It is often said the coverup can be worse than the crime.
Unless, of course, the coverup works.
And a new book entitled “Spygate the Untold Story,” suggests the league successfully covered up and minimized the New England spying scandal.
By destroying the tapes quickly, fining the Patriots and taking away a draft pick, but not suspending coach Bill Belichick, commissioner Roger Goodell convinced the public it was a minor matter that didn’t have a big impact on the Patriots’ success.
But author Bryan O’Leary contends it was a key to their three Super Bowl victories and suggests the Patriots might be still doing it in their home stadium, where it’s easy to hide a camera in an obscure place.
O’Leary says it wasn’t just the filming the signals that made the plan work. The Patriots, he wrote, also had a radio frequency to quarterback Tom Brady’s helmet that didn’t click off with 15 seconds left before the play clock runs down — the way the league frequency does.
Ernie Adams, a close confidant of Belichick’s, who is noted for his ability to read defenses, but whose duties have been never publicly defined, is the person in Brady’s ear via their secret frequency, O’Leary writes. He added that Adams can talk to Brady until the ball is snapped and even afterward to alert Brady to the open receiver.
The author notes that in a book about Belichick, David Halberstam wrote that Brady reads defenses so well, “It was as if there were a camera secreted away in his brain.”
O’Leary suggests it’s Adams being in his ear from the coaching booth that made the difference.
If the author is right, it might help explain how Matt Cassel could step in and win 11 games when Brady was hurt, and why coaches who leave the Patriots generally have little success.
The author suggests the statistics show the Patriots have an overwhelming edge at home.
From 2001-2011, 19 teams had a perfect home record during the regular season.
The Patriots did it five of those times and won 31 home games in a row at one point.
By contrast, top quarterbacks Dan Marino and Troy Aikman never had a perfect home season, and Kurt Warner, Jim Kelly, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees did it only once.
“Observe all the statistical evidence, then come to your own conclusion on this delicate subject,” O’Leary wrote.
Unless a Patriots insider blows the whistle one day, the true story might never been known — or not for a long time. It took decades to reveal that the New York Giants were stealing signals in 1951 when they overcame a 13 1/2-game deficit in August and beat the Brooklyn Dodgers on Bobby Thomson’s homer.
Sounds like a good book.