spygate: the pats' videotaping scandal
the rule they broke
From the NFL's Constitution & Bylaws (article 9): "Any use by any club at any time, from the start to the finish of any game in which such club is a participant, of any communications or information-gathering equipment, other than Polaroid-type cameras or field telephones, shall be prohibited, including without limitation videotape machines, telephone tapping, or bugging devices, or any other form of electronic devices that might aid a team during the playing of a game."
Belichick was fined $500,000 - the maximum allowed by NFL rules - and the Patriots penalized $250,000, plus the loss of their first-round draft pick.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is at the center of Spygate. He took the biggest hit in the wake of the scandal, both in reputation and in the pocketbook ($500,000).
Patriots video assistant Matt Estrella was the man behind the camera. He was stopped by an NFL security official while filming on the sidelines during the Pats' win over the Jets.
Ex-Pats assistant and current Jets coach Eric Mangini, whose relationship with Belichick is strained, is alleged to have tipped off the NFL to the Pats' taping on Sept. 9.
The NFL commissioner handed down the ruling and ordered a total of six tapes destroyed. He said that further sanctions could be handed out should new information come to light.
The ex-Pats video assistant turned over eight stolen video tapes to the NFL that show the signals of opposing teams during six games from 2000-2002. But the smoking gun that some believed Walsh might provide, a tape of the Rams' walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002, was not included.
senator arlen specter
The Pennsylvania Republican arrived to the party late, criticizing Goodell during Super Bowl week for destroying the tapes. He's seeing to it that Spygate won't go away.
Bill Belichick has forever placed Patriots fans on the defensive. The sports community associates the team with cheating. The three Super Bowl wins will forever be under suspicion. (By Bob Ryan, Boston Globe, 5/18/08)
Brian Daboll, the former Pats assistant coach with whom Matt Walsh claims he shared information regarding the Rams' walkthrough practice prior to Super Bowl XXXVI, has no recollection of the conversation, the NFL said yesterday. (Boston Globe)
Arlen Specter said yesterday he wants an independent, impartial investigation into the Patriots' illegal taping practices. Specter stopped short of calling for a congressional investigation, but hinted at the possibility of hearings. (5/14/08)
The Boston Herald's extraordinary front page apology yesterday to the New England Patriots appeared to defuse the threat of a potentially damaging lawsuit by the team over the paper's erroneous report that a Patriots employee videotaped their opponent's practice before the 2002 Super Bowl.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell found no evidence that the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough practice before Super Bowl XXXVI was filmed by the Patriots, as the Boston Herald reported Feb. 2, citing an anonymous source. In today's editions, the Herald acknowledged its error and issued a front-page apology for running the story without adequate verification. (Boston Globe, 5/14/08)
ask reiss > patriots mailbag
As former Patriots employee Matt Walsh meets with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in New York, we offer context on Spygate by answering your questions.
How has this story, and Matt Walsh's involvement, reached this point? Looking back at the decision-making of the key parties, it seems everyone had their hand in keeping it alive. (Boston Globe, 5/11/08)
Former Patriots employee Matt Walsh certified in writing that he will turn over eight stolen videotapes to the NFL that show the signals of opposing teams, but the smoking gun that some believed Walsh might provide - a tape of the Rams' walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 - is not included.
Former Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh will meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on May 13 to talk about New England's videotaping procedures. (Boston Globe, 4/24/08)
Amid news that former Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh is close to reaching an agreement to tell what he knows, the Globe found that Walsh broke league rules under orders from the Patriots by videotaping opponents' signals between 2000 and 2002, and could have video recordings to prove it, which has not been previously reported. (By Bob Hohler, Boston Globe, 3/10/08)
Pats coach Bill Belichick and VP of player personnel Scott Pioli broke their silence regarding taping procedures and suggestions of improper conduct from former employee Matt Walsh, with Belichick saying he "couldn't pick Matt Walsh out of a lineup". (Boston Globe, 2/18/08)
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 others. (Boston Globe, 2/24/08)
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, revealing for the first time the extent of the Patriots' illegal videotaping of opponents, said yesterday the league had seized and destroyed tapes on six games dating to the 2006 season. (Boston Globe, 2/2/08)
Coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 - the maximum allowed by NFL rules - and the Patriots penalized $250,000, plus the loss of at least one draft pick, for illegally filming the signals of New York Jets coaches in the season opener, the league announced last night. (Globe Staff, 9/14/07)
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell dropped the hammer on the head of Bill Belichick last night. The cheatin' camera the Patriots used against the Jets last Sunday is going to cost the coach a half-million dollars and maybe worse . . . a first-round draft pick. (Globe Columnist, 9/14/07)
Spygate. The New England Patriots - cheatin' and competin'. Its still something to chew on, perfect fodder for water-cooler conversation and talk radio. (Boston Globe, 9/19/07)