Call it cheater's proof.
The season after "Spygate," the New England Patriots finished in second-place in the AFC East for the only time in the past 16 years and missed the playoffs.
Erie, Pa., appears to be lining up for a similar fate this year in the weather department.
As New Year's Day looms, the two-time and defending Golden Snow Globe champions are struggling to recapture the snowfall crown for large United States cities.
Erie currently sits in fourth place with 23.9 inches of snow so far in the 2018-19 season. It trails Syracuse, 31.7 inches; Anchorage, Alaska, 27.2 inches; and Rochester, 24.4 inches. And, Buffalo is nipping at Erie's heels with 23.2 inches so far.
The Pennsylvania's only Great Lakes city ran away with the contest last year, and for a time last April, appeared to creep within an inch of Buffalo's all-time mark for seasonal snowfall at 199.4 inches, which was set during the 1976-77 winter that featured the Blizzard of '77.
Then, upon further review, the National Weather Service found Erie was measuring snow all wrong and shaved more than 30 inches off their seasonal total. Its 166.3 inches last year was still enough to best second-place Syracuse by a foot.