Roger Goodell Wants to Close the Case, but Is Spygate Really Over?

glenn warciskiCorrespondent IMay 13, 2008

After much brouhaha, today, former Patriots' employee Matt Walsh met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.  Before Goodell spoke, he made a decision to have the media and public view Matt Walsh's tapes.

After showing all of the tapes, Goodell then addressed the media.


What We Know

•Thankfully, at this time, there is and was no tape of a St. Louis Rams' walk through prior to Super Bowl XXXVI.

•Matt Walsh did not have anything germane to add regarding video taping of opponents.

•Walsh did reveal that a Patriots player who is nameless at this point practiced while being on IR. At this time, Goodell wants to corroborate this new information prior to releasing the player's name.

•Walsh engaged in illegal selling of tickets.


What We Don't Know

•When Walsh handed over his tapes to Patriots scout Ernie Adams, what did Adams do with the information?

•If these tapes are pieces of information, why did the Patriots go to such lengths to collect the data?

•Did they use information on tapes to gain an advantage?


Because these questions remain unanswered, I think Goodell should hand over the investigation to an independent prosecutor.  I think Goodell just wants to put a bookmark in this unfortunate saga and move on.

However, there is another layer of this Spygate drama.

We will have to wait to see if Senator Arlen Spector (R) of Pennsylvania is satisfied with Goodell's investigation. I think Spector has a hidden agenda.

Remember, the U.S. Government has given the NFL an anti-trust exemption. Under this anti-trust exemption, the NFL can negotiate television contracts with all 32 teams rather than have each team do this individually.

The anti-trust exemption has enabled the NFL to prosper.  In the past, Spector has threatened to repeal the exemption.

In addition, the NFL is at war with the cable industry over the NFL Network. Comcast Corporation (based out of Philadelphia, PA) is one of the cable giants at odds with the NFL about the NFL Network. The NFL wants its network on regular cable programming while Comcast and others want the network on a tiered package.

What does this mean?

If Spector is not satisfied with Goodell's investigation to date, he can "dangle a carrot" over Goodell. He can continue to pressure Goodell or have the U.S. Government investigate  this Spygate soap opera.

If Goodell refuses, Spector and Senator Patrick Leahy (D) of Vermont, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, would consider removing the anti-trust exemption. Undoubtedly, this would be good news for the cable industry.  

Stay tuned. I do not think this is over.