Cheating Patriots should be disqualified from Super Bowl, fined steeply

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will be answering lots of questions over the next week about the deflated footballs in the AFC Championship game.

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will be answering lots of questions over the next week about the deflated footballs in the AFC Championship game.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

What do the New England Patriots, Alex Rodriquez, and Lance Armstrong have in common? Cheating, lying and championships. Rodriguez and Armstrong are now pariahs and their accomplishments have been completely tarnished. The Patriots are on their way to similar treatment from fans, competitors and some media outlets.

Fans had fun online referencing the cheating ways of the Patriots, at the expense of head coach Bill Belichick.

Fans had fun online referencing the cheating ways of the Patriots, at the expense of head coach Bill Belichick.

News spread quickly that 11 of the 12 footballs the Patriots used in the AFC Championship game were inflated 2 pounds per square inch below NFL standards. This newly dubbed “Deflategate” has moved beyond whether the Patriots did something wrong and is now in the penalty phase.

Has the Patriots' constant cheating landed them in the same league as known cheaters Alex Rodriguez (l) and Lance Armstrong (r)?

Has the Patriots’ constant cheating landed them in the same league as known cheaters Alex Rodriguez (l) and Lance Armstrong (r)?

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, “Under NFL rules, no alteration of the footballs is allowed once they are approved. If a person is found breaking league rules and tampering with the footballs, that person could face up to a $25,000 fine and potentially more discipline.”

A pass intended for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (l) was intercepted by Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. Jackson noticed the difference in the feel of the football which eventually led the investigation.

A pass intended for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (l) was intercepted by Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson. Jackson noticed the difference in the feel of the football which eventually led the investigation.

NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice had a very common take on Twitter on the situation stating, “11 of 12 balls under-inflated can anyone spell cheating!!! #Just Saying.” People are not willing to dismiss this latest transgression from the Patriots, despite the large margin of victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Hall of Fame finalist and current ESPN analyst Jerome Bettis referred to the Patriots as “known felons,” referring to their previous punishment for being caught improperly taping their opponents, aka “Spygate.”

Will NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (l) let his close relationship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft (r) affect his ability to properly punish the team for breaking the rules again?

Will NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (l) let his close relationship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft (r) affect his ability to properly punish the team for breaking the rules again?

Roger Goodell levied serious penalties to the New Orleans Saints during “Bountygate,” when Saints players were found to have received financial incentives for intentionally harming opponents. Part of the reason for their stiff penalties was the fact that the team had been warned by the league before ultimately getting caught.

So what should happen to the Patriots? Head coach Bill Belichick should be fired, the team should forfeit multiple draft picks, and they should replay the AFC championship game. Those actions would restore integrity to the NFL, of course, it will not happen. Whatever the punishment we know they’re still going to have a chance to win the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks on February, 1.

A common excuse given after Deflategate is it didn't make a difference in the outcome of the game. Barry Bonds (l) and Roger Clemens (r) wish the Hall of Fame voters would give them the same benefit of the doubt.

A common excuse given after Deflategate is it didn’t make a difference in the outcome of the game. Barry Bonds (l) and Roger Clemens (r) wish the MLB Hall of Fame voters would give them the same benefit of the doubt.

Former NFL tight end Byron Chamberlain pondered via Twitter: “45-7, did deflated football really make that much of a different? #DeflateGate” Grammar aside, the answer is yes for everyone else in sports who is caught cheating. Did Rodriguez or Armstrong need to cheat to be successful in their sport? Shouldn’t the accomplishments over long careers for players like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds easily grant them entrance into the MLB Hall of Fame? After all, performance-enhancing drugs cannot account for all of their success.

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and his teammates do not seem phased by Deflategate.

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and his teammates do not seem phased by Deflategate.

The bottom line for the Patriots is coach Belichick leads the team and should receive the majority of the credit, and blame as well. The NFL could make sure the Patriots no longer break rules like this by coming down hard on them. Such punishment might not happen. In the meantime, as Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman adequately put it, “They’re still going to be playing in this [Super Bowl] so whatever they did, the risk/reward was greater.”–OnPointPress.net–


Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a training/benefits consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com. For business inquiries contact (646)309-1938.

Revisiting NFL playoff predictions for insight, context, perspective

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By Charles Glover, Jr.

As the final week of the regular season for the National Football League(NFL) approaches this weekend, this writer will revisit predictions made about the playoff teams at the start of the season. Most of the playoff spots are currently unsettled coming into the final weekend, bringing greater excitement and interest in the season finale for NFL teams.

Peyton Manning has led the Denver Broncos to the best record (12 - 3) in the AFC so far.

Peyton Manning has led the Denver Broncos to the best record in the AFC so far.

In the American Football Conference (AFC), the four divisions have already been decided. The winners of those divisions are:

AFC West – Denver Broncos (12 – 3)

AFC East – New England Patriots (11 – 4)

AFC North – Cincinnati Bengals (10 – 5)

AFC South – Indianapolis Colts (10 – 5).

One of the two Wildcard playoff spots is going to the Kansas City Chiefs (11 – 4), while there are several teams vying for the final playoff opening in the AFC. The Miami Dolphins (8 – 7), Baltimore Ravens (8 – 7), San Diego Chargers (8 – 7), and Pittsburgh Steelers (7 – 8) all have different scenarios in which they can make the playoffs if they win their last game this season.

Russell Wilson has led the Seattle Seahawks to the best record in the NFC so far.

Russell Wilson has led the Seattle Seahawks to the best record in the NFC so far.

In the National Football Conference (NFC) only three teams have clinched a playoff birth and none of the divisions have been decided yet. The current division leaders at this time are:

NFC West – Seattle Seahawks (12 – 3)

NFC South – Carolina Panthers (11 – 4)

NFC East – Philadelphia Eagles (9 – 6)

NFC North – Chicago Bears (8 – 7).

Based on conference records, the three teams that have clinched playoff births are the Seahawks, Panthers, and the San Francisco 49ers (11 – 4). The New Orleans Saints (10 -5) or Arizona Cardinals (10 – 5) can clinch the final Wildcard position with a win this weekend. The NFC North division winner will be decided on Sunday afternoon when the Bears face the Green Bay Packers (7 – 7 – 1). The winner of that game makes the playoffs. The same applies to the winner of the NFC East division deciding game between the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys (8 – 7) on Sunday night.

This writer was very wrong in predicting the Houston Texans (2 – 13) and Washington Redskins (3 – 12) would make the playoffs this season as they have the two most dreadful records in the NFL this season. However, there is still a chance that 10 out of the 12 predicted teams will make the postseason this year. The final playoff spot will be decided in the final game of the NFL regular season.–OnPointPress.net–

 

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and management training specialist. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.