Spygate: Is That It?

The day Patriots fans had been dreading for months came and went yesterday when Matt Walsh handed over the information he claimed to have about the his former employer.

After all the hints, whispers, and innuendo, this is what we got: eight tapes dating from 2000-2002, none of which were of the infamous Super Bowl walk-through practice. The only news to come out of the whole deal is the revelation that the Pats were also capturing their opponents offensive signals.

Still, if the entire debate hinged on a “smoking gun” walk-through tape, and one hasn’t been produced, the Pats come out of this appearing strangely vindicated. Either way, it looks like the whole Spygate debacle is just about done.

Unless you’re John Tomase.

I had a chance to listen to a few minutes of the radio this morning because I had to move my car (damn street cleaning). Between talk radio and Bruce Allen‘s oh-so-timely decision to put Tomase up for approval on his website, people are calling for Tomase’s head.

A quick review for those who’ve forgotten: On the eve of the Super Bowl loss to the Giants, the the Herald scribe reported that someone in the Pats video department made a tape of the Rams walk-through practice before the 2002 Super Bowl. Everyone assumed the source was Walsh, or Walsh’s attorney Michael Levy. But in the NY Times story today, Levy explicitly stated that Walsh didn’t have that tape, and that neither he nor Walsh was the source of the story.

Before everyone goes all Salem Witch Hunt on Tomase (probably too late), let’s remember that we don’t actually know who his source was. Last time we checked, there was more than one person who worked in the Patriots video department. Fans were shocked at the beating the team took in the national press when the story broke. It’s all conjecture! They don’t know the facts! So it’s beyond hypocritical to go after Tomase with the same venom here.

The taint of Spygate will linger with a lot of people. The coach, for flaunting the rules, columnists like Gregg Easterbrook for their reckless unfounded conspiracy claims, and no doubt it will stay with Tomase. How about we let this play out first.