Sounding the alarm on Alarmgate

Boston, MA - 1/23/2017 - Dennis Harrison (cq), right, was arraigned in East Boston district court. He is alleged to have pulled the fire alarm in the middle of the night at the airport hotel where the Pittsburgh Steelers were staying. His attorney is Francisco Napolitano (cq). Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff Topic: 24falsealarm Reporter: Cristela Guerra
Pat Greenhouse/Globe staff
Dennis Harrison is accused of pulling the fire alarm at the hotel where the Steelers were saying as a prank.

Did you listen to all the postgame analysis after the Patriots punched their ticket for the Super Bowl?

All those Patriots toadies on CBS talked about Tom Brady throwing for a postseason franchise-record 384 yards, about Patriots receiver Chris Hogan having a career game, about Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell pulling his groin, about the Patriots defense making the great receiver Antonio Brown a non-factor.

Alternative facts.


Every sentient American outside of New England, and certainly all the crack investigators in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s office, know why the Patriots won. It had nothing to do with how well the Patriots played. It was all because some 25-year-old guy from East Boston named Dennis Harrison pulled the fire alarm at the Hilton at Logan Airport early Sunday, waking the Steelers up at 3 in the morning.

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David Procopio, spokesman for the Massachusetts State Police, gave me the low-down on Alarmgate. Harrison told state troopers he was at a party Saturday night when he and his buddies learned from social media that the Steelers were staying at the airport Hilton.

“Supposedly,” Procopio said, “someone dared him to go there and pull the alarm. He drives there with two friends. He is the only one who went in, went up to the second floor, and pulled the alarm.

“The buddies waited outside in the car. Harrison expected he would get back into the car and they would drive away. But after pulling the alarm he gets outside to the parked car, the car is locked, his friends are nowhere to be found, and apparently took the keys with them.

“He tries to walk away and a trooper responding to the false alarm finds him in the garage next to the hotel. The trooper asks him what he’s doing. He initially says he’s waiting for an Uber. The trooper asks why, then, is he in a parking garage? The kid then acknowledges he did something ‘stupid’ and makes statements about what he did.”


Procopio said Harrison would not give up his buddies. But Harrison was honest enough to tell the cops, “I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan.”

Pats, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son, but let’s not slough this off as some drunken prank. According to my sources in Goodell’s office — well, at least according to the guy I talked to in line at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Andrew Square in Southie — this is just another Patriots scheme, like Spygate, like Deflategate.

The guy who got pinched for pulling the alarm is named Dennis Harrison. That’s the same last name as a guy who used to play for the Patriots, a good friend of Tom Brady named Rodney Harrison.

Coincidence? I don’t think so. And neither do the crack investigators at NFL headquarters, who were appalled to see the cheatin’ Patriots cheat their way back into another Super Bowl so they can cheat themselves another Lombardi Trophy.

It is only a matter of time before Goodell’s investigators confiscate Tom Brady’s cellphone, and when they do they will no doubt find e-mails and text messages and voice mails from Dennis Harrison all over it.


And, on the off chance they don’t find anything from Dennis Harrison on Brady’s phone, I’ve been assured by Goodell’s investigators, or at least by that guy at DD’s, that would constitute conclusive evidence that Brady deleted the information.

We’re on to you, Tommy Boy.

Still, Goodell’s investigators are up against a wide-ranging coverup, including every sportswriter and sportscaster who had the audacity to suggest the biggest turning point in Sunday’s game was when the Patriots held the Steelers to a field goal after the Steelers had a first down from the half-yard line late in the first half.

The Steelers couldn’t punch it in and actually got pushed backward. On CBS, those well-known Patriots apologists Jim Nantz and Phil Simms kept showing replays of the Patriots making good defensive plays. But my impeccable sources tell me investigators in Goodell’s office have camera angles much different than CBS has, showing that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger couldn’t make audibles at the line of scrimmage because he was yawning.

Dennis Harrison strikes again!

The obfuscation continued as Nantz and Simms kept showing a replay that appeared to show Bell hurt his groin while being tackled early in the game. They kept insisting Bell was hurt by contact, when, as every investigator in Goodell’s office knows, the leading cause of groin pulls is sleep deprivation.

Now, I’ll grant you that the body of medical evidence suggests that sleep deprivation has nothing to do with groin pulls. But I would also point out that most of this evidence has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

New England Journal of Medicine, New England Patriots? I rest my case.

Like Deflategate, this is an open-and-shut case. The evidence, even the evidence that isn’t there, speaks for itself. The NFL isn’t even waiting to impose discipline on the Patriots. By allowing them to win on Sunday, the NFL has sentenced the Patriots to spend a week in Houston, which is immeasurably more punitive than losing Tom Brady for four games.

I know this guy, Mike Reaney. He walks Castle Island every day. He’s a carpenter by trade. He works with his hands and thinks with his brain. And he says that if the Patriots win the Super Bowl, Patriots owner Robert Kraft should step aside and let Goodell hand the Lombardi Trophy to Jim McNally, the Patriots locker room attendant that Goodell’s crack investigators blamed for deflating footballs used in the AFC Championship game two years ago.

Reaney says it would be poetic justice.

Poetic justice? I hate to break it to you, Mikey, but this is the NFL we’re talking about. There ain’t no poetry, and there sure ain’t no justice.

Kevin Cullen is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeCullen.