Former Patriots employee Matt Walsh met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for more than three hours at league headquarters yesterday. Following the meeting, Goodell held a press conference in which he pointed out that no new information was revealed about the team's videotaping procedures. Goodell also found no evidence that the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough practice before Super Bowl XXXVI was filmed by the Patriots and expects no new sanctions against the team.
"We were able to verify that there was no Rams walkthrough tape," Goodell said. "No one asked him to tape the walkthrough. He's not aware of anybody else who may have taped the walkthrough. He had not seen such a tape. He does not know of anybody who says there is a tape."
Following the meeting with NFL commissioner Goodell, Walsh visited with Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, who met with the former Patriots employee for over 3 hours. Specter will hold a press conference today at noon.
Following commissioner Goodell's press conference, the New England Patriots issued the following statement.
"We want to address the allegation that the Patriots taped the Rams walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI. For the past three-and-a-half months, we have been defending ourselves against assumptions made based on an unsubstantiated report rather than on facts or evidence. Despite our adamant denials, the report ran on February 2, 2008, the day before Super Bowl XLII. That game was the second-most watched program in television history and it is unfortunate that today's news will not also reach an audience of that size. We hope that with Matt Walsh's disclosures, everyone will finally believe what we have been saying all along and emphatically stated on the day of the initial report: 'The suggestion that the New England Patriots recorded the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 is absolutely false. Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue.'"
The Boston Herald has issued an apology for a false report that appeared on February 2, 2008 which claimed that a member of the New England Patriots' video staff taped the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI.
"On Feb. 2, 2008, the Boston Herald reported that a member of the New England Patriots' video staff taped the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI. While the Boston Herald based its Feb. 2, 2008, report on sources that it believed to be credible, we now know that this report was false, and that no tape of the walkthrough ever existed."
The full apology can be read in today's edition of the Herald.
Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft appeared on *CNBC *this morning with reaction to Tuesday's events and the Boston Herald's apology.
"I think the people who have partnered with us over the last 15 years, know that we put individual effort -- we subjugate that to the team, we work hard in our community, we want our sponsors to be able to emotionally attach themselves to us, and know they're going to get a very high performance, a high-grade product. We've had a great relationship with all those people over this time period. This erroneous story coming out was really harmful. What bothers me more about this story is where it went throughout the country, where people don't know us as well. Unfortunately now, they won't see this retraction. But people who know us, know what we're about."
You can watch the full interview here.
The Boston Globe's Patriots blog discusses Robert Kraft's appearance on CNBC and offers a transcript of the interview that took place.
A Hartford Courant piece also offers analysis of the Boston Herald's apology for their false videotaping report.
A Boston Herald piece notes that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was a guest on WEEI "The Big Show" yesterday and expressed hope that the events of Tuesday will mark the end of the videotaping saga.
"I think the stuff before the Super Bowl, that was unfortunate that it had to come up before the biggest game of the year, but we dealt with it all season," Brady said. "We put it behind us when we went out and played San Diego the week after the Jets game. I think it was just an incident that we accepted, and we paid the price for, and a very heavy price at that, and we've moved forward. I really hope everybody else does, too, because it takes away from what everyone is trying to accomplish."
A Providence Journal piece also discusses Brady's appearance on WEEI.