SportsCenter and OTL bringing back Spygate (live, 9AM)

JayMags71

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dcmissle said:
When you have the makings of a decent lawsuit.
I don't read garbage, so I have read neither article today. What factual assertions in either article are demonstrably false? Of those, which can you prove were made with actual malice? Then, how do you tie them to the NFL?
What about a defamation lawsuit?
 

lexrageorge

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When I say Kraft should be prepared to go nuclear, here is what I mean:
 
- Kraft should not under any circumstances agree to cooperate in another "investigation" unless the Commissioner or the NFL can bring to him hard evidence of something having actually occurred.  Media reports quoting unnamed "former coaches and employees" do not count.  Kraft should not give in on this point.
 
- If the NFL proceeds to launch its own "investigation" anyway, Kraft should launch the "ESPN report in context" web site and use every opportunity to openly ridicule Goodell and the league office. 
 
- Be prepared to launch a lawsuit if the NFL attempts to punish the team or Belichick for anything coming out of these reports. 
 
- Be ready to air every bit of dirty laundry if the NFL still decides a punishment is needed.  
 
This is still a hypothetical; I think it's more probable than not that Kraft puts out a statement decrying the accusations in the ESPN report but also exclaims support for Goodell and the league, and the noise eventually blows over to some degree (it will never go away completely).  But there is an underlying presumption of rational actor in that prediction that may not be valid.  
 

PBDWake

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This is fucking awful. I can't believe that any level of impartiality went into this report whatsoever. Imagine the conversations.
Coach: "And get this, the Pats steal our play sheets that show our plays."
 
Likely response:
ESPN: "Wow, really?"
Coach: "All the time. That's why we made up dummy sheets. To trick them!"
ESPN: "*under breath* Oh man, the clicks this is going to get. *Normal voice* How terrible! Go on..."
 
Actual journalist response
ESPN: "Wow, that's serious. Do you have any proof?"
Coach: "No, but we totally knew it was going on whenever we went in there."
ESPN: "So, it happened multiple times. Did you do anything to try and make sure it didn't happen?"
Coach: "Yeah, dummy sheets! To mess them up real good."
ESPN: "Yeah, but I mean like... Cameras? Counting your sheets and collecting them before you left the locker room? Not giving them out in the locker room? Having an employee watch the locker room to make sure that nobody messed with your sheets? Something that could give you some proof to take to the league?"
Coach: "No, no, that wouldn't have worked. We're talking about guys who are so good at cheating, despite us KNOWING they totally do, and expecting it every time, we never see them actually do it, and they totally still do! Otherwise how would we lose to them? I mean, they have to cheat to win!"
 

Archer1979

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I love the consistency.  Teams can't beat the Pats on the field and it's because the Pats cheat.  The NFL can't beat Brady in court, so its time to tell everyone that the Pats cheat even more than before.
 
Sore losers mentality.
 

dcmissle

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JayMags71 said:
What about a defamation lawsuit?
I gave you some of the elements of a defamation lawsuit. I don't see the goods.

This stuff costs you millions of dollars and has downside. I can think of more productive use of millions of dollars.

1. Hire somebody like former FBI Director Robert Mueller to conduct a bottom up assessment of team policies and practices to make sure (I) you are not inadvertently doing anything that could lead to discipline and (II) you can show that if necessary.

More importantly, the mere presence of somebody like this at the ready would scare off dirtbags like Kensil, Pash and Wells, who would not dare fuck with somebody like Mueller. Make a big show of it -- it's like having a splendid German Shepard on your porch. Hell, I think Mueller is with a law firm that does work for the Pats.

2. The PR operation needs to be taken out of house. Bob should persuade some well healed associates to form a mini ESPN devoted to debunking the nonsense. Needs to be independently funded. Bring top PR people on board. Really take the offensive -- including bringing scrutiny to questionable calls during the season. Make it independent in the same way ESPN is independent.

You might say, this will cost $10 million at least. So will a lame defamation lawsuit -- if it gets past a motion to dismiss.
 

steveluck7

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If...team leaves dummy play sheets behind
And...Pats steal dummy play sheets
And...Pats still whip team
 
did the team actually use the dummy play sheets??
 

ipol

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I'm just going with the, "Your tears of jealousy are salty and delicious," line. One FaceBook doofus had the temerity to respond with some phlegm specked cheaterly drivel so I advised him to call ESPNFL since he had the same amount of "evidence" as the rest of their unnamed sources. I'm embracing the full heel routine.
 

E5 Yaz

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What would actually be interesting would be if someone connected at ESPN broke the wall of silence about how they approach covering the Patriots. Unlikely to happen, and maybe there's nothing there, but I'd like to hear the story planning perspectives* about things like this.
 
 
 
*And, no, posting an imaginary conversation isn't worth the time to post it
 

bankshot1

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So what was the spark that lit the fire in Van Nata to revisit SPYGATE as Deflategate dominated the news in May 2015?
 
Has Van Natta explained why he decided to re-open an 8 year old story?
 

E5 Yaz

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bankshot1 said:
So what was the spark that lit the fire in Van Nata to revisit SPYGATE as Deflategate dominated the news in May 2015?
 
Has Van Natta explained why he decided to re-open an 8 year old story?
 
I would imagine that a look back at the older situation in the middle of the second storm is a decent rationale for a story to coincide with the start of the season. It's a pretty easy call; SI did the same thing
 

yecul

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Controversies are big money at this time. They have air to fill and ads to sell. People are interested in this stuff and probably most important are engaged (calls, comments, clicks). ESPN has zero interest in laying things to bed with or without the NFLs incent
 

Eddie Jurak

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steveluck7 said:
If...team leaves dummy play sheets behind
And...Pats steal dummy play sheets
And...Pats still whip team
 
did the team actually use the dummy play sheets??
I think what really happened is this:
 
1. Pats swipe playsheets.
2. Pats alter playsheets.
3. Pats sneak back in and return altered playsheets.
4. During the game players with the altered playsheets try to run the wrong plays, leading to illegal formations, busted plays, etc. One QB called a timeout because he his playsheet said to punt on 1st and 10 at the Pats 35.  
 
Simple as that.  And the beauty of it is that no team would want to admit being that stupid, so the Pats thought they could get away with this forever. But opposing teams cleverly thought that if they claimed to be the ones making fake playsheets, they could anonymously tell the story to Don Van Natta without losing face.
 

RG33

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brandonchristensen said:
They need to buy a bunch of dummy security cams and put them everywhere in the visitors clubhouse. Put them under the visiting bench. Put them everywhere.
This was awesome. Thanks for the laugh.
 

DJnVa

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I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around a few things:
 
1--If there were rumors about NE swiping play sheets or whatever they were, why would teams continue to leave them around?
 
2--If teams were convinced the Pats were swiping sheets and that's why they won, and then they left dummy ones, why were the Pats still winning?
 
3--Instead of dummy sheets, why not just, you know, not leave anything?
 

soxhop411

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DrewDawg said:
I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around a few things:
 
1--If there were rumors about NE swiping play sheets or whatever they were, why would teams continue to leave them around?
 
2--If teams were convinced the Pats were swiping sheets and that's why they won, and then they left dummy ones, why were the Pats still winning?
 
3--Instead of dummy sheets, why not just, you know, not leave anything?
Or do a sting and catch them in the act. If the pats were so called "repeat offenders"
 

canderson

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Wouldn't statute of limitations prevent any investigation?

Also, NBA needs to start soon so ESPN can again be dedicated to LeBron.
 

slamminsammya

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This is so depressing. For the first time, all this bull crap is making me feel less likely to want to watch the games, even the Pats games. I can't imagine I am the only one, and that is not good for business.
 

Leather

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Or, like, lodge a formal complaint with the league at a time not 8 years after the fact.
 

JayMags71

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dcmissle said:
I gave you some of the elements of a defamation lawsuit. I don't see the goods.
This stuff costs you millions of dollars and has downside. I can think of more productive use of millions of dollars.
1. Hire somebody like former FBI Director Robert Mueller to conduct a bottom up assessment of team policies and practices to make sure (I) you are not inadvertently doing anything that could lead to discipline and (II) you can show that if necessary.
More importantly, the mere presence of somebody like this at the ready would scare off dirtbags like Kensil, Pash and Wells, who would not dare fuck with somebody like Mueller. Make a big show of it -- it's like having a splendid German Shepard on your porch. Hell, I think Mueller is with a law firm that does work for the Pats.
2. The PR operation needs to be taken out of house. Bob should persuade some well healed associates to form a mini ESPN devoted to debunking the nonsense. Needs to be independently funded. Bring top PR people on board. Really take the offensive -- including bringing scrutiny to questionable calls during the season. Make it independent in the same way ESPN is independent.
You might say, this will cost $10 million at least. So will a lame defamation lawsuit -- if it gets past a motion to dismiss.
So you're saying there's a chance.
 

soxhop411

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I mean if you knew they would sneak into the locker room and steal the playbooks, so much so that you put fake ones out. Why not just have someone hide in the room (or have a hidden camera) and catch them.... then you can show video proof to the world that "the pats are cheaterz!!!!" and not this annonomous sources crap
 

Harry Hooper

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canderson said:
Wouldn't statute of limitations prevent any investigation?

Also, NBA needs to start soon so ESPN can again be dedicated to LeBron.
 
Statute od limitations? You're talking about Goodell here, a man who sees no problem with double jeopardy, retroactive application of new policies, increasing penalties upon appeal, and a host of other violations of any proper jurisprudence.
 

Dewy4PrezII

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Without any new information all it amounts to is a pile on. It's the group think mentality akin to kicking the guy in the head as he lays on the sidewalk after a mob has already beaten him to a bloody pulp. I am so done with sports television and radio and I have been for almost a decade.

I can't remember the last time I watched sports center, NESN sports desk (is that still on), or listened to Russo, or the Sports Junkies. I was that guy once, who woke up to sports center, who listened to sports talk radio on the way home from work and spent Sunday mornings watching the sports reporters and any other sports shows I could before NFL pregame shows. But I evolved to the point that I now look for a friendly voice to read instead. I do the same thing with the news, preferring to read from a multitude of different sources that give the facts so I can weed through the garbage and make an informed decision...but sadly people like me are in the minority.

I get a lot of my information for sports here, then seek out injury reports and the like to fill I the blanks.

The world had changed and in order to get viewers and listeners the media must sensationalize every story and right now, patriot hatred is at an all time high. People have short attention spans. They read the headlines and for some strange reason they believe what a proven untrustworthy (as a whole) media spoon feeds them in the headline and the first two lines of a story.
 

notfar

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Rather than file a defamation lawsuit for 10 million dollars, Kraft just needs to say "I will pay anyone at the NFL front office ten million dollars if they bring me proof that the NFL has been railroading my team."
 

Silverdude2167

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slamminsammya said:
This is so depressing. For the first time, all this bull crap is making me feel less likely to want to watch the games, even the Pats games. I can't imagine I am the only one, and that is not good for business.
I did not mind deflate-gate that much. It bothered me but it was new and something to occupy time.
 
But this, now it is just people trying to take down my team for no reason other than jealousy. I am tired of it and it is going to reduce how much joy I get out of the game if it continues. 
 
I am seriously thinking I may check out of the league shortly, and that is too bad.
 
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Silverdude2167 said:
I did not mind deflate-gate that much. It bothered me but it was new and something to occupy time.
 
But this, now it is just people trying to take down my team for no reason other than jealousy. I am tired of it and it is going to reduce how much joy I get out of the game if it continues. 
 
I am seriously thinking I may check out of the league shortly, and that is too bad.
 
Dude, that's pretty much what deflategate was. Jealousy and payback for "getting away with spygate" even though they got hammered for spygate. 
 

Silverdude2167

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MuppetAsteriskTalk said:
 
Dude, that's pretty much what deflategate was. Jealousy and payback for "getting away with spygate" even though they got hammered for spygate. 
Not saying it makes sense and that is what it was, but at least it was something new and I felt fair result could come out in the end (which kinda did).
This is an old rehashing of stuff and apparent baseless reporting that will most likely never be addressed or corrected and just gives the haters more ammo.
 
I am just tired of having to defend the team at every turn.
 

DJnVa

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You ever think some FA might say "Fuck it, I'll go to Team X instead, I don't want to be accused of cheating"?
 
I don't think so, but I guess I could see that pop up in "recruiting".
 

E5 Yaz

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"I have this theory, I refuse to be brainwashed by the NFL, based on so many reports, so many league sources, so many unnamed sources, that just aren’t true," Bruschi said on the "Dale and Holley Show." "I refuse to be brainwashed by what they release or what they say through unnamed sources. "So what do I say to Patriots fans? I say refuse to be brainwashed. Believe what you see on the screen. When you see them win, when you see them make plays, when you see them win the Super Bowl last year, that’s what you need to believe."
"Today, gosh, I’m just tired of being angry, tired of having to defend all the time. I just go back to how secure I am of what happened. I read it and hear what some of the other players are saying. Let me be completely honest with you, I was reading some of it and I just chuckled at some of the things that some of the anonymous players and executives were saying. … It was like, ‘Man, no wonder you lost against us. You were thinking about so many other things.’”
http://espn.go.com/blog/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4784943/tedy-bruschis-message-to-patriots-fans-refuse-to-be-brainwashed
 

Eddie Jurak

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I didn't read the shitty hatchet job article, only the excerpts quoted in various places.

One question: Were the Patriots given any opportunity to comment on the various accusations before publication? I haven't seen anything about that and am wondering whether they declined to comment or were not given the opportunity.
 

riboflav

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Eddie Jurak said:
I didn't read the shitty hatchet job article, only the excerpts quoted in various places.

One question: Were the Patriots given any opportunity to comment on the various accusations before publication? I haven't seen anything about that and am wondering whether they declined to comment or were not given the opportunity.
 
Yes and you might be surprised to learn that BB, in addition to others, declined to comment. (This was posted upthread).
 

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Eddie Jurak said:
I didn't read the shitty hatchet job article, only the excerpts quoted in various places.

One question: Were the Patriots given any opportunity to comment on the various accusations before publication? I haven't seen anything about that and am wondering whether they declined to comment or were not given the opportunity.
They included a partial statement, leaving out the part about ESPN's recent apology.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/09/08/patriots-full-response-to-latest-espn-report/
 

lexrageorge

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Eddie Jurak said:
I didn't read the shitty hatchet job article, only the excerpts quoted in various places.

One question: Were the Patriots given any opportunity to comment on the various accusations before publication? I haven't seen anything about that and am wondering whether they declined to comment or were not given the opportunity.
They really didn't get a great number of people to comment on the record:
 

... Spygate is the centerpiece of a long, secret history between Goodell's NFL, which declined comment for this story, ...
 

... Friesz, who did not respond to messages to comment for this story, told Walsh ...
 

... Belichick, Adams and Dee declined to comment for this story through the Patriots, who made several officials available to talk but not others. ...
 
Mangini, who is currently the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers and who declined to comment for this story,...

 



... Tannenbaum, who declined comment, told team ...
 



... Walsh, who along with Levy declined to comment for this story ...
 



...  Walsh said that Daboll, who declined through the Patriots to comment for this story, drew a series of diagrams -- an account Daboll later denied to league investigators....
 



...   Wells, who declined to comment,...
 

That's some crack reporting by the folks in Bristol.
 

WayBackVazquez

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Eddie Jurak said:
I didn't read the shitty hatchet job article, only the excerpts quoted in various places.

One question: Were the Patriots given any opportunity to comment on the various accusations before publication? I haven't seen anything about that and am wondering whether they declined to comment or were not given the opportunity.
 
Yes, Robyn Glaser was one of the only people who spoke on the record.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I'm quite looking forward to my first opportunity to utter "kiss the rings" and every variation thereof. Need to photoshop Pats gear on that classic stereotypical Yankee fan pic. If you can't beat them, at least induce as many Patriot-rage heart attacks as possible.
 
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BigSoxFan said:
I know that Harrison and Wilson were both out. Specifically remember Wilson getting injured during the Muhsin Muhammad TD.
 
Yes, that's what I thought. Makes this quote pretty pathetic.
 
 
 
The Panthers now believe that their practices had been taped by the Patriots before Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. "Our players came in after that first half and said it was like [the Patriots] were in our huddle," a Panthers source says. During halftime -- New England led 14-10 -- Carolina's offensive coordinator, Dan Henning, changed game plans because of worries the Patriots had too close a read on Carolina's schemes. And, in the second half, the Panthers moved the ball at will before losing 32-29 on a last-second field goal. "Do I have any tape to prove they cheated?" this source says. "No. But I'm convinced they did it."
 
Geez I wonder if the Pats losing half their secondary to injury might have had something to do with it?
 

Rheal With Cheese

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MuppetAsteriskTalk said:
 
Yes, that's what I thought. Makes this quote pretty pathetic.
 
 
Geez I wonder if the Pats losing half their secondary to injury might have had something to do with it?
Once they could make some half adjustments, the Panthers moved the ball at will so much in the second half that they even tied a record for points in the third quarter of a Super Bowl. Which was zero points.
 

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soxhop411 said:
Well.. He is not long for ESPN, since he went against the "shield"
I'm of the opinion that ESPN uses Bruschi, Reiss and other ex-Patriots for plausible deniability. They can point to them to pretend they cover both sides of the debate while knowing that everyone outside New England will discard them as Patriot's homers.
 

garzooma

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So are the Patriots still filming signals? -- from the approved locations, of course.  Maybe they can invite the media on Thursday to where they're doing this -- taking advantage of the fact that the entire Football world is watching to point out that it's totally allowed!
 

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SeoulSoxFan said:
 
@JimmyJohnson “@RearAdBsBlog: Was 'Spygate' overblown?”yes quite a few teams did this for years
 
*
 
 
Seeing that -- and Johnson's continued pooh-poohing of the "scandals" -- made me think of what owners could possibly be sources for the ESPN piece. So I took a shot on Google
 
This one isn’t easy because Jones has achieved so much, in business, in sports and in merging the two. He transformed the Cowboys, a moribund team losing $1 million a month in 1989, into North America’s most valuable sports franchise now worth $3.2 billion. From scratch, he built arguably the world’s most spectacular stadium, home to last April’s Final Four and next January’s first national collegiate championship game. But his greatest accomplishment may be the thing that is hardest to quantify: his visionary leadership for the NFL over the past quarter-century. Not only did he force the league to change the way its team sponsorship policy, he has helped grow its popularity, influence and wealth. By “growing the pie,” as he likes to say, Jones’ fellow owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell would tell you he wins that Super Bowl every year.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2014/09/04/interview-with-espn-magazines-don-van-natta-jr-the-man-who-profiled-jerry-jones/
 

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jimbobim

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Florio appears to be pissed that NBC might have to address the ESPN story on NBC's Thursday broadcast. 
 
And ESPN should have provided more details about the situation in its story, instead of creating the impression that someone from the NFL surreptitiously changed Martz’s words in order to stave off a Congressional investigation. In a story that already stretched beyond 10,000 words, a paragraph explaining that: (1) Martz’s statement was published in 2008; (2) the text of it hasn’t changed since; and (3) Martz never said “boo” about it at any time since the statement was published would have been a simple addition.
In fairness to the story and to all parties involved, it’s a simple addition that should have been made.
Maybe ESPN will make the change now. Right after it changes the story that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs were two pounds under the 12.5 PSI minimum.
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/09/08/martzs-2008-statement-hasnt-changed/
 

dcmissle

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JayMags71 said:
I am saying be prepared.

I think nothing comes out of today's waste dump -- but if Kraft does not believe that they won't take another run at him, he is a lost cause. All the key people are still in place. The only reasonable assumption is that they WILL do so -- unless you have a sufficient deterrent.

Being in a reactive mode is a loser's game. The deck is stacked against the team legally and PR wise. The minute they open a case, you are done. You have to create the disincentive in advance.

I out two ideas on the table. A lawsuit is not one of fhem. In fact. It would only make things worse.