As I picked the kids up form school last Thursday, a guy told me he was excited for the start of the NFL season.
This man, however, said he was not going to watch the Thursday night opener between the Patriots and Steelers because he doesn’t like to watch cheaters like the Patriots and their quarterback Tom Brady.
I started in on my rant about why Brady and the Patriots are no worse than any other team, but I realized when my daughter pulled on my hand that I didn’t have enough time.
Plus, there is no changing the minds of most people who don’t like Brady and the Patriots.
Their opinion that the Patriots cheat is only going to be reinforced by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s post-game comments. Tomlin, who once tried to trip a Baltimore Raven on a kick return, said his coaches’ headphones were broadcasting the Patriot radio coverage instead of conversations between coaches.
Of course, the fact that the malfunction evenly effected both teams will be lost on most unpatriotic NFL fans. (See what I did there?)
From “Spygate” to “Deflategate,” everybody thinks the Patriots are the biggest cheaters this side of the Tour de France. The evidence also seems to mount on the Patriots on a daily basis.
Of course, the perception of Deflategate, in which Brady was accused of letting a tiny bit of air out of the footballs to give his team a 38-point edge in the AFC Championship Game, might be a bit unfair thanks to some bad reporting.
ESPN’s Chris Mortnensen, one of the long-time trusted insiders in the NFL, reported that a source told him 11 of the 12 Patriot balls were 2 pounds under 12.5 PSI minimum.
That report, as it turns out, was incorrect. It seems someone from the NFL intentionally leaked false information that painted the Patriots as guilty without a chance to be proven innocent.
The truth — or at least another version of the truth — is one ball was 2 pounds under the minimum for the Patriots in that game. The other balls were close enough to the minimum that their slight deflate could be blamed on a natural occurrence.
By the way, the Patriots claim that the Colts also used balls that were under-inflated. For some reason, though Andrew Luck isn’t getting any heat from the commissioner.
Another thing that doesn’t seem to get mentioned is that Mike Kensil, the NFL vice president of game operations, is believed to be the driving force behind the “Deflategate” investigation. Kensil was an executive for the Jets when Bill Belichick left the Jets — after like a day — for the Patriots.
So maybe it is possible Kensil has a bit of an axe to grind with Belichick? That wouldn’t be the craziest accusation in this scandal.
Look, I only cheer for the Patriots when they play Seattle or Green Bay, and I am far from a Brady fan. I appreciate his greatness, but I never forgave him for his in-your-face celebration of a short first-down run against my Bears in 2006.
Actually, since “Spygate” I have routinely referred to the Patriots as the “Patriot Acts.” (Don’t forget to tip your waitress.)
I have no doubt that the Patriots and Brady will bend every rule possible to get an edge on game day. I bet they even let some air out of footballs so Tom Terrific’s delicate hands could grip the ball better.
That, by my estimation, would make Brady and the Patriots just like everybody else.
There is a great website, yourteamcheats.com, which I urge everybody to check out because every team apparently lives by the motto “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”
For those who claim that the Patriots hurt the integrity of the game, I urge you to click on the Colts link first.
With all due respect to our boy Colt Anderson, it could be argued that every game the Colts play with Luck at quarterback is, indeed, cheating.
The Colts, remember, had the “Suck for Luck” campaign in 2011, when they ended their nine-year streak of double digit wins with a two-win season and the No. 1 pick in the draft. They were back up to 11-5 the next year.
If you think that is a mere coincidence that the Colts suddenly completely forgot how to win during Luck’s final year of college, I’ve got a bridge for sale that you might want to check out.
Did you know Curly Lambeau’s Packers once cheated so badly that they were kicked out of the NFL? The team had to buy its way back into the league back in 1921.
More recently, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were exposed for over inflating balls to Rodgers’ liking. “Inflategate,” though, just didn’t have as good of a ring to it.
Maybe if Rodgers was married to a super-duper model like Brady, it would have been a bigger deal.
The great Jerry Rice admitted that stickum helped him make all those catches. I wonder how Begnals fans feel about that Super Bowl now?
The Steelers of the 1970s were trend setters in the use of steroids. A shot in the butt is way more helpful to a player than a shot in the football.
The Seahawks have been busted for steroids more than any team in this century. They were also fined heftily for repeatedly violating no-contact rules that govern NFL teams’ offseason practices. That is cheating.
Brian Urlacher recently admitted that the Bears cheated by having defensive players fake injuries to slow down no-huddle teams.
Even the Cowboys — yes, the clean, wholesome Cowboys — cheated. Former coach Jimmy Johnson admitted that he videotaped the signals of opposing teams and then synced the tape with game film. That is exactly what the Patriots did in “Spygate.”
Don’t even get me started on the Minnesota judge who ruled that it was legal for Vikings defensive linemen Kevin and Pat Williams to take steroids. I really don’t have enough time for it. Plus my doctor advised me from discussing things that raise my blood pressure to such a high level.
So, go ahead and call Brady and the Patriots cheaters all you want. Root like crazy for the Patriots to lose.
You are not a bad person because you take comfort in the misfortunes of an NFL team or its fan base. That’s why Cowboys games draw such high ratings. More people are watching for America’s Team to lose than are cheering for the Cowboys to win.
It’s kind of like how people watch NASCAR hoping for a crash. It’s the American way.
Unfortunately, so is cheating. You just can’t get away from it.
If you are going to avoid watching one particular NFL team because it breaks the rules, then you might as well play golf on Sundays.