The Patriots were this close to making it through the week without any mention of Spygate. Then yesterday happened. Senator Arlen Specter, avowed Eagles fan, announced that Commissioner Roger Goodell would be hauled in front of the Judiciary Committee to explain why the NFL thought it was a swell idea to destroy evidence related to the Patriots cheating scandal.
Although Specter's gesture could be interpreted as noble, it's likely a little more convoluted than that. Whatever, Specter's grandstanding has opened the spigot on other cheating allegations leveled against the Patriots. The latest, courtesy of the Boston Herald, has a New England employee taping the St. Louis Rams' final walkthrough practice the day before Super Bowl XXXVI.
The Pats were double-digit underdogs heading into that game, led 14-3 at halftime, and won on a last-second Adam Vinatieri field-goal to give the team its first championship.
So, what are the charges this time? From the Herald's John Tomase:
According to a source close to the team during the 2001 season, here's what happened. On Feb. 2, 2002, one day before the Patriots' Super Bowl game against heavily favored St. Louis in New Orleans, the Patriots visited the Superdome for their final walkthrough.Make of this what you will. Tomase doesn't name his source, which will raise red flags among Patriots supporters. And Goodell admitted during yesterday's SOTNFL that he had "no information on that" charge.
After completing the walkthrough, they had their team picture taken and the Rams then took the field. According to the source, a member of the team's video staff stayed behind after attending the team's walkthrough and filmed St. Louis' walkthrough.
At no point was he asked to identify himself or produce a press pass, the source said. The cameraman rode the media shuttle back to the hotel with news photographers when the Rams walkthrough was completed, the source said.
It's not known what the cameraman did with the tape from there. It's also not known if he made the recording on his own initiative or if he was instructed to make the recording by someone with the Patriots or anyone else.
Not to worry, though; I'm sure Specter will get to the bottom of this ... right after the NFL agrees to let cable companies get in on the Sunday Ticket action.
Previously on FanHouse
Bill Belichick Knows Nothing About Senator's Inquiry Into Patriotgate Evidence
Goodell Explains Why the NFL Destroyed Evidence, Specter Probably Doesn't Care