Tag Archives: ESPN

New England Patriots: ESPN, The NFL’s Propoganda Machine, Strikes Again

Just when there was an opportunity for things to quiet down and NFL fans could start concentrating on the actual games, the right arm of the NFL, ESPN, struck again. This time it is an article in ESPN The Magazine titled “Spygate to Deflategate: Inside what split the NFL and Patriots apart” and it’s intent is to, as REO Speedwagon sang in 1982, keep the fire burning.

Like the Wells report, it is filled with innuendo and will be read by millions as the “Gospel” according to ESPN, just as the 11 of 12 footballs being 2 lbs underinflated was taken as fact, despite being completely false.

The article, written by Don Van Natta Jr. (author of “First Off the Tee: Presidential Hackers, Duffers, and Cheaters from Taft to Bush”) and Seth Wickersham, Senior Writer for ESPN.com and ESPN is intentionally inflammatory with a multitude of objectives:

  1. Increase the readership of the magazine (understandable)
  2. Sensationalize “old” news
  3. Re-enforce the linking of Spygate and DeflateGate
  4. Show how the Patriots are different, in a bad way, from the other teams in the NFL.

Number four, the Patriots are different, is a fact…but not in the way as highlighted in this piece of “sensationalistic” journalism. The reason the article gives is New England has to cheat to do it. Let’s face it haters, they must have cheated in this day of free agency to become one of the most feared franchises in the history of the NFL. Forget the fact they have arguable the best QB (Tom Brady for those who don’t know) in NFL History and a coach that any other owner (ignore what they say, you know this is true) would love to have as Head Coach or their franchise.

There are no “sore losers” used in this article…except this gem:

 “Goodell didn’t want anybody to know that his gold franchise had won Super Bowls by cheating,” a senior executive whose team lost to the Patriots in a Super Bowl now says. “If that gets out, that hurts your business.”

Needless to say the always reliable N. Y. Post jumped on the bandwagon with this headline Spygate much worse than Belichick, Goodell divulged and Deadspin was even more definitive with Bombshell ESPN Report: The Patriots Were Huge Cheaters And Roger Goodell Covered It Up.  Once again the storm is brewing.

The Magazine, includes these “findings” to get readers interest and reignite the linking of Spygate and DeflateGate for those who like to believe the Patriots are different, in a bad way, from the other teams in the NFL.

  • From 2000 to 2007, the Patriots videotaped the signals of opposing coaches in 40 games
  • Goodell’s handling of Deflategate turned around owners still simmering over Spygate; some say he is now more secure in his job.
  • Deflategate is seen by some owners as a “makeup call” over Spygate.

ESPN’S Findings Are Nothing New

Let’s take the “findings” as just what they are…a hashed over repeat of what everyone already knew, but with a slant to add some sensationalism, enhance a now tarnished NFL image and put the New England Patriots back in the spotlight as the NFL bad boys (cheaters to quote the article: “Patriots’ coach, Bill Belichick, the cheating program’s mastermind”)

  • What they fail to mention is Spyhate (oops) was about where the Patriots were filming, not what they were filming.

I’m not going to rehash Spygate (which they did repeatedly in the article), but, will clarify a few misconceptions.

Fact: Videotaping opposing coaches is not illegal in the NFL but there are designated areas allowed by the league to do such taping. The Patriots were videotaping the Jets’ coaches from their own sideline which is not allowed. There is no question from anyone (including Patriot Nation) what they did was wrong, but stretching the facts to “imply” it was illegal to videotape opposing coaches at all is just flat wrong.

According to CSNNE’s Tom Curran’s article it wasn’t until a 2006 memo was put out by the league that anything in writing regarding sideline videotaping was specifically addressed

Ray Anderson, the league’s executive vice president of football operations to NFL sent a memo to head coaches and general managers. In it, he wrote: “Videotaping of any type, including but not limited to taping of an opponent’s offensive or defensive signals, is prohibited on the sidelines, in the coaches’ booth, in the locker room, or at any other locations accessible to club staff members during the game.” 

Belichick obviously ignored that memo and Goodell imposed the biggest fine ever on a coach and took away a first-round draft pick as a penalty for the first time in NFL history.

Owners “Make-Up” Call Inference

When the fines and draft pick were announced it was felt by all, including the owners, to be a stiff penalty. In fact, the stiffest ever in NFL history.  Revisionist history is the punishment is now being mentioned as a “favor” to Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft because of his friendship with the Commissioner. The integrity of Mr. Goodell was questioned (my goodness, not by the owners) because he ordered the destruction of the tapes and notes regarding Spygate…supposedly, because of his friendship with Kraft.

Question: If the owners felt strongly about his (Goodell’s) integrity then, why is he still commissioner now?

There’s a lot of discussion in the article about the owner’s emergency meeting on April 1, 2008 where Robert Kraft spoke (“witnesses would later say Kraft’s remarks were heartfelt, his demeanor chastened”), without naming any source (you know, that old first amendment protect your source reason that writers/publishers always use) describing the meeting as if the writers were there. Where’s the source? What great memories they all must have!

Love This One

It was, one owner says, time for “a makeup call.” Have to wonder who that one owner was and if that is what the one quote that lead to the “deflategate is seen by some owners (plural) as the make-up call for spyhate.

I could go on and on, as the ESPN-The Magazine article does, but then I would be doing just what I accuse them of….rehashing and sensationalizing “old news”

Disclosure: I am not an attorney and have been a follower of the New England Patriots since their inception in 1960.

Follow me on twitter @SnowdonBob

NFL: If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying


Deflategate is a sham. Roger Goodell and the NFL took an equipment violation and turned it into the crime of the century. It’s all part of an effort to buy back trust and confidence from league owners after a tumultuous 2014.
The previous paragraph accurately sums up how the New England fan base feels about the debacle known as deflategate. It’s a bit one sided but not all together the worst summary of 2015’s biggest non story. The NFL and more than likely the other 44 states, look at this organizational massacre as one brand’s comeuppance for seemingly always skirting the rules.
Last week ESPN,which has hardly been in the New England Patriots corner during this mess, polled more than 100 NFL players asking them a variety of questions concerning their take on deflategate. While every fan and media member from around the globe has had their chance to jump on their proverbial soap boxes we have only heard from a select few actual colleagues of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
The 13 question survey begins by asking if the player believed the accusations that the Patriots knowingly deflated footballs; 72% said yes and 28% said no. Given the Patriot’s history, this comes as no real shock. Where it gets interesting is when the players are asked if they are upset with the Patriots over the alleged deflation of footballs; 84% said no and only 16% said yes. Take a moment to let that resonate, 84% of their peers look at this alleged reaction as

“no biggie“.

The majority of people the Patriots play week in and week out aren’t upset with this supposed travesty of justice.
Questions three and four run a bit closer to a split decision but, none the less, still fall in the Patriots favor. Question three point blank asks if the Patriots are cheaters; 58% said no and 48 percent said yes. Question four asked if the outcome of the game could be impacted by deflated footballs; 52% said no and 48% said yes.
When asked how many games Tom Brady should have been suspended for, the most common answer was 1.5, more than four games was 3%, four games was 19 % and fewer than four was a resounding 78%.
Questions six and seven were once again far apart in results but both in Tom Brady and the Patriot’s favor. Question six asked if the Patriots would still make the postseason without Brady (85% yes, 15% no.) Question seven asked if Spygate still stuck in their craw (80% no, 20% yes.)
Possibly the most indicative of the league’s biggest problems, from a player’s point of view, is Roger Goodell handling player discipline. 88% of players feel Roger should not decide discipline, with only 12% okay with his current role.
What should come as no surprise, to anyone who has ever competed athletically, are the questions and results garnered from inquiries nine through thirteen. When asked if other teams illegally tamper with the footballs, 68% said yes and 32% said no. Mind you, these are actual, current NFL players indicating that most teams tamper with the footballs. When asked about the most common form of on field cheating, 55% of those polled said holding was the most egregious faux pas. The most outlandish form of cheating witnessed were cheap shots and deliberate injuries at 52% It’s safe to say Bountygate would register as a bigger offense to those polled when compared to under inflated footballs.
Question twelve asked the percentage of players they think actually cheat on field which came up at 30%. The final question asked the player if they thought their teammates had cheated; 71% said no, whereas 29% said yes.
Overall it seems that although not every athlete cheats, in the NFL skirting the rules and gaining a competitive advantage is not something that angers many players. Does this ESPN survey prove the Patriots are cheaters or that deflategate is overblown hyperbole? No, it just proves that for some “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”

via grantland.com
via grantland.com

ESPN: Nice Try With The Apology, Next Time Try Sincerity


As you have most likely heard by now, ESPN issued an apology to the Patriots in the middle of the night. Nice attempt at sincerity, but no dice.

If you are like myself, I barely watch or listen to anything from ESPN. Being on social media, I have a great amount of respect for Mike Reiss and his coverage of the Patriots organization, however it stops there. To call ESPN the TMZ of sports would be an understatement, and an insult to TMZ.

Now here’s where I draw the line, everybody is entitled to their own opinion, as long as it’s based in fact, with no facts to back up an opinion it’s only biased lip service. I also understand that many sports media personalities either played or have ties to other NFL franchises other than the Patriots. However that does not excuse putting out false reports that are later proven false and not corrected right away (hello Chris Mortensen). Do you hear me ESPN?


So ESPN puts out the rumor that was reported (and disproven both in 2008) that the Patriots filmed the Rams walk through prior to Super Bowl XXXVI. They did this not once but twice in the last week. Then issued a 17 second apology in the middle of the night. Very touching, pardon me while I reach for a tissue. (Not really)

Problem is is that media is driven by hits or responses, create a stir if you will. The personalities having other allegiances will always dispise the success of the Patriots, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the team (no other team has a winning record against these 2) because it’s easier to call them cheaters and constantly put out false information intentionally, than admit that no matter how good they think their team/teams are… the Patriots are just that much better.

That’s my rant for the day… and yeah, #DefendTheWall #ExonerateBrady and by all means #BoycottESPN

The Good, The Great, THE GRONK!


The winner of this year’s Comeback Player of the Year at the ESPYs almost didn’t make it on stage. Heck, at just 21 years old, he faced the possibility of having to turn away from the one thing that propelled him to super stardom and a Super Bowl ring: football.

During his junior year of college, Rob Gronkowski suffered from a ruptured disk in his spinal cord that sidelined him the entire season. He made the gutsy decision to forego his senior season to keep playing football on the professional level. After getting selected in the second round of the 2010 draft by the New England Patriots, the Gronk roared on to the scene, scoring 10 touchdowns for the season and bringing “The Gronk Spike” to fruition. By Week 13 of his sophomore season, he had surpassed his rookie season’s touchdown total AND broken the NFL record for touchdowns scored in a single season.

Then came the playoffs, which ended in heartbreak for more reasons than one.

Image: Chicago tribune
Image: Chicago tribune

Another Super Bowl loss to the Giants was gut-wrenching. But getting news that Gronk would have to  undergo surgery to repair strained ligaments in his ankle left fans disheveled. He fought back and had another successful season with 11 more touchdown receptions to boast about before breaking and re-breaking his forearm in 2012. Four forearm surgeries, another back surgery and a surgery to repair a torn ACL AND MCL later, the Gronk found himself overcoming adversity once again. This time, one of the twelve touchdown receptions he scored in the 2014 season came in the second quarter of an unforgettable Super Bowl XLIX victory.

Now, he’s everywhere. Daytime talk shows. Late night talk shows. Blockbuster movies. Commercials. Erotic novels. Center stage, at the ESPYs, receiving another accolade that further justifies the hard work and dedication he has put into his career. And probably another viral video filled with reckless and shameless dance moves.

Whether you like it or not, it’s Gronk’s world and we’re just living in it.

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