For Super Bowl Bound Patriots, When Will Cheating End?


It’s easy to point your finger at the New England Patriots and call them cheaters when you run a Miami Dolphins fan site, root for the Miami Dolphins, and loathe the organization that resides in Foxboro, Massachusetts, especially when they give you a reason to. There is no denying that the Patriots are a very good and maybe even a great football team. O.k. they are a great football team and have been for the last what 20 years?

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They are also cheaters.

“Deflategate” as it is being referred to has gone from a simple “did someone deflate the balls” to “who deflated the balls”. As each day goes by it becomes more and more obvious that someone in the New England organization deflated the footballs and got caught. Mainstream media is making a big deal out of it and while it would have likely had no bearing on the games outcome the fact they tried to alter the favor into their own is still cheating whether it helps you or not.

This is obviously not the first time the Patriots have been caught doing something they shouldn’t have. It’s the 3rd. They have been guilty of filming defensive hand signals and they were accused of filming walk through practices of opponents including the St. Louis Rams who they beat in the Super Bowl. So when is enough, enough?

Roger Goodell can’t be pleased as he has endured one of the worst stretches in NFL history. Two seasons ago bully-gate changed the culture of locker rooms and this past season saw the NFL hung to dry by Ray Rice’s video and Adrian Petersons choice to use a switch on his son. Can the NFL simply ignore this event as something that “other teams have done”?

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Making this entire thing even stranger and almost comical is the fact that Tom Brady was one of two quarterbacks, Peyton Manning the other, who lobbied the competition committee to allow each team to handle their own game balls. Prior to that the home team supplied all of the game balls for a game. Now teams supply their own. Ironic twist of fate. Each ball even has the teams name embossed on the leather so the refs know who’s balls belong to whom.

Bill Belichick is denying any knowledge of the issue as is Tom Brady but it’s funny that a coach who is so glued into every single advantage, and little known offensive formations, wouldn’t know the balls were being doctored. Today former Cowboy QB Troy Aikman said that Goodell should come down harder on the Patriots than he did on the Saints after their fracas a few years ago called bounty-gate. He believes that Belichick’s “I didn’t know” shouldn’t hold water as Sean Payton didn’t know either but the NFL still suspended him for a year. Aikman maintains that unlike bounty-gate, the Patriots were trying to gain an advantage during the play of a game.

Yesterday we learned that following “spy-gate”, something the NFL wanted to bury, New England Patriot owner Robert Kraft called Belichick a schmuck for taping signals. Yet he still rewarded his coach with a contract extension a few months later. The Patriots rallied behind the events to finish a perfect 16-0 regular season before losing to the Giants in the Super Bowl.

Another issue that may raise it’s ugly head is the perceived relationship between Kraft and Commissioner Goodell. During the past 12 months since the Ray Rice video became public, Kraft has been a huge supporter of Goodell retaining his job. With this infraction by his team it will be interesting to see if Goodell goes soft on the Patriots or overly hard on them to show he is not playing favorites.

It’s very unlikely that we learn anything from the NFL until after the Super Bowl so as not to distract from the game itself but this has already become a distraction and yet again we are talking about the Patriots and cheating. As I mentioned above the Patriots are one of the best football teams and franchises in NFL history but that also comes with a huge asterisk next to it that is defined by the use of tactics that are unfair, against the rules, and unsportsmanlike.

Don Shula a few weeks back referred to Bill Belichick as a Bill Belicheat. He didn’t mince words because Belichick got caught cheating once, accused of it a second time, and has now been caught a 3rd. Seems as though Shula won’t be changing his mind anytime soon.