I lost a bunch of money (2000 - 2007) betting on *Pats games, and I would like the *New England Patriots franchise to reimburse those losses! Tale of the Tapes Continues With New Evidence View attachment 153 Key figures in the N.F.L. taping issue are, from left, Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, Commissioner Roger Goodell and Senator Arlen Specter. There are red flags all over the field, By JOHN BRANCH Published: February 15, 2008 A day after meeting with N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss the videotaping controversy that has entangled the league, Senator Arlen Specter said that he was more determined to continue probing. There are red flags all over the field, Specter, a Republican from Pennsylvania, said in a telephone interview Thursday. Learning that Patriots Coach Bill Belichick probably videotaped opposing sidelines for most of his head-coaching career and that some of the evidence destroyed by the N.F.L. dated to 2002 (and not 2006, as had been suggested) seemed to make Specter more dogged in his approach. Specter also learned that the N.F.L. had been investigating Matt Walsh, a former Patriots video assistant who may hold potentially damning information. Gone is any sense and, for the N.F.L., any hope that the controversy would fade after the Patriots loss in the Super Bowl. The N.F.L., which has said it would reopen its investigation if more information was uncovered, has recently been calling former Patriots players. But at least publicly, Specter has been the one pushing for more details. There are many matters which have not been explained, Specter said. And the commissioner is stonewalling. Specter, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that three red flags had him most concerned: Goodells destruction of the tapes and notes that the league received from the Patriots last fall; Goodells decision to impose penalties on the team and Belichick before the league received and reviewed the tapes and notes; and the way the N.F.L. has approached Walsh. Specter said that he, too, wanted to speak to Walsh, now living in Hawaii, but that Walshs lawyer told him that the N.F.L. had scared off Walsh. He will talk if the league will encourage him by agreeing not to sue him, Specter said. Goodell said Wednesday that the N.F.L. had made an offer to entice Walsh to tell what he knows. That could include information about reports denied sternly by the Patriots that New England taped a St. Louis Rams walk-through the day before the Patriots beat them in the Super Bowl in January 2002. We have made a proposal in which he can come forward and present information which is simply based on two factors: He has to tell the truth, and he has to return anything he took improperly, Goodell said. Specter said that the N.F.L., using a former F.B.I. agent, had been investigating Walsh. The N.F.L. conceded that it had been looking into Walshs background. All our people were doing is looking at public records, trying to verify his employment history, the league spokesman Greg Aiello said. Specters prodding, criticized by some for being a waste of the senators time, has seemed to cause Goodell to slowly leak information after remaining tight-lipped through most of the season. During their season-opening game Sept. 9, the Patriots were caught filming the signals of Jets coaches, a violation of league rules. On Sept. 13, Goodell fined Belichick $500,000 and the Patriots $250,000, and took away a first-round draft choice, a penalty intended to send a chilling message through the league. The Patriots then submitted all information they had illegally obtained, and the N.F.L. destroyed it Sept. 20. Goodell has said that he destroyed the evidence, in part, because there was no use for it. The Patriots had already admitted wrongdoing and accepted their punishment. Specter has said he was not satisfied with that explanation. At a news conference two days before the Super Bowl, Goodell said that the league collected six tapes, some from the 2007 preseason and the rest primarily from late 2006. He also said that the league confiscated some notes. There was no indication that it benefited them in any of the Super Bowl victories, Goodell said Feb. 1. Belichick has lead the Patriots to four Super Bowls, with three victories, since becoming coach in 2000. In the meeting with Specter on Wednesday, and when addressing reporters afterward, Goodell said that the notes dated to 2002. The reason that there were so few tapes, presumably, was because others had been previously discarded or recorded over. The materials were destroyed in Foxborough, Mass., where the Patriots are based, by two league vice presidents, Jeff Pash and Ray Anderson. On Wednesday, Goodell said Belichick probably had been videotaping opponents signals his entire career as a head coach, perhaps dating to his five-year stint with the Browns in the early 1990s. He thought that it was permissible to use electronic equipment as long as the information wasnt used in the same game, Goodell said. Thats not my reading of the rules, and that is why I disciplined him so aggressively. Goodell was asked how far Belichicks actions may date. He said that has always been his interpretation, Goodell said. Therefore, the assumption is as long as he has been head coach. Such revelations, while welcomed by Specter, lead to more questions. Mentioning teams held dear by his own constituents, he pointed out that the Patriots played the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2004 preseason and the Pittsburgh Steelers midway through the 2004 regular season (a Steelers victory). The Patriots beat the Steelers in that seasons American Football Conference championship game, then defeated the Eagles in the Super Bowl. Im unwilling to draw conclusions, because I dont want to be accused of overreacting, Specter said Thursday, when asked if he believed there might be a correlation between videotaping and the playoff results. On Thursday night, the Steelers released a statement to address such speculation. We consider the tapes of our coaching staff during our games against the New England Patriots to be a nonissue, the statement said. In our opinion, they had no impact on the results of those games. Specter said he did not have the factual basis for a hearing before the Judiciary Committee. But I dont want people to think that were backing off, he said.