02-02-2008, 07:59 PM
My question is what do people want to have happen?

Arlen Specter can ask all the questions that have been asked by the press over the last 3-4 months. And Roger Goodell will give the same answers that he has before.

And then what?

Maybe a little barking and woofing by Congress will cause the NFL to take a little more care in handling internal matters. But that will all be behind-the-scenes old-boys-network kind of thing.

I just don't see what tangible results people expect out of this.

Yachtzee
02-02-2008, 08:40 PM
My question is what do people want to have happen?

Arlen Specter can ask all the questions that have been asked by the press over the last 3-4 months. And Roger Goodell will give the same answers that he has before.

And then what?

Maybe a little barking and woofing by Congress will cause the NFL to take a little more care in handling internal matters. But that will all be behind-the-scenes old-boys-network kind of thing.

I just don't see what tangible results people expect out of this.

I don't know about others, but all I expect is greater transparency in the way the NFL does business. As a consumer of football, I like to know that the NFL is dealing with issues like this on the level and treats every team within the league fairly. I think that's why the destruction of the tapes bothers people. If it wasn't a big deal, why destroy them? If it was a big deal, then consumers of the NFL's product have a right to know the extent of what was contained in those tapes.

Of course, that is not to say that football needs to be 100% transparent. I think we all can agree that a team's playbook and the way a team scouts and evaluates players are all proprietary matters. But when it comes to allegations of cheating and indications that one team may have had an unfair advantage, I think we as consumers need to know the details so that we can determine for ourselves whether we care enough about it to continues buying the NFL's product or whether our entertainment dollars are best spent elsewhere.

IslandRed
02-02-2008, 09:19 PM
I think we as consumers need to know the details so that we can determine for ourselves whether we care enough about it to continues buying the NFL's product or whether our entertainment dollars are best spent elsewhere.

Problem is, the real interaction goes something like this:

Us: "We need to know the details so we can decide if we're going to keep supporting the NFL."

NFL: "Are you going to stop supporting the NFL if we don't give you the details?"

Us: "Well, I dunno..."

NFL: (Stops listening and resumes counting money)

WVRed
02-03-2008, 11:20 AM
It's SPORTS.

It has absolutely no meaning.

If people don;t like the product don't buy it.

It has meaning to the government if they are giving them tax breaks.

If it comes out that the Patriots have been doing this for some time and the NFL has been condoning it for ratings, do you feel that the NFL should have to pay exemption or lower taxes? To me it's no different if a church came out and endorsed a presidential candidate.

UKFlounder
02-03-2008, 12:11 PM
Here's a good read on the situation.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/080202&sportCat=nfl

The second act of the "Spygate" scandal began late in Super Bowl week. I'd like to drop my Tuesday Morning Quarterback persona and offer some observations on why these events are happening now and what they mean.

First, the timeline: The initial incident happened in September. After the New England Patriots were caught violating league rules by filming the New York Jets' sideline during a Week 1 game, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stripped New England of a first-round draft choice, fined the team $250,000, fined coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and issued a harsh statement saying the Patriots' actions constituted a "calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid long-standing rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition."

Belichick responded with a brief apology that referred only to sideline taping during games. Then, the first of many strange things happened. Goodell went on national television and implied the Patriots were dragging their feet about his order to hand over other cheating materials; he threatened them with more penalties. And then, the second of many strange things happened. Four days later, the NFL announced it had destroyed all cheating materials and refused to say what had been destroyed.

From that moment in late September until Friday, the NFL never answered the questions of exactly what the Patriots did and why the evidence was destroyed. People, including me, put these questions to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello and to Goodell, but were told the league would not reveal what was in the destroyed evidence. In December, The New York Times pressed the NFL to say what was in the destroyed materials, and again, the league refused. At his annual state of the league address Friday, Goodell made his first public comments about the destroyed evidence.

So, if you are a New England supporter, or simply a sports fan, wondering, "Why is all this coming out right before the Super Bowl?" the answer is, "Because the NFL would not answer the questions until Goodell was in front of the media this week." Some of this information might have emerged weeks or months ago, had the NFL not acted as if there were something to hide on the tapes.

ESPN and other outlets have been working on Spygate stories for weeks or longer, and all competing to be first with any further revelations. I can assure you there was no attempt to time this to the Super Bowl. Far from it.

Flash back to September. After the league made its strange decision to destroy the materials, then refused to say what they contained, several media figures, including me, did this Journalism 101 exercise: Current scandal involves current taping by the Patriots. Are there any former Patriots video officials from New England's Super Bowl runs? That led to a former New England scout and video department official named Matt Walsh, who now lives in Hawaii. Simultaneously, the NFL grapevine was alive with rumors -- caution, rumors -- that the Patriots were guilty not just of taping sidelines during games but rather of much more serious transgressions. The primary rumor, which was reported Saturday by the Boston Herald, was that the Patriots secretly taped the St. Louis Rams' private walk-through before Super Bowl XXXVI, that the Pats knew some of the Rams' plays and formations in advance.

Taping from the sidelines during games, although forbidden, is regarded as a minor violation of the rules. Secret taping of a Super Bowl opponent's practice, if true, would be much more serious.

Throughout the fall, I, as well as other journalists, had many conversations with Walsh. He would not say he taped the Rams' walk-through, but he would not deny it, either. He would not go on the record about what he knows.

Late in Super Bowl week, Walsh agreed with ESPN and the Times to go on the record as saying he knows damaging information about the Patriots that he will reveal if asked by the NFL. Walsh further noted that, although the NFL announced it had investigated New England's videotaping practices, the league had never spoken to him. People are right to be skeptical about Walsh's saying he knows something damning but not revealing it. Walsh says he fears legal retaliation by the Patriots because he signed a non-disclosure agreement when he left the team. He has been advised by an attorney that he will be on firmer ground if he reveals what he knows only at the request of the NFL or Congress.

Simultaneously, the Times learned that Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania -- the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has some jurisdiction over the NFL's precious antitrust exemption -- wants to hold hearings on why the material collected in the NFL's investigation was destroyed.

Think Congress has no business investigating sports? Most NFL teams play in publicly subsidized stadiums, and NFL games are aired over public airwaves controlled by federal licenses. The licenses, among other things, prohibit any pre-arrangement or artifice in what is presented as live competition. If a Super Bowl were affected by cheating, that would be a legitimate matter of concern to Congress. Plus, the recent lesson learned via baseball and steroids was that Major League Baseball did not clean up its own house until Congress put some pressure on.

At his annual Super Bowl news conference Friday, Goodell was peppered with questions about why the New England materials were destroyed. This was painful to watch; the NFL is an image-based enterprise, yet painted itself into a public relations corner by acting in a high-handed, suspicious way. If Goodell had been forthright about the tapes in the first place, perhaps no one would be spoiling the Super Bowl party.

At the news conference, Goodell disclosed several things the NFL previously had refused to discuss. He said that only six tapes and some notes had been turned over to the league by the Patriots, not voluminous materials, as had been assumed; that the tapes all contained only in-game film of opponents' sidelines; and that the oldest tape was from the 2006 regular season, with nothing before that year. Goodell went on to say several times that attempting to steal sideline signals during games is common in football and, although not encouraged, is viewed as an occupational hazard in the sport. Goodell also asserted the Patriots' questionable activities did not alter the outcome of any game.

Goodell's remarks were puzzling in several respects. First, if the Patriots were guilty only of occasional sideline taping, this would seem to merit a letter of reprimand. So why were the Patriots hit with the harshest fine in NFL history? When the scandal first broke, Goodell used extremely strong language about New England's sins. Now, he was implying the whole thing was no big deal.

Next, Goodell did not clarify whether the league had asked only for sideline tapes taken during games or whether this was all the Patriots volunteered. If New England gave the league only video taken from the sidelines during games, plus notes developed from such videos, there would be no evidence of really serious cheating, such as clandestine taping of other teams' walk-throughs.

Finally, Goodell declared that the materials the league destroyed contained no evidence of Super Bowl cheating. But the material went back only to 2006. The Patriots' Super Bowl wins came in 2002, 2004 and 2005. Of course the material contained no evidence of Super Bowl cheating! Did the league ask just for materials dating to 2006, or was that all the Patriots volunteered? Either way, it is more than curious that the league inspected one tape from this season and the rest, materials from a year when the Patriots did not appear in a Super Bowl.

Saturday morning, the Boston Herald ran a story asserting the Patriots secretly taped the Rams' private walk-through before Super Bowl XXXVI. The Herald cited an unnamed source and did not name Walsh as the person behind the camera.

Also Saturday, Mike Fish reported on ESPN that St. Louis' walk-through was devoted to red zone plays -- all new plays and new formations the Rams had not shown during the season. Going into that Super Bowl, the Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" was the league's highest-scoring team. In that game, St. Louis was held to a field goal in the first half. The Rams kept getting bogged down, as if New England knew what plays were coming. If the Patriots secretly taped the Rams' walk-through, then stopped the red zone plays the Rams showed in that walk-through, then won that Super Bowl by three points, then logic says New England materially benefited from cheating in the Super Bowl. If true, this would be the worst sports scandal since the Black Sox.

Let's put that in capital letters: IF TRUE. We don't yet know whether the Super Bowl allegations are true. Then again, we are into only the second day of information going on the record and the league finally answering some questions about the subject.

The Patriots, for their part, are denying the allegations.

"The suggestion that the New England Patriots recorded the St. Louis Rams' walk-through on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI is absolutely false," Patriots spokesman Stacey James said. "Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue."

Here's another unanswered question. If the materials the Patriots turned over and the league destroyed really were just six sideline videos and some notes, that's pretty innocuous. So why didn't the NFL reveal what was destroyed? If the materials really were minor stuff, why the months of "No comment"?


When news of the second act of Spygate hit the sports world Friday, there was considerable backlash. Many radio and TV analysts initially reacted angrily, as if to say, "This is our private universe. In our private universe, everything is perfect. Keep reality out." But if you love athletic competition, if you want sports to be important and generate lots of money and attention, the games must be honest. Any indication of dishonesty should be deeply unsettling.

Footnote: The Giants held a final walk-through for Super Bowl XLII on Saturday, but the Patriots did not.

In addition to writing Page 2's Tuesday Morning Quarterback, Gregg Easterbrook is the author of "The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse" and other books. He also is a contributing editor for The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly and The Washington Monthly.

WMR
02-03-2008, 12:24 PM
Anyone else see the comments of Mike Martz? If they did in fact tape the Rams final walk-through that is quite the dirty trick.

Chip R
02-03-2008, 12:44 PM
Walk throughs are not a big deal. It's not going to show you any more than game films are.

However, the problem with this is usually the problem with all scandals. It's not the act itself that's the problem, it's the cover-up afterwards. Even if there was nothing to see there, destroying the evidence makes it look like they have something to hide.

UKFlounder
02-03-2008, 12:46 PM
Walk throughs are not a big deal. It's not going to show you any more than game films are.

However, the problem with this is usually the problem with all scandals. It's not the act itself that's the problem, it's the cover-up afterwards. Even if there was nothing to see there, destroying the evidence makes it look like they have something to hide.

But the article I saw indicated the Rams were installing new red-zone plays in the walk through, so presumably they were plays and/or formations that would not have been on game film.

WMR
02-03-2008, 12:56 PM
But the article I saw indicated the Rams were installing new red-zone plays in the walk through, so presumably they were plays and/or formations that would not have been on game film.

Yep, exactly. The walk-through was dealing with their plays in the red zone. Pretty big advantage if you knew what they were going to run in the red zone and had extensive tape of them working on it in practice.

Chip R
02-03-2008, 01:06 PM
But the article I saw indicated the Rams were installing new red-zone plays in the walk through, so presumably they were plays and/or formations that would not have been on game film.


Walk throughs are just that - walk throughs. They go out there without pads, without blocking or a defense and they run through plays. Some may be new, some may not be but you still have to go out there and execute. Everybody knew the Green Bay sweep was coming back in the 60s but they still had problems stopping it. Martz is a crybaby. Vermeil won with that team and he didn't and his high powered offense got shut down. There's a reason he's had about 4 different jobs since then. He got beat and he's trying to make it look like the Patriots only won because they cheated and figured his offense out. It's sour grapes.

blumj
02-03-2008, 01:36 PM
Yep, exactly. The walk-through was dealing with their plays in the red zone. Pretty big advantage if you knew what they were going to run in the red zone and had extensive tape of them working on it in practice.
It might have been, if they'd actually done it. And, if Easterbrook actually believes the Rams lost that game because they kept getting bogged down in the red zone, I would suggest he should actually watch the game again, because he apparently wasn't paying much attention the first time.

pedro
02-03-2008, 01:53 PM
It has meaning to the government if they are giving them tax breaks.

If it comes out that the Patriots have been doing this for some time and the NFL has been condoning it for ratings, do you feel that the NFL should have to pay exemption or lower taxes? To me it's no different if a church came out and endorsed a presidential candidate.

I think if people think they are being fleeced then they should stop buying the product and let the government worry about investigating things that really matter.

IslandRed
02-03-2008, 01:58 PM
Antitrust. Professional sporting associations do not have to pay the same amount in taxes and with this coming to light could lead to millions of tax dollars being lost on a league(two if you count baseball) that is full of corruption.


It has meaning to the government if they are giving them tax breaks.

Do you have a link or something on that? Having an antitrust exemption is not the same thing as being a tax-exempt organization.

Yachtzee
02-03-2008, 02:16 PM
I think if people think they are being fleeced then they should stop buying the product and let the government worry about investigating things that really matter.

I'd say an industry that pumps billions of dollars into the economy is something that matters. The relative weight that individuals put on the value of that industry makes it no less important. In fact, I've gotten in contact with my state's Attorney General to investigate a business I felt was using unfair business practices and it only involved me being out $25 and a lot of time on the phone trying to cancel service. And you know what? They actually had an investigator look into it and I got the service canceled. In the grand scheme of things, $25 isn't that important. However, government is in the business of protecting its citizens.

In this case, consumers want to believe that the NFL is doing things on the level, so it's going to be very difficult for people to turn away from without hard evidence of manipulation. The NFL doesn't want to be forthright about giving consumers the information they need to make an informed decision about whether to continue enjoying the NFL's product, so the government steps in to try and find out why the NFL won't come clean with its customers. This isn't the government stepping in to try to police cheating in the NFL. This is the government trying to find out why the NFL engaging in a cover-up.

Yachtzee
02-03-2008, 02:21 PM
Do you have a link or something on that? Having an antitrust exemption is not the same thing as being a tax-exempt organization.

I think he might be confusing tax-exempt status with receiving subsidies from tax dollars. I don't think the NFL is tax exempt, but it's pretty clear that the NFL receives billions of dollars in subsidies from state and local governments paid to keep teams in certain cities and states. For years, the mighty Indianapolis Colts have been receiving a direct subsidy from Indianapolis to make up the difference between the revenues they receive from the RCA dome and the revenues teams in newer stadiums make.

pedro
02-03-2008, 02:28 PM
I'd say an industry that pumps billions of dollars into the economy is something that matters. The relative weight that individuals put on the value of that industry makes it no less important. In fact, I've gotten in contact with my state's Attorney General to investigate a business I felt was using unfair business practices and it only involved me being out $25 and a lot of time on the phone trying to cancel service. And you know what? They actually had an investigator look into it and I got the service canceled. In the grand scheme of things, $25 isn't that important. However, government is in the business of protecting its citizens.

In this case, consumers want to believe that the NFL is doing things on the level, so it's going to be very difficult for people to turn away from without hard evidence of manipulation. The NFL doesn't want to be forthright about giving consumers the information they need to make an informed decision about whether to continue enjoying the NFL's product, so the government steps in to try and find out why the NFL won't come clean with its customers. This isn't the government stepping in to try to police cheating in the NFL. This is the government trying to find out why the NFL engaging in a cover-up.

You got ripped off, there were probably others too. That is the governments job.

As for the rest of the stuff if you really think you need the government to step in so you can figure out whether you'll continue "enjoying the NFL's product" all I can say is I guess this country is way more screwed up than even I thought it was.

Honestly, where's the indignation over important records being destroyed and important things being covered up?

westofyou
02-03-2008, 02:30 PM
Honestly, where's the indignation over important record being destroyed and important things being covered up?

You mean like votes?

Or maybe some other things that happen half a world away?

Nah... pigskin stuff is much more relevant in the beating heart of America.. after all they get better airtime and coverage.

Yachtzee
02-03-2008, 03:01 PM
You mean like votes?

Or maybe some other things that happen half a world away?

Nah... pigskin stuff is much more relevant in the beating heart of America.. after all they get better airtime and coverage.

Why is it assumed that, by investigating an issue in professional sports, that Congress is neglecting something else? And why is it assumed that a football fan's interest in ensuring that the NFL is properly investigating allegations of cheating that football fans don't have interests outside of that sphere. I know a hell of a lot about what is going on in the world. I just choose to talk about football here because, a) it's relevant with the Super Bowl about to be played, and b) We can't really discuss political stuff here anyway. Even if we could, I doubt even some of the more geopolitically aware people around here are going to get too excited about a discussion on Serbian elections or the problem of tribal politics and electoral violence in Kenya. On a sports oriented board, most of us just feel more comfortable discussing Chad Johnson than we do rebel movements in Chad.

Like it or not, professional sports is big business. People spend a lot of money following professional sports. Why I've heard that some people have dropped hundreds of dollars to travel across country to see the Cincinnati Reds. Some spend hundreds and even thousands every year on things like Extra Innings and season tickets. People spend a lot of money on the NFL as well. I'm honestly surprised when people on Redszone, with the amount of time and money they spend following the Reds, feel that allegations that a professional sports league may be covering up evidence that teams aren't operating on the level isn't worth the government's time. The government is pretty capable of multitasking. If you want to complain about them wasting time and money, you might find a better target in all the pork barrel projects that get tacked on to bills and those lovely little Congressional junkets that end up being a nice vacation in a sunny local on the taxpayer's dime.

westofyou
02-03-2008, 03:20 PM
Why is it assumed that, by investigating an issue in professional sports, that Congress is neglecting something else?

Because THIS country is in a big arse mess?

I mean our country, not Serbia, not Chad.

Frankly I do think Congress has a hell of a lot better things to do then watch out for Football's P's and Q's, or baseball's or track and field's bike racing, NASCAR, Hockey, or Basketball's.

IslandRed
02-03-2008, 03:21 PM
I think he might be confusing tax-exempt status with receiving subsidies from tax dollars. I don't think the NFL is tax exempt, but it's pretty clear that the NFL receives billions of dollars in subsidies from state and local governments paid to keep teams in certain cities and states. For years, the mighty Indianapolis Colts have been receiving a direct subsidy from Indianapolis to make up the difference between the revenues they receive from the RCA dome and the revenues teams in newer stadiums make.

Maybe, but the way he wrote the posts, it sure made it sound as if he thinks the federal antitrust exemption also grants them federal tax exemptions, especially since the thread up to that point was about why the federal government had a dog in the fight.

Yachtzee
02-03-2008, 03:23 PM
Maybe, but the way he wrote the posts, it sure made it sound as if he thinks the federal antitrust exemption also grants them federal tax exemptions, especially since the thread up to that point was about why the federal government had a dog in the fight.

Oh, I agree. I was confused by that post as well.

Yachtzee
02-03-2008, 03:55 PM
Because THIS country is in a big arse mess?

I mean our country, not Serbia, not Chad.

Frankly I do think Congress has a hell of a lot better things to do then watch out for Football's P's and Q's, or baseball's or track and field's bike racing, NASCAR, Hockey, or Basketball's.

So because there are bigger problems out there, Congress must abdicate its oversight responsibilities in interstate commerce? We can argue about what where society's priorities should be, but where's it going to get us, other than a locked thread? Since the early 20th Century, people have been complaining about the importance that society has placed on professional sports. Early socialist and workers movements, as well as religious movements, conservative political parties and elite amateur sporting associations decried the money and attention garnered by professional sports throughout the Americas and Europe. Yet by the 1930s, professional soccer leagues included teams organized around socialist groups, church teams, conservative groups, and the elitist formerly amateur squads. So who won that battle?

Having worked in government, I know first hand that there are things that the government should be focusing its energy on and other less important things. Even if people in government feel they should be devoting 90% of their attention to a problem, they don't get to because they work for the people. And the people often tell them all about the other things they want the government to worry about. Whether by phone, by email, by snail mail, by protest sign, people are always telling the government what they feel is important. Often they do so in more subtle ways, by where they spend their money. So government has to listen to the people and spend some time on other things that might not be significant to you or me, but may be very significant to a sizable subsection of its constituency.

The fact that Americans spend billions of dollars on sports (and it's not just Americans, average citizens worldwide spend billions of dollars on sports), and because these professional sports are conducted on an interstate level, Congress may feel compelled to investigate allegations of a league covering up cheating. They have to look at it from the perspective of a billion dollar interstate industry regardless of the social utility of its endeavors. If you feel the government shouldn't be spending time on this, you have every right to petition the government and tell them as much. I'm sure your Senator and Congressperson would be happy to hear from you.

Roy Tucker
02-03-2008, 03:56 PM
Because THIS country is in a big arse mess?

I mean our country, not Serbia, not Chad.

Frankly I do think Congress has a hell of a lot better things to do then watch out for Football's P's and Q's, or baseball's or track and field's bike racing, NASCAR, Hockey, or Basketball's.

Indeed.

I'd say there at least a thousand (if not thousands) of larger revenue industries in the US. The NFL is small potatoes. If you put each and every one under the microscope, there is probably a little bit (or more) of monkey business going on. Not to mention taxes, infrastructure, immigration, defense, war, global warming, and hundreds of other very pressing issues.

Whether or not somebody violated NFL league rules for taping games is so far to the right of the decimal place in % of time a senator or Congress ought to spending on this, it's not the least bit funny.

fearofpopvol1
02-03-2008, 03:56 PM
Regardless of what it is or isn't true concerning SpyGate, this website is hilarious!!

http://www.thenewenglandcheaters.com/

pedro
02-03-2008, 04:04 PM
So because there are bigger problems out there, Congress must abdicate its oversight responsibilities in interstate commerce?

IT'S CHEATING IN A PROFESSIONAL SPORT.

THEY HAVE NO OVERSIGHT RESPONSIBILITIES.

westofyou
02-03-2008, 04:06 PM
If you feel the government shouldn't be spending time on this, you have every right to petition the government and tell them as much. I'm sure your Senator and Congressperson would be happy to hear from you.

Yep, and I can still voice my displeasure with it on Redszone too, right?

pedro
02-03-2008, 04:06 PM
I think if you don't like what the NFL is doing you should write them a letter.

I'm sure they'd be happy to hear from you.

Yachtzee
02-03-2008, 04:07 PM
Indeed.

I'd say there at least a thousand (if not thousands) of larger revenue industries in the US. The NFL is small potatoes. If you put each and every one under the microscope, there is probably a little bit (or more) of monkey business going on. Not to mention taxes, infrastructure, immigration, defense, war, global warming, and hundreds of other very pressing issues.

Whether or not somebody violated NFL league rules for taping games is so far to the right of the decimal place in % of time a senator or Congress ought to spending on this, it's not the least bit funny.

It's not the violation of league rules that is the problem. It's the cover up that's the problem. It raises concerns of hiding larger scale cheating and defrauding the public of fairly contested matches. While the cheating itself isn't a violation of the law, covering it up may well be. But I guess since it's just football, Congress shouldn't get involved. I guess if owners decided to collude to break the union and keep player salaries down, the government shouldn't get involved either. Sure, they're breaking the law, but it's just football, right?

pedro
02-03-2008, 04:09 PM
I guess if owners decided to collude to break the union and keep player salaries down, the government shouldn't get involved either. Sure, they're breaking the law, but it's just football, right?

that's a labor issue that would be fought in civil court.

Yachtzee
02-03-2008, 04:24 PM
IT'S CHEATING IN A PROFESSIONAL SPORT.

THEY HAVE NO OVERSIGHT RESPONSIBILITIES.

It's not the cheating that is the issue. It's the cover up. What the Black Sox scandal resulted in the MLB investigating it, collecting the evidence, quietly hitting the White Sox and then destroying all the evidence and publicly representing the 1919 World Series as a legitimate contest? Does that change the fact that the public was defrauded of a legitimately played World Series?

I'm not saying that what the Patriots have been doing amounted to what the White Sox did, but we don't really know the extent of what the Patriots did because the league destroyed the evidence. What if the league destroyed evidence that the Patriots had been bribing employees of other teams to obtain their playbooks?

The problem here is that the NFL promotes its contests as fair and legitimate contests. If they uncover cheating, publicize it and punish a team accordingly, there is no need for the government to get involved. If the NFL came clean like the WWE and said that the outcomes of its games were scripted, again there would be no need for government involvement. However, in this case, there is the question that the NFL either did not fully investigate the extent of the Patriots cheating or covered it up. In that case, you have an issue of fraud, interstate fraud. That is where Congress gets its oversight. It has nothing to do with whether Belichick taped sideline signals. It has to do with what the League office knows about what else may or may not be going on and why it's hiding what it knows.

pedro
02-03-2008, 04:26 PM
I give up.

Yachtzee
02-03-2008, 04:26 PM
that's a labor issue that would be fought in civil court.

It's also a matter of federal labor law that would likely be investigated by Congress to determine whether the fact that the league felt it was worth the risk to violate it would mandate strengthening the law. But maybe since it's just football, they should be exempt from federal labor law. It's not that important, right?

pedro
02-03-2008, 04:30 PM
It's also a matter of federal labor law that would likely be investigated by Congress to determine whether the fact that the league felt it was worth the risk to violate it would mandate strengthening the law. But maybe since it's just football, they should be exempt from federal labor law. It's not that important, right?

Did congress get involved in MLB collusion?

Was it resolved?


Now, really I'm done.

Roy Tucker
02-03-2008, 04:47 PM
I guess that's my take on it too. I do think the NFL has done something wrong and I do think an outside party needs to take a look at it.

However, I'd much rather see court cases get filed and the issue worked from the bottom up through our legal system to see if something illegal has transpired.

It doesn't seem appropriate for Congress to be involved in it at this stage of the game.

It seems much more that certain members of Congress are using this issue to gain publicity.

All IMHO.

WVRed
02-03-2008, 04:49 PM
I think he might be confusing tax-exempt status with receiving subsidies from tax dollars. I don't think the NFL is tax exempt, but it's pretty clear that the NFL receives billions of dollars in subsidies from state and local governments paid to keep teams in certain cities and states. For years, the mighty Indianapolis Colts have been receiving a direct subsidy from Indianapolis to make up the difference between the revenues they receive from the RCA dome and the revenues teams in newer stadiums make.

You are right, I got the two mixed up.

WVRed
02-03-2008, 04:53 PM
I think if people think they are being fleeced then they should stop buying the product and let the government worry about investigating things that really matter.

Apples and Asparagus. This isn't people being fleeced, this is the government being fleeced.

pedro
02-03-2008, 05:02 PM
Apples and Asparagus. This isn't people being fleeced, this is the government being fleeced.

That's ridiculous.

Regardless, if a cheating is being covered up then the Colts or the Jets or some other team or city that is actually or supposedly being harmed take the NFL to court. That's how it's supposed to work.

oneupper
02-03-2008, 05:10 PM
Ryan Parker's song/video is a hoot!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EU1O-hGxgg

Yachtzee
02-03-2008, 06:56 PM
I guess that's my take on it too. I do think the NFL has done something wrong and I do think an outside party needs to take a look at it.

However, I'd much rather see court cases get filed and the issue worked from the bottom up through our legal system to see if something illegal has transpired.

It doesn't seem appropriate for Congress to be involved in it at this stage of the game.

It seems much more that certain members of Congress are using this issue to gain publicity.

All IMHO.

When it comes to using the court system, I agree with you in principle. Unfortunately, it's hard to file a court case when the probable defendants are destroying hard evidence before you've even had a chance to file a case. In this case the NFL appeared as if it was taking an adversarial stance with regard to the Patriots, demanding evidence and admonishing them publicly for dragging their feet. But then, once they got some evidence, they immediately handed down punishment, declared the case closed and destroyed what they got. We don't know the nature and extent of the evidence that the NFL destroyed. If someone were to file a court case, it's possible that much of the hard evidence is now gone. So unless more evidence turns up or someone involved starts talking, there is no case.

WMR
02-03-2008, 07:16 PM
ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reports that if ex-Patriots employee Matt Walsh is in possession of the Rams' walkthrough video from Super Bowl XXXVI, coach Bill Belichick will be suspended for one season.

Apparently commissioner Roger Goodell informed Belichick, upon fining him $500,000 and stripping the Patriots of a first-round pick, that a second strike would cost him an entire year. That means Belichick's last game before 2009 could be Super Bowl XLII. Interestingly, the Giants held their walkthrough Saturday, as regularly scheduled. The Patriots did not hold a walkthrough.

Source: Profootballtalk.com

GAC
02-03-2008, 10:28 PM
I'd lke to Spector and Goodell in a barb-wire cage match. Maybe have a playoff with Selig, Bonds, Clemens. Settle these issues like men! :lol:

traderumor
02-04-2008, 10:16 AM
Think Congress has no business investigating sports? Most NFL teams play in publicly subsidized stadiums, and NFL games are aired over public airwaves controlled by federal licenses. The licenses, among other things, prohibit any pre-arrangement or artifice in what is presented as live competition.From the earlier article. Self-regulated industries always run the risk of lawmakers using their clout to force an industry to clean up its act. As a CPA, I know all about that. We used to be a self-regulated industry, Enron and other scandals was the last straw. While this is I'm sure much less an important issue than bilking investors through fraud to some, there are a lot of commonalities (e.g. cheating and gaining an unfair advantage by doing so being winked at and a small slap on the wrist given because of the great argument of "other teams are doing it", destroying evidence, potential fraud, millions of dollars at stake).

And I still don't get how those who spend oodles of time following sports as evidenced by their devotion to this website and the posts indicating a lot of interest in various sports do not want some assurance that they are not following staged competitions like the WWF.

WMR
02-04-2008, 10:29 AM
WRESTLING IS FAKE?!?!?!

:eek:

:cry:

traderumor
02-04-2008, 10:55 AM
WRESTLING IS FAKE?!?!?!

:eek:

:cry:I have some more bad news. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, fake. You might as well take the medicine all at once. :)

WMR
02-04-2008, 11:07 AM
I have some more bad news. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, fake. You might as well take the medicine all at once. :)

hehehehe

you cruel, cruel man

BRM
02-04-2008, 12:36 PM
WRESTLING IS FAKE?!?!?!

:eek:

:cry:

Another sweet avatar for my man WMR. :thumbup:

KoryMac5
02-04-2008, 12:48 PM
While I think the NFL could do good by former players by providing them with lifetime quality health care, I think the former players are largely to blame for their pension situation. In baseball, a player can't start drawing on their pension until they reach 62. Meanwhile, former NFL players have always been allowed to draw pensions at the age of 55 and, under previous rules, players had the option of drawing a larger pension at age 55 or getting a smaller pension if they started drawing at age 45. It's just like the retirement benefits everyone else gets. If you wait longer to start drawing, you get more money because you've allowed your investment to grow.

The problem with a lot of the sob stories that people like Ditka cite is that these players elected to start drawing money at age 45, often when they were still in good health and had other income streams, and now find themselves hurting now that they've retired from their other work and haven't saved that money. In fact, NFL players have a history of taking more money up front. Even today, players eschew guaranteed contracts in favor of bigger signing bonuses up front. They'd rather have money now rather than financial stability in the future.

So basically, the former players want the bigger pensions they would have gotten had they waited till 55 to start drawing their money. I think it's a bit unfair that Ditka paints the NFL and the Union as being stingy while neglecting to mention that many players are in the position they are now because they were irresponsible in opting to take early withdrawals from their pension when they were still gainfully employed in other post-football pursuits.

The union (Gene Upshaw) is the one who went around telling players to start taking their pension at the early ages. Upshaw told players to do so because he did not know how long the pensions would be their. Upshaw needs to start earning that money (16 million by some accounts) and make sure that members of the NFL family are takin care of.

KoryMac5
02-04-2008, 12:50 PM
Spygate is a scandal by the time it is all said and done that will rival the NBA betting scandal. I think we all know why Goodell destroyed the tapes, to avoid what David Stern had to go through.

Bip Roberts
02-04-2008, 01:12 PM
I have always thought that if the tapes didnt help them win then why did they do it and why is it banned in the NFL.

Yachtzee
02-04-2008, 01:25 PM
The union (Gene Upshaw) is the one who went around telling players to start taking their pension at the early ages. Upshaw told players to do so because he did not know how long the pensions would be their. Upshaw needs to start earning that money (16 million by some accounts) and make sure that members of the NFL family are takin care of.

Really? I've never heard that? I've heard the NFL pension fund is actually well funded and run by sound financial managers, as opposed to the MLB pension fund, which is allegedly grossly underfunded. I've never heard that the union told them to take the money out.

I think the NFLPA generally does a good job by its players. It takes a lot of criticism because it doesn't take the adversarial stance toward management that the MLBPA takes, but it's done a great job of getting tons of money flowing into players' pockets. I just think some of these old timers mistakenly believe that they would get more money if they had a Donald Fehr leading the charge. But I don't think that's true. Retired NFL players still start drawing pensions at age 55, 7 years before MLB players start drawing pensions, at which point they've often received hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits before MLB players have even seen a dime. They have a good pension fund that can serve them well if they manage their investments wisely. But instead they're slamming the union because a number of them have been wasteful.

Of course the end result of this is that it is just pushing Upshaw to take their wrongheaded criticisms to heart, which means the union will probably pull a boneheaded MLB-style move and strike just because they haven't had a good strike in a while.

flyer85
02-04-2008, 01:36 PM
the NFL did two things

1) destroyed the evidence
2) refused to say exactly what was destroyed.

#2 is the big problem and is why the issue won't go away.

blumj
02-04-2008, 01:42 PM
the NFL did two things

1) destroyed the evidence
2) refused to say exactly what was destroyed.

#2 is the big problem and is why the issue won't go away.
Actually, Goodell has said what was destroyed, it's just that no one believes him. But I guess if you don't believe him, it doesn't matter what he said.

WVRed
02-04-2008, 02:06 PM
the NFL did two things

1) destroyed the evidence
2) refused to say exactly what was destroyed.

#2 is the big problem and is why the issue won't go away.

To me it's more like number one.

If there was nothing to hide, why destroy the tapes?

flyer85
02-04-2008, 02:06 PM
Actually, Goodell has said what was destroyed only in general terms

princeton
02-04-2008, 02:19 PM
the waterboarding scenes were too graphic

blumj
02-04-2008, 02:59 PM
To me it's more like number one.

If there was nothing to hide, why destroy the tapes?
I think it's possible that Goodell was concerned about them being leaked to the press, and that it simply never occurred to him that he might be accused of a cover-up. Why would the Pats have given him anything other than more of the same tapes like the one from the Jets game?

princeton
02-04-2008, 03:05 PM
it simply never occurred to him that he might be accused of a cover-up.


:rolleyes:

Bip Roberts
02-04-2008, 03:27 PM
I think it's possible that Goodell was concerned about them being leaked to the press, and that it simply never occurred to him that he might be accused of a cover-up. Why would the Pats have given him anything other than more of the same tapes like the one from the Jets game?

Does he not own a safe or a lock box?

NFL is full of problems if they cant keep some tapes with out them slipping out.

Bip Roberts
02-04-2008, 03:28 PM
Actually, Goodell has said what was destroyed, it's just that no one believes him. But I guess if you don't believe him, it doesn't matter what he said.

I think there is plenty of reasons for him to lie.

blumj
02-04-2008, 03:55 PM
I think there is plenty of reasons for him to lie.

Unless there aren't any. You have to assume that there was something to cover up in the first place to assume that he's lying.

Bip Roberts
02-04-2008, 04:05 PM
Unless there aren't any. You have to assume that there was something to cover up in the first place to assume that he's lying.

There is a lot more evidence to say the whole story wasnt told. Its hard for me to understand the reason of destroying something that scandalous if it wasnt a big deal.

traderumor
02-04-2008, 07:35 PM
I think it's possible that Goodell was concerned about them being leaked to the press, and that it simply never occurred to him that he might be accused of a cover-up. Why would the Pats have given him anything other than more of the same tapes like the one from the Jets game?I'll try that on law enforcement when they ask me why I shredded certain documents.

WMR
02-04-2008, 07:37 PM
I think it's possible that Goodell was concerned about them being leaked to the press, and that it simply never occurred to him that he might be accused of a cover-up.

:lol: :laugh: :lol:

I didn't know Roger Goodell was mentally retarded.

Does he have multiple personalities? Not sure how else evidence in his possession could be "leaked to the press." He could gain access to a lock-box at many upstanding lending institutions in NYC, I imagine.

WMR
02-04-2008, 07:38 PM
I'll try that on law enforcement when they ask me why I shredded certain documents.

Try that and you'll be sharing a cell with Mercury! :laugh: :lol:

Hoosier Red
02-04-2008, 07:53 PM
Really? I've never heard that? I've heard the NFL pension fund is actually well funded and run by sound financial managers, as opposed to the MLB pension fund, which is allegedly grossly underfunded. I've never heard that the union told them to take the money out.

I think the NFLPA generally does a good job by its players. It takes a lot of criticism because it doesn't take the adversarial stance toward management that the MLBPA takes, but it's done a great job of getting tons of money flowing into players' pockets. I just think some of these old timers mistakenly believe that they would get more money if they had a Donald Fehr leading the charge. But I don't think that's true. Retired NFL players still start drawing pensions at age 55, 7 years before MLB players start drawing pensions, at which point they've often received hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits before MLB players have even seen a dime. They have a good pension fund that can serve them well if they manage their investments wisely. But instead they're slamming the union because a number of them have been wasteful.

Of course the end result of this is that it is just pushing Upshaw to take their wrongheaded criticisms to heart, which means the union will probably pull a boneheaded MLB-style move and strike just because they haven't had a good strike in a while.

The article in last weeks SI is a great one about the old timer's battle with Upshaw. Very fair and well balanced.
The point I really appreciated was the Baseball players' old timers have a better pension because they bargained better back in the 70's and 80's. Marvin Miller won every strike. And everytime, the old timer's pensions got fatter because they were current players at the time.
The only real NFL strike was the '87 lockout(or was it a strike I can't remember) and even in the end a fair number of players crossed the picket line by week 4.
By that point the NFL never would catch up to the pensions baseball players were making.

DTCromer
02-04-2008, 11:38 PM
I think the biggest problem is everyone's infatuation with hoping the Patriots losing 1 out of 19 games.

Yachtzee
02-05-2008, 10:45 AM
The article in last weeks SI is a great one about the old timer's battle with Upshaw. Very fair and well balanced.
The point I really appreciated was the Baseball players' old timers have a better pension because they bargained better back in the 70's and 80's. Marvin Miller won every strike. And everytime, the old timer's pensions got fatter because they were current players at the time.
The only real NFL strike was the '87 lockout(or was it a strike I can't remember) and even in the end a fair number of players crossed the picket line by week 4.
By that point the NFL never would catch up to the pensions baseball players were making.

I just checked out the article. Thanks for the heads up.

I thought it was interesting that Marvin Miller criticizes the NFLPA because they don't have a professional labor lawyer running the union. Yet Upshaw has done an excellent job of getting the players concessions from the owners in spite of themselves. I doubt Miller would have been so successful if he had had his players crossing the picket line like Upshaw did. And decertifying the union to get around the NFL's antitrust exemption and suing for free agency was a shrewd move on Upshaw's part. He probably got more from the owners that way than he would have if he would have if he had relied on players to hold a strike. The NFLPA under Upshaw's leadership has gotten players a 60% cut of the NFL's huge revenues. That's a lot better than some unions with professional labor lawyers have gotten. And Upshaw has gotten that without canceling a Super Bowl.

The article also makes it quite clear that Upshaw pushed players in the '70s and '80s to save their money, but it was the players who wanted their money now. They also don't like it that the leader of the Union, who doesn't legally represent them anyway, seems to get more from the owners by having dinner with them than by calling them names.

I did find the article lacking in that it was long on anecdotes from both sides, but short on facts. The writer even admits that the facts presented by both sides made his head spin. It would have been nice if his editors would have helped him out with a numbers guy or had someone who understood the numbers write a sidebar.