NFL Under Fire After ESPN Deflategate/Spygate Report

Greg DeMarco

The NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell are now under fire after ESPN's report concerning over 40 instances of cheating by the New England Patriots from 2000-2007. The full story, set to be released in the September 28 edition of ESPN The Magazine, details the behind-closed-doors details of how the NFL dealt with the many complaints against Bill Belichick and the four-time Super Bowl champions.

A Boston Globe report calls today's news more damning towards the NFL itself than it is towards the Patriots. Mike Martz, the head coach of the 2002 St. Louis Rams team that lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl, detailed his conversations with Goodell regarding the Spygate accusations.

"He told me, 'The league doesn't need this. We're asking you to come out with a couple lines exonerating us and saying we did our due diligence. If it ever got to an investigation, it would be terrible for the league.'"

Globe columnist Ben Volin states that ESPN's report was basically "rehashing old content" and causing NFL fans to focus more attention towards the Patriots' alleged cheating ways.

Volin also points out that videotaping opponents has been part of NFL scouting practices for years, supported by former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson.

"This is exactly how I was told to do it 18 years ago by a Kansas City Chiefs scout."

With Deflategate, Spygate, Tom Brady's overturned suspension and the apparent tenuous relationship between the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the New England Patriots looming overhead, the reigning Super Bowl champions will take the field Thursday night to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in a match-up that will kickoff the NFL's 2015-2016 season.

[Photo by Jim Davis/Boston Globe]