The media tried to turn “Playbookgate” into a big story yesterday, but – according to the author of the article from which the story was developed (the excellent Greg A. Bedard) – it seems this was all much ado about nothing.
In an appearance on Comcast SportsNet New England’s Sports Tonight Bedard said:
“I’m upset about it because I think this is an example of problems that plague our industry [...] I wrote over three thousand words on Mike Pettine [and] this was just a funny anecdote in the story. It was Mike Pettine busting some chops. A story about Tom Brady busting the Jets’ chops. That’s all it was. It’s ridiculous, all of this [...] Any insinuation that Bill Belichick, that he gained some sort of edge, that they stole playbooks or anything like that. For anybody to take that out of my piece is flat out wrong [...] If I thought this was a story, would I have waited until the 22nd [paragraph]? It wasn’t in the headline, it wasn’t in the subdeck, it was barely highlighted in the story.”
In another article on the MMQB today, he took the time to expand on these thoughts, with some harsh words for those responsible for pushing the story:
If you cover the NFL and think that having another team’s playbook (outside of an individual weekly game plan, which no one said anything about) has any relevance, either you’re new on the beat, don’t know the sport you cover very well, or just grab any appearance of controversy for clicks without regard of the actual facts.
After practice yesterday, Rex Ryan reacted angrily to being asked about the controversy, which arose out of an article by the New York Post’s Brian Costello.
Time to move on to the next “scandal”…