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The Boston Herald has officially apologized for its errant report by John Tomase that the Patriots taped the Rams’ walkthrough prior to their first Super Bowl victory.
On Feb. 2, 2008, the Boston Herald reported that a member of the New England Patriots’ video staff taped the St. Louis Rams’ walkthrough on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI. While the Boston Herald based its Feb. 2, 2008, report on sources that it believed to be credible, we now know that this report was false, and that no tape of the walkthrough ever existed.
Prior to the publication of its Feb. 2, 2008, article, the Boston Herald neither possessed nor viewed a tape of the Rams’ walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI, nor did we speak to anyone who had. We should not have published the allegation in the absence of firmer verification.
The Boston Herald regrets the damage done to the team by publication of the allegation, and sincerely apologizes to its readers and to the New England Patriots’ owners, players, employees and fans for our error.
Pats owner Robert Kraft complimented the Boston Herald on Wednesday for apologizing for a story that said his team videotaped a St. Louis Rams walkthrough before the 2002 Super Bowl. He’s “very disappointed,” though, that the newspaper “wrote a story that was completely false and unsubstantiated,” Kraft said in an interview with The Associated Press.
The Patriots released a statement on May 13 following Roger Goodell‘s findings that the Patriots did not take the Rams’ walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI. It reads:
“We want to address the allegation that the Patriots taped the Rams’ walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI. For the past three-and-a-half months, we have been defending ourselves against assumptions made based on an unsubstantiated report rather than on facts or evidence. Despite our adamant denials, the report ran on February 2, 2008, the day before Super Bowl XLII. That game was the second-most watched program in television history and it is unfortunate that today’s news will not also reach an audience of that size. We hope that with Matt Walsh’s disclosures, everyone will finally believe what we have been saying all along and emphatically stated on the day of the initial report: ‘The suggestion that the New England Patriots recorded the St. Louis Rams’ walkthrough on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 is absolutely false. Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue.’”
My thoughts: The Herald’s damage was done, and it could be significant because their apology won’t get as much play as their errant report did get. John Tomase is not the only one, but he has added to the damage of the Patriots’ reputation as a result of Spygate. There will always be a shadow hanging over the franchise just because the Patriots taped signals from an illegal spot in the stadium.