Those lucky enough to witness Senator Arlen Specter’s half-hour rambling and contradiction-filled press conference this morning might think that Spygate has been resuscitated just before its demise.
Specter said it would be up to the fans and media whether or not an independent investigation into the matter happens. If it does, it won’t just be the Patriots in hot water any more.
The great majority of Specter’s anger came not from what Walsh had to say, but how the situation was handled way back when in September. This time around the NFL made sure that everyone saw every second of the videotapes that were turned over. Shockingly, no one was actually murdered on the footage!
Specter would have you believe something far more sinister has taken place. What exactly that is, I’m still guessing.
The Patriots admitted they’ve been doing this all along. They said, and Matt Walsh confirmed, they never used it in the same game (which would be the ultimate offense in terms of cheating). That isn’t good enough for Spector.
He specifically brought up the 2004 season, where the Pats lost to the Steelers in October, then beat them in the AFC Championship game. Okay, simple fix. Bill Cowher, did you change your defensive signals between those two games? Cowher seems like a pretty smart guy to me.
I think there’s a pretty good chance measures were taken to prevent the Patriots from knowing exactly what defense the Steelers would be in the second they called it.
Does Specter really think that the Steelers were so naïve, especially in a game as big as the AFC Championship game? Clearly the Senator knows little-to-nothing about football and has demonstrated that over and over in his press conference.
Specter said he found Matt Walsh to be completely credible. Walsh clearly stated that the Patriots never used their signals taping in the same game.
Yet Specter was still concerned that the tapes were being used for just that based on what Mark “Go Broncos” Schlereth of ESPN’s NFL Live said yesterday. So Specter either a) didn’t find Walsh credible on that single point or b) finds Schlereth to be more credible on something he has no firsthand knowledge of.
Schlereth was already taken to task by Pro Football Talk for his idiotic comments on Tuesday, and what a surprise it is to find Specter cherry-picking those exact statements as reasons why an independent investigation should happen.
A Senator using comments made on ESPN while banging his fist on the podium? Something does not seem right about this, especially when much of NFL Live is spent having fake arguments to gain viewers.
Specter also seemed outraged that Matt Walsh passed along info about what he saw Marshall Faulk doing at the Rams walk-thru, even though there was no videotape of it. That wasn’t good enough for Spector.
He even brought up David Halberstam’s book on Bill Belichick, Education of a Coach, saying how concerned Belichick was with Faulk prior to the Super Bowl. Specter admitted he hadn’t read the book himself which leads me to believe he had some staffer without a drop of football knowledge do it for him.
Well, I’ve read the book. The reason that Belichick and the Patriots were concerned with Faulk is because they discovered that Faulk was the key to the Rams OFFENSE. It had nothing to do with Special Teams.
"Marshall Faulk is going to be returning kicks!? Stop the press, we need to completely reevaluate how our defense is going to play in the Super Bowl!"
This is just one of many instances in Specter’s press conference where it doesn’t seem like he quite knows what he’s talking about. He could’ve given 90% of his speech without even talking to Matt Walsh. It almost seemed like the footage on the tapes Walsh provided went completely unnoticed by Specter.
He was still harping on how the NFL shouldn’t have destroyed the original tapes in September.
News flash, Arlen: They had the same thing on them as the tapes Walsh turned over that you and everyone else in the NFL-loving world saw yesterday.
The Steelers owner and coach say Spygate is over? Not good enough for Specter. He has a responsibility to the fans. And the owner doesn’t? If anyone got screwed by the Patriots taping practices it was him.
Luckily, one reporter had the gall to ask the Senator about his connection to Comcast and question how impartial he could be when the NFL and one of his top campaign donors are currently mired in a law suit.
The Senator dismissed that question with annoyance, saying that though they were a campaign contributor ,no one had ever questioned his integrity before. Well I am questioning it now and I’m not alone.
If Spector is serious about an independent investigation, hold on to your hats NFL Fans. We know at least the Jets would be included as well since Walsh fingered them as doing the same shenanigans.
Is anyone in the “real media” going to jump on that? Where’s the outrage that the Jets were taping signals as well? Oh that’s right, they’re not good.
There are rumors that the Patriots also have tapes of opponents stealing their signals as well. If Specter wants to open this can of worms it’s going to be a headache for a lot more people than just the Pats and their fans.
In fact, the Patriots are probably the only ones who wouldn’t be facing more trouble since they’ve already been punished.
What happens when evidence is uncovered of the Jets shooting the Patriots coaches in 2001 and beyond? Will they receive the same penalty as the Patriots? What if other tapes surface as evidence of other teams doing it? Will they all face the same fine?
We might not even have a first round in the draft because everyone will have lost their first-round picks.
Specter can harp all he wants about how poorly the NFL handled the situation. Goodell should’ve made clear from the start that he took the fact that this had been going on since 2000 into account when he handed down the punishment. That was his mistake.
But if this issue goes into the hands of an independent investigator it won’t be just the Patriots who take the fall. The Jets will be right behind them and after that it’s anyone’s guess as to how many teams will follow.