The jury’s still out on whether there was any chicanery on the part of the New England Patriots in the so-called “Deflategate” scandal, so I’m not going to speculate whether the organization is guilty of cheating; however, if it should turn out to be the case that the investigation concludes that tampering did indeed occur, the NFL has no choice but to come down hard on the Patriots organization. Many pundits and fans alike have been guilty of poo-pooing this as a fake scandal; they’ve pointed out such facts as it didn’t make a difference in the outcome of the game and Phil Simms remarking that Arron Rodgers likes the football overinflated, even speculating that all of the teams do it. These are all nothing but red herrings designed to distract from this one simple reality: it’s a violation of the rules, and if the New England Patriots intentionally did this, whether it was Bellichick himself or a ball boy, it will not be the first time the Patriots have been caught cheating. Arguments such as these should be ignored as the product of a shallow an biased intellect that they are, and if made by a “journalist”, is worthy of a healthy flogging with ye olde’ cat ‘o nine tails.
Roger Goodell has no choice but to come down hard on the Patriots if the allegations turn out to be true. It makes no difference if some lowly ball boy or equipment manager is the culprit or if Bob Kraft himself came down and deflated the balls; I repeat…it makes no difference. This would make this organization repeat offenders and the violations are “integrity of the game” level violations, I don’t care what the politically correct crowd thinks, this is far more serious than the Ray Rice or Adrian Peterson incidents…this, if true, is something that actually affects the game of football and casts a shadow on the entire league, just like the “Spygate” scandal or the Saints bounty scandal. Therefore, Goodell must pass harsh sentence if it comes down to that. This is a situation the commish has put himself into, his tenure has been riddled of instances, especially this season, where he has acted more like Caesar passing “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” judgments on defeated gladiators just to appease the unruly mob of fickle football “fans” that have crawled out of the woodwork like filthy roaches during the NFL’s rise to supremacy of the American sports world. He has used “player safety” as an excuse to neuter the hallmark of the game, defensive play, while hypocritically pushing for an 18 game season and extended post-season play by adding more teams to the playoff mix. The convoluted rulebook that has been created during his tenure resulted in weekly officiating debacles that have been the deciding factor in games as much as the players. He has, without a doubt, been the worst commissioner the NFL has ever had; frankly, I’m hoping that this scandal will be the end of him in that position. Additionally, I’m also fervently hoping that the scandals and events of this season finally drive away the bandwagon fans who have leached onto the game over the last decade or so along with their “social conscience” drivel…Goodell’s Commissionership has truly been the bastard spawn of these despicable people.
Go back in time to the bounty scandal; Goodell told Sean Payton that “ignorance is no excuse” in, rightfully, passing a yearlong suspension on the coach. Well, those words must come back to haunt him if this is found to be true. Suspension for Bellichick should be a foregone conclusion, how long? I don’t know, but four games sound about right to me. Loss of draft picks? Absolutely, they lost a first rounder for Spygate, multiple picks is the only appropriate penalty for a repeat offender. Fines need to be levied against the organization, fines that will cause Bob Kraft some pain in the pocketbook and make him think twice about tolerating the “win at all costs” mentality that permeates his organization.
Regardless of the outcome, it is high time that fans call for the toppling of Goodell’s empire of shame.