UNITED STATES—In the world of sports, it seems the notion of cheating is ok. By now, everyone is well aware of the scandal involving the New England Patriots and deflategate. If you’re unsure of what I’m referring to its when the New England Patriots utilized footballs that weren’t up to par with the league. It was pivotal to many as the Patriots were doing battle against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game.
While I’ll argue the Colts never had a chance, the notion of the Patriots getting away with cheating again is baffling. Why well, they’ve done it before where they were caught capturing video of other teams practicing. I mean this organization has a trend of utilizing any tricks in the book to win, which sends not just a bad message to the NFL, but to rising sports stars.
If you want to reach the top, you have to cheat a little bit; actually you don’t. In a 200-page report that the NFL released last week, they highlighted that it was ‘speculated’ that certain footballs were deflated which provided a bit of an advantage to quarterback Tom Brady. Yeah, to have a report of such depth and still be unable to deliver to America a decisive answer did not bode well with me. Either they did it or they didn’t do it. There really can’t be any in between here.
Well Tom Brady is feeling the heat now, especially after the Patriots won the Super Bowl and Brady MVP. The star quarterback has been suspended for a total of four games for the upcoming season. Brady hasn’t come out saying he did or didn’t do it, but it appears the NFL has enough evidence to warrant that something fishy was up and Tom was well aware that some of the footballs used were underinflated. Requests were made for him to unveil his text messages which could be the kicker on rather he did or didn’t know. Unfortunately, the athlete has not agreed to release them.
He is not the only one facing consequences because the league fined the Patriots organization $1 million and they will have to forfeit its first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft. I’m still baffled that this organization is not willing to admit to its wrongs. Locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski have both been indefinitely suspended without pay; in other words they’ve been fired, the league just won’t say it. If they happen to get a second chance, and I say that lightly, it will definitely be a down grade from what duties they performed in the past.
Many football fans are well aware that the organization has gone to extreme lengths at times to win. When you take what the Patriots have done, and then that scandal that involved the New Orleans Saints, one suspects cheating is common in the NFL. Are the players, the owners and the coaches afraid to play a game without having an advantage?
I suspect Commissioner Roger Goodell knew the radar was on him considering the recent scandal involving NFL players and domestic abuse. Between Ray Rice, and a slew of others, it almost felt as the NFL was on the verge of crumbling with scandal after scandal making headlines in 2014 and 2015.
It’s a sad day when one of the most beloved sports turns into a fiasco where people begin to suspect the notion of cheating is a common occurrence. Wow, these players, these organizations, these coaches, these owners make millions of dollars each year, and they can’t play a football game without cheating? What type of message are you sending to those youngsters hoping to join the ranks? Not a good one if you ask me.