Out Of Bounds: For Patriots, worst may be yet to come

This past Sunday we watched as the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 17-14 to win Super Bowl XLII. We watched as dreams of 19-0 were crushed as Eli Manning led his Giants on a game-winning drive with less than three minutes left in the game. We watched as Patriots coach Bill Belichick stormed off the field with time still on the clock. But, as bad as the whole Pats organization is feeling during these initial days after the Super Bowl, unfortunately the worst may lie ahead.

Just when the Patriots thought they had put the whole Spygate fiasco behind them, it appears a possible witness has surfaced to bring it back to the forefront. Former Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh has claimed that he possesses significant information with regards to such actions. He also claimed that he could have broken the story long before but had no motivation to do so. And, as expected, the Patriots immediately denied such claims. And as if the Walsh accusations weren't enough, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter has expressed disdain concerning NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's handling of the situation when it first occurred back in September 2007 - specifically his decision to destroy the evidence tapes that had been collected during their investigation. Goodell has decided to meet with Specter sometime in the near future to discuss the senator's concerns.

If the Walsh allegations prove to be true and he is able to produce evidence supporting his claims, this so-called Patriots dynasty could be in serious trouble. If it turns out they actually filmed other team's pregame practices before their Super Bowls, the NFL would have no choice but to make them forfeit their wins. For someone who has never been a fan of the way Belichick arrogantly handles himself wherever he goes, nothing would make me (or, presumably, countless other football fans) happier.

As for Goodell, he may have some explaining to do himself. His decision to destroy the evidence tapes screams cover-up. To be fair to the commissioner, he did impose the maximum fine of $500,000 upon Belichick at the time. But to then go and destroy the related evidence? It doesn't make any sense. Goodell has stated that he believes the tapes he viewed did not taint the Patriots past accomplishments. Well, if he truly believes that, then why punish them at all? It's hard to believe that the Patriots would risk this illegal filming if it wouldn't benefit them.

But I guess we are going to have to wait and see if any new solid proof will be produced. The meeting between Goodell and Specter should be interesting and hopefully millions of NFL fans will get some much needed answers. One way or the other it's in the league's best interest to try to clear up any doubts, so as not to lead us into a situation similar to baseball's steroid scandal, where we'll be embroiled in a speculation war for the next few years.

In