Nobody likes a cheater.
For years now, the New England Patriots have been involved in several NFL controversies. Take 2002 for example, where the Patriots videotaped the St. Louis Rams’ team walkthrough before Super bowl 36. There was Spygate in 2007, when the Patriots taped their season opener against the Jets from an unapproved sideline location.
This past offseason, much of pro football talk has been centered around Deflategate. In case you have been living under a rock, the footballs used in the 2015 AFC Championship game between the Colts and the Patriots were underinflated, and the Patriots were caught using the underinflated balls. Even when the Ted Wells report could not confirm that the Patriots had cheated, the team was fined one million dollars, striped of their 2016 first round draft pick and 2017 fourth round draft pick. The punishment also included a four game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady.
However, if you watched the 2015 NFL season opener between the Steelers and Patriots last week, you will notice that Brady was indeed playing. That is because Brady appealed the suspension and took his case to federal court, and his suspension was overruled by U.S. District court judge Richard Berman. Brady defeated the NFL and made Commissioner Roger Goodell look like a complete idiot in the process.
As if this was not already enough fuel to make you hate the Patriots, last week another report questioning the Patriots arose. According to ESPN’s Outside the Lines report, the Patriots videotaped coaches signals in 40 games from 2000-2007. And that’s not all. The report also states that the Patriots had stolen play sheets from opposing teams’ locker rooms. The sheets had the first 20-30 scripted plays from the other team, and low level Patriots employees would search hotels and trash cans looking for the sheets.
Although it may be hard, do not direct all of your anger at the Patriots. The NFL also is to blame. Also, according to the report, days after the Spygate scandal was revealed, NFL executives flew to the Patriots facilities where they were given eight illegal tapes. The report claims that both the NFL and Patriots officials destroyed the evidence. Goodell did not want to know how many games the Patriots had illegally taped opposing teams and Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, did not want to tell Goodell.
I am baffled that this story has not been talked about more than it has been. Maybe it is because everyone is tired of hearing about the Patriots cheating, but if this report holds true, both the Patriots and Goodell should be punished. Heck, Goodell should be fired if he did his part in helping the Patriots cover up Spygate. Goodell’s track record has already been shaky, but there is no question in my mind that he needs to go if this report ends up being credible.
I never have been fond of the Patriots because of all of these instances. The Patriots have manipulated rules countless times in the Bill Belichick era and we never really seem to hear the end of it. If you are a true NFL fan and are not outraged by these repeated crimes, you should be.
The Patriots are cheaters, plain and simple. The question I have for the Patriots is, why is all of this necessary? Since Bill Belichick took over as head coach in 2000, they have only had one losing season. The only years that they did not win the division were 2000 and 2008, but with the exception of those years they have won the division and gone on to the playoffs every other season. They have won four Super bowls in the process.
With all of this success, why do they feel the need to be slimy? They are the most successful NFL franchise over the last decade and a half, and their success should speak for itself. But underneath all of their success is the controversy surrounding them. It was already easy enough to dislike them because of their constant success, but all of these instances just add more fuel to the fire.
If you’re a Patriots fan, fine. Continue to support your team and tell us that we have no idea what we’re talking about. But if you like any other team in the NFL, you should always root against the Patriots, no matter who they’re playing against. If Roger Goodell and the NFL cannot get their act together and discipline the Patriots, we might as well just show Tom Brady and the Patriots just how much we disapprove of their shenanigans.