"NFL officials saw spy at NE practice before SB 36
Cold, Hard Football Facts for February 3, 2008
It’s a historic day in the NFL, with the surprising Giants ready to battle the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
But “SpyGate” has resurfaced in full fury over the past 48 hours and will only suck up moisture from the warm waters of hackery over the next few weeks, especially if the Patriots – despised by millions – fulfill their quest to become the first ever 19-0 team tonight. Congress itself may even launch an investigation.
But one element of the story remains strangely empty from the discussion. On Feb. 2, 2002, on the eve of New England’s Super Bowl XXXVI meeting with St. Louis, the New York Times reported that somebody was seen spying on Patriots practice.
The most interesting aspect of the story? League officials themselves witnessed the event, at least according to the report filed by Judy Battista.
(You can read the report here. It was first brought to our attention by Cold, Hard Football Facts Forum member GodInAGreyHoodie. As the name indicates, this is clearly a guy with an agenda. But the Times report is legitimate to our knowledge.)
Battista identified the source as a pool report, but we don’t have access to that original item. But, as a pool report, it was probably published in countless newspapers and wire services around the country (if anyone has it, email it to us here).
The key item from the story
“Club and league officials (our emphasis) said a telescope was clearly visible in the window, according to a pool report, and that 15 minutes later, a person appeared at the window, and then vanished.”
The story is interesting on a day in which the losing quarterback in Super Bowl XXXVI, Kurt Warner, has angrily decried the rumor that the Patriots filmed Rams walk-through before the game.
He has a right to be angry.
But any legitimate news source needs to look at the accusation on both sides. At least if these sources are something more than rag peddlers of pigskin conspiracies.
As far as we know, the NFL itself did not report any spies at Rams practice before Super Bowl XXXVI. That rumor, which may yet prove true, came from other sources. But the NFL did report a possible spy at Patriots practice before Super Bowl XXXVI.
We’re not holding our breath though, folks, expect equal treatment of these stories in the media. And we’re sure as hell not expecting the NFL to demand evidence from the Rams organization and levy huge fines against the organization if they were in fact cheating, as league officials seemed to indicate.
What we’re are expecting is a media hurricane that breaches the levies of hackery and floods the airwaves with our mortal enemies, opinion and rumor.
The Patriots deserve to be investigated and punished if they were caught breaking the rules. But we'll know "SpyGate" is a witch hunt if the media ignores the eyewitness accounts from no less a source than NFL officials themselves."
Looks like there WAS spying, but not the Pats made it, but was made on the Pats. Interesting turn, isn't it?