It's been more than four years now since the dark cloud of the "Spygate" scandal passed over the New England Patriots, but the Pats' reemergence this season as a Super Bowl team has reignited the discussion. Former New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer said he'd put an asterisk on all three New England championships.
"I would," he said today in an interview with Jim Rome. "I would, definitely. Without question.
"Tom Brady hasn't won a Super Bowl since Spygate. If they don't win another Super Bowl with Brady, with [coach Bill] Belichick, their three Super Bowls that they did win are going to be tainted. It's going to be like Barry Bonds. You're going to look at these three Super Bowls with an asterisk because of Spygate.
Belichick and the Patriots were disciplined by the league office when they were caught videotaping the New York Jets' defensive coaches' signals during a Sept. 9, 2007 game. It was later revealed that Belichick was guilty of taping many other teams, including the St. Louis Rams during preparations for Super Bowl XXXVI.
"If you know somebody's defensive calls before you line up on the field, that's as close to cheating as you can get in the NFL," Toomer said. "If you know what their adjustments are, what their signals are, and you practice with those signals, that's cheating. There's no other way to slice it."