The Patriots “deflategate” was not their first time getting into trouble, but it doesn’t answer the question of why they continue to do so.
The New York Times is reporting that the New England Patriots are circling the wagons while preparing to appeal the decision of the NFL concerning “deflategate.” The NFL found the Patriots culpable in making sure that footballs the Patriots use in the AFC Championship game versus the Indianapolis Colts were below the required inflated pressure. Originally reported to the NFL by the Colts, the investigation found that there was enough credible evidence to levy punishments against the Patriots and their quarterback, Tom Brady.
The Patriots, as a team, were fined $1 million, and will have to forfeit their 2016 first round draft pick and their 2017 fourth round draft pick. The harshest punishment, however, was left for Brady, who was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season. He has until 5:00 p.m. EST to file an appeal with the NFL. That appeal will be heard by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
If Brady is to miss any games, the Patriots will depend on second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The Patriots do have Garrett Gilbert on the roster, so a move to secure a third quarterback, just in case, may be done soon.
The Boston Globe is reporting that many Patriots fans are upset because they feel that the Patriots’ punishment is too severe. But, even though the infraction, under-inflated footballs, is perceived as minor and not worthy of all this attention, the bottom line is this: for the second time in eight years, the Patriots were found to have undermined the rules to gain an advantage. For the second time in eight years, during the investigation, the Patriots thumbed their noses at the NFL authority, and were not fully complicit with the investigation. And, for the second time in eight years, the Patriots are left to explain why they did what they did.
The most frustrating part of both infractions? The Patriots didn’t need it to gain an advantage.
The Patriots have always been a hard-playing, tough football team. Brady has been able to take a good Patriots team and make it great. He has led the Patriots to four Super Bowl championships. Bill Belichick has formed Patriots teams that bought into his system. They won consistently.
The Patriots didn’t need to cheat.
Yet, two times in eight years, the Patriots have been found to do so. Four Super Bowl trophies, now tarnished, now stained. And the most frustrating part is never had to come to this.
The Patriots never needed to cheat.
[Image courtesy of Deadspin]