Gregg Easterbrook, 2/03/08:
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.
NEW YORK — After meeting with former Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh for more than three hours, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said no new information had come to light as a result and indicated that the Spygate scandal had run its course.
Goodell also said he was told by Walsh that the Patriots did not have a videotape of a walk-through practice of the St. Louis Rams before the 2002 Super Bowl. The Boston Herald had previously reported that such a tape existed, but Goodell said Tuesday he was able to verify that there is no such tape.
A man of dignity, who is caught cheating, would resign. Had Belichick shown dignity and resigned, this week’s humiliating media circus in New York over former Patriots videographer Matt Walsh would never have occurred. Spygate would already be behind us. “Cheaters! Cheaters!” the crowd at Radio City Music Hall chanted when New England’s name went on the clock at last month’s draft. “Cheaters! Cheaters!” crowds will chant next fall when New England takes the field, if the cheater Belichick is still running the show. The way to stop that, and bring Spygate to a close, is to suspend the person responsible.
Followed by 200 paragraphs of unconfirmed Matt Walsh allegations, spiced up and reprinted as fact. ESPN should re-fire Gregg Easterbrook, and fine him at least one superfluous ‘g’.
Of course, the kind of “cheating” which got Belichick in trouble, and worse, has been SOP in the NFL for at least 40 years. Easterbrook either doesn’t know this, or doesn’t care, or, most likely, both. Having declared jihad against Belichick, as with his jihad against Al Gore, he must continue. Having believed and promoted the opinions of people with no knowledge of the subject in question and rather obvious agendas, and having been proven foolish for doing so, one must redouble one’s efforts, to distract attention from one’s own credulity and foolishness. Defending sources who have mislead you, defending yourself for foolishly believing them, and disappearing the opinions of people who know better, is Easterbrook’s SOP. At least this time it’s about a silly game this time, rather than the future of the planet.