A Boston newspaper is now reporting that the New England Patriots taped the final walkthrough of the St. Louis Rams before the Super Bowl in 2002. This pretty much nails it down. The New England Patriots, no matter how succesful, or how many Super Bowls they win in the future, will forever carry the tag of cheaters. This is the kind of thing that will always haunt an organization. People will never forget. Whether it’s true or not doesn’t matter. It’s there, hovering in the background for all time. Every story, every article, will now have some mention of “SpyGate.” The Patriots and their head coach can never get away from it.
The sad part is it was probably not necessary. The Patriots have enough talent to win on their own merits. But people will question that, and opponents will decide they were robbed by unscrupulous methods. How long will it be before the cry to strip the Patriots of their titles begins?
And the unbeaten season? Pretty meaningless now. The 72 Dolphins don’t have that cloud of uncertainty hanging over them. Their achievement is pure and unclouded. The Patriots can’t say the same thing.