The Patriots were 14-point underdogs when they outlasted the Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" in Super Bowl XXXVI back in February 2002, winning 20-17. On Sunday, New England will play in its sixth Super Bowl since and is in search of its fifth Lombardi Trophy.
But count Hall of Famer and former Rams running back Marshall Faulk among those who think the Patriots taped St. Louis' walkthrough practice the day before Super Bowl XXXVI. The Boston Herald reported the story but later issued this apology: "While the Boston Herald based its Feb. 2, 2008, report on sources that it believed to be credible, we now know that this report was false, and that no tape of the walkthrough ever existed."
Faulk, meanwhile, remains unconvinced.
"[The practice] before the Super Bowl. The guy who worked for the Patriots. If you remember, that was someone mysteriously living in Hawaii, who made his way back to the states and delivered the tapes," Faulk, who now works for NFL Network, said during Thursday's media availability, via WEEI.com. "[Roger] Goodell then watched those tapes and said there wasn't enough there to deem anything being done.
"Now, I didn't see what was on the tapes, because we didn't get to see that. The only thing I could say is that they taped our practice. That was wrong."
Faulk was asked if he "believed" that was the case.
"I don't believe anything. I'm just telling you the facts," he said.
And did Faulk's assertion that the Patriots taped the walkthrough play a role in the outcome, a New England 20-17 victory?
"I could [not] care less," Faulk said. "I don't care about that. Now, what do you want me to say?"
Silver lining: Time does, in fact, heal all wounds. Four years ago, Faulk was asked about the game and here's what he said:
"Am I over the loss? Yeah, I'm over the loss," he told CSNNE.com's Tom Curran in January 2013. "But I'll never be over being cheated out of the Super Bowl. That's a different story. I can understand losing a Super Bowl; that's fine ... But how things happened and what took place. Obviously, the commissioner gets to handle things how he wants to handle them. But if they wanted us to shut up about what happened, show us the tapes. Don't burn 'em."