Warner still wonders if Patriots cheated Rams out of Super Bowl XXXVI
It’s been 13 years, but Kurt Warner remains suspicious about whether he was cheated out of another Super Bowl title. Literally.
Warner’s St. Louis Rams (which finished 14-2 in the regular season) were knocked off by the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI, a win that kick-started New England’s dynasty. It also was a win that eventually came with some controversy after allegations of the Patriots video-taping the Rams’ walk-through surfaced.
Now, with Deflategate gripping the football world leading up to another Patriots Super Bowl appearance against the Seahawks, Warner still wonders if New England’s win in 2002 was completely legitimate.
“I don’t want to believe that there was anything outside of his team beat our team,” Warner told the New York Daily News on Tuesday at Super Bowl Media Day in Phoenix. “That’s what I want to believe. Yeah, there’s a sliver of a doubt. … Was there any advantage they gained in any game?
“Not just our Super Bowl game, but maybe a game before that to get to the Super Bowl. All those things enter your mind. It’s not because I’m bitter. It’s not because I say they cheated, because I have no idea.”
Warner was very careful not to come out and accuse the Patriots of being cheaters, but that’s about all he neglected to do.
“Since that scandal, I don’t know if they’ve won a Super Bowl,” Warner added, via the Daily News. “So you sit back and go, ‘Well, was it because of any advantage they got?’ I think it’s unfortunate. Unfortunate for him (Patriots QB Tom Brady). Unfortunate for our league. Unfortunate for historians who love the game and love great coaches. Because we don’t know.”
Ever the diplomat, Warner then gave his support for Patriots coach Bill Belichick: “Regardless of all that, he’ll still be considered as one of the best coaches to ever coach the game of football.”
Warner tried to cover his tracks on the fly in a Wednesday radio interview with WEEI.
“We should give them the benefit of the doubt in every situation,” Warner said. “But I think too often because of what happened before, you step back and you go, ‘Well, could it be something else?’ ”
This isn’t the first time Warner has voiced these sorts of concerns. He essentially said the same things in 2012, right down to being sure not to directly accuse the Patriots.
Regardless, Warner’s comments are innocent compared to those of former Rams running back Marshall Faulk. He said in 2013 that he’ll never get over being cheated out of the Super Bowl.”
MORE FROM NESN: