The Boston Herald has published its retraction of the story about the supposed 2002 Super Bowl walkthrough tape. According to this unsupported story, the New England Patriots taped the St. Louis Rams during their final walkthrough the day before Super Bowl XXXVI. John Tomase, the writer of the story, regrets writing it and will for a very long time. Tomase wrote this Friday;
“First and foremost, this is about a writer breaking one of the cardinal rules of journalism. I failed to keep challenging what I had been told.”
The story which was published on Feb. 2nd, the day preceding Super Bowl XLII, was retracted by the Herald on Wednesday following the meeting between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Matt Walsh, the former video assistant to the Patriots. During the meeting, Walsh stated that he had no knowledge of such a tape existing and did not know of anyone who did.
Tomase claims to have heard rumors about a walkthrough tape back in the ’06 season and following the ’07 season opener of the Patriots and the Jets when New England was caught taping signals, the rumors seemed all too real.
“I had repeatedly heard that this walkthrough had been taped, and from people I trusted. Eventually I accepted it as fact and stopped questioning the assertion,” Tomase said.
Once he had learned that someone in the Patriots organization had set up video recording equipment in the stadium during the walkthrough he assumed the rumors as fact without knowledge of whether or not the equipment was even recording. All of his sources, which led him to believe such a tape existed, never actually gave him their word that they had seen the tape.
Tomase plans to continue covering the Patriots and hopes to one day regain the trust of the organization and his readers.
“I take immense pride in what I do and the paper I work for. I truly believe it’s a privilege to serve as a link between the fans and their team.”