By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — For most of the week, the news has been pretty good from a Patriots perspective with regard to reporting surrounding a Patriots videographer shooting video of the Bengals’ sideline this past weekend. A little too good.
Fear not, though, because everybody’s favorite sports commissioner is on the case.
Roger Goodell spoke to the media after the NFL’s meetings concluded in Texas, and he promised that he’s got his best men and women on the case, and that they’re going to investigate this matter as thoroughly as they can.
Given the history between the commissioner and the New England football team, it doesn’t sound like the best news for the Patriots.
“It’s under review. We’re going to be thorough,” Goodell said. “We’re going to take our time and make sure we look at everything that’s pertinent here and make a decision.”
Despite reports from NFL Network suggesting that a decision could be made as soon as this week, Goodell gave no timetable at all as to when this investigation might conclude. Reports from Judy Battista and Ian Rapoport suggested that the NFL was “inclined to believe” the Patriots’ explanation, and that folks who have seen the video itself don’t believe it to contain anything that required a private camera to see.
Nevertheless, Goodell gave no such indications.
“One of the things I’ve learned is you don’t draw conclusions until you have all the information,” Goodell said. “From our standpoint, I want to look at all the information. Once we have all the information, then we draw conclusions.”
Goodell was also asked if the Patriots’ history — namely, that minor story known as Spygate from 2007 — would factor in when the commissioner decides what to do with the current matter.
“Of course it is, that’s a factor,” Goodell said.
Earlier on Wednesday, executive vice president Troy Vincent was asked about the matter, and he said he and the league will continue to try to find facts.
NFL EVP Troy Vincent asked if there’s a timetable on the Patriots investigation: “We want to take our time, and make sure we have all the facts.”
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 11, 2019
Anyone who paid even slight attention during the multiple years of DeflateGate drama know that it’s never good when Goodell and Vincent are interested in a mission of fact-finding with regard to accusations levied against the New England Patriots. They’ve shown a knack for finding … alternative facts, when convenient. (Roger characterizing Colin Kaepernick’s recent workout opportunity as “credible,” and that he believed NFL officials are doing a good job served as good examples of this.)
In this current case, the matter appears from an outside perspective to be cut-and-dried. It appears to be very straightforward, and the reports from NFL insiders color the story in the same way.
But, well, Roger’s on the case. And so is Troy. So until a final ruling comes down, antennae should remain raised in the beloved six-state region occupying the northeast corner of this great country of ours. You just never know what those fellows are going to do.