By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — It’s hard to feel pity for a guy like Marshall Faulk. He was a phenomenal player, arguably the best running back of his era. He’s already enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. He’s also had a successful career as an analyst, mostly for the NFL Network.
But Faulk simply cannot seem to let go of the St. Louis Rams’ loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI. More specifically, he can’t let go of the now-debunked story that the Patriots illegally filmed his team’s Super Bowl walkthrough. He’s insisting on the story to the point that he simply does not seem well.
You can’t help but feel sad for him at this point.
Faulk called the Patriots’ filming of the Rams’ Super Bowl XXXVI walkthrough a “fact” when he spoke to reporters on Thursday in Houston, according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. This comes just days before Bill Belichick and Tom Brady compete in their seventh Super Bowl together, their sixth appearance since shocking the Rams 15 years ago.
Here’s Faulk offering up some alternative facts about Super Bowl XXXVI:
Just look at Faulk and try not to shudder in embarrassment for him. It’s not just the fact that he’s inexplicably wearing sunglasses indoors. It’s the body language. The almost-patronizing treatment of reporters asking questions about “facts” that have been deemed false for years. The matter-of-fact persistence as to what he believes actually happened with those videotapes. It’s the most cringe-worthy video you’ll see all week.
Few prominent figures in all of sports have persevered in their crusade to demonize the Patriots for “cheating” quite like Faulk has – and at this point, it’s just pitiful.
You probably don’t need a refresher, but in case you do … Faulk is still riding on John Tomase’s explosive report that the Patriots filmed the Super Bowl walkthrough for the Rams. The report came out the day before the Patriots lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII, when the team was still facing fresh criticism for Spygate, but was eventually retracted. The Herald apologized on May 14, 2008, nearly nine years ago, even going so far as to say the tape never existed.
Faulk, however, is still sticking to the original story, for one reason or another. It’s clear that he simply will never get over the fact that his high-flying Rams got thoroughly outplayed and out-coached in Super Bowl XXXVI and that the Patriots did not need to see the Rams’ walkthrough to know that they shouldn’t kick the ball in his direction. He’s grown increasingly pathetic about it with each passing year, and this time there’s video evidence.
Please, Marshall. I’m begging you. Let it go. You have too much still going for you. It’s been far too many years for the Patriots to still be consuming you the way they are right now. Everyone can see how much you’re embarrassing yourself over this. Just stop. Let it go.
But of course, if he hasn’t stopped by now, he probably never will. Maybe he’ll change his tune at the next Super Bowl. I’m not betting on it.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.