NFL lacks integrity, is trying to sweep this under the rug
The NFL is acting like a business or a government institution that is accused of breaking a law.
As one ESPN writer said, they're acting like they're participating in a coverup, by giving out "non-denial denials" that skew the truth. They're more interested in protecting their image, than being honest.
If everyone is spying, or if it really has no effect on the game, then the NFL should just abolish the rule against it, and level the playing field so that everyone can do it as much as they want.
Also, they should (IMO):
- give one defensive coach and one defensive player the same radio communication that the offensive coaches and the QB currently have
- allow no interference with the functioning of these headsets
- allow teams to pipe in additional crowd noise through speakers (well, why not? It's home field advantage)
Another ESPN writer said that, if this were all to come out, it would be an NFL-size version of the Black Sox scandal. I agree; when I polled the fans on 3 message board sites of the teams that lost to the Pats in their Super Bowls:
40% of them said that they would want the Pats to forfeit their Super Bowl wins.
45% said that they would want Bill Belichick suspended for a year.
3.5% said that they would want a shorter suspension,
and the rest said that spying was no big deal, everyone did it, and the NFL should just abolish the rule.
And, most of those fans of the Rams, Panthers and Eagles agreed that they wouldn't want those championships, even if they were forfeited -- they'd be hollow.
So obviously it's a big deal, and most fans believe that it's plenty, plenty serious. Opinions vary a ton. Some coaches and players (Dick Vermeil, Ron Jaworski) say that cheating just goes on and it's no big deal, it doesn't affect the games or it's ok that it happens.
But others (Marv Levy, Steve Young) say that's "baloney" (Marv Levy's quote, not mine), and it hurts the integrity of the game, it's a big deal, you can certainly win or lose a Super Bowl because of it, and it is definitely wrong.
The funny part is, I'm not opposed to teams picking off opposing signals -- that happens in baseball a lot, and it's within the rules for both teams to do it -- what I'm opposed to, is the lack of a level playing field, that the Pats supposedly put together an "invincible dynasty" when really it was as fake as Ben Johnson's former world record in the 100 meter dash.
Fortunately, regardless of Senator Specter's motives, the media does not have the same "motives" that Senator Specter might. Where there's smoke, there's fire, and the NFL, the Pats, and Matt Walsh (among others) seem to know something that they don't want to tell, and the media is dying for that to come out.
But the NFL will sweep this under the rug if it can. Look at the Black Sox scandal -- Hollywood is still making movies about it, over 80 years later! Imagine if it were football, as big as it is today! No, the NFL will pray that we all forget, and that no one really cares.
If it really is no big deal? Abolish the rule. Let everyone do it. If it matters? Dig as deep as possible. And if they find something, then suspend Bill Belichick for a year for every Super Bowl in which there's evidence that the Pats benefitted from their cheating. They can't overturn the games now. But they can tarnish the legacy of the cheaters, and protect the integrity of the game.