The National Football League announced, roughly at midnight mind you, that of the New England Patriots 12 gameday balls, 11 were “under-inflated.” Don’t you just love the timing of the NFL?
“Hey Roger? The Pats had 11 balls under weight. We’re going to have to release this to the media.”
“OK, but do it late at night when no one is paying attention.”
NFL logic 101 right there.
Let’s not make any more of this than necessary because the Patriots could have defeated the Colts Sunday using soggy Nerf balls. That isn’t the point though and anyone who pays any lick of attention to the NFL knows it.
The reason I’m taking the time to write about it is because it’s about where the line is between gaining an advantage and cheating. With the Bill Belichick-led Patriots, it’s abundantly clear that they have no problem crossing that line with the authoritativeness of General George S. Patton.
First of all, this is not SpyGate. This isn’t even close to SpyGate in my opinion but it shows a pattern of deceit that has gone on for over a decade.
Most Patriots’ fans will vigorously defend Belichick and the organization. They also like to point out that our beloved Steelers’ teams of the 1970’s were steroid users and therefore were cheaters as well.
You’ll never hear me deny that for a second. They were users of steroids as were players on many other teams across the league but here’s the thing; it wasn’t illegal. Immoral? Gaining an unfair advantage? Probably.
What the Patriots have been caught doing is against the rules. There’s no denying that.
No we must wait and wonder what the penalty will be from the NFL and Roger Goodell who must be already sweating over his “State of the Game” presser prior to the Super Bowl.
At some point the league has to say “enough is enough” and come down hard on this team but they won’t. They can’t afford any further embarrassment. My guess is you’ll see a mid-round draft pick taken away and a huge tongue-lashing in the form of a letter from Goodell and that’s about it.
Much like SpyGate it will be swept under the rug. When you know there is little consequence to your actions, you can afford to have the balls the Patriots do.