Eight years after the New England Patriots were disciplined for the Spygate controversy, the Seattle Seahawks were reportedly warned by multiple teams to take extra precautions with regard to their practices prior to Super Bowl XLIX.
According to Greg Bishop, Michael Rosenberg and Thayer Evans of SI.com, several teams contacted the Seahawks prior to New England's thrilling 28-24 win with words of wisdom about how to ensure the Pats would not gain an unfair advantage.
CBS Sports' Will Brinson added another note from the SI.com report:
Will Brinson @WillBrinson
Airport spies? @SInow has another big Patriots story today: http://t.co/67aYEprEay http://t.co/FmYWWDrLH52015-9-8 15:55:50
That led to the Seahawks hiring extra security personnel, who investigated the Arizona State University campus and checked for any forms of suspicious activity.
Nothing out of the ordinary was discovered, and the Pats ultimately came out on top in one of the most thrilling Super Bowls of all time.
The Patriots are under the microscope now more than ever before on the heels of the Deflategate situation and four-game suspension of quarterback Tom Brady, which was subsequently nullified.
The first hint of foul play involving New England came to the forefront in 2007 when then-New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini brought Spygate to the league's attention and got Patriots head coach Bill Belichick into trouble with the NFL.
Per ESPN.com's Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward believed it dated back as far as the Pats' 2002 AFC Championship Game win over the Steelers: "Oh, they knew. They were calling our stuff out. They knew a lot of our calls. There's no question some of their players were calling out some of our stuff."
Suspicion is clearly rampant when it comes to the Patriots, and stories such as the one involving the Seahawks truly speaks to that fact.
Aside from the initial Spygate situation, very little hard evidence has come to light in terms of New England engaging in wrongdoing.
Perhaps teams are wise to take a cautious approach with the Patriots, but dedicating so much time and effort to stifling the Pats may be the best competitive advantage of all for the defending Super Bowl champs.
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