I know I said I would stick to crime and stay away from sports like the NFL so that is the reason I write today. When you represent yourself as doing something according to the rules but you are cheating then you are defrauding the other side. Here we have a clear case of action that may amount to a crime and on top of it a cover-up. Remember Martha Stewart got inside information on some stock and having all the money in the world wanted more so she traded on it which was illegal. They could not prove she actually got the information but they could prove she covered up some of the things she did so she went to the slammer for a bit. Here we have another situation like that.
No one will go to the slammer because it’s an in-house cheat. The Commissioner and the Owner are buddies so it’ll all pass. It’s probably the reason it happened again after the 2007 Spygate matter because even if they break the rules there are no serious consequences.
As Jack Webb would say: “just the facts ma’am.” The Patriots went into the championship game against Indianapolis on a relatively warm and rainy night and used footballs that were inflated to two (2) pounds less than the minimum weight required by the rules. Eleven of the twelve balls checked by the NFL official came back with that measurement.
Now here’s the big problem. Before the game, especially a championship game, the officials check to see that the balls are correctly inflated. The idea is that we have an even field for each team. When the officials checked the balls prior to the match they met the league standards; when they were checked after the game they didn’t. Someone on the Patriots messed with the balls. The Patriots are noted for being an extremely disciplined team. If a player shows up late for practice he is sent home. So no one does nothing, as my friends would say, without the big OK from the top.
Well one thing we know is the Belichick has the Leo Derocher approach to the game and it ain’t being a sportsman. Leo said: “I believe in rules. Sure I do. If there weren’t any rules, how could you break them?” and “Win any way you can as long as you can get away with it.” In other words, Belichick like Derocher seems to have the idea “Rules are for Suckers.”
It appears Belichick and company believe it’s all right to cheat, yes, breaking the rules is cheating. Add to that they also believe that after being caught it’s all right to play Mickey the Dunce because they must believe like the MIT professor who put Obamacare over on the American people that Americans are dumb. Well probably not all Americans but at least their fans. They’ve noticed the fans don’t care how they win as long as they win.
Belichick, the man who controls everything, when first asked about the issue the next day said: “I didn’t know anything about it until this morning.” He repeated to another reporter: “As I said, the first I heard about it was this morning,” To believe that you must accept that none of the following noticed anything wrong with the ball: Tom Brady, the center, any of the receivers, or the running backs because no one told him about it. You also have to believe he doesn’t control every aspect of the game.
That’s hard to accept when the one guy who happened to handle the ball on the other team Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson who intercepted the ball noticed it immediately. There’s also an indication one of the officials noticed it but just exchanged one ball for the other.
But how about big Tom Brady the darling of us Boston fans. If any guy or gal who ever played touch football can tell when a ball is under inflated do you think that perhaps the world’s best quarterback can’t figure it out.
When asked about it Brady said: “I think I’ve heard it all at this point … it’s ridiculous. I don’t even respond to stuff like this.”
We do know however that Brady is keenly aware of the inflation of a football. Here’s a quote from Brady in 2011 when asked about a Gronkowski spike: “I didn’t see it. I mean, he spikes it every time he scores, so I don’t know if that’s flagrant or what. When Gronk scores — it was like his eighth touchdown of the year — he spikes the ball and he deflates the ball. I love that, because I like the deflated ball. But I feel bad for that football, because he puts everything he can into those spikes.”
Then the other fan favorite, Rob Gronkowski, the tight end who would also know the difference plays along with the cover up by responding: “Gronking May Cause Deflation” indicating deflation may have happened when he scored a touchdown and spiked the ball. Hard to believe he scored 11 times.
So the Patriots cheated, knew it and covered up. One Boston columnist wrote: “Of course, the best part of all this is that the Patriots and their fans couldn’t care less. Although they would never admit it, they are very much like Yankees fans. They honestly don’t care what others think. And that’s kind of cool.”
Cheating is never cool. We have a team that likes to cheat. We’ll never know whether it could have won playing fairly. We’ll always wonder where else it has cheated. Most importantly, we’ll wonder why it had to cheat. I’d suggest it’s sad.