Keisel, in fact, said on ESPN’s "SVP & Russillo" show Monday that his enmity toward the Patriots stems from respect for what they have accomplished.
“Six times to the Super Bowl in the Belichick era is just phenomenal,” Keisel said from Arizona, where the Super Bowl will be played Sunday. “It’s unfortunate that these things are coming up.”
Ah yes, these things.
The Patriots are under intense scrutiny after 11 of 12 balls they used in a 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game reportedly had air taken out of them. It's become an even bigger story because the Patriots were heavily disciplined by the NFL in 2007 for illegally videotaping the defensive hand signals of the Jets.
Keisel was critical of the Patriots and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last week. But he said Monday that his opinion on what the Patriots have accomplished under Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady hasn’t changed because of the latest cheating allegations.
“I don’t think that this whole football scandal is relevant one bit. No one really knows, 'Well did it happen, didn't it happen?'” Keisel said. “It’s just unfortunate because there’s so many other guys, other teammates that are part of the Patriots. Or there’s so many guys that are on the Seahawks team that are part of the Super Bowl and rather than the focus being on those guys and their accomplishments getting here it’s on all of this.”