Tedy Bruschi isn’t buying into the cheating accusations. You shouldn’t, either, according to the former New England Patriots linebacker and current ESPN analyst.
Two reports released Tuesday (again) paint the Patriots in a negative light. The reports — both of which reflect a widespread distrust of the Pats — cite unnamed sources and make damning allegations, which Bruschi has a huge problem with.
“I have this theory. I refuse to be brainwashed by the NFL, based on so many reports, so many league sources, so many unnamed sources, that just aren’t true,” Bruschi said Tuesday on WEEI’s “Dale and Holley” of the seemingly endless barrage of accusations. “I refuse to be brainwashed by what they release or what they say through unnamed sources.
“So what do I say to Patriots fans? I say, ‘Refuse to be brainwashed.’ Believe what you see on the screen. When you see them win, when you see them make plays, when you see them win the Super Bowl last year, that’s what you need to believe.”
ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” released a report Tuesday stating the Patriots’ Spygate activities were worse than originally believed. It also drew a line between those transgressions and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to come down hard on the Patriots for Deflategate.
Sports Illustrated, meanwhile, detailed the crazy precautions teams have taken against the Patriots over the last decade based on suspicions that the organization routinely bends the rules.
“A lot of times Spygate is brought up, the allegations and accusations of cheating is always brought up, and I say this over and over again, I’m very secure in the winning that we had,” Bruschi, who played 13 seasons for the Patriots from 1996 through 2008, said Tuesday. “I’m very secure on how we won, what work was put in and what the players did. I know what I sacrificed to continue playing for that one organization for 13 years. I know what went in, so I’m very secure with all our success.”
Bruschi frequently has been passionate in his defense of the Patriots, whether it be in conversations about Spygate, Deflategate or some other report attacking his former team’s integrity. He said Tuesday he’s “tired of being angry” and “tired of having to defend all the time.” The past is the past and Bruschi insists he knows what really happened.
“I hear what the other players are saying,” Bruschi said. “Let me just be completely honest with you. I was reading some of it and I chuckled at some of the things that the anonymous players and anonymous executives or whatever they were, what they were saying about warm Gatorade or people stealing game plans or going to the hotels.
“It was like, ‘Man, no wonder you lost against us. Were you that paranoid about so many things? You were thinking of so many other things when you weren’t focused on football.’ I mean, OK. We’ll beat you, then.”
Bruschi won three Super Bowls with the Patriots. Beating opponents was the norm. There’s always going to be skepticism hanging over New England’s accomplishments under head coach Bill Belichick, though.
And that’s unfortunate, if you ask Bruschi.
Thumbnail photo via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and former linebacker Tedy Bruschi