The “Bad Boys” of the NFL
As the resident Patriots fan writer for FGT, I have taken a few days to read, analyze, and digest the direction I wanted to go with this article. In case you missed it the other day, John Kirkland did a great breakdown of the Wells Report here on FGT, which allows me to write a more philosophical, opinion piece.
The Bottom Line
Let me get it the main point out of the way first, I believe that the Patriots intentionally deflated footballs, I believe Tom Brady was generally aware of this, and I believe the organization as a whole covered it up. However, the Wells Report didn’t prove anything more than the cover up and the appearance of guilt. More specifically, they caught Brady more than likely lying (specifically about not knowing who McNally is), but there isn’t enough evidence to support a suspension of more than two games.
Lets look back to last year. The Ray Rice video showing him dragging his fiance from an elevator earned him two games. Now we can all logically assume what happened before the dragging scene, but until Goodell, at least publicly admits, saw the actual hit he wouldn’t go more than two games. But the Wells Report that ask’s to make the same assumptions from the original video and people want Brady to receive 8 games to a year.
If you heard New England fans the last week, you’ve heard the typical fan responses and defenses. They didn’t do it, it’s a dumb rule it doesn’t matter, they hate us cause we win and on and on. Every team in the league bends rules, they cheat and they try to stay ahead of the game (legal or not). But that doesn’t matter, if you get caught you get caught. This probably was a sting operation, the league probably does have it out for us (due in large part to our own past transgressions), and fans do get sick of seeing us on top. But just because you were set up doesn’t make you a victim.
And Now the Patriots Fan
I think to this part, I’ve been fair and accountable for my teams actions. Here’s where most of you will want to stop reading. The reason Patriots fans and the rest of you can’t have an honest discussion is this. We won’t admit that we’ve cheated and we’ve been wrong because you won’t let up that the Patriots only win because they cheat and their championships are tainted. There’s a grey area, only the simple-minded view the world in black and white. The Patriots have cheated, but they’re still the best team of this millennium. The finger waiving aimed towards the top right corner of our country from the rest of you is shameful. Lets work through some of it.
Don Shula, lets start with you and the 1982 Mudbowl. The man who talks of his organizations class and doing things the right way, is the same coach who didn’t tarp his field for 3 straight days during a rain storm to slow down the speed reliant Jets. Fraud. The Ravens won the Super Bowl two years ago on the back of Lewis and his “miraculously” fast healing torn tricep. The Jets tampered with Revis, The Chargers put stick ’em on balls, The Falcons pump noise like the Colts would, concussion protocols are followed unless it’s a big game (see NFC Championship Russel Wilson and Super Bowl Julian Edelman), Mike Tomlin likes to run on the field and kick a leg out, and on and on.
Last year the league covered up their own mess, they started doling out suspensions outside their rights based solely on public pressure. Jovan Belcher committed a murder/homicide, Aaron Hernandez has killed 1 and allegedly 2 more, Ray Caruth killed his pregnant girlfriend, and then there’s Ray Lewis. The league swept Ray Rice under the rug but commissioned a 240 page report on a ball deflations. Are you all seriously so blinded by your hate that you can’t comprehend how ridiculous that is?
The Patriots were wrong and they need to face the music. But the public cry of integrity of the game, and conduct detrimental to the league? Spare me. This is a league full of criminals, murderers, wife beaters and cheaters. From commissioner on down they spew this crap of protecting the shield and integrity when all they care about is profit. Goodell released this crap report ahead of his punishment to see what the public wants for a punishment so he can appease the fans and grown his product. There is no law in this land. I love football because I love the game, I love the action and fantasy football, and I love my Patriots, but lets not pretend this league is something it isn’t.
And now to my fellow Patriot fans, it’s time to look in the mirror. They don’t hate us because we win. That’s only a part. They hate us because our coach is a jerk, who wont even (until this year) join the yearly coaches photo. They constantly thumb their nose at the league and do what they want. Brady is a pretty boy who dances at carnival and pushes Uggs. When you constantly push the envelope and act superior people begin to hate you and then they get sick of you winning. We will never win. They will always hate us, they will always cite SpyGate and DeflateGate. So embrace it. We’re the villain, and worse for them, we’re the villains that keep on winning. Let them finger wag and put their non-existant asterisk next to our FOUR Super Bowls, and let Roger Goodell tell them he cares about fairness. We’ll just keep stacking rings, loving Brady & Edelman, and watch them turn green while they spew their excuses for our wins. Long live Football’s evil empire, next is one for the thumb.