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tsylvester

Spygate to Deflategate: Inside what split the NFL and Patriots apart

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This is a pretty good read on the mess that is the NFL right now. I know, many are sick of gate this gate that, but the inner turmoil could be a sign of things to come. Afterall, once you are at the top, there is no where else to go but down...

 

http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/13533995/split-nfl-new-england-patriots-apart

 

"He told me, 'The league doesn't need this. We're asking you to come out with a couple lines exonerating us and saying we did our due diligence.'"

Mike Martz, ex-Rams coach, about commissioner Roger Goodell

 

 

 

 

 

 

His bosses were furious. Roger Goodell knew it. So on April 1, 2008, the NFL commissioner convened an emergency session of the league's spring meeting at The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. Attendance was limited to each team's owner and head coach. A palpable anger and frustration had rumbled inside club front offices since the opening Sunday of the 2007 season. During the first half of the New England Patriots' game against the New York Jets at Giants Stadium, a 26-year-old Patriots video assistant named Matt Estrella had been caught on the sideline, illegally videotaping Jets coaches' defensive signals, beginning the scandal known as Spygate.

Behind closed doors, Goodell addressed what he called "the elephant in the room" and, according to sources at the meeting, turned over the floor to Robert Kraft. Then 66, the billionaire Patriots owner stood and apologized for the damage his team had done to the league and the public's confidence in pro football. Kraft talked about the deep respect he had for his 31 fellow owners and their shared interest in protecting the NFL's shield. Witnesses would later say Kraft's remarks were heartfelt, his demeanor chastened. For a moment, he seemed to well up.

 

Then the Patriots' coach, Bill Belichick, the cheating program's mastermind, spoke. He said he had merely misinterpreted a league rule, explaining that he thought it was legal to videotape opposing teams' signals as long as the material wasn't used in real time. Few in the room bought it. Belichick said he had made a mistake -- "my mistake."

 

 

 

 

Interviews by ESPN The Magazine and Outside the Lines with more than 90 league officials, owners, team executives and coaches, current and former Patriots coaches, staffers and players, and reviews of previously undisclosed private notes from key meetings, show that Spygate is the centerpiece of a long, secret history between Goodell's NFL, which declined comment for this story, and Kraft's Patriots. The diametrically opposed way the inquiries were managed by Goodell -- and, more importantly, perceived by his bosses -- reveals much about how and why NFL punishment is often dispensed. The widespread perception that Goodell gave the Patriots a break on Spygate, followed by the NFL's stonewalling of a potential congressional investigation into the matter, shaped owners' expectations of what needed to be done by 345 Park Ave. on Deflategate.

It was, one owner says, time for "a makeup call."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I always felt that the punishment for deflategate was influenced by a feeling of enough is enough. How many times were the Pats going to be allowed to get caught cheating without a proper punishment? Although not a major offense, this whole thing had the feel of a make up call and now the reports coming out reflect exactly that feeling.

 

The Pats will be forever viewed as cheaters and their championships should all be marked with a * in the history books.

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