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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Kurt Warner still wonders about Patriots cheating in Super Bowl

Kurt Warner

The New England Patriots’ involvement in the “deflategate” controversy has former Rams quarterback Kurt Warner wondering whether the Pats were up to no good when the teams met in the Super Bowl in 2002.

The Patriots pulled off an upset in that Super Bowl by beating the heavily favored Rams 20-17 to win their first of three championships in four seasons. The outcome of the game was a stunner to many, and the legitimacy of the win was called into question when in 2008, The Boston Herald ran a story saying the Pats videotaped the Rams’ walk-through practice leading up to the big game. Though the Herald later apologized for running the story, that report coupled with “spygate” and now “deflategate” has Warner wondering about what the Patriots might have done.

“I don’t want to believe that there was anything outside of his team beat our team,” Warner said at Media Day on Tuesday via the New York Daily News. “That’s what I want to believe. Yeah, there’s a sliver of a doubt … Was there any advantage they gained in any game? Not just our Super Bowl game, but maybe a game before that to get to the Super Bowl. All those things enter your mind. It’s not because I’m bitter. It’s not because I say they cheated, because I have no idea.”

Warner also pointed out that the Pats have not won a Super Bowl since Spygate and wonders if that is due to an advantage they had from cheating. But he does recognize that Bill Belichick is an excellent coach regardless of his tactics.

Though Warner says he wonders about what the Pats might have done, he is trying to be diplomatic about it by saying the questions are also unfair to the Pats.

“It adds a sliver of doubt, which I think is unfair to everybody,” Warner said. “It’s unfair to them and their legacy. It’s unfair to me and my legacy. I don’t want to have to wonder, ‘Well, did they beat me fair and square or was there something extra?’ That’s the unfortunate part that I don’t think you’ll ever get over, because you know something was done outside the rules. I have no idea how it helped them. I don’t know if it gave them an advantage on one play that turned into an interception or touchdown. Or gave them no advantage. I don’t know.”

Warner isn’t the only ex-Rams player who has questions. Marshall Faulk says he will never get over having to question whether or not the Patriots cheated in that game. Another person we can add to the list is former Carolina Panthers GM Marty Hurney, whose team lost to the Pats in the big game two years later. He has less of a complaint, though, because more than half of his starting offensive line was involved in a steroids scandal. That sort of cheating by key players should negate whatever the Pats might have done.

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