Rules are rules. They are to be followed and in the case of sports, it is looked at as fair play and the rules of how the game should be played. In the NFL, there have been a lot discussions involving the rules of the game from missed call by the officials in the playoffs, and now there is a controversy on a team breaking the rules. After their win against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game last Sunday, the New England Patriots were found guilty of deflating 11 of their 12 football’s that were used in game.
The Patriots, who have arguably have been the best football team in the NFL over the past decade have been know to break the rules before. Back in 2001, the Patriots illegally video taped the St. Louis Rams walk through session before Super Bowl XXXVI, which the Pats would go on to win 20-17. This scandal came up, after the Patriots were caught videotaping defensive play call signals during a game against the New York Jets back during the 2007 season.The incident became known as the Spy-Gate scandal and since the Patriots and especially head coach Bill Belichick have been looked at as “cheaters”.
Now from this new Deflate-Gate scandal hanging over their heads, the Patriots reputation is becoming more suspicious day by the day. Deflating a football helps the quarterback have a better grip on the ball, and allows running backs and receivers to catch or handle the football with less difficulty. Now were deflating footballs the reason why the Patriots beat the Colts?
Of course not.
The Patriots proved in the game that they were the superior team and in the second half when the footballs were filled back up to proper weight, the Pats out scored the Colts 28-0. So there is no question that the Patriots should be in be playing in the Super Bowl next week against the Seattle Seahawks, the question is how will scandal affect the Pats going forward.
With having now two scandals, Spy-Gate and now Deflate-Gate, coach Belichick reputation of being one of the best coaches of all time, now becomes in question since most players and coaches feel he his cheater. While for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who if he wins in the Super Bowl next week against Seattle, could be considered the best quarterback to ever play in the NFL, legacy become into question. More and more since he has been on record before saying he like to play the football being a little deflated. There is all the ramifications of scandal on the team itself. What will punishments be? Loss of draft picks? Brady or Belichick getting game suspensions for next season? There is a lot of things that can come from this scandal that will affect the Patriots franchise going forward.
At the end of the day, you can’t take away the achievements the Patriots have accumulated in the Belichick area nor the accolades that Brady has made in his career as well. They are well deserved, but because of these scandals, there always be an asterisk next to the Patriots, Belichick and Brady. Like Barry Bonds home run record in major league baseball, the Belichick/Brady area will have an asterisk next to it forever and as for the best coach/quarterback tandem to have ever been together in the NFL, that statement may have lost its lust.