Many of you read my recent article entitled, "Senator Specter has to Stop", and it got some great debate going. Since writing that article, I have done a complete 180 on the issue. Based on some of the comments that Matt Walsh made in his NY Times interview, the investigation does deserve to be continued, and Pete Rozelle is turning over in his grave.
Take a look at the interview Matt Walsh gave to the New York Times. Some of his answers imply that Belichick is lying about his "misinterpretation of the rules." For example, take a look at this excerpt:
Q. And you were told not to tell anyone else?
A. It was implied to me that this is something that should be kept very quiet. And that further got reinforced when we started discussing our alibis or the reasons that we would give to other teams for why I needed to be positioned where I was. Or if somebody questioned what I was filming and why I was filming in that direction, what my answer or explanation to them would be.
Q. What were some of those?
A. For example, somebody saw me filming off toward the opposing team’s sidelines, when there wasn’t even a play on the field occurring, in our home stadium. Because the only scoreboard in the old Foxboro Stadium was directly behind me, and it’s typical for video guys to shoot a shot of the scoreboard before shooting the play. My reason would be, 1. I’m just going down to shoot the chains. Shoot the down-and-distance marker on the sideline and the chains, since I don’t have a scoreboard to use, that will take the place of that.
Listen to what he is saying here everyone. Basically he is stating that the video taping was a deliberate act, he was told not to tell anyone, and that he was to have alibis ready of anyone asked him a question about it. This is in direct contradiction to Bill Belichick's "misinterpretation of the rules" excuse. Matt Walsh goes on to state that he had a conversation with a Patriots quarterback and when he asked the quarterback if the video taping gave them an advantage, the quarterback replied, at least 75% of the time.
Clearly there is more here than Roger Goodell is admitting to. Walsh made it clear that his team felt they got an advantage from this, and Belichick may in fact be lying about his knowledge of the process and the rules. If this is all the league can do with its investigation, then maybe the Senator is justified to investigate further, because this does call the integrity of the game into question.
And if the integrity of the game is questioned, all I can do is look up to the sky and apologize to Pete Rozelle, because he is rolling over in his grave right now.
Pete Rozelle was the definition of the integrity of football. Everything he did in the development of the game was to preserve the integrity of the sport. Right in the beginning, he went to work by convincing the wealthy owners that pooling the revenues together was for the greater good of the game. This was not an easy task, convincing Art Rooney and Wellington Mara, and the rest of them that they should share their revenues with other teams. But Pete was able to sell them that by making all the teams competitive it would serve the greater good of the game.
Pete Rozelle was the one who insisted on a detailed injury report before it was a rule, convincing the teams that full disclosure of injury reports kept the integrity of the game. With full disclosure, he believed, this kept the trust of the public. Without integrity in the game, Pete Rozelle said, we had no game. He suspended stars Paul Hornug and Alex Karras in the 1960s for gambling. Another attempt to keep the integrity of the sport.
He brokered the merger of the AFL and NFL, keeping the teams working together in harmony to build a bigger and better league.
The Super Bowl is what it is today, primarily due to Pete Rozelle.
Everything the man did prior to his retirement in 1989, everything he did in his office was for the betterment of the NFL. He loved the game, and reveled in it until his death.
Now, thanks to the deception of the New England Patriots, there is the potential of that all coming undone. As this investigation goes deeper and deeper, we may learn things that cause us to not trust the NFL the way we have in the past. And like Commissioner Rozelle said, without integrity, we have no game.
Sorry Commissioner, that you have to see all of the work you have done right on the edge of coming undone. You don't deserve it.