My long-time friend and a lifetime Rams fan was over for a visit recently. He's one of the most mild tempered people I have ever met, except when talking about the New England Patriots. Then it's like Bruce Banner turning into the Incredible Hulk. He insists that the Patriots knew the Rams first 20 plays in the super bowl and that this is the biggest cover-up in sports history. He may be right. I've always wondered why the commish destroyed the evidence, or if it really just amounted to nothing. Here's some information from ESPN. I'll put all the ESPN reports in bold. This is from February 2, 2008 (no byline, ESPN News Service): An unnamed source has claimed a New England Patriots employee secretly videotaped the St. Louis Rams' pregame walk-through the day before Super Bowl XXXVI, the Boston Herald reported Saturday. According to the report, an unnamed source close to the team during the 2001 season said that following the Patriots' walk-through at the Louisiana Superdome, a member of the team's video staff stayed behind and taped the Rams' walk-through -- a non-contact, no-pads practice at reduced speed in which a team goes through its plays. The cameraman was not asked to identify himself or produce a press pass and later rode the media shuttle back to the Patriots' hotel, the source told the Herald. It is not known what became of the tape, or whether the cameraman made the tape on his own initiative or at someone else's instruction, according to the report. We all know the rest. Tape submitted to the commissioner. Here's what he said: There were six tapes, according to Goodell -- some from the 2007 preseason and the rest from 2006. He said he had them destroyed because he was confident the Patriots had turned over all of the tapes and notes the NFL had requested in its investigation. He also said they were destroyed in order to prevent leaks to the media -- as some footage from one of the tapes was leaked shortly after the story broke. "We wanted to take and destroy that information," Goodell said. "They may have collected it within the rules, but we couldn't determine that. So we felt that it should be destroyed." This sounds very much like Water Gate and Richard Nixon to me. To this day, I can't understand why the tapes (evidence) would be destroyed. I will say that the NFL had nothing to gain if New England was found guilty. The PR problems, the potential loss of millions of money from sponsorships, and potential riots are just a few of the concerns the league might have had. If the New England Patriots knew the first 20 plays, that would be the biggest scandal in sports history. The NFL certainly would have survived, but they would have taken a big hit from a fan base that is passionate about the sport. According to my friend, the Rams gained 3.2 yards per play for the first 20 plays and more than 14 yards per play after that. I haven't verified that although, I searched play-by-play online. Of course, that disparity (if real) doesn't prove anything, but is interesting just the same. The Rams, of course, were known as the greatest show on turf. They started fast and had multiple weapons in their arsenal. A slow start was not common, but certainly not out of the question either. So is this the biggest cover up in sports history, or do you think there was really nothing there?