BOSTON (CBS) — We’ve finally gotten a look at the video at the center of the video controversy surrounding the Patriots and Bengals. It shows that the Patriots’ story of what took place in the Cleveland press box appears to be true.
Jay Glazer got his hands on footage of the Bengals confronting the videographer who had his camera positioned on the Bengals sideline, and he shared it on Fox’s pregame show on Sunday.
The video itself focused in on a monitor showing what the videographer filmed. It shows a general view of the sideline, and it follows a Bengals position group as the players jog onto the field.
A dialogue between an unnamed member of Bengals security and the videographer was captured on the video. It read as follows.
Bengals security: “And this is a piece you’re filming on your advanced scout?”
Patriots videographer: “Yeah.”
Bengals security: “Yeah! Come on, guys. … I don’t see the advanced scout in this footage.
Patriots videographer: “No, that’s not. We were trying to get some field perspective. That’s my bad.”
Bengals security: “That’s not the field.”
Patriots videographer: “No, we’ll delete that.”
Bengals security: “I don’t know why you would think you could take that.”
Patriots videographer: “I didn’t know.”
Bengals security: “How did you not know?”
Patriots videographer: “I didn’t know. I’m sorry. But I can delete this right here for you.”
Bengals security: “[Snorting laughter] The damage is done, my friend.”
Patriots videographer: “No it isn’t, because we can delete it.”
A different Patriots videographer: “Once it gets deleted by us, it’s gone.”
Patriots videographer: “Once it’s gone, it’s gone. I can’t get that footage back. There’s no way I can get that footage back [if I delete it]. I’m being honest with you. And I don’t have a computer to, like, even put it anywhere. Once this card’s [deleted], that’s it.”
Bengals security: “Yeah I don’t see the advanced scout in any of this video that they’re shooting.”
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) December 15, 2019
Later on Sunday, it was reported that Kraft Sports and Entertainment suspended Dave Mondillo, the producer in charge of that shoot. Mondillo explained in a statement why the camera was ever positioned on the Bengals’ sideline.
“We interviewed and shot the Patriots scout sitting in a chair watching the action and panned back and forth from him to what he was seeing on the sidelines,” Mondillo said. “We also took footage of the field as the intent was to show what he was looking at when he looked through his binoculars watching the game.”
Mondillo stressed what the Patriots’ story has been all along, that he had nothing to do with football operations and the footage would not have ended up getting to football operations.
“We stopped shooting immediately when asked to do so and cooperated fully,” Mondillo said. “We had a detailed exchange about who we were and why we were there and what they wanted us to do. I gave the Sony SXS card to NFL security and we complied with their request, packed up and went home. I had no intention to provide footage to football operations, I did not provide any footage, and I was never asked to do so.”
Mondillo also said: “It never occurred to me that my actions and the actions of my crew would be misconstrued.”
Shortly before the pregame show went live on Sunday afternoon, Glazer tweeted that he would be sharing exclusive video of “Bengals security approaching a Patriots videographer [filming] Bengals sideline and ensuing confrontation,” while also promising “exclusive video of what led to what’s being deemed as SpyGate 2.”
The controversy began Monday, when Bengals head coach Zac Taylor was asked during a press conference about “rumors” of the Patriots shooting video of the Cincinnati sideline in Cleveland last weekend. Shortly thereafter, it was reported that the video crew had been in the Cleveland press box to shoot a feature on a Patriots advanced scout, when the videographer filmed the sideline while seated in the front row of the press box. The Patriots admitted to the filming, chalking it up to a mistake.
The NFL began investigating immediately, and though early reports from the NFL Network indicated that it was being treated as a minor offense with no competitive advantage gained, commissioner Roger Goodell and executive VP of football operations Troy Vincent both promised at the league meetings that the NFL would be making it a “thorough” investigation.
On Sunday, The Washington Post’s Mark Maske and CBS’ Jason La Canfora reported that some fairly significant punishment could be coming down for the Patriots.