By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston


BOSTON (CBS) — Oh, New York. Sweet, sweet New York. You are one marvelous town, you know that? You’ve got culture, restaurants, hustle, bustle, Broadway, sports, parks — you’ve got everything, and it’s delightful.

But unfortunately you also have the New York Post, and with it, legions of angry, bitter and misguided Jets fans.

This must be mentioned now, as the Post has gone back to the well which is known as Spygate in the days leading up to the first meeting of the year between the Patriots and Jets.

It’s an old trick by the Post. They did it two years ago with Bart Hubbuch doing the honors, and this year it’s Gary Buiso penning the investigative report that is sure to turn the entire NFL landscape upside-down. Or it will be used to line the cages of dogs throughout the greater New York City area. You know — for dogs to urinate on. One or the other, really.

This year’s story, which published on Sunday, was titled, “The NFL cover-up that started it all.” I believe it was intended for this sound effect to be played immediately upon reading those bold words:

The story is a real doozy, as it borrows the strategy of your obsessive, Patriots-hating friend on Facebook who writes statuses that say, “Hmm … look at the way Roger Goodell and the NFL hardly investigated the Ray Rice domestic violence situation and tried to sweep it under the rug. This CONFIRMS that Goodell hid and DESTROYED the Spygate tapes because he KNEW that they exposed the CHEATING PATRIOTS for STEALING SUPER BOWLS and the league didn’t want to ruin its integrity. Wow Pats cheated and now I know it for sure. Pats = zero Super Bowls since getting caught LOL!”

These delusional folks always tend to forget the fact that Goodell played the tapes on a loop for the media at his press conference in 2007, that the ruling was rather thorough, and that all the Patriots did was point video cameras at people who were openly standing on a sideline. The Patriots would have been within their rights to look at these people and take notes of their signals, but it was the use of video cameras that made it illegal. So they were punished, more for their arrogance in repeatedly refusing to obey the rules than anything else. Every person with a background in the NFL stated definitively that taping the signals was not a huge deal and that not much — if any — of a competitive advantage could be gained by doing so.

But according to ace reporter Gary Buiso, something much more sinister than just taping was going on.

If you care to read the whole Post story (I wouldn’t advise it), you’ll see the elaborate scheme the Patriots were running (at least in ol’ Gary’s mind). Here’s what the Patriots were purportedly doing:

–The Patriots had a man on the sideline pointing a camera and recording the opposing team’s coaches.

–This information was (somehow) transmitted in real time from that camera (which, again, wasn’t connected to any live broadcast cable, but instead was just recording to tape) up to a booth, and Patriots coaches (magically) knew exactly what the signals meant, and in a matter of seconds, they were able to send this information directly into the helmet of Tom Brady to tell him how to beat the defense.

(But wait, you might ask, how did the Patriots get this information to Brady, considering the NFL shuts off the radio communication with 15 seconds left on the play clock? Wait no longer!)

–Ernie Adams, the sneaky, evil sidekick to Bill Belichick, had set up a super-secret radio signal, and through that he was able to talk directly to Brady whenever he wanted.

Cue the evil laughter!

OK, these are some pretty unbelievable accusations. I mean, considering the Patriots would only know what the signals on the sidelines mean after the play unfolds, Buiso is essentially saying that not only did the Patriots have a magic radio frequency set up, but they also found a way to break the space-time continuum. (He’s not the first person to make such an accusation.) As the owner of a shiny, useful journalism degree myself, I know that a reporter for a newspaper can’t make such claims without backing it up with reliable sources.

You want sources?! Buiso’s got sources!

One source is a psychotic Steelers fan who self-published a Spygate book. Pretty legit. Another source? A 60-year-old, lifelong Jets fan who found the Spygate investigation to not be quite as thorough enough for his liking. Again, legit as all heck.

And the other source? Old quotes from Senator Arlen Specter, a fervent Eagles fan who went to his grave playing the conspiracy card against the Patriots. Despite the fact that Specter got absolutely nowhere in his late-life quest to bury the Patriots based on the wackadoodle evidence he had in his own mind, taking old, useless quotes from the man was a pretty solid get by Buiso.

The self-published author, Bryan O’Leary, was the same source who inspired the Spygate story from the Post two years ago, and based on his 110 Twitter followers, it’s clear that he’s really taken off as a voice of authority in the 24 months that have passed since then.

Let’s look at some of this esteemed author’s greatest hits, shall we?

(Note: My man, B-O’Leary, it’s Welker, not Walker. Common mistake made by Internet trolls, but I expect more out of you. You’re an author, hombre!)

(Bryan, dude, you’re not supposed to tell people to retweet your tweets. That has to happen organically. That’s how Twitter works.)

(You forgot to put “HUGE BREAKING NEWS” at the start of that tweet, my dude. I think you need a Twitter coach.)

(That’s right, folks, the Patriots are now cheating with FAKE INTERFERENCE! That’s some next-level cheating. I am as floored as you are.)

(This guy is a one-man treasure trove of utter madness, and I love it.)

(Forget the fact that they’re also good on the road! They are good at home and that is proof that they cheat! O’Leary out!)

(Whoa — now O’Leary is creating faces using punctuation? This man is diabolical.)

(That’s a big “if,” my friend.)

I hate to tell you, B-man, but an NFL team can’t sue you if they’ve never heard of you. :-(

(That is a sad face.)

So there’s Bryan O’Leary for you. Looks like it’s game, set, match for Buiso and his excellent report. The Patriots and their fans have no choice but to accept the fact that Belichick, Adams, Brady and the Patriots were some of the most elaborate cheaters in the history of the world.

Still not convinced? Well, get ready for this key piece of evidence.

O’Leary repeats a rumor that Pats backup quarterback Doug Flutie once said he accidentally picked up Brady’s helmet during the 2005 season.

“He was amazed that the coaches kept right on speaking to Brady past the 15-second cutoff, right up until the snap,” ­according to O’Leary.

“The voice in Tom Brady’s helmet was explaining the exact defense he was about to face.”

Ground. Breaking. Stuff.

Let’s play this one out: Doug Flutie is on the sideline and he grabs Tom Brady’s helmet by mistake. Through Brady’s helmet, Flutie could hear the coaches in Brady’s earpiece long after the 15-second cutoff point, right up to the snap.

Now, there is this inconvenient truth for O’Leary and Buiso: In this circumstance, Brady was apparently on the field, taking a snap without his helmet on. As someone who keeps a pretty close eye on the Patriots, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that I don’t recall Brady ever taking a helmet-less snap (I wouldn’t forget seeing those gorgeous locks blowing in the breeze as Brady identifies the Mike linebacker, trust me). So I’m not exactly sure of what kind of circumstances could have led to Flutie hearing these super-secret calls by the coaches on their illegal pirate radio system.

But who am I to question O’Leary? This was a rumor that was repeated by the man who spent $30,000 to publish his own book and gain a massive triple-digit Twitter following, so you know it’s rock solid. You think O’Leary would go around spreading rumors that weren’t 100 percent true and made 100 percent sense? Didn’t think so. Get real, sheep.

So thanks to Buiso for coming out with this important story. I had never heard of Buiso before this story, but I am thankful that he took time away from his work covering New York’s most pressing news stories. Here’s a brief sampling of his latest work (yes, these are real headlines from Buiso’s author page on NYPost.com):

Meet the man who has met ‘about 500’ women on the subway – Oct. 12, 2014

Family looks for dog that dad gave away to strangers on Craigslist – Oct. 12, 2014

Roosters are tops among city’s most owned illegal animals – Sept. 21, 2014

Meet the five biggest Derek Jeter fans – Sept. 7, 2014

Meet the Jets’ sexy cheerleaders – Sept. 7, 2014

Jets fan who punched woman: ‘Unfortunately it wasn’t the guy’ – Aug. 17, 2014

It was in that last story on the list that Buiso presented the case of Kurt Paschke, the Jets fan who was caught on video punching a woman wearing Patriots clothing at MetLife Stadium. Yeah, sure, Paschke may have served three years in prison for stabbing someone to death as a teenager, but let’s let him have his say on this matter of punching a woman who has a different favorite football team. Buiso made it clear that Paschke and his group of friends were being harassed all game by a group of Patriots fans, and Buiso took extra care to note that those nasty Patriots fans were “all from Massachusetts.” He also did not include the video of Paschke clearly punching the woman but instead included the video in which it was hard to see exactly what happened. Great reporting all around from Buiso on that one.

So there you have it. “The NFL cover-up that started it all.” What did it start? I don’t know. But I do know it started it all. It was a grand cover-up, and we know it without a doubt now, thanks to the work of Gary Buiso and the lock-solid theories of Bryan O’Leary — true geniuses, the both of them.

Perhaps some day, somehow, New York can get over the wild conspiracies of Spygate. But based on the New York Post’s dedication to integrity and investigative journalism, that day will likely never come.

Read more from Michael Hurley by clicking here, or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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