So it was found out last week that New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has had people taping opponents' practices since he took over for the team in 2000.

To some people it is not a big shocker, but for people like myself, I am actually dumbfounded.

After the Week One incident in which a cameraman was caught taping the New York Jets, the word conspiracy was hovering above Belichick's head.

You would think that it would be over with after the first week, but apparently we were blinded by the impressive performance of the Patriots.

Everybody that saw the Super Bowl was given a chance to see a team go 19-0 for the first time ever.

But we all know how it ended when the New York Giants shattered all hope of that happening.

That same weekend, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., was to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the videotapes that surfaced showing that New England was taping the St. Louis Rams during Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002.

As it turns out, the tape would end up being destroyed.

Plus, it turns out that there were other tapes that showed New England had been videotaping other opponents for the past seven seasons.

Are you kidding me?

This is huge. To me, this easily trumps the Mitchell Report by a mile.

It may have proven that the Patriots did not win their last three Super Bowls fair and square.

Here's probably the most disturbing part about all of this. Those tapes from the past years have been destroyed by the order of Goodell.

Basically what Goodell is saying is that we should not look at the past and focus on the future?

Who does he think he is, Mark McGwire?

Goodell is just as guilty. Why he burned the tapes is beyond me.

He agrees to talk with Specter to try to get to the bottom of the situation and nothing gets resolved.

This is ludicrous. I don't believe that anything is probably going to be done about this situation.

The past should be brought up because it may show that Belichick is a fraud.

For Goodell to do something that stupid, he, too, should be in hot water for practically covering up for Belichick.

I can now understand why he looks a little rough around the edges when he sees the media after a game.

How can this man call himself a coach when it turns out he had some "assistance" on the side?

I think it's time to not use the phrase "great coach" to associate Belichick.

Those three Super Bowls should mean squat.

I'm not saying give those championships to the Rams, Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles. I'm going to say that we should put something next to the records of the Patriots that has become the dreaded word of all records - asterisk.

An asterisk should be put next to the titles New England won in 2001, 2003, and 2004. That way they can be reminded for the rest of their lives that they did not win any of those titles fairly.

This has easily become the ghost that Belichick did not want to haunt him.

How do we categorize the Patriots from now on?

Should they still be considered one of the best football teams this decade?

I still want to say yes, because I am not sure if the players were involved in this situation.

My favorite part is the fact that Belichick said in a statement over the weekend that even if they did tape the Rams' practice, it created minimal impact.

Now comes the fun part where everybody and their mother will be involved with this investigation.

Who knows how far this spygate controversy will go on?

I am a person who believes in innocent until proven guilty, but it seems like Goodell and Belichick are enjoying their game of dodgeball, avoiding as many questions as possible.

They should both be ashamed of themselves - Belichick because although he claimed it happened just one time, he still got caught, and Goodell for destroying the evidence.

A few months ago I commended Goodell on the way he was handling the problems with Michael Vick and Adam "Pacman" Jones.

Now, I think that he is just a fool that is trying to keep his superstar team from drowning.

I thought he was the enforcer who wanted to try to run a clean league.

It's funny how people thought New England got what they deserved after losing the Super Bowl a few weeks ago.

New England's quest for 19-0 at the Super Bowl became the most watched Super Bowl in history and spygate was supposed to be behind us.

Now as we look into the future of the Patriots organization, there is no telling whether or not this team will be taken seriously ever again.

I don't think New England is a bad team. I just think Belichick is a sorry excuse for a coach and Goodell is the worst excuse for a sports commissioner.

How dare this man call himself a leader when he wants to play hide-and-seek for the Patriots?

You think the hearings between Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Brian McNamee were interesting thanks to the Mitchell report?

Spygate is probably going to more intriguing.

Fasten your seatbelts and entertain yourselves for a long ride. This scandal could take a while.

Juan Carlos Reyes is a sports reporter for the Record Star. Readers may contact him at 361-387-4511 or via email at news@recordstar.com