There’s lots of frustrating things we all deal with at work. People who kill the joe and don’t make some mo’. The office temperature being either one of the two levels described in Jim Gaffigan’s assessment of Hot Pockets - frozen solid or boiling lava hot, sometimes in the same day. “Can you cover for _______ while they’re on vacation for the next 18 days?” When you go out for lunch and the barbecue place is already out of brisket at 12:45pm. We’ve all been there.
In the case of the NFL investigators tasked with hopping in the Mystery Machine and getting to the bottom of the Patriots allegedly deliberately filming something that many other teams also film for fun content purposes in order to gain a competitive advantage against the current frontrunners for LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, the frustration, according to this report from Pro Football talk, is when you’re told to comb the desert for clues and the boss man asks if you’ve found anything and you report back “We ain’t found shit!”
Key passages from the PFT report below (emphasis mine):
Per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, NFL investigators spent time in recent days interviewing members of the Patriots organization, more than a week after a videographer shot images of the Bengals’ sideline during a game in Cleveland.
League investigators also collected devices from certain individuals, for the purposes of attempting to establish a connection to the team’s football operations. As one source explained it, there’s a sense that investigators want to make that connection, and a perception that they are showing frustration when unable to tie the video crew to the football employees.
There’s a couple ways to read those, if we’re being honest; that’d seem to line up pretty squarely with the Patriots’ explanation that this Bruins-sweater-clad individual was someone who has nothing to do with the football side of things and wasn’t aware of the rule in question, hence the offer to delete the offending footage when the Bengals freaked out. On the other hand, assuming the wording here is deliberate, shouldn’t it be the NFL’s objective to find out *if* there was a football connection here, not to be “attempting to establish” one? You can call that whatever you want, but this ain’t our first rodeo, and just like the Patriots don’t get the benefit of a doubt when it comes to anything competition-related, the NFL doesn’t get the assumption of credibility when they’ve very obviously caved to giving the people what they want at the expense of various teams like our GateBreauxs in New Orleans and players alike.
Either way, we’ll keep you posted as more details come in.