Suffice it to say, former Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney isn’t buying a lot of what’s coming out of New England regarding #DeflateGate.
Primarily, because he’s been wary of the Patriots for years.
A decade of frustration over the Panthers loss to New England in Super Bowl XXXVIII bubbled over yesterday on Hurney’s radio show on ESPN 730 in Charlotte, when he openly questioned whether the Patriots have created a “culture of cheating.”
“There isn’t a day that goes by since 2003 that I haven’t questioned … that there were some things done that might have been beyond the rules that may have given them a three-point advantage,” Hurney said, via ESPN.com. “This isn’t about deflating balls. . . . It’s an issue of if there is a culture of cheating at the organization that most people look at as the gold standard in this league. Is there a culture of cheating and breaking the rules?
“And I can’t prove anything and that’s why I’m very angry. And the anger has come back over the last couple of days that commissioner Roger Goodell decided to shred all of the evidence after ‘Spygate,’ because I think there were a lot of things in there that would bring closure to a lot of people.”
Good thing he didn’t hold back.
Panthers officials have held such thoughts in for the last decade, but even at the time, some in the organization were afraid the Patriots were up to no good then.
“There are people who swear to me that the Patriots taped our practice down in Houston during Super Bowl week,” Hurney said. “I can’t prove it. I don’t know. And I hate talking like this because I feel like a bad loser, but it just gnaws at you and this latest incident brings it back up.”
Hurney also acknowledged that his team’s hands weren’t clean that year, after three of their starting offensive linemen were named in a steroid investigation in South Carolina. And as much as it sounds like sour grapes from a guy who lost to the Patriots, he said he wanted to see whatever evidence the league has, whenever a decision is made.
And you get the feeling the next time he appears on ESPN’s Insiders, this might come up as well.