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HBO shines light on Patriots' shadowy cheating

Everybody knows the Patriots cheated right? Everyone knows they cheated from 2000 until September of 2007. Everyone now knows this, no matter how badly the NFL and its media sycophants want the scandal to go away.

But most of us have lives to worry about, so we've probably been believing what we've heard on the periphery of Matt Walsh's allegations concerning Spygate. Friday night is your opportunity to hear, no holds barred, right from the videographer's mouth, exactly how he helped Bill go from Belichick to Belicheat.

HBO will air an exclusive sit-down interview with Walsh on Real Sports from 8-9 p.m. My friend Andrea Kremer conducts what is, in my opinion, a thorough and candid interview with the man who worked for New England for several years, basically taping opponents' offensive and defensive signals against NFL rules.

By the way, I am doing my radio show from 10-noon on 790 The Ticket Friday. Kremer will be a guest on my show so tune in. If you are in South Florida it is 790 on your AM dial. If you are everywhere else, you can listen online at 790theticket.com.

[Afternoon update: Andrea came on the show and one of the more interesting things she added is that after interviewing Walsh, she called a couple of former Patriots players that she has developed a trust with. They told her they knew of the taping and that it was a benefit to the team. She said that verified for her that Walsh is not simply fabricating this stuff.]

Anyway, in the interview, Walsh tells Kremer the practice began in 2000 in a game against Tampa Bay and then extended to games against division opponents -- namely the Dolphins, Jets and Bills. Then, it became so successful, they did it against practically everybody.

And Walsh says it was a huge advantage, particularly for the New England offense, which started running no-huddle at odd times to maximize knowing the other team's defensive signals.

“They’d know exactly which play to call, that was, uh, there are certainly a number of plays to call that would be of greatest benefit to a particular defense," Walsh said. "Seeing how the blitz is coming from one particular side, if you know the coverage is gonna roll into a certain area, you’re aware of vacant areas on the field, and then, you run a play to that area, you stack numbers to that area. You know, it’s gonna give you a benefit.

"So when Belichick talks about the minimal impact of this .. what bothers you about that?" Kremer asks.

"All I know is the success rate that it had for the first game against Tampa Bay, and all I know is that it was something they continued to have me do throughout the two years I worked in video, under coach Cheater Belichick," Walsh answered. "If it was of little or no importance, I imagine they wouldn't have continued to do it, and probably not taken the chances of going down on the field in Pittsburgh or shooting from other teams' stadiums the way we did."

Walsh, interestingly, says that even as his team was CHEATING, he suspected one other team that played the Patriots of CHEATING, also. He infers that team was in the AFC East. He says he reported this suspicion to commissioner Roger Goodell when the two met earlier this week.

"There was only one other time that I ever suspected another team of possibly shooting our signals," Walsh said. "Both of us were shooting together on the roof of the old Foxboro Stadium. I was filming their defensive signals, and I would look over when we were on defense, and I'd see him panning over to our sideline, and then going back to the field, panning over and going back. I didn't say anything to him because I was doing the same thing. But after the game I went into our defensive coach's office, talked with Romeo Crennel, there were a couple of coaches in there at the time, but I said to Romeo, 'The team we just played was doing to us what we do to them. So, the next time we play them, we might want to change up our defensive signals a little bit.' "

And this is one of the many things that stink about this cheating scandal. Not only does it rightly impugn the guilty Patriots, but now there is a shadow of guilt present over other teams that played the Patriots more than once in a year.

Goodell knows the name of that team because Walsh said he told him.

Discuss...

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I watched Walsh's interview tonight on HBO and my inclination is to believe him. I also heard Bilichick lash back at Walsh and he looked to be lying through his teeth. I don't think Bill has ever given a proper apology for what he has done and his punishment was not as severe as it should have been. He achieved 3 Super Bowls in 7 years. I know cheating did not win them those games but it was certainly a factor. Walsh said that with the knowledge of the tapes the Pats were able to read the defense and produce an effective play about 75% of the time. I know there are many variables but IMO they gained a significant advantage. And if Saban cheated against the Pats that year and beat them 21-0 then does that not prove how much of an advantage it was. Or do we just want to pass the blame and say, "Well everyone is doing it"? That is BS!!! I have to say that 18-1 is music to my ears. To have watched that game and feel so vindicated.....ahhhh....so sweeeeeet!!!

Then on top of all this cheating you have the Patriots becoming the media darlings after 911. Remember the tuck rule that screwed the Raiders out of going to the Superbowl? One of the worst calls in all of football and I'm not a Raider fan.

I think this is a fake team that the NFL allowed because it helped them make millions. They lost the Superbowl because they were being watched on everything. One other thing that has bothered me is that the Patriots OL is hardly ever called for holding, it just makes you wonder about the NFL.

sdFinFan,

I like the astrisk after their Super Bowl years!!! Nice added effect.

One other thing, the 49ers make a couple of phone calls and don't even talk to Briggs agent and they lose a #5 draft pick and have to trade with the Bears on another round. That seems like a parking violation compared to the Patriots years of cheating that effected games and even playoff games. Way to go Goodell your a good pr guy for the Pats.

Wasn't Bill's original response when asked about Walsh was that he didn't remember him and couldn't have picked him out of a police lineup, but suddenly, after the interview, he now seems to recall that he was "was a low-level staffer who was fired for 'poor job performance.'" Correct me if I'm wrong, but he also seems to have distorted at least a couple of Walsh's claims. For example, he says that Walsh "tried to make it seem like we're buddies" and that his "talk about game-planning and strategy and play-calling and how he advised coordinators [is] absurd". As for the former, afaik, Walsh merely said that they were in a few TEAM photos together (which is far different from implying they were buddies); as for the latter, the only advice he seems to have mentioned giving any of the coaches was telling Crennel that they "might want to change up [their] defensive signals a little bit", which might loosely fall under "strategy" and/or "game-planning" (but only after completely ignoring the context in which Belicheat used them) and definitely has nothing to do with "play-calling".

The irony of it all is Bill's claim that Walsh doesn't have a lot of credibility. Really, Mr. Pot?

I can not believe this is that important .... really! I am a dolphins fan and have been one since I was a kid. This is football!, and the last thing football needs is a congressional hearing about ANYTHING. This is not national security and should not involve a moment of congresses time. I don't favor those overpriced A**holes doing anything but insuring that Americans are protected and provided for with good jobs! That way myself and my kids and their kids can go on enjoying a GAME of football on TV. These are big boys in the nfl and if they all video each other than it would not be cheating. Let them do whatever they need to to survive and continue to entertain me and my kids in the manner I have become accustomed to. SO shut hte F**k up you whinners and keep congress out of this.... Unless of course your losing to much at the bookies.

thanks sean, i get so irritated with these pats fans who come in here and bash the fins for being bad when they were the laughing stock of the afc east for so many years. they have to cheat to be any good.

If the other team involved is Miami--and I highly suspect Saban is more than capable of it--then I would strongly support the harshest of penalties. Draft picks, fines, all of it. And, assuming it was Saban, I would strongly support his banishment from the NFL for life.

I have been a Dolphin fan since Shula's hair was brown, and can honestly say I am proud to have remained a steadfast fan throughout this last miserable decade.

But I would NOT be proud of a team reduced to CHEATING. There's no room in professional sports for it, and Roger Goodell should be FIRED for his shameful response.

As to the Patriot fans who are so sick for success they would defend this behavior...I'm stunned. I can only guess they haven't truly accepted the fact that their "championships" will never be considered much of anything.

And no amount of denial will ever change that.

Belicheat is now their legacy, and people will laugh when their "dynasty" is mentioned.

I do honestly feel bad for the fans of that team who have had the integrity to accept that their wins are no, at best, suspect. Well, assuming their are any...

Folks, Walsh left the Patriots in 2003. Saban came to the Dolphins in 2005. If the team Walsh suspected was the Dolphins, it was not under Saban's watch. It would have to have been under Dave Wannstedt.

Hey Bob, Arlan Spectre said the NFL should hire an outside investigator to look into this to see how far this cheating went. We all know Goodell will lie like a rug for the Patriots. If the NFL doesn't do anything then by all means kick em right where it hurts and have a congressional hearing to find out the truth.

If you don't want to know the truth Bob then why post anything at all? Just keep your mouth shut and let it play out it won't effect you because you have your head in the sand anyway. You don't have to write back and say how this is all a bunch of blah blah blah.

James you moron what is the truth ... do you know ??? I highly doubt it! My point is why is this worth a momnet of taxpayer dollars. I certainly don't want my meager prtion to be wasted on something as trivial as football teams spying on each other. James you ignorant country bumpkin a**hole maybe in your world this is worth some kind of congrssional hearing so those clowns can get to the bottom of whatever it is they think they will find. Look at how well Arlen Spectre and his cronies are managing things in this country anyway. James I have nothing against you personaly except your overzealous point of view when it comes to involving our countries legislative body swinging into action involving football. Look they have f**k up everyhting they get invovled in. I enjoy the game so let them play take away any regulation on how teams scope each other out. Now its even and look no congressional investigation needed. It (spying) becomes part of the game so what???? It may add something to the game perhaps an intellectual side you seem to miss. But most important it costs me nothing in tetrms of taxes. Let Arlen Spectre find some other worthwhile cause but leave football alone. If you feel so strongly about an investigation make donations to me I will look into it and get back to you, you already have my recomendation on how to correct the issue.
Thanks for you patience..

Last thing on spygate ... Let it go, it makes us look like spoiled kids bitching about how good the pats are, cause guess what they are. But the fins are going to be good in the future. I'll bet any of you that you would have rather had Coach B here than Saban, Wanny, or who was it last year? Oh yes Cameron. I know I would have. At least we have Tuna and Company. Lets use this blog to look forward to the future instead of living in the past. Hey Armando is there any new info on contract negotiations? What players do the fins have there eyses on if cut by other teams? Move on people live for today.

bob,
if roger goodell wont do anything to make the game fair, then what choice do we have? i understand your opinion, and i respect it, but i think that something has to be done. and as for your coment about billicheat as coach, i would rather have sparano than have a lying, cheating, classless, s.o.b. running our franchise. hell i would rather go through another eight years of horrible seasons than to be the best team and have everything that you have done be questioned.

In a roundabout way, I agree with Bob: we should look forward to the future. The problem is, unless corrective measures are taken now, there might be someone who believes he can get away with cheating and only receive a slap on the wrist for it. Sure, forfeiture of a first round and $750k in fines might seem severe... until measured against 3 SB titles when it appears that cheating played a large part in their success. What's to stop the next coach who believes he can play fast and loose with the rules if the NFL allows Goodell's decision to stand as precedent? No one's saying the Patsies wouldn't have been good anyway, but why would they have resorted to cheating unless even they questioned whether they were good enough to have won them without it?
The truth is- and it should be readily apparent to anyone (even morons) without any further investigation- that the punishment was far too lenient for the severity of the crime and the only way it became considered as being fair was because Goodell greatly understated the duration and amount ("Originally, Commissioner Goodell said the taping was limited to late in the 2006 season and early in the 2007 season.... 'I believe there were six tapes, and I believe some were from the pre-season in 2007, and the rest were primarily in the lat 2006 season....' Later, Goodell said of the taping '[W]e think it was quite limited. It was not something that was done on a widespread basis.'" http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d80851fb8), and more importantly, significance ("during his February 1, 2008 press conference, Commissioner Goodell stated 'I think it probably had a limited effect, if any effect, on the outcome on any game.' Later during the press conference, Goodell stated again 'I don't believe it affected the outcome of any games.'") of the videotaping. Since these statements have been proven to be in error, Goodell can't have it both ways. The only way for him to say that subsequent NFL investigations haven't turned up any new evidence would be for him to have known that the statements were in error when he made them (a simpler term for this would be "lying"). If subsequent NFL investigations have turned up new information (which I believe the case), then he needs to revise the original punishment to reflect this. And if he refuses to do so voluntarily, then he needs some prompting... if by Congress, then so be it. The future, and especially, the future integrity, of the NFL depends on it.

"And Walsh says it was a huge advantage..." Whoa!!! Stop right there. The videographer/golf pro is now a head coach? At what point between him filming and dropping off said film did he have an opportunity to talk strategy with Bill Belichick? Look, what the Patriots did was wrong. But, if the film was not used to make adjustments midgame then the outcry is not proportional to the offense.

This was a stupid article. Who ever wrote this article obviously doesn't know football. If he did then he would know that everybody does what the pats did. Everybody. Why don't you talk about how the broncos have also been investigated for doing the same thing, how the saints been investigated for wire tapping the side line head sets, or how the 49ers cheated their way to a dynasty. Write about that as well. You didn't because you don't know about that. Your a typical dumb wanna be football fan that thinks you know about the game but you dont. Ya do some real research and make an intelligent argument. Don't hate on the pats for being good. Thir article was an acknowledgment to how little you know about football. Get over it.

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