By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — What a joke. What a joke! Nearly three months has passed since a man under the employ of the New England Patriots illegally shot footage from behind the Bengals’ sideline in an effort to gather B-roll for a video feature about a scout. The NFL still hasn’t made any sort of ruling on the matter.

What a joke!

Alas, the joke apparently might have an end coming soon, as Ben Volin of The Boston Globe reported Wednesday that “the NFL is getting closer to wrapping up its investigation into the Patriots’ videotaping incident from December.”

Isn’t that just fantastic? No, a week wasn’t enough time. A month wasn’t enough time. Two months wasn’t enough time. But hey, the league is “getting closer” to a resolution. Way to go, league!

Here are the details from Volin, which will, naturally, make every Patriots fan terrified because of the final detail:

But last week, NFL Security completed what is believed to be the final interview with a Patriots employee. Now the security officials must write up their report, then hand it up the chain of command, where it will eventually land on the desk of commissioner Roger Goodell, who will approve of a final course of action.

Let’s run that one back again, for emphasis:

It will eventually land on the desk of commissioner Roger Goodell, who will approve of a final course of action.

Very cool!

Roger Goodell (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Goodell, of course, has always been a reliable actor during investigations regarding the Patriots, never straying from the facts, never paying for sketchy investigations and shoddy science, and never being afraid to admit when he’s wrong. So in this case, where the Patriots instantly admitted to a violation of the rules, there should be no reason to doubt the fairness and impartiality of the inspirational leader of the National Football League, right? Right?!

In case you forgot (because the story broke almost three months ago, so you probably have forgotten, because you’re a human being), here’s the shocking and incriminating footage:

Great googily moogily!!! I saw some coaches’ backs! I NEED TO SPEAK TO AN ADULT!

Now, obviously, filming the sideline is a big no-no. The league has frowned upon that ever since that minor little story known as Spygate was thrust into the national spotlight back in September of 2007. But hey, speaking of Spygate, do you know how long that investigation took? IT TOOK THREE DAYS. The Patriots played the Jets on Sept. 9. Randy Moss caught one of the most ridiculous touchdowns you’ll ever see, beating triple coverage with ease. The Patriots won by a thousand. Eric Mangini sent Jets security to catch the Patriots filming from the sidelines. The NFL reviewed the footage and looked into the Patriots’ practices. Goodell issued a punishment of unprecedented proportions … on Sept. 13 — the Thursday after the Sunday afternoon game.

Goodell was criticized by NFL owners and media members and fans and random corners of the earth for “going too easy” on the Patriots, despite the fact that it marked the first time a team has ever been stripped of a first-round pick. Nevertheless, the idea persisted, to the point where the commissioner’s fudging of the truth during DeflateGate was widely considered to be an effort to make up for any light treatment during Spygate.

That is, of course, no way for a real leader to operate, but this is the NFL, where such leadership simply does not exist.

On the plus side, though, the NFL is almost done with a three-month investigation into a situation that appeared to be black-and-white the instant it became public knowledge. You ought to hold your breath as we all wait to see just how much color the NFL can add.

Roger Goodell (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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

Comments

Leave a Reply