Spygate cameraman Matt Estrella selling his Patriots Super Bowl ring

Matt-Estrella-Super-Bowl-ringEvery authentic Super Bowl championship ring is a rare item. There is only one Super Bowl per year, and only the members of the winning team receive the coveted ring. A New England Patriots ring that was given to Matt Estrella is even more precious than the rest.

If the name Estrella rings a bell, it’s probably because you are familiar with the Patriots’ videotaping scandal that came to light during the 2007 season. Estrella was the man who was operating the camera when Bill Belichick and company were caught recording the New York Jets’ defensive signals.

The ring that was given to Estrella after the Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2004 is currently for sale through Goldin Auctions. As of Thursday afternoon, the bidding was just north of $5,700.

“This ring remains in Near Mint condition,” a note reads along with the item. “The ring is of a special historic nature, as it was given to Matt Estrella, who was famously caught videotaping Jets coaches defensive signals in the ‘spygate’ affair.”

The ring will probably sell to some Patriots hater with a lot of money who is going to try to put a curse on the team. Just a guess.

H/T ESPN Boston

Colts OC Pep Hamilton takes swipe at Patriots over Spygate

Bill-Belichick-hoodieThe Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots are set to face off in the postseason once again on Sunday, but there is one major difference this time around. Peyton Manning will not be traveling to Foxboro. Instead, Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has to figure out a way to beat the Pats on the road with Andrew Luck and company.

Hamilton, who worked as a quarterbacks and wide receivers coach with the New York Jets from 2003-2005, has plenty of experience facing the Patriots. He spoke about that on Wednesday, tossing in a Spygate reference in the process.

“I do know for a fact that it was always a 60-minute chess match,” Hamilton  said, per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. “It was ever-changing looks and disguises and they always tend to find ways to figure out some of your signals.”

The Patriots were caught videotaping opponents’ signals in 2007, so Hamilton seemed to be indicating that stealing signals was something Bill Belichick and company had been practicing for years. Hamilton followed up his swipe with some high praise for Belichick.

“It’s truly an honor to have an opportunity to field a team and compete against the likes of Coach Belichick who will go down as one of the greatest coaches in the history of the National Football League,” he said.

If and when Belichick is asked about the comments, he’ll pretend he hasn’t seen them. That doesn’t mean they won’t be blown up in size 156 font and hung up on the wall in the Patriots’ locker room.

Marshall Faulk still feels Patriots cheated to beat Rams in the Super Bowl

Marshall-FaulkIt has been more than five years since the New England Patriots were caught videotaping their opponents’ signals, but there are plenty of people who are not ready to let it go. Marshall Faulk is one of those people, as the former St. Louis Rams running back feels he was personally affected by the spygate scandal.

On Tuesday, Faulk spoke with CSNNE.com’s Tom E. Curran and said he is never going to be over getting “cheated” out of a championship.

“Am I over the loss?” Faulk asked. “Yeah, I’m over the loss. But I’ll never be over being cheated out of the Super Bowl. That’s a different story. I can understand losing a Super Bowl, that’s fine … But how things happened and what took place. Obviously, the commissioner gets to handle things how he wants to handle them but if they wanted us to shut up about what happened, show us the tapes. Don’t burn ‘em.”

Members of the media were shown the tapes before they were destroyed, and from what we hear they were exactly what you might think — the Patriots videotaping opposing coaches giving signals. The more Faulk ranted, the more it became clear that he still believes the Patriots taped the Rams’ walkthrough prior to the Super Bowl back in 2002.

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Eric Mangini says he regrets bringing the Spygate scandal to light

When Eric Mangini exposed the Patriots for videotaping opponents’ signals at the start of the 2007 season, he changed the culture of the NFL. Stealing signals — whether by use of camera or other means — is something that is believed to have been done by almost all teams at one point. Now, teams have to be extremely careful. By bringing the Spygate scandal to light, Mangini also changed the way people view the Patriots’ accomplishments as an organization. For that, the former Jets coach says he is regretful.

“If there is a decision I could take back it’s easily that decision,” Mangini said on NFL Live Tuesday according to Pro Football Talk. “Never in a million years would I have wanted it to go this way. It’s disappointing whenever it comes up.”

Mangini was an assistant on the Patriots’ three Super Bowl-winning teams, so when people discredit what the Patriots accomplished because of Spygate they’re also downplaying some of his achievements.

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Amani Toomer Says the Patriots’ Three Super Bowls Need an Asterisk (Audio)

Amani Toomer is not the first person to say that the three Super Bowls the Patriots won are tainted because of Spygate. He won’t be the last to say it, either. Many people have said the Patriots have to prove they can win a championship without videotaping opponents’ signals, whether videotaping led directly to their wins in Super Bowls 36, 38, and 39 or not. There are even people who believe the Pats went 18-1 rather than 19-0 because they could not videotape their opponent. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but Toomer’s logic about the Patriots needing an asterisk next to their three Super Bowl victories is ridiculous. I’ll let you listen before sharing my opinion. Here is the clip of Toomer on The Jim Rome Show discussing the Patriots’ legacy:

Toomer saying the Patriots cheated is one thing. If you believe they only won three Super Bowls because they broke the rules, that’s fine.  It’s at the 1:10 mark that his reasoning becomes absurd.  If the Patriots cheated to win three Super Bowls, they cheated to win three Super Bowls.  How does it make sense that winning one in the “post Spygate” era with a completely different team would validate the first three?

I’m not saying the first three are invalid, but Toomer’s assertion that winning on Sunday would mean the Patriots could argue they “probably would have won (the others) anyway” is just idiotic.  You either believe the Patriots won as a result of cheating, or you don’t.  Whether they win or lose Super Bowl 46 should not influence your opinion.

Broncos Under Investigation for Taping 49ers Practice in London

When the disaster that quickly became known as Spygate ravaged the Patriots organization at the start of the 2007 season, a lot of people assumed the practice of videotaping opponents was not uncommon.  At the same time, it seemed safe to assume that after the credibility of New England’s three Super Bowls was questioned and Bill Belichick was fined a ton of money, no team would be dumb enough to do it again.  Leave it to a Belichick employee to prove us wrong.

According to the Denver Post, via Pro Football Talk, the Denver Broncos are being investigated for allegedly videotaping the 49ers walk-through at Wembley Stadium in London back on Oct. 30.  As we know, Denver coach Josh McDaniels was a member of the Patriots’ staff in 2007 when the Spygate scandal erupted.  Here were some of his thoughts on the matter after being hired by the Broncos:

I don’t think it is good. To have that kind of attention was a distraction, and I think that is how we all treated it. We tried to do the best we could to limit those distractions every week, and it will be no different here. Certainly we are never looking to do anything that is not within the rules established by the National Football League. They determined the punishment on that, and it was what it was and we moved on.”

Broncos’ director of video operations Steve Scarnecchia, a Patriots’ employee from 2001-2005, has taken a “personal leave of absence” while the matter is under investigation.  It will probably take the NFL a while to sort things out, but usually we find out that where there’s smoke, there’s fire with these types of matters.

The sad part?  The Broncos lost to the 49ers in London and currently have a record of 3-7.  At least the Patriots turned the tapes into victories.

Charlie Weis a Product of Spygate?

I’m sure this crossed my mind last year when the news about Spygate first came out. It got us all wondering how legitimate the Patriots’ success was. It made me wonder how good their defense, offense, and coaches really were if they had the advantage of knowing opponents’ plays ahead of time. Which brings us to Charlie Weis. I didn’t think it was all that special what Weis did with New England for two reasons — one, the Pats’ defense was the real stalwart, and two, it’s pretty easy to be successful when Tom Brady’s your quarterback. Well it’s comforting to know that Steve Young is skeptical as well. As he told Dan Patrick:

“I remember thinking to myself during some of the runs, ‘Charlie Weis is a genius,’” Young said. “I mean, I remember saying that to people: ‘This guy is uncanny, how he’s able to make these adjustments and just come out and dominate in the second half.’ What it’s left me to do is, well, I don’t know. Did it matter? I could see how it could matter if you put it all together. So it’s a tough one. I think that people earn it on the field, and I think you’ve got to move on and move forward and just recognize that it’s not a good thing at the time.”

Much unlike Mangenius, Weis is staying tight-lipped about Spygate. Man, would I love to chat with that guy off the record about some of their antics. But how about it? Without the aid of video assistance, Tom Brady, and to a lesser extent, Brady Quinn, Charlie Weis doesn’t look so hot. Maybe he’s just one of the many products of the cheating Patriots. Imagine the sham, not to mention shame, on Notre Dame.

(via SbB)