By Tom E. Curran
Here's a weird salvo across the bow of the Patriots from my friend Peter King of SI.com and NBC.
With the Colts at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, King wonders in a Friday story whether Peyton Manning and his offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen will step out of the visitor's locker room for any strategic discussions.
The reason? King says he's "heard, reliably" that Manning and former offensive coordinator Tom Moore used to meet in the hallway rather than the locker room because they were afraid they were being monitored.
In other words, Moore, Manning and, perhaps, any other Colts personnel with a valued opinion (president Bill Polian? head coach Tony Dungy?) believed the Patriots were bugging the opposing locker room.
Needless to say, that's a pretty bold accusation to make. Even with the gentle and offhand phrasing King used.
In fact, it would be a helluva lot more sinister than using a video camera in plain view on the opposing sidelines to record the signals of a defensive coach.
Bugging the visitor's locker room?
I once ordered a spy kit from a Boys Life magazine (and the www.tomheroes.com/Comic%20Ads/classic%20ads/x-ray_glasses.htm">X-ray glasses that allow you to see through skin and layers of clothing) but I have no idea how you bug a locker room to specifically hear the quarterback and his offensive coordinator's conversations.
It would seem the Patriots employ a legion of spies, deploying them with all manner of monitoring devices. When intel is gathered, it all runs through Ernie Adams who then - just before game-time - distills and downloads that information to the coaching staff who are then armed with the opposing team's plans and able to scrap their week's preparation to adjust to the newly discovered stuff.
Or, the Patriots are sufficiently in the heads of their opposition to cause them to suspect such things.
My suggestion is this? The easiest way to defeat the eavesdropping Patriots would be to stand a Manning soundalike in the middle of the locker room. He could then loudly reveal the script of the first 25 offensive plays. In order.
That'd fix 'em. Fix 'em good.
A request for comment from the Patriots hasn't yet been answered.