It’s been five months since the New England Patriots were caught cheating, and the punishment has been doled out. After a full NFL investigation, in which cheating speculation was proved true, the NFL decided on the punishment. Tom Brady has been suspended for four games, the team was fined $1 million dollars, and they’ll be docked a first pick and fourth pick in the next draft.
This punishment has received a myriad of mixed reviews. John Elway, the Broncos general manager, agrees with the punishment. He told NBC Sports that he supported the commissioner 100 percent in the decision. IndyStar reporter Gregg Doyel disagrees. He argues that the punishment will barely hurt the Patriots, and they’re essentially getting away with cheating.
And he makes a decent point. As reported previously on the Inquistr, the scandal they are calling Deflate Gate involved releasing air from the 11 footballs used in the game against the Indianapolis Colts by two pounds per square inch, which may explain the reason their fumble rate was so low. This move isn’t light cheating. It’s the reason they won the game against the colts, made it to the Superbowl, and then won the title.
Experts on the game also claim an under-inflated football has another important advantage. John Eric Goff, professor of physics and author of “Gold Medal Physics: The Science of Sports,” told FoxNews.com, “If, however, there’s rain or snow or something else happening, that would make the ball a bit slicker, so having a bit less pressure in the ball makes it easier to squeeze and the grip improves.”
Furthermore, $1 million isn’t much of a fine for the New England Patriots. Though it’s a record-breaking fine for the NFL, it won’t be difficult for them to come up with the money. They are worth $1.5 billion after all. What’s a million dollars compared to that?
Suspending Brady for four games doesn’t seem like enough either since he seems to be the ringleader of the operation. Last year, when the Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was found violating the league’s policy on steroids, he was kicked out for the rest of the season. Besides that, the backup quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, is pretty good. The Patriots aren’t worried about losing games with Garappolo leading their team, meaning that the suspension will hardly make the team suffer.
This isn’t the only incidence in which the Patriots have been suspected of cheating either. It would explain their winning streak between 2001 and 2007, and the 2007 Spy Gate incident shows that they aren’t afraid to go to illegal lengths to win games.
With their rocky history, it begs the question: Is there something wrong with the management? Head coach Bill Belichick has been the coach for the last 15 years, and he’s been the head coach during the previous scandals. Could he really have been oblivious to the Spy Gate and Deflate Gate scandals? It doesn’t seem likely, so why is he getting off Scot free?
Conclusion: The punishment for the Patriots is so light compared to the crime that they basically got away with cheating and won the 2015 Superbowl. What’s more, with such a light punishment, who’s to say no one else will take to cheating?
[Image via The Daily Beast]