The thing is the the blog spam is so amateurish, it's likely the competitor is simply using some automated blog spamming software that creates scraped content 'article' blog postings and all they have to do is <insert anchor text> and the tool does the rest.
For Google to then go and reward that type of behaviour, punish the original and true authoritive source of the content and then publicly throughout the years deny that blog spamming doesn't work is beyond belief.
Oh well, I'm here for the long term.. Google usually gets it right so will await to see the outcome as it plays out.
I suppose blog spammers, article/forum spammers who drop anchor text on garbage might come out the front to be truly the ones we should call "SEO's" :)
Eventful day... sleep.