Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh claimed he thought the New England Patriots’ 3 championships won under Bill Belichick “got asterisks now” and have been “stained” by the Spygate scandal that rocked the team in 2007. Sports scores
Harbaugh made the allegations in an interview on a radio show. He was asked about the New Orleans Saints’ recent bounty scandal and whether it was worth bending the guidelines if he believed he could make a go of it, and Harbaugh brought up the Patriots’ videotaping debate in his reply. Baseball scores
“In the end, everything is brought before the light of the day, when it’s all announced and done,” Harbaugh said. “What occurs, even the thing in New England, no matter whether those things had any effect on whether or not they won their championships or not, they got asterisks now. It has been stained.
“To me, it’s never worth it. You have to work out tactics to use the rules to your advantage; you have to figure out paths to maximize everything. We have new work rules here so far as what we can do and what we cannot do with our players, and we’re going to maximize it. What we’re finding is, ‘Man, maybe we can do some things even better than we probably did before, because these rules make us concentrate more on some things that we didn’t concentrate on before. ‘You’ve just got to make them work for you. That is what success is in the world. You have to find a way to do things better than somebody else. But if you’re cheating, in the final analysis, you are going to get discredited. It’s not worth it.”
Harbaugh explained his comments in a statement released by the Ravens.
“While on the radio show this morning to speak about the run to honor O.J. Brigance and raise funds for ALS research, I answered a query about playing in the rules and referred to the belief that the Super Bowl championships won by the Patriots and Saints have a stain. My concern was to the perception out there that came as the results of the league’s actions,” Harbaugh related in the declaration.
“I might have been clearer that I was talking about those perspectives. I absolutely believe that the Patriot and Saint Coaches and players earned those championships. Bill Belichick and Sean Payton both know that.”
Tedy Bruschi, who was a linebacker on all 3 of the Patriots’ title teams in the early 2000s and was with the Patriots in 2007 when the Spygate scandal broke, said he was perplexed by Harbaugh’s comments.
“You need to take a shot, go forward and say it,” Bruschi said. “When I look down at my hand and I see championship rings, I know how much work had to be put in to win those championships. I’m very set and secure with all the victories that we had, the work we put in.”
Bruschi also reminded Harbaugh that, in a lot of approaches, he has Belichick to thank for landing the head coaching job with the Ravens in 2007.
According to reports, the Ravens did not have Harbaugh on their coaching radar until Belichick called the team and recommended they talk to Harbaugh, who was then a Philadelphia Eagles assistant.