Spygate 2.0: What is the latest with NFL’s probe into the New England Patriots?

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Katie Feehan
Born in Yorkshire, Katie is a freelance journalist currently based in Essex. As a keen sports writer, Katie has a diploma in Multimedia Journalism from the Press Association and has worked on the busy Newcastle Chronicle sports desk. She has also written for Gateshead FC and contributed to various websites including HITC and Give Me Sport.

At the start of the year, it was widely reported the New England Patriots could expect to be punished within two weeks for what the world had quickly dubbed Spygate 2.0.

Yet here we are – the Super Bowl is done and dusted, we are more than a month from that news and almost two months from the incident itself.

At his annual pre-Super Bowl press conference, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was quizzed on the progress the league had made yet offered little in the form of answers.

In fact, his answers were almost laughably elusive, instead offering non-sensical platitudes and insisting the league was being “thorough”.

At his press conference, when asked whether the Spygate 2.0 investigation was finished, Goodell said: “The answer to that question is no. It shouldn’t because our responsibility is to make sure we’re being extremely thorough.

“We have a responsibility to 31 other clubs, we have a responsibility to partners, we have a responsibility to fans understand all of what happened and to make sure that something that we don’t know happened didn’t happen.

spygate 2.0 new england patriots

“And so, from our standpoint, we want to make sure we are being thorough.”

What does that even mean? Something we don’t know happened didn’t happen? Is that even English?

The New England Patriots have already admitted wrongdoing and it has since been proven there was nothing more to it than the initial facts so what exactly is taking so long?

What is Spygate 2.0?

For those of you who don’t know what happened, the incident dates back to December 8 at a game between the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals.

A production crew, who claimed they were freelancers working for the New England Patriots’ team website, were caught illegally filming the Bengals’ sideline during the first quarter of the game.

The crew claimed negligence and were there filming a documentary which was completely separate from the football side of the organisation and the coaching staff.

But still, the New England Patriots held their hands up, admitted what had happened and co-operated fully with the NFL while football fans everywhere started lighting their torches and sharpening their pitchforks.

Spygate 2.0 New England Patriots

And why was it dubbed Spygate 2.0? Well, because the infraction related to the exact same rules the Patriots were accused of breaking in 2007.

That incident was dubbed Spygate and cemented the New England Patriots’ reputation in the minds of a lot of NFL fans despite several teams being caught doing the same thing before and since.

But don’t let facts get in the way of a good biased witch hunt.

Bill Belichick himself strongly denied any involvement in this latest “scandal” and it was quickly established all that happened was a team working for Kraft Productions had mistakenly pointed the camera at the sideline.

The team, who were documenting the role of a scout, had done this to get some B-roll footage and it was not for any specific reason.

Spygate 2.0 proves league’s anti-Patriots bias

It was established this had absolutely nothing to do with the coaching staff or the New England Patriots trying to gain an advantage over an opponent.

I mean, it was the Cincinnati Bengals, not the Kansas City Chiefs for crying out loud. Even if sideline footage could be used for cheating (it couldn’t), the New England Patriots had zero need to do this for the Bengals.

The Patriots ended up thrashing the Bengals 34-13 by the way.

So it was already frustrating that such a big deal was being made by pundits, fans and the NFL.

It was then reported from NFL sources that investigators were frustrated they were unable to prove any wrongdoing on behalf of the coaching staff.

Top tip – if you don’t want Patriots fans to moan about the league being biased against them, don’t get frustrated just because you can’t prove they did nothing wrong – it’s very revealing when those frustrations are leaked to the media.

Now, the Patriots and their fans are being forced to wait a ridiculous amount of time with little to no indication about what the outcome will be from the league.

By delaying the conclusion of this farcical investigation and by giving none answers when asked about its progress, all Roger Goodell has done is make it look like the NFL will keep going until they can screw the New England Patriots one more time.

As it stands, there is currently no end in sight for this pointless and irritating investigation which is undoubtedly frustrating everyone.

After all, it’s not just the Patriots and their fans who want this to go away.

Those who hate them will want them to be punished and those who are indifferent must be bored of it by now.

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