I'm a sports fan, but those who know me, know that I'm a fan of the sport first, then a fan of players, and lastly a fan of a team . . . if I even have a team. Growing up in and around Boston my entire childhood, I was always surrounded by people who loved local teams, to the point of violent behavior towards those opposed. I actually got threatened physically in middle school because I was not a fan of New England teams, but the logic behind it made no sense to the majority of my peers. This leads to the root of the problem. I see an abundance of social media posts, which deflect any wrong doing by the New England Patriots for their alleged football deflate-gate fiasco in their AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts this past Sunday. Now, don't get me wrong, the Patriots are a very strong team indeed, but that doesn't excuse them from breaking ANY rules.
I have seen people mention Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, P.E.D abusers, Pete Rose and countless other individuals who have broken rules, but one incident has nothing to do with the other. Why do people find other subjects, entirely unrelated to the topic at hand to use to deflect the attention from what has been a pattern of rule breaking by a franchise. The incident with Ray Rice was wrong from every angle, I'll be the first in line to say as a player he's a talent and a half, but his personal actions were disgusting and he was privately and publicly punished for his actions. Because I think he's a talented individual, does that make it okay for me to defend him? Hell f*#kin' no! What's wrong is wrong and that's the end of it.
The New England Patriots have been accused and proven guilty of breaking rules aka cheating in order to gain and advantage. This is not a measure on how much of an advantage, the point is that cheating is cheating, and it wasn't carried out by one individual, for this to have been executed there had to have been dozens of people who knew of the plan and assisted in the execution. This is where the severity of the cheat comes into play, because it was carried out by multiple people within the organization. What makes matters worse is that this goes beyond accusations because the footballs used by both teams were tested and found that 11 of 12 of the Patriots' footballs were in fact deflated below the league's regulated amount, yet all 12 of the footballs used by the Colts were found to be inflated to league standards. So what does that mean? Patriots' team members and coaches went on to say well it was cold so the balls could lose pressure. So why were the only balls that lost pressure those of the Patriots and not of the Colts? Because clearly someone deflated the balls...LOGIC.
The defense New England fans are running to is that, "New England would have kicked the Colts' asses either way." That may be true, but that doesn't excuse any form of cheating. That's like saying an extremely intelligent kid got a little assistance on his verbal section on the SATs, but would have scored high on them whether he cheated or not. The greatness of something doesn't in turn make something blatantly wrong, right!
The Patriots have had a pattern of cheating and this is not an assumption, it has been proven. Tom Brady even in 2011 was quoted saying that he liked when Rob Gronkowski spiked the football hard after a touchdown, because he spiked them so hard that they would deflate. There were press conferences today with coach Bill Belichick and Tom Brady separately and they both denied any knowledge of wrong doing, but I doubt 11 balls were deflated without anyone in the organization knowing. I can understand the initial reflex to say whatever is needed to keep it moving in order to get to the Super Bowl, but how much more proof is need? The wrong doing was caught, regardless of how significant/lack thereof fans may think it is, but no one is taking responsibility for it. If this happened to any other team in the league and there was an advantage over the Patriots, I believe 100% that Patriots fans would be in an uproar and would be fighting to the death, slack jawed and all.