ESPN gives “tighter edit” to column criticizing ESPN’s Patriots opus

AP

There’s nothing like the smell of ESPN-on-ESPN crime to help wind down a hectic day.

After ESPN published (and trumpeted) on Tuesday a 10,000-word article that fully explored the rabbit hole of Spygate, Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com wrote a reaction piece with seven takeaways from the story.

At some point, two of the seven takeaways were taken away by ESPN.

In response to the ESPN report that Patriots employees entered the visiting team’s locker room and stole materials like play sheets, Reiss provided a blast of common sense that was missing from the story: “Security’s extremely tight throughout Gillette Stadium. Don’t think too many people, if any, are casually walking into the visitors’ locker room. And let’s just say they are, who leaves play sheets around?”

Included in the original version of the article, it’s now gone.

Also removed from the original version was this final observation from Reiss: “When you’re at the top, everyone likes to bring you down. A longtime sportscaster with a deep history in Boston relayed this thought to me that resonated: ‘They used to say same the stuff about Red Auerbach.'”

Here’s what ESPN had to say about the changes: “[T]he story was given a tighter edit after its initial posting.”

Surviving the “tighter edit” was criticism of the corresponding SI.com report regarding the notion that Patriots coach Bill Belichick magically knew that injured players from visiting teams hadn’t traveled to Boston. As noted here last night, Belichick knew that because the visiting teams have an obligation to share that information as soon as the player doesn’t get on the plane.

So arguable criticism of the Sports Illustrated article survived, and arguable criticism of the ESPN article didn’t.

187 responses to “ESPN gives “tighter edit” to column criticizing ESPN’s Patriots opus

  1. What an absolute joke ESPN has become. I look forward to five years from now when OTL treats the appeal hearing transcript they’ve spent six months burying as breaking news.

    “Did Roger Goodell misrepresent Tom Brady’s testimony? An Outside The Lines special investigation.”

  2. So….the article had 90 sources for the story but 88 were unnamed? Why don’t these sources go on record? Because if they are on record they can be challenged for their truthfulness that’s why. Anyone who buys into what ESPN is selling is an idiot. It’s all about selling the controversy to increase revenue.

  3. Mike Reiss is the only ESPN reporter that doesn’t make knee jerk reactions and actually doesn’t have his head up his ass. He’s as good as gone, using your brain is against the rules at ESPN I.e. Skip Bayless, Stephen A Smith,

    Anyone else think ESPN would post the article if Brady lost in court?

  4. Mike Reiss works for ESPN in name only — he’s basically a Patriots employee. His work is completely subjective garbage. If you ask me, they need more tight editing of his work.

  5. ESPN is irrelevant. It was born before websites, iphones, twitter, etc. When it was as cool as the other side of the pillow. Now it’s as much a product itself as the sport it ‘sells.’
    ESPN is Pravda.

  6. Now Mike Reiss has experienced two bits of drama from his employer. First changing a byline on a piece to suit their needs, and second this.

    Mike is a stand-up guy, with a great reputation. I have a feeling he’ll be walking away from ESPN soon.

  7. The real irony in this whole mess is at this point,
    who really comes out of this looking the best ?

    At one point in the story the authors state that the video taping practice went on from 2000 to 2007. A span of time over which the Patriots taped 40 games.

    The authors DO realize this practice was deemed legal for 6 of those seasons, do they not ?
    The NFL and their lapdogs at the Four Letter
    network that shall go unnamed look petty and
    dishonest.

    At the end of the day, maybe Belichick and Brady
    are just really that good.

  8. Control the industry, control the narrative. ESPN has become to big for its own good. No journalistic integrity, they have to stop with this anonymous sources crap. Tell them to put their name on it or shut the eff up.

  9. .
    The ESPN and SI pieces were just the Wells Report in a journalistic format. They reached a conclusion and then fabricated lies, innuendo and hearsay by has-beens into a homespun tale which ends exactly where their original conclusion began .

    One has to wonder if noted ” wordsmither “, Dave Pash, was the ghost editor of both pieces.
    .

  10. I don’t know if they used to say the same stuff about Red Auerbach or not, but I do know that jealousy of a successful team does not explain a never-ending stream of accusations of cheating and unsportsmanlike behavior alleged against the Patriots.

    For example, I do not recall a diatribe of accusations against the Steelers in the ’70s or against the 49ers in the ’80s. I don’t remember allegation after allegation after allegation leveled at the Cowboys. The 49ers were accused of too many chop blocks, but that is about all I can remember.

    I am sure there were a few things that all the teams were accused of, but not this endless stream of charges like the Patriots are accused of by coaches of other team, former coaches of the Patriots, front office personnel, owners, players, and the media.

  11. And btw, it seems like other than deflategate, ALL YOU DO now is write stories calling out your peers. ESPN did this. Chris Mortinson did that. Peter King did this. Adam Schefter did that. Please, just stop already. It’s starting to come off as petty!

  12. ESPN is scum. There is no more professional sports reporter alive than Mike Reiss. The image of Pash/Kensil/Goodell screaming at ESPN hire ups to edit anything they don’t like at threat of giving them Jacksonville/Oakland games immediately pops up. Maybe Pash edited this article himself, that’s his specialty!

  13. ESPN is Goodell’s Pravda and has zero credibility. ESPN had no issue publishing a hit piece on the Pats with unsubstantiated accusations from a every sore loser that has ever lost to Belichick’s Pats.

    But when the infidel, Mike Riess, has the audacity to print facts that make their diety Goodell look bad, ESPN does what any good propoganda agent would do and makes the facts disappear.

  14. The ESPN article is just as bad. Take the Carolina Panthers crying about Spygate and the Patriots stealing their signals.

    The last time the Patriots played Carolina prior to the Super Bowl, George Seifert was the coach!!

    If the Patriots had managed to steal the Carolina signals, they did it legally. By watching the coach’s tape.

  15. Mike Reiss is one of the fairest writers in Boston, only problem is ESPN aka Pravda, doesn’t know the meaning of fair.

  16. I want to thank you, Florio. You truly are a fair man. I feel funny saying that about an attorney, but I believe you are. It’s just a shame that the damage has been done. Those that hate The Patriots cannot and have not ever read beyond the title of an article. They also view the four letter network as a credible source for sports journalism. Just typing those two words made me vomit. Thanks again, Mike, and keep cleaning up their mess. I’m certain you have other things you’d rather write about, but I honestly appreciate your agenda free writing.

    Grateful fan

  17. ESPN is scum and their partnership with the NFL is incredibly unprofessional. There was nothing inflammatory or incorrect about those comments.

    They were the same way with Saints (Bountygate) and Dolphins (Bullygate).

  18. They are by far the most biased, anti Patriots “reporters” ever. They are setting themselves up for an epic fall-Robert Kraft is not one who suffers fools. They may be sucking up to NFL by declaring war on Patriots, but the Kraft’s will be the ones left standing. May not happen overnight, but it will happen-and I will be cheering them on!

  19. ESPN has become a joke. They are so afraid of the NFL that it’s laughable. ESPN is to Journalism as WWE is to Sport. Let’s all just admit that the Mothership is there for entertainment, but not to be taken seriously due to their billion dollar conflict of interest.

  20. espn is like the e network now nothing real all scripted and fake they had a good run though too bad they havent been good since the late 90s early 2000s

  21. Just like the NFL, the more they attempt to do their jobs, the more evidence they provide that they have no clue – keystone cops

  22. Never have trusted ESPN, and never will. This story didn’t even add important or substantial details to what we already knew about spygate, like exactly how many games were affected (at least 40 is less than half of games played over that time span) or specifically which ones. Without the tapes, we will never know, which is why this story has been dead for 8 years. ESPN should never have published that article – but what would you expect from an F-tier journalism outlet?

  23. I gotta give you props for not outright towing the line in all this Florio, but posting some of this crap after the majority of the trolls’ bedtime, isn’t necessarily helping the Pats clear their name. I mean it’s great that you dig deep enough to get as close to the truth as the NFL will let you, but dang save it for when the people that need educating are actually online…otherwise it is all for not…and we have to keep hearing about “the fumble stats”.

  24. I am a news outlet right now I would think heavily about opening up a 24-7 sports network. I think quite a few people would flock to one with journalistic integrity including the few ESPN reporters who still have some.

  25. Wow. Could this all get any more transparent? Some would say it already happened long ago, but if there was any doubt, it’s now official that ESPN has completely jumped the journalistic shark.

    And SI – frankly it’s bizarre to see both major outlets turning out such shameless, shoddy junk at the same time, so casually. It’s appalling and surreal.

  26. Considering that one of Boston’s biggest media personalities pledged to murder on Belichick’s behalf at Super Bowl Media Day, what are the odds we see a Virginia like attack on ESPN talent in the very near future? All it takes is one mentally deranged person and all Bristol wants to do is fan those flames.

  27. “It was given a tighter edit”
    Didn’t ESPN just release a 10,00o word hit piece about something that happened 8 years ago, with no named sources, and baseless allegations? Unreal. It’s nice to get a taste of what its like to live in North Korea.

  28. This exemplifies what ESPN really is. Sleazy as a life long Saints fan I would not appreciate an article about Bounty gate brought up days before our big night. Doesn’t the original article really speak to what a bad job our commissioner has been doing. If all this is true why didn’t he take the appropriate action 7 years ago. Oh that’s right he doesn’t seem to have to be accountable for not doing his job. Beaten children, punched out girlfriends,drugs,violence and brain injured players all take a back seat to deflated balls. Worse a story that maligns a team for something they admitted to and punished for. If owners needed more than why wasn’t it done 7 years ago

  29. Honestly, if I were Mike Reiss I would walk from ESPN. He’s a classy journalist (regardless of what you think about the Patriots organization, Mr Reiss is nothing but professional in how he handles his business).

    Nothing he said wasn’t true and he was extremely courteous to the piece which he was mildly criticizing, given how much more he could have said about how poorly thought out the idea of stealing playbooks and play sheets is. (even if they were doing it: it’s legal… slimy? but legal.)

    Regardless of all of that, Mr Reiss is an outstanding professional and this kind of editing is a downright attack on that fact and shows incredibly poor form on ESPN’s part.

    I have very little respect for them as a news organization and somehow ESPN manages to decrease it on a nearly daily basis.

    I really hope for Mr. Reiss that he finds a new home soon because ESPN is going down the tubes in terms of journalistic integrity. They are the WWE of journalism.

  30. any team that leaves a locker room fully unattended, whether on the road or at even at home, deserves to have their playsheets lifted.

  31. Reiss is a good reporter. He always makes it clear what is fact and what is opinion and absolutely never injects himself into a story. He had his own blog for years wherever he worked.

    In ESPN’s new NFL Nation format, he doesn’t have control of his own blog anymore. ESPN continually dumps pieces from its deep pool of ‘talent’ into his blog so that some days he’s almost invisible, buried under an avalanche of crappy gloss pieces devoid of facts.

    The problem for Reiss is that most readers want the gloss and not the reality. Facts just get in the way and thinking is too much of a burden.

  32. I can’t understand a society let alone a journalist writing something like this. Changed or altered statement if the Rams coach is telling the truth and the outrage is at New England. Changing the writings of a fellow member of your team makes you as bad as Godell He should have suspended Belicheck when he had the chance yet you choose to make this about an excuse for why deflate gate was over reported by your organization mostly very badly by the way. No integrity sleazy defending a man by all your accounts should be fired if that is the way he handled spygate…..never reading or watching again..support something write something that makes a difference….

  33. It’s unfortunate, but not surprising, to see Reiss’s writing censored by ESPN. ESPN doesn’t deserve him, and when I swore off the network this summer, I told him so in an email thanking him for all he’s added to my Pats fandom over the 8 years or so.

  34. Mike Reiss is a reporter of high integrity who is loved by Pats fans because he only prints facts and stats.

    He’s wasted at ESPN.

    Ron Borges would fit right in at the four letter network, though.

  35. Hmmm…Adolph Goodell and his NFL SS cronies are now controlling what ESPN reporters can and cannot put out!

    Even the Patriot haters have to start wondering now.

    In Goodells parlance…Who can I get next!!!

  36. Patriots are like the Mafia. And if we only knew what was really going on with that dirty, cheating franchise…

  37. Thank goodness for Mike Reiss. At once both a solid reporter and an obvious Pats fan – but doesn’t go out of his way to be an apologist. I am thankful for levelheaded reporting.

  38. Good one bandit…LOL

    Phinfan here…NFL ran a screw job on the Patriots…Sorry fellow haters, but true is true!

    When bullygate happened here I was glad to see Turner and Incognito go…Now that I’ve (we’ve) seen and read the stories, and the way Wells did/conducted his report…I wish I knew then what I know now !

    It’s just my opinion for what it’s worth.

  39. This isn’t the first time that ESPN has “edited” the reporting of Mike Reiss. The “Tom Brady apologizes” thing the other day is just one instance. Mike’s a good guy and shouldn’t have to endure this crap.

  40. Son now ESPN throws their own reporter Mike Reiss under the bus.

    Mike Reiss might be one of the nicest if not the nicest guys in the world…His own company changed his words…I have nothing else to say, except I’m flabbergasted!

  41. Can’t even get a witch hunt right.

    It’s the “Entertainment and Sports Programming Network.” Entertainment. Says nothing about news, reporting or journalistic integrity.

  42. I love all the “Hey Pats fans, where there’s smoke there’s fire amiright?” comments on every Patriots article by the way. Does it bother any of the haters that the smoke is actually being blow up their ***? Or do they ignore it, because they like the sensation?

  43. Another fan boy got a dose of reality? I don’t care about a few pounds of air. I don’t care that Brady is a smug pos. I’m tired of them being in the news for pushing the envelope. If you are really the best QB and head coach ever why does this always happen? Its not jealousy like some of you mouth breathing idiots in Mass think. My team owns yours so I don’t hate the Pats out of jealousy. Just win baby, but win the right way. Just be better, not a better cheater. All of our titles think yours deserves an asterisk.

  44. The NFL lies
    ESPN spreads NFL lies
    Goodell lies
    Pash lies
    Wells lies
    ESPN lies
    SI lies
    Colts lie
    Ravens lie
    ESPN lies some more
    Only Tom Brady asked to be sworn in under oath.
    Only Mike Reiss of ESPN dares to inject common sense instead of perpetual unnamed sourcing at ESPNFL…And according to Scott Zolak of 98.5 Boston, ESPNFL has reprimanded Mike Reiss twice in recent weeks for not adhering to NFL/ESPN anti-Patriot talking points.
    Where’s ESPN’s Ombudsman? Did Goodell have him suspended as well?

  45. Haters gonna hate. If u can’t beat em, lie!! I think there was 80 un named sources these articles,80 no can put there names to this! I can’t wait to see everyone loses it when the pats win another lam-Brady trophy!!

  46. “Don’t think too many people, if any, are casually walking into the visitors’ locker room. And let’s just say they are, who leaves play sheets around?”

    Duh. I said the exact the same thing the other day.

    Sources with no names huh? People who no longer work for the Pats are afraid of what? Not getting re-hired by them? Because thats all the Pats can do to them. Kind of makes you wonder who the sources were. Not one name.

    ESPN = Hacks

  47. Believe it or not, despite my post name, I am not a Patriots homer. I do not walk around all day in a pair of Patriot’s footie pajamas.

    Do I believe that the New England Patriots, under the guidance of coach Bill Belichick, have pushed the limits of the NFL rules to gain a weekly advantage during their decade plus of dominance? No doubt about it! And if your franchise isn’t doing the same then shame on them.

    But anyone who truly believes that the unprecedented success the Patriots have enjoyed since 2001 is because they “cheat” is missing the bigger picture with the organization. I understand that success creates jealousy but true football fans should be fascinated by Belichick and how he runs his program. We are truly witnessing one of the greatest football coaches of all time. Best of all he is completely in the head of just about every coach/GM in the NFL…….. before any team steps off the plane in New England the Patriots already have an advantage.

  48. The Van Natta story was more critical of the NFL for the lax “investigation.”

    The details of the Patriots filming has multiple sources and is believable. The outright theft allegations have no support other than “it was like they knew our plays.” I can see theft is a possible explanation and good coaching is another. The continued run of excellence AFTER spy gate suggests the latter is more likely correct.

  49. PFT’s accuracy is appreciated in light of the many proven lies and misinformation passed off as truth by the 4 letter network and the NFL.

    those who bought into the narrative probably believe W’s weather machine caused Katrina.

  50. Security at gillette it was a pats employee doin it he would tell security to get the hell out of the way we hired you or they could simply say gotta clean up the locker room before halftime million ways to get in there heres the best excuse please move mr security guard we cant win unless we cheat,mass state trooper ok go ahead can u gat me some size 11s

  51. ESPN has become the “mouth of Sauron.” I have not watched them for six months, and will only tune in if they are my only option to view a “must-see” game. I hope the rest of New England follows suite.

  52. Mike – When Rodney threatens to steal your lunch money if you don’t come to school wearing a Patriots jersey every day, you have to stand up to him. Haven’t we learned anything from Jonathan Martin?

  53. And yet the original Mortenson article still hasn’t been edited. Still says 11 of the 12 balls were deflated by two pounds.

    I just really don’t understand why ESPN has this anti-pats agenda.

  54. ESPN can use unnamed sources as cover to say anything they want!

    But heaven forbid that Reiss uses common sense in response to an allegation in the report.
    You can have an opinion at espn, but you can’t have a pro Pats opinion that poses questions about espn itself.

  55. And how about the ESPN story yesterday that had Mike Reiss’ byline, but which he informed people via Twitter that he did NOT write????

    Who, in God’s name, is running the show at ESPN these days?????

  56. Mike Reiss is the best beat writer in the country. He is barely ever wrong and if he is, he comes right out and makes the correction.

    It is ridiculous how ESPN has treated him the past couple years
    He needs to be freed.

  57. Mike Reiss is a class act. He ought to tell ESPN to go take a hike. There are too many places for a good journalist like Reiss to work than having to settle for a bottom feeder organization like ESPN.

  58. Bob Kraft would forever be a hero to Patriots fans if he banned all ESPN personnel from Gillette Stadium!

  59. Yet the blind masses have already seen what they need to.

    EVERYONE has their minds made up when it comes to the Pats. I can’t see anything changing their minds now.

    Fans will staunchly defend them and haters will never believe anything they say.

    It’s a shame that the most successful football franchise of this error has to face such scrutiny.

    Even worse that the media decides how they portray information. That’s why things like deflated footballs in a Patriots game is headline news, where a Pro Football Hall of Fame player admitting to using Stick’um and cheating his entire career is no big deal.

  60. ESPN is trying to bring up spygate again with all annoymous sources of information? The pats haters just couldn’t take this last Super Bowl win. The fashion they won it in, the fake deflategate scandal, Brady being told he was old and sucked at the beginning of the year then getting revenge just made people go insane to new levels.

  61. Reiss is one of the bests in the business. He must be pissed at ESPN for using his Twitter account to tweet a lie about Brady apologizing to the NFL. It’s a shame what ESPN is doing in this war against the Pats. Just another day at ESPN at the expense of a good guy like Reiss as far as they are concerned.

  62. BSPN

    Mike Reiss has been working at Espn a long time… And is widely respected… Perhaps he should have been consulted before that report was filed…. But axes have the sharpened…

  63. ESPN’s only purpose in running that gossip piece masquerading as an expose was to get attention. Mike Reiss’s mistake was to think of “Spygate to Deflategate” as an actual work of journalism and so worth an intelligent critique, instead of what it really is, which is entertainment.

  64. What a joke ESPN is. No accountability whatsoever. PFT is the only outlet that is fact checking this joke of a network.

    Reiss is one of the most most respected journalists, reporting on the facts of this team, that I have experienced. He criticizes NE when it is warranted but he also challenges the popular agendas as he knows this team.

    Reiss needs to get out of ESPN. They don’t deserve him. Let them go ahead and hire another puppet that they can express their rumors and innuendos through while doing a Hollywood-style OTL to wow people into believing a smear job.

    ESPN is sizzle…Reiss is substance…

  65. Hope that Cimini, Yates, and the rest of the team writers have the guts to stand up for one of the finest and most trustworthy sports writers around

  66. The article actually wrote that it was sinister that the Patriots were “prepared” for Faulk to return kickoffs when he never had before and kicked to the corner of the end zone. Are you kidding me? Does Gostkowski not have eyes to see him and kick away from him? Can coaches not see him in the end zone?

  67. It must be a constant headache for ESPN to have a reporter with some integrity still in its ranks! Schefter has been brave enough to jump in to clarify and correct a few vitally important points (like the balls being “just a tick under” and that the NFL did indeed advise the Pats to suspend the ball guys) but poor old Reiss is in a slit trench on the Boston frontline, trying to report the Pats daily without surrendering his integrity. Both deserve much respect – and rescuing to a sports news franchise that isn’t in the pocket of a lying, smearing, dishonest Commissioner’s office.

  68. The leadership at ESPN and the NFL are doing a great job of helping us all to know what it was like living in Cold War-era East Germany.

  69. Mike Florio, NE released a statement saying they never taped any drills or walkthroughs the other day in response to the ESPN article…they claimed basically ignorance…

    This is a slap in the face…if NE is going to be brazen to make this statement (emboldened obviously by the recent court win for Brady), then can we finally push to find out WHY WAS VIDEO EVIDENCE DESTROYED…that is the crux of the issue. If NE is going to say they never video taped anything worthy of interest, then why was the video’s in their possession destroyed with in days of their discovery by the NFL. There are criminals on all sides, but now NE is now denying spygate even happened becuase the NFL fumbled.

  70. It’s obvious that ESPN is in the NFL’S back pocket& that it’s biased role is to be the propaganda machine for the goals & objectives of 345 Park Ave agendas…..
    The timing of this article from BSPN & the heat that the League Office & Commish have taken since the reversal of Brady’s suspension are no coincidence… It’s so obvious it’s outright sinful…
    BSPN is a joke of a network & Brady nailed it years ago when he called them the TMZ of sports reporting….

  71. Mike Reiss was the only reason I migrated from the Boston Globe to ESPN Boston, but the Beast from Bristol has steadily been clogging the site with more filler. Now this. Hopefully Mike can move on to a more responsible/respectable news outlet
    Thanks to PFT for highlighting this to the broader audience

  72. Every chowduh head on the planet is out to prove Patriots innocence. Bill Simmons at the top of the list. There’s just too much out there. Fact is Patriots have been in a horrible division and have a great homegirls advantage. If not for 3 lucky plays they’re either 3-3 or 6-0, as it turns out 4-2. How they got there is forever up for debate. Boston just has to accept that not all these stories are untrue. No one did this to the Cowboys, Steelers, 49ers, Packers, etc etc

  73. Patriots have never been caught lying about anything, yet we believe the NFL and ESPN over them who lie again and again and again and again.

  74. More evidence of Roger’s smear campaign against the Patriots. That man is out of control and needs some serious help. Roger – please stay out of New England. I hope you realize you are not welcome here.

  75. This makes me sick. All ESPN does is wait around for their marching orders from Park Ave. I HATE the NFL! I really want Robert Kraft to go full Al Davis on the NFL. Even if I was Jonathan Kraft, and I was going to inherit the team, I would tell him “Dad its time to go nuclear”. The world doesn’t deserve the Patriots. You are NOT worthy.

  76. ESPN SUCKS ALWAYS HAS ANS ALWAYS WILL…THEY ARE LIKE THE TABLOIDS YOU SEE A SUPERMARKET CHECK OUT LINES…WHY ANYONE WITH A SEMBLENCE OF A BRAIN WOULD EVEN PAY ATTENTION TO ANYTHING THAT THEY SAY IS BEYOND ME.

  77. I would suggest to ESPN that they do an even “tighter edit” and stop reporting on the Patriots altogether since they can’t seem to get anything right.

    Then again, that would imply that their inaccuracies in reporting were due to mere incompetence rather than a deliberate effort to spread misinformation at the behest of the league office.

  78. Mike Reiss is about as good a beat reporter as you can find. He deserves better than this. Move on Mike. We’ll follow you.

  79. Arguable criticism yes, but does that make the whole article null and void? Absolutely not. Just like every Pats fans crying their eyes out about “11 of 12 balls were 2 PSI low”. Was that 100% accurate? No. BUT 11 of 12 balls were under the legal limit and some were a full 2 PSI low. So most of that report WAS TRUE. You cant negate an entire report b/c minor details arent right. I read the entire 10,000 word report and the detail in it was amazing, no way on earth anyone can say the majority of it wasnt true. The fact that Goodell made a spygate decision in SIX days and then burned all evidence is proof enough that the rabbit hole was MUCH deeper than anyone thought. Look at the process we just went through for deflategate…………..but for spygate it was 6 days with NO investigation?!?!?!?! Thats fishy without a doubt.

  80. Get out Mike, before you’re reputation is taken down to the level of ESPN’s NFL gimps. The quality reporters have long left Bristol, what’s left is the toadies who are glad to have Mike Kensil (or lawyer Pash) of NFL dictate their copy. Just when I thought that Goodell and ESPN couldn’t possibly dig themselves into a deeper hole, there’s this. With this kind of venimous mischief, Goodell is effectively daring the NFL owners to fire him. That’s probably his ploy now: force a record ‘lead parachute’ as the price for getting rid of this albatross.

  81. Get out Mike, before your reputation is taken down to the level of ESPN’s NFL gimps. The quality reporters have long left Bristol, what’s left is the toadies who are glad to have Mike Kensil (or lawyer Pash) of NFL dictate their copy. Just when I thought that Goodell and ESPN couldn’t possibly dig themselves into a deeper hole, there’s this. With this kind of venimous mischief, Goodell is effectively daring the NFL owners to fire him. That’s probably his ploy now: force a record ‘lead parachute’ as the price for getting rid of this albatross.

  82. We all know how against the deflategate punishment Kraft was, he was very outspoken, after the penalties levied he said the NFL was 100% wrong. For spygate him and Bill were given $750K fine and loss of 1st round draft pick and neither Bill nor Kraft made one sound. They knew that punishment was WAY too light and that their trophies should have been taken away. If i get a $300 ticket for going 2 MPH over the speed limit im going to courtt to fight that, b/c its BS! Now if i am drunk while pulled over and only get that $300 ticket im going to thank the officer and walk away, thats exactly what Spygate was. Goodell didnt want to be the guy who had to vacate a Super Bowl (or 3), especially to his great friend Kraft. So he dinged him for ONE instance of cheating, then burned the evidence. Kraft was DELIGHTED that all they got was 750K fine and a draft pick taken.

  83. I was thinking yesterday- the only stuff I read at all on the four letter network is Mike Reiss’s pieces. I’ll keep reading him, but hoping that he finds a place worthy- the guy really is one of the best in the business.

  84. Anyone who wants to say there is a pervasive culture of cheating with the Patriots needs to also be willing to say there is a pervasive culture of lying with ESPN.

  85. ESPN is becoming a parody of itself.

    When this “story” broke my first thought was I am sure the same as many others … what football team is going to leave it’s playbook or any other details laying about for someone to scoop up? And frankly if they did whose fault is that?

    The stories regarding the Patriots have really reached the level of the absurd. At some point some of these anonymous sources should be outed and the Patriots should be given the opportunity to face their accusers.

    In the meantime, Patriots fans are getting a huge laugh out of how incredibly paranoid other teams are of the Pats. Perhaps other teams should spend a little less time looking for things that are not there and a little more time watching what the Patriots do on the field.

  86. Simply never watch this channel again. There is never a time where it is the only source for a “must see” game; there are alternatives at all times. I do not even have cable any longer, so I am sure my boycott will stand..

  87. I bet if Reiss had written the critique as an anonymous source, ESPN wouldn’t have edited it. Honestly, 90 people are willing to come forward about Spygate to bash Belichick, and yet nobody is willing to go on record. That article was a mockery of common sense. All of these people are so paranoid that BB is going to do something underhanded, yet somehow he’s able to steal playsheets, tape practices, and bug lockerrooms? You’d think with so much disdain for the man, opposing teams might try to catch them in the act. Which I honestly believe they tried to do. The problem is, they came away with nothing.

  88. With the major sports having their own networks now, there is zero reason to watch ESPN except for live games that you cant watch elsewhere.

  89. This is standard operating procedure for ESPN these days. They post a poorly sourced article designed primarily to create click based revenue and then slip in a correction quietly afterwards (if at all).

    This story was a particularly egregious example. Some unnamed source claims the Patriots were stealing play sheets from opposing teams (who apparently knew about it and not only continued to leave them out to be stolen but actually made fake ones) and in the rundown on the side of the main site the summary presents these unfounded accusations as facts rather then allegations.

    Site traffic is down at ESPN and the actions they’re taking to fix it are actually just dooming them to a downward spiral. Their journalistic integrity will continue to erode as they try and garner views and clicks with unfounded accusations and outlandish stories leading to more and more people avoiding the site.

    ESPN will never die, Disney has too much money, but soon it will no longer be viewed as a legitimate journalistic enterprise and simply an entertainment endeavor.

  90. We need Florio to lead the investigation of Hillarys illegal server. He’ll probably discover that there’s a heretofore unknown “natural” way all those classified emails got on there.

  91. I don’t want to pat myself on the back but I also told Reiss to go off on his own a year ago due to the bs filler (much of it from NY based writers) that they were clogging his blog.

    ESPN don’t even want good soldiers like Reiss, never mind out-spoken guys like Simmons. ESPN is a corporate tool. They are what George Orwell warned would become of free speech.

    I normally avoid politics on this site but it is this type of media concentration, similar to the impact of the Citizens United ruling, that allows a very few billionaires to have control over what we see and hear. That’s not democracy folks. That is plutocracy .

  92. 2nd Time this week that ESPN has altered Reiss’ articles – suggesting Brady “apologized for putting fans through this” – Reiss confirms he never wrote that

    Did Roger Goodell suspend the ESPN Ombudsman when he bought the network too?

    Seriously – there are NO journalistic standards there. Pravda is less biased.

    THIS is where all you Haters seem to get your information – and it shows

  93. I’m sure that Belicheat cowers in front of Gillette security.

    And the ultimate trump – CONSPIRACY. THEY’RE ALL JEALOUS!

    And take my word for it, I’m a long time homer Boston reporter.

    LOL

  94. ESPN IS A JOKE. If this summer has proven ANYTHING, more probable than not, it is that the NFL lies and ESPN will print ANYTHING to drum up public attention.

  95. The cable companies might have right idea with choice programing. Here is an opportunity for peoples voices to be heard by dropping ESPN and its sister stations from your television programming.

  96. So now ESPN is practicing censorship? How disgusting. Mike Reiss should file a lawsuit claiming his 2nd ammendment right to free speech was violated. If I were him, I don’t know I could continue working at ESPN. ESPN has never been more blatant about their agenda against the Patriots it should embarrass everyone at the network. No one there has any credibility anymore. And it’s common knowledge that all top executives at ESPN have an extreme dislike of the Patriots. Probably Jet fans.

  97. “You can say whatever you want about DeflateGate, and who said what, but to me this is about how the NFL operates: it’s back stabbing, it’s insecure and it’s childish. ‘You want to call me out? I’m going to call you out. You want to embarrass me? Guess what I’m going to embarrass you.’ I’m telling you, this is the way the NFL works. At the end of the day, Tom Brady is the one who’s got the last laugh. He’s got his third Super Bowl MVP trophy and his fourth Super Bowl.”

    boomer esiason

  98. ESPN is just trash. Between this sort of crap and they’re whole ‘frat boy on steroids’ persona, it’s just beyond belief.

  99. So basically ESPN is really just reporting either the fact that Goodell covered up the truth about the entire situation. That makes u guilty Moron Goodell. This guy has a brain made out of a box of rocks.

    Or B. These are all further lies from Goodell and these so called 90 people, which that number is fabricated. Who has ever heard of a story using 90 sources? Gimme a break BSPN.

    And like many people pointed out videotaping wasnt illegal and still isnt except from certain angles. The NFL, BSPN and Goodell are lieing morons

  100. And if you are dumb enough to leave play sheets behind in locker rooms and hotel rooms, then you deserve to get your information stolen if that report is even true.

    If these teams were so concerned about the Patriots why in the hell would u leave information behind. Thats on you for being a moron.

    It wasnt like Pat Shurmer’s stupidity whose plays got blown out of his hand over to the Bengals sideines over to Marvin Lewis. Thats Browns type stupidity

  101. The betting line on pat’s cheating in game 1 is (43-1). We won’t find out till after the season, so any accomplishments can’t be taken away or removed

  102. If ESPN’s prior history is any indication, Reiss’s career with ESPN will end up getting the tightest edit. Remember, though, this is the same group that fought tooth and nail against a college football playoff through its “analysts” right up until its sugar daddies decided it was inevitable and then gave ABC/ESPN the rights…Trusting anything at ESPN, with the billion dollar deals involved, to be independent and not shaded is just being obtuse. Ask yourself why this article was written 9 years after Spygate, but right after the NFL got their doors blown off in court.

  103. I woke up a few mornings ago and realized that I fell into a time machine. What I thought was September 2015 is actually September 2007. It is good, I now have 8 years of my life to live over.

    Spygate again. Really? No one not even the Pats deny spygate. They were fined, they lost draft choice for video taping defensive signals in the wrong place. They neither fought the fine or loss of draft picks. At the time and still one of the harshest punishments given out by the league. The Patriots did deny the walk through taping because it was not true. A major metropolitan paper, the Boston Herald, printed a retraction of the Superbowl 36 Rams walk through taping. (The only allegation of taping a practice that has been brought against the Patriots.) Newspapers don’t retract true stories.

    For those of you angry at the destruction of the tapes, take that up with the NFL – the OTL article states they did it. Not the Pats. I am sure at this point the Pats wish the tapes were made public and studied in exacting detail by any and all. It would be better for the team then to have all of these conspiracy theories that racing about. As a Pats fan I would have preferred they be made public. This is getting old.

    The point that Reiss makes in the article, which was edited out by ESPN, is important in the sense that it points out there is security around the visiting team’s locker room. As we have learned from the Wells Report not all of that Security is employed by the Pats. Some of them are from the NFL. If this really were an issue, it would be easier to prove than deflate gate. But we are left with the musings of unnamed sources – not actual evidence. It is time for these sources to have the courage to stop hiding and own their accusations. Show the evidence. Be men not lemmings.

  104. The Patriots rented Revis to win an other super bowl and now Woody Johnson has an even bigger woody for Kraft. The NFL let Johnson tamper with Revis (showing their bias), but Belichick was never going to sign him for those numbers so Woody is still playing catch-up,. You know he is one of the owners working with Pash.

    Woody, like the Texas hold’em player who –after losing–asks another player at the table how he could call him so quickly, just doesn’t get that some players are just better at reading the board and executing. Kraft, Belichick, and Brady are just smarter and better than Woody and whatever coach and QB he puts out there on the Jets sideline.

    Let’s not forget, the only real ball deflation/inflation was in favor of the Jets and the NFL refused to investigate that evidence.

  105. Teams don’t just give up first round picks, unless your the New England Patriots who apparently like to just cave in to the NFL and then cry about it after the fact using the media as their source of smear campaigning. Be realistic people teams who lose first rounds picks did something to warrant that discipline and don’t think Bob Kraft wouldn’t have taken on his own billionaire club if he thought he was slighted.

  106. Calls for an honest fact finding journalist like Mike to leave ESPN are understandable, but he can probably accomplish more by sticking it out and being a voice of reason than he can by walking away and aligning with a media source with low national readership.

    Mike is not the only voice of reason at ESPN. There are other good journalists and reporters. It’s always possible the pendulum will swing back in their direction and away from manufactured controversy and sloppy fact-gathering.

    Also, ESPN as a corporate body does not hate the Patriots. They realize that the Patriots have been a polarizing force in the NFL for some time and don’t want the current controversy to die since it attracts readers and viewers down to their lowest common denominator. It’s the NFL League office that will need ultimately to step back to extinguish the flames. It won’t be ESPN.

  107. There’s no need for the Pats to steal playbooks. If I were a coach on an opposing team I’d leave a ringer in the room hoping someone takes it and tries to use it against me.

    All that’s necessary has been done. The Pats have every opponent spending more time wondering about cheating that they do preparing to play.

    All that said, how on earth did the pats ever win a road game? Seriously, how? How have they kept ex-pats quiet about all this cheating? How is that possible? Is Kraft paying off 500 or so ex players to clam up. Someone has to have SOMETHING, ANYTHING on the pats besides all this gossip.

    The more you dig, the stupider these claims sound.

  108. Sal Pal was on Weei this AM. He 1000% supports Mort and all of his team mates at ESPN.

    So sad when a journalist sells his honor and integrity.

    Your not on a team knucklehead, you’re a journalist, a reporter. You’re supposed to answer to a higher authority, the truth. Otherwise, you’re just another blogger.

  109. Clearly, there is someone at ESPN whose job it is to do the bidding of the NFL. In this case, they ordered censorship of information that doesn’t fit the 8 month long narrative they are spinning. The NFL clearly has shifted to using it’s overwhelming financial influence to bully people. They fired Keith Olberman, Collin Cowherd, and Bill SImmons for any NFL, anti Goodell statements, and now they are sensoring Mike Reiss, who is well known as a good solid objective sports journalist. If any other corporation in America were behaving the way the NFL is, there would be national outrage and a congressional investigation. The way the NFL is operating now is why Unions came into being.

    IT’S TIME CONGRESS LOOKED INTO TAKING AWAY THE NFL’S ANTITRUST EXEMPTION.

  110. letsgobuffalo4 says:
    Sep 10, 2015 7:39 AM
    Arguable criticism yes, but does that make the whole article null and void? Absolutely not. Just like every Pats fans crying their eyes out about “11 of 12 balls were 2 PSI low”. Was that 100% accurate? No. BUT 11 of 12 balls were under the legal limit and some were a full 2 PSI low. So most of that report WAS TRUE. You cant negate an entire report b/c minor details arent right. I read the entire 10,000 word report and the detail in it was amazing, no way on earth anyone can say the majority of it wasnt true. The fact that Goodell made a spygate decision in SIX days and then burned all evidence is proof enough that the rabbit hole was MUCH deeper than anyone thought. Look at the process we just went through for deflategate…………..but for spygate it was 6 days with NO investigation?!?!?!?! Thats fishy without a doubt.

    7 27
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    ———————————

    Did you ever think that maybe those videos showed other teams recording as well?

  111. Blindsquirrelsfindnuts says:
    Sep 10, 2015 2:07 PM
    letsgobuffalo4 says:
    Sep 10, 2015 7:39 AM
    Arguable criticism yes, but does that make the whole article null and void? Absolutely not. Just like every Pats fans crying their eyes out about “11 of 12 balls were 2 PSI low”. Was that 100% accurate? No. BUT 11 of 12 balls were under the legal limit and some were a full 2 PSI low. So most of that report WAS TRUE. You cant negate an entire report b/c minor details arent right. I read the entire 10,000 word report and the detail in it was amazing, no way on earth anyone can say the majority of it wasnt true. The fact that Goodell made a spygate decision in SIX days and then burned all evidence is proof enough that the rabbit hole was MUCH deeper than anyone thought. Look at the process we just went through for deflategate…………..but for spygate it was 6 days with NO investigation?!?!?!?! Thats fishy without a doubt.

    7 27
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    ———————————

    Did you ever think that maybe those videos showed other teams recording as well?
    ———-
    No, I hadn’t but good catch! Makes more sense than most of the other pet theories.

  112. lanman11 says:
    Sep 10, 2015 1:49 PM
    Clearly, there is someone at ESPN whose job it is to do the bidding of the NFL. In this case, they ordered censorship of information that doesn’t fit the 8 month long narrative they are spinning. The NFL clearly has shifted to using it’s overwhelming financial influence to bully people. They fired Keith Olberman, Collin Cowherd, and Bill SImmons for any NFL, anti Goodell statements, and now they are sensoring Mike Reiss, who is well known as a good solid objective sports journalist. If any other corporation in America were behaving the way the NFL is, there would be national outrage and a congressional investigation. The way the NFL is operating now is why Unions came into being.

    IT’S TIME CONGRESS LOOKED INTO TAKING AWAY THE NFL’S ANTITRUST EXEMPTION.
    ———————-
    The only way that happens if people email or call their senators!

  113. Mike Shanahan put it all in perspective. He said Everybody was trying to steal signals back in the day….any way they could!

  114. badbabyjane says:
    Sep 10, 2015 10:07 AM
    The New England Patriots have put a stain on their name that will never go away.
    ———————-
    No, honey, those are lombardys…..and we’re not done getting them.

  115. ESPN is a shill for the NFL. It is a modern version of hack reporting and yellow journalism. Lacking both ethics and morals they are not only inept at writing a honest and true story but have found a niche in writing fairytales with fake villains for “clicks” and kickbacks in the form of favors and access .

  116. diggy1 says:
    Sep 10, 2015 6:59 AM
    Mike Florio, NE released a statement saying they never taped any drills or walkthroughs the other day in response to the ESPN article…they claimed basically ignorance…

    This is a slap in the face…if NE is going to be brazen to make this statement (emboldened obviously by the recent court win for Brady), then can we finally push to find out WHY WAS VIDEO EVIDENCE DESTROYED…that is the crux of the issue. If NE is going to say they never video taped anything worthy of interest, then why was the video’s in their possession destroyed with in days of their discovery by the NFL. There are criminals on all sides, but now NE is now denying spygate even happened becuase the NFL fumbled.

    ————————-
    We’re not denying the original spygate charge. The Pats took the punishment. Robert Kraft famously told Belichick he was a schmuck for spygate. We’re denying the revision of spygate…..we only have the word of the NFL for what was on those destroyed videos and shredded papers……and 90 unnamed sources…do you really think there were 90 unnamed sources? I’ve never seen a story that had more than one or two and there’s usually a lot of corroborating evidence….this new “improved” version has the word of an NFL stooge and that’s it.

  117. First, the report was just as much if not more critical of the league than the Patriots. Any outsider without victim glasses on can see that Goodell looks like Nixon redux ordering underlings to throw notes in a shredder and stomp evidence into little pieces.

    Second, “They hate us ’cause they ain’t us” is not a serious response by a serious journalist, and “I don’t think they could get by security in their home stadium, nuh uh, so there” isn’t much better. ESPN’s done a lot of shady business for the NFL, but this? They just removed especially homerrific talking points, that’s all. Now, once the article was posted, it should’ve remained in full, as changing it as only resulted in the nonsense “conspiracy!!!11” tinfoil hat brigade coming out yet again. But in actuality, those two items shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

  118. The Pats were already fined for this 8 years ago time to move on. Oh wait what will,Espn or the Nfl do,if they can’t keep targeting the the Pats. It gets old other teams have some similar stuff going on but you do not see them being targeted, yes the Pats push the boundaries and have been found guilty before, but it doesn’t mean that the NFL shouldn’t be investigating the other reportsmof rule infractions throughout the league.

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