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Super Bowl 2012: With Victory, Patriots Could Help Change Impressions Of Spygate

The Post-Gazette notes that for the New England Patriots, the spectre of Spygate still lingers, and the 2012 Super Bowl provides the Pats with a chance to show that while their previous Super Bowl victories might have been tainted, they can still win the Super Bowl, even with a team that isn't as good as the teams that won while spying.

The Steelers lost to the Patriots in the 2001 and 2004 AFC Championship games, so they're still fired up.

"They definitely cheated," said Hines Ward, who will be part of NBC's five-hour pregame show today.

The Patriots were caught using video to steal hand signals from their opponents' coaches, and they were forced to pay $250,000 and forfeit their 2008 first-round draft choice.

That was a while ago, but some players will be looking to Sunday's Super Bowl to see if the Patriots can win without spying.

Ward also believes that a New England victory somehow will polish those three previous Lombardis in the Patriots trophy case.

"Yeah," he said after laughing at the question, "they would."

It's no laughing matter to [Amani] Toomer, even though Spygate had no direct affect on him.

"Tom Brady hasn't won a Super Bowl since Spygate," Toomer told [Jim] Rome.

For more on the Patriots, check out Pats Pulpit.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.