“Peyton takes everything to the nth degree”. “I think a lot of that is psychological warfare, you know, they want to think certain things and worry about more about what’s going on off the field than on it. You can’t worry about you just have to play in and you know that there’s that kind of thing everywhere”.
Now, we can add another theory to the conspiracy bonfire: Peyton Manning believed the Patriots may have bugged the visitors’ locker room at Gillette Stadium.
Tony Dungy confirmed a 2010 report, explaining that when the Colts played in New England, Manning would discuss specific plays in the hallway rather than the locker room out of fear that the locker room was bugged.
“We had a few ex-Patriots who said ‘You better be careful what you do in the locker room and what you say, ‘” he said. Because what else can I say?
At Denver Broncos training camp in Englewood, Colorado, Manning was asked about whether he thought the Patriots listened in on opponents in Foxborough and had a lighthearted response. And I won’t write a book right away so you won’t find out what goes on in a locker room after I stop playing. But there were some who couldn’t let the notion of the Patriots doing anything to get a leg up go unnoticed, and there were some players who went extra lengths to make sure the Patriots weren’t watching them.
The Gillette lighthouse is really a weaponized weather machine that can take any early autumn day and turn it too cold, wet and windy for Manning to throw a football. Their GM Mickey Loomis was accused of eavesdropping on opposing coaches through some sort of device.
So good sleuthing there, Peyton and Tony.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell fined the team $250,000 for that incident, and stripped New England of a first-round draft choice. And he’s not saying he thinks they were snooping.