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Dan Shaughnessy

Dark forces at play

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Dan Shaughnessy
Globe Columnist / February 24, 2008

Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm a man of wealth and taste. I've been around for a long, long year. Stolen many man's soul and faith.

My name is Deep Video. I also go by Mr. Applegate, Lucifer, and Mephistophilis. I know stuff. Used to work with the Patriots. Shot a lot of film. Recorded a lot of telephone conversations. Ate a lot of devil dogs. Spent my days and nights lyin' and laughin'. Laughin' and lyin'. I've got the goods. I'll give you the goods. Maybe I'll sell you the goods. But I need to know that you'll never sue, never prosecute.

It's been a long career. In this incarnation, I'm only 31 years old, but, like I said, I've been around for a long, long time. Centuries. I did a lot of things in my earlier lives . . . Killed the Czar and his ministers . . . held a general's rank when the blitzkrieg raged . . . watched the glee while your kings and queens fought for 10 decades . . . laid traps for troubadours.

The Rolling Stones wrote that stuff about me 40 years ago. Keith and Mick. Good guys. They had sympathy for me. That's all I ask now that I'm a person of interest to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and that annoying senator, Arlen Specter.

If you're a Boston sports fan, you should know my name. Bill Belichick was hardly the first guy to cut a deal with me. There were many, many others. Babe Ruth. Red Auerbach. Bill Russell. Bobby Orr. Derek Sanderson. Larry Bird. Tom Brady. Kevin Millar. Pokey Reese. Keith Foulke. Curt Schilling. They all said they would sell their soul for a championship. They all delivered. And they all collected their crowns.

Don't call me Doc Rivers, Dr. J, Dr. Gill, or Dr. Bill Morgan. I'm Doctor Faustus.

The fans always wanted to believe it was on the level. Best team wins and all that garbage. No. Not once. It was all me, behind the curtain, wielding my powers. Every time.

Taping a Super Bowl walkthrough is kid stuff. Hardly even worth my talent.

I was the one who tipped off the Red Sox when that orphan kid, Ruth, was kicking butt in Baltimore. He was just a teenager. Reminded me of myself when I was a youngster. Yeah, they always said the Babe had a little of the devil in him.

Then there was my man, Red. He was just like Belichick. He'd do anything to win. And I mean anything. Red had me around to turn up the heat in the visitors' locker room. He ordered me to shut off the hot water in the refs' room if the zebras weren't good to him. He put me to work on the parquet late at night. I made sure only the Celtics knew where to find the dead spots on the floor.

I was the one who made the ball take funny bounces to help the Celtics. Remember that Frank Selvy shot that rolled around the rim and out in the seventh game of the 1962 Finals? I put Don Nelson's shot through the hoop in Game 7 in the Forum in 1969. I got the Warriors to take Joe Barry Carroll when they could have settled for Robert Parish and Kevin McHale. I was the one who told the Suns it was a good idea to ship Dennis Johnson to the Celtics for Rick Robey.

The Red Sox turned their backs on me when they let go of my man, Babe, and I had my revenge for more than 80 years. They found out what happens when you break your word with me. I thought about maybe never letting them win, but I'm a softie at heart, so I turned my wrath on Steinbrenner and Sons in 2004. You saw what happened. That Dave Roberts steal in Game 4? It was a steal, all right. I was stealing signs for the Sox. We knew Mariano Rivera was going home when Roberts broke for second. It made all the difference.

My work with the Patriots was especially gratifying. We suckered so many people for so many years. They actually thought it was Brady's clutch performance and Belichick's brilliance against the Rams in New Orleans that night. But everybody on the inside knew it was me. Taping walkthroughs. Stealing coaches' signals. Secretly recording conversations of the Rams, Steelers, Jets, and everybody else they played back in 2001. I was the one in charge of poisoning our opponents' mashed potatoes on the Saturday nights before games.

That's the way it's done, don't you know? It's not the Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, and Patriots vs. other teams. It's larger voices. Satanic verses sing loudest.

If the Patriots still had me on board this year, they'd have won again. But no. They let me go. Then they got sloppy and this kid, Matt Estrella, got caught. Now that nitwit Specter has his nose out of joint and all you-know-what is breaking loose. Everybody's calling me to find out how we used to do it in the good old days when I worked in Foxborough.

Make a deal with me and you can learn the truth. Otherwise, I'll never give it up. Not even if hell freezes over.

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at dshaughnessy@globe.com.

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