Saturday, February 9, 2008
Former Patriots video assistant shares little insight into Spygate
LAHAINA, Hawaii -- The life of a golf pro on Maui seems to
fit Matt Walsh well.
Even with all the telephone calls he's been avoiding in the last
week, since his name came up in the NFL's Spygate affair, Walsh
isn't complaining. On a gorgeous Saturday morning, he sat in a
chair overlooking the Kaanapali Resort with an easy smile on his
And no answers to offer.
Walsh is a former assistant coach for the New England Patriots
who performed some videotaping duties for the team. A few days
before the Super Bowl, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) asked why Walsh
was not interviewed during the NFL's investigation into Spygate.
Asked Saturday whether he'd been contacted by Specter's office
or by the NFL, Walsh smiled and said, "I really can't answer
Nor would Walsh say if he was under a gag order from his
attorneys, even though that seems obvious. On Wednesday, NFL
commissioner Roger Goodell mentioned that his staff was talking
with Walsh's representatives, trying to gauge whether Walsh had any
new information to offer and if Walsh was free to talk to the
Does he have info? Is he free to talk?
"I can't comment on anything,'' Walsh replied. "I'm really
sorry, but I can't.''
Goodell reiterated at a Pro Bowl practice this week that the
case against the Patriots is not closed if any more information is
uncovered about the team videotaping opposing coaches' signals. The
NFL fined coach Bill Belichick $500,000, slapped the Patriots with
a $250,000 fine and stripped them of this year's first-round draft
Belichick handed over six tapes and accompanying notes, which
the team said was all the material it had gathered. Then came a
report that the Patriots videotaped the Rams' walkthrough before
the 2002 Super Bowl, and that Walsh was involved in that taping.
"We were aware of this before,'' Goodell said. "We pursued it
and weren't able to get any information that was credible. We were
aware of some of the rumors and we pursued some of them and we
continue that. From Day 1, I said if we feel there is new
information that's inconsistent with what we've been told [by the
Patriots], I reserve the right to reopen it.''
Does Walsh expect that to happen?
A smile, and silence.
Is he amused by all the questions being raised, or all the phone
calls by the media trying to track him down?
"Don't think I can comment on that,'' he said.
Walsh did ask a reporter how long he would be in Maui, whether
he was in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, and where the reporter was
staying. He nodded approval when told which hotel was media
"I've been there,'' he said. "Very nice place.''
As is the Kaanapali course, which will host the Wendy's
Champions Skins Game Three-Tour challenge later this month
featuring Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Gary Player,
Jay Haas, Loren Roberts, Fuzzy Zoeller and Peter Jacobsen. It's
also the home course for the Golf Channel show "Big Break.''
Several times, Walsh answered the pro shop phone, but only to
confirm tee times or give information about the resort. Asked how
many phone messages he'd received in the last week, he once again
smiled -- silently.
According to his bio on the Kaanapali Golf Web site, Walsh
worked in Arena Football, for seven years with the Patriots, who
won two Super Bowls in that span, and one year in NFL Europa.
He also trained with the U.S. Bobsled team.
None of that was fodder for conversation Saturday, either.
Walsh was rumored to have attended the Giants' 17-14 win over
the Patriots in last Sunday's Super Bowl, but offered no
information on that.
As for his future -- other than giving golf lessons and playing
when he gets the chance -- Walsh wasn't about to speculate.
"Do you expect to hear from Congress or the NFL or your lawyers
anytime soon?'' he was asked.
"Can't say,'' he replied before asking for the reporter's
business card. "I have to get back to work. Thanks for coming out.
I hope you enjoy Maui and the Pro Bowl.''