There are some who say that its not a big deal that the New England Patriots may have tried to gain a slight edge through the deflation of footballs, and there are those who say that head coach Bill Belichick should be suspended for the Super Bowl. The bottom line is this; it doesn't matter the severity of the infraction. Someone in the Patriots organization deliberately tried to cheat and get an unfair advantage. If this were the Patriots first time around controversy, I would not have read much into it. Since this is common territory for the Patriots, however, one has to question their integrity. People who cheat often times cheat again. This act is a direct reflection of the Patriots lack of integrity for the game of football. They constantly try to get around the rules and some think its genius, while others beg to differ. For example, in their recent playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens, the Patriots ran legal substitutions but failed to give the refs and the Ravens enough time to account for the odd changes in lineups. Since it was technically inside the rules, everyone revered Bill Belichick as some sort of "genius." Now, however, there is no way out of this one for the Patriots. Belichick claims that the balls pressure was altered by the climate it was in, and if thats the case, why weren't the Colts' balls found at an illegal pressure? After all, they were in the exact same conditions as the Patriots.
Scientists have even come out and rebutted Belichick's outlandish explanation for the change in pressure of the footballs. Lets face it, the Patriots got caught and they are trying to cover their tracks. A common line of thinking around this situation is that the Patriots would have won by a lot anyways so it doesn't really matter. Of course it matters, the Patriots deliberately tried to bend the rules. Tom Brady's explanation on this matter is embarrassing and has even prompted criticism from hall of fame quarterback Troy Aikman and famous running back Jerome Bettis. They both know that a quarterback is with a football almost every second and that they know exactly what happens to the ball and how they want it to feel. So when Tom Brady says that he just uses what he is given, we all know that he is lying. Can we prove he is lying? No we can't, but we can question. And to question this organization is the first step into finding out what happened. As long as they are painted in a negative light from this matter, there will not be the constant deification of them.
The Patriots are champions, and there is no doubt about it. However, when you cheat, or are constantly involved in possible cheating situations, you must have done something that wasn't totally transparent. When someone is constantly accused of breaking the rules, the odds are that they broke the rules at some point. The media has not been asking the right questions to Brady and Belichick. I would ask Brady, "Tom, if you didn't do it and Bill didn't do it, and scientists have rebutted your coach's theory, you must think that a ball boy deliberately did it on his own, right?" If you ask that question, Tom will have to answer it. Asking the Patriots about how they are handling the adversity almost plays into their sob story, and doesn't hold them accountable.
Some think that the Patriots are taking unfair heat because they are hated by many. Yes, people don't like teams who constantly win. But winning is not a crime, cheating is. The New York Yankees dynasty in the late 1990's is a perfect example. Everyone hated them because they constantly won. But were they ever accused of cheating to beat their opponent? Obviously excluding steroids which was a league wide problem, did they Yankees ever steal signs or deliberately try to break the rules and get around them? No, and that is the fundamental difference. People who dislike the Patriots hate to see when they win, but when they see them cheat, it grosses them out. The Patriots say that they try to be extra cautious when it comes to NFL rules, but we all know that is a fallacy. The Patriots didn't seem too cautious when they were literally caught videotaping other teams signals and using them to get a leg up on the competition.
The Patriots are great, and Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks ever. But cheating is cheating. It doesn't matter if the score is 45-7 or 10-10. When you cheat, your integrity has been compromised. When you get caught cheating, and then try to break the rules again, well, I feel sorry for you.
Its time for the Patriots to man up and just admit what they did. They are embarrassing themselves and it is disappointing to see the lack of respect and integrity from "champions" and "geniuses."