SpyGate Will Never Go Away


1189794443In an interview with the Globe, Bill Belichick broke his long-standing silence regarding the videotaping contretemps that the Patriots simply can’t shake. After Arlen Specter decided that the Senate Judiciary Committee had nothing better to do than investigate pro football, Belichick really had no choice. It was time to get out in front of the story.

The coach denied having ever videotaped walk-throughs in general, and the Rams in particular. He also said he would have a hard time picking Matt Walsh out of a lineup. Walsh, the one-time low-level Pats employee who claims to have such tapes, was apparently fired by the team after Scott Pioli discovered he was recording conversations.

So a guy no one remembers, who had a habit of making illicit tapes, may have taped something that no one would have found particularly useful anyway. See, Bill, it’s not so hard to play the media game when you really try. But it really comes down to this: What does Walsh have?

On the surface Walsh has not come across well. In an ESPN piece he claimed:

“Really, I just [have] no incentive to really talk to anybody, no reason to do it. For me, personally, I haven’t really been able to see the gain in doing it.”

Yet for a guy who has no reason to talk he’s certainly done a lot of it. In every media interview he says he wants indemnification and help with legal fees. He’s hinted that he has the goods, but he won’t talk without protection. He spoke obliquely of reprisals as if the Pats were the Gambino family. He also mentioned a confidentiality agreement that doesn’t seem to carry any weight with him.

So Walsh sounds a little squirrely. He sounds as if the truth is a convenient thing, based on what someone else knows, and how much it can help him. He sounds a little like Brian McNamee, and that is the problem, if like McNamee he actually has what he claims he does.

We can sit here and say Arlen Specter is a buffoon who is wasting taxpayers time with another dog and pony show on Capitol Hill. We can nod along as the Patriots impugn Walsh’s character—and Walsh continues to discredit himself with vague statements and hints at promises.

We can do all that, but it won’t change the fact that a 31-year-old golf pro in Maui can potentially wreak havoc on everything the team has accomplished during the decade, nor does it change the fact that there is nary a soul outside New England who doesn’t want to see him do it.