On Saturday, it was revealed that Broncos staffer Steve Scarnecchia had illegally filmed an opponent's practice in October. For obvious reasons, it reminded us of the Patriots' Spygate scandal of 2007, in which New England staff filmed opponents' practices in violation of NFL rules.
Well, here's a shocking coincidence: Scarnecchia was with the Patriots at the time, and he was alleged to have illegally videotaped practices as far back as 2002. From a 2008 New York Times story:
[Senator Arlen] Specter said [former Patriots employee Matt] Walsh also told him about games taped in between, when Mr. Walsh was a Patriots season-ticket holder and witnessed his successor, Steve Scarnecchia, engage in similar videotaping against the Steelers (September 2002 and October 2004) and Cowboys (November 2003).
Steve Scarnecchia is the son of Dante Scarnecchia, who spent 26 years with the Patriots. The younger Scarnecchia received an entry-level position with the Patriots at around the same time that Josh McDaniels, the Broncos' current head coach, did, and the two apparently became close friends.
As noted earlier, commissioner Roger Goodell will reportedly consider barring Scarnecchia from the league for life after this offense:
Goodell also will hold hearing to determine Broncos videographer will be barred pemanently from league as repeat violator
If the NFL wishes to ensure that its videotaping regulations are not violated, it seems as though permanently banishing Scarnecchia from the league would be a prudent decision. For more on Scarnecchia and Spygate Part Deux, check in with our Broncos blog, Mile High Report, and our Patriots blog, Pats Pulpit.