“Rules Are For Suckers”: Patriots Motto

justice weepsI 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.

29 thoughts on ““Rules Are For Suckers”: Patriots Motto

    1. Tom:

      Your belief indicates that it does help when the owner of the team has significant influence in the livelihood of the referees.

  1. I kind of doubt that the facts will ever be in. A couple of days ago, I watched Peter King being interviewed along with Dan Marino. I listened carefully since I view King as a semi-official source for information on league doings. King said it was unlikely that the league would conduct any interviews during Super Bowl week since that would interfere with the team’s preparation for the game. (This seemed to be later borne out by Tom Brady, who said — four days out — that he hadn’t spoken with anybody from the NFL.) King reasoned that since nobody was likely to be suspended, there was no need to rush.

    Sigh. I guessing that the next act will find a Patriots’ ball boy falling on his tiny sword.

  2. I question why you didn’t wait until the facts are in? We don’t know what happened and the reporters are making it worse intentionally as it’s their job these days. I question the talk now that the NFL had prior knowledge of that the Patriots’ planned on using a deflated ball. This opens up a lot of questions especially since it came from the Ravens. And I question the refs who handled the balls after every play? I question what happens to a ball in play with huge guys pounding on it? I question what happens in weather because it wasn’t so warm there in Foxboro it was on the line of a cold front if you call it that which temperatures vary in areas and it did that night. The weather not only affects my bronchitis but also my tires. A few hours after the game while traveling around Foxboro to the Cape and back my tire light came on and then off periodically. Weird. And what was the weather where the balls were what was controlled and what was not. Also I question that Brady said at the press conference that he gave 24 balls which is the norm. And I thought I heard that the balls are placed under a heater on the field. Still my thoughts go back to well if the NFL knew about it before hand and this was a huge game what did they do with that knowledge? Certainly they would have advised the refs wouldn’t they? And gosh couldn’t the refs know by the feel of the balls when the Boston Globe actually took an experiment and asked the people in the office who could tell and who couldn’t…. Then again it’s just a stupid football game. Las Vegas is happy and any publicity good or bad increase profits.. And anyway I don’t think Brady in any way would want to be remembered for this. Giselle wouldn’t allow it.

    1. I suppose I should have waited a little longer to get more facts but the more that come in seem to back up my original supposition that there was a little cheating going on. We know the weather or other factors did not effect the balls because the Colts balls remained properly inflated as did the other 12 balls the Patriots gave the referees. What we don’t know is if any of the balls had a condition like bronchitis that would have been effected by the weather but it is unlikely 11 out of 12 would suffer from that illness.
      You do come up with a wise idea about putting lights on the balls that would light up if the pressure fell below a certain level. Perhaps putting a chip in each ball which would send signals out like GPS would ensure the pressure remains proper. You bring up other good issues such as why didn’t the refs detect the difference or why didn’t the NFL knowing the problem double check the balls before the game.
      One thing that bothers some is Brady’s statement that he doesn’t squeeze the balls. That seems to be something that one would do naturally during the process of gripping it and throwing it. You may have noticed that it is not only when he is on the field that he handles the balls but also on the side line as he is getting ready to go in. I just don’t think however Brady would be so far out in front on the issue unless he had nothing to do with it.
      It does help increase the audience for the Super Bowl so it is in the interest of the NFL to have the controversy. The NFL is taking it seriously it seems. You do suggest it is only a stupid football game and that is what Brady seemed to be suggesting when he said it wasn’t ISIS. True it is a game but many people make lots of money off of the game so for them it is more than a game but a livelihood. The owners especially have to keep the true believers hanging in there and spending their time and money on it.
      Anyway, it does provide a nice mystery what will hopefully have a satisfying outcome. As for Giselle she is passionately interested in the game (remember her complaining after the last Super Bowl loss) and probably believes like Tom that all if fair in love and war.

  3. It was quite a performance. Belichick gets things rolling by refusing to accept any responsibility for what happened. Don’t blame me! I loved the way the coach tossed it to Brady. He seemed to be saying that if there is any blowback, it goes no further up the chain-of-command than my quarterback.

    It wasn’t that long ago that the team was spinning a narrative in which the Pats were a kind of “Boys Town” in which coach Belichick (Father Flanagan) took in wayward NFL players and turned them into model citizens. Aaron Hernandez ruined that story line, and Belichick sure didn’t look like Father Flanagan today.

    Brady was nearly as bad, and just as disingenuous. So it’s time to fire the ball boy.

    Was it Charles Barkley who said children should look to their parents for role models, and not professional sports stars? Let me double down on that thought. Kids! Look up to mom and dad, not Belichick and Brady.

  4. Afterthought: I wonder about the universe inhabited by NFL owners. Woody Johnson, I’m afraid, isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the NFL shed, and I thought it obvious his remark about Revis was intended as a compliment, not some diabolical effort to lure him back to the Jets (God help Revis!). It surprised me that Robert Kraft would publicly embarrass a fellow owner by formally filing a “tampering” charge over so minor a matter. I guess those guys live in a billionaire-eat-billionaire world.

    1. As I already stated in the above comment that was not my argument. I didn’t mean to imply that either. I should have been more specific and explained it could help prove it was not intentional. Regardless, that talking point has been debunked, the NFL reported at 3pm yesterday that the Colts footballs were in fact inspected for tampering.

      I agree the “everybody does it” argument does not exonerate the Patriots if the allegations are found to be true. However it does help to mitigate the circumstances and dispell the arguments that Belicheck should be fired or suspended for this incident (I think it will be very difficult to prove he had any knowledge of this). The public’s and media’s calls for Bill’s firing or suspension are completely blown out of the proportion. The rules call for anyone found to be altering the inflation of a football to face a $25,000 fine, (although it says up to and not limited to in the official rules). To go much farther beyond that would mean the NFL doesn’t care about its rule book either and arbitrarily hands down punishments based upon the level of media attention the incident gets. (They recently reinstated a football player who killed his friend in a drunk driving accident, he was an offensive lineman so no one cared. Ray Rice gets suspended for 2 games, then re suspended for the full season, which the arbitrator rightfully overturned on double jeopardy principles, and I could go on and on with examples about the haphazard way Goodell’s office handles disciplinary decisions )

      Regardless if the allegations are true or not, it is a minor controversy, not even on the level of Spygate. The NFL is OBSESSED with its public image after the Ray Rice debacle. If the NFL truly viewed this to be such an egregious offense, they would have created a much harsher penalty than a $25,000 fine.

      Here is a link to the Patriots vs. Packers broadcast: http://www.bostonsportsmedia.com/2015/01/deflategate-is-over-this-is-the-smoking-gun

      Please read the article and then try to explain why Rodger’s statements are any different from the current controversy. He openly admitted to the broadcasters in the pre-game media session he attempts to deceive the referees. Aaron Rodgers said prior to their matchup with the Pats, he likes to have the balls over-inflated and tries to see if the refs take air out of it. That was in Week 10 or 12, yet there was no controversy or investigation. But now because the Patriots are involved, who are universally despised by the media and fans across the country, heads must roll.

      1. Dave:
        Sorry. I don’t look upon the New England Patriots as a persecuted minority. I saw Coach Belichick throw Tom Brady under the bus today, though I have no doubt that the crafty quarterback will leap from the path of the double-decker when it’s his turn to speak. It was disappointing, though no surprising, to see Belichick refuse to take any responsibility for what happened. He talked about using practice balls that are in very poor condition. If players complained, he made the balls even worse. Now I ask you, is it possible for a man this up-to-speed on the footballs used in practice sessions to be totally clueless about the balls used in the actual games???

          1. Dave:
            Belichick invited the national media, without any prompting as far as I could see, to ask Tom Brady about the situation, and what his views might be on the subject. I didn’t see any need for the coach to publicly bring his quarterback into the conversation. And with Belichick clueless, it’s now on Brady. I’m guessing that Tom will also plead not guilty when he gets a chance to speak. If so, we’re looking at a “fire the ball boy” defense. Can’t wait!

  5. We need to ask “Cui bono?” – “Who benefits?”
    A deflated ball is impartial, benefiting both teams. It does not give an unfair advantage of one team over the other.

    1. Ed:

      Each team uses its own balls. Patriots used a deflated one; Colts used a proper one. Seems to me the Patriots had a big advantage.

      1. I think Pats’ defenders are headed in the direction of the “everybody does it” defense. But there’s no evidence that everybody does it. Only one team does it, as far as we know, the New England Patriots.

        1. Dan:

          Absolutely right. I suppose that’s one of the reason the Patriots cheat because they know their fans don’t care if they do.

          1. Matt:

            Just as an aside. A week or so ago, Woody Johnson, the owner of the Jets, made what I took to be a harmless, though ill-advised, remark about what great player Derrelle Revis is, and how he’d love to have him back on the Jets. The Patriots instantly filed a “tampering” charge against Johnson since Revis is still under contract to the Pats. My point here is just that New England is obviously a team that is sensitive to NFL rules and their proper application. What’s good for the goose ….

    1. All I am saying is, how can you call the Patriots cheaters when there are no reports of the Colts balls being checked. Its like a scientific experiment, how can you prove your theory if you have no control group?

      1. Dave:

        I know the Patriots cheated that’s why I can say they did. If I’m caught cheating in a card game I can’t say how can you say I’m cheating unless you know everyone else is not cheating. You don’t need a control group to know if a person is cheating. If the Colts cheated, of which there is no evidence, that would only mean both teams are cheats. You know the old expression “two wrong . . . ” The real question is why they find the need to cheat.

  6. Matt,

    At this point its not clear they cheated. As a man who looks at every possible angle and questions everything in the Bulger case, why have you already jumped from, 11 balls were not inflated to regs to the equivalent of Patriots cheating? The NFL has said they looked at the balls the Patriots used. They did not say they also looked at the balls the Colts used. Players on other teams have already publicly stated that when the balls are inflated in warm indoor environments, they lose a little pressure when being used in the cold air. The refs check them 2hrs before game time, most likely indoors. Until the Colts balls are also inspected, this “investigation” is a one-sided sham. This is the same organization that failed to ask or watch a video tape of the Ray Rice incident.

    C’mon, its just lazy to call them cheaters until the Colts footballs have also been inspected. And if the Colts footbals never are, then its impossible to prove they cheated.

    1. Hi Ray, I’m with Matt on this one. Game time temperature was 51 degrees, no? Wet and rainy? Yes. Cold? Nah.

    2. Dave:

      The NFL office said the balls were two pounds under inflated. I suggest it is in the interest of the NFL not to have this dispute at this time so if it could have given the Patriots a clean bill of health it would have done so. As I said earlier whether the Colts cheated or not does not change the Patriots situation. Accept the fact the Patiots cheat and get on with it. You seem to think it is all right if they cheat if you can point the finger at others. How does it lessen the Patriots violation of the rules if the Colts did the same thing. Aren’t we entitled to watch a game played by the rules?

      1. Here’s more food for thought: The Pats defeated the Ravens 35-31. The game-time temperature was about 20 degrees, and went lower as the game progressed. Steve Young and others with NFL experience believe a deflated ball gives the quarterback more grip in cold-weather games. So if the Pats are shown to have deflated the balls in the Ravens’ game, the integrity of their win will be seriously damaged.

        1. Dan:

          Good point. We have no idea how long they have been doing it but you must believe it just wasn’t this once. This calls into question a lot of their victories over the years. Will the NFL have the courage to really dig into this? I doubt it. It just wants everything to go away. Kraft is on a lot of important committees so he’ll be pushing back against any sanctions.

      2. I was not implying that at all. At the time I posted the comment, it had yet to be reported that the Colts balls were inspected as part of the investigation. My point was that if the Colts balls also weighed less than the regulations required after the referees inspected them, it would most likely be the result of a natural occurrence or some other, unintentional factors, and not for the nefarious reasons the media and the Colts are alleging.

  7. It is sad. There is almost something juvenile about it, but this is big business, the NFL.
    This can’t end with the firing of the ballboy. Pats should lose 1st and 2nd round Draft picks. The team should also be hit with a seven figure fine. The coach should be suspended for at least four games next year. Good thing for Pats that the game wasn’t close.

    1. Dan:

      The big question I have is why the Patriots find it necessary to cheat. They’ve been caught twice but we don’t know how many times they haven’t been caught. It’s like the driver of an automobile. If he’s caught once driving under the influence you don’t get too upset because most of us have probably done that and been lucky not to have been caught. But if he’s caught a second time then you figure he’s probably driving around all the time under the influence and hasn’t been caught for the other times.

      I agree with you that the punishment must be great since it is a second offense for the same people. Their attempt to pass it off as if they didn’t know anything about it, especially Brady, makes me wonder what makes them tick because from all I could see the whole thing was unnecessary which further adds to the problem. There are people who can do it the right way or the wrong way; and even when the right way is easier will still prefer to do it the wrong way.

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