You still want that apology, Robert Kraft? The one you’ve been smarmily waiting for since February, acting high and mighty in your two-toned shirts, certain that the New England Patriots had nothing to do with the Deflategate controversy and projecting such a confident air with your statements that there’s “no smoking gun,” leading most to believe that you knew something they didn’t — that the Wells Report was a witch hunt that would exonerate those always-honest Patriots?
It was anything but. Despite the headlines that say the Patriots weren’t proved to be involved in wrongdoing in the long-awaited Wells Report, they were. Just because it was lower-level employees doesn’t make the Pats any less culpable. No, the report didn’t reveal some massive Watergate-style cover-up, but told us what we generally expected: Some assistant managers were messing around with the football, likely at the behest of Tom Brady. It’s not cause for a football death penalty, but it’s still cheating and shows the Pats haven’t learned a thing in the decade since their dalliance with illegal videotaping of teams.
But there’s no apology coming from Kraft. He doesn’t know to leave things alone and criticized the report for not having any “hard evidence” that the Patriots were involved in the deflation of balls. But what does that mean — hard evidence? There’s not a videotape of it? The guys deflating the balls didn’t sit for an oil painting of them using a needle to get the balls to 11 PSI? It’s circumstantial evidence, hearsay and conjecture that Brady giving “the deflator,” the nickname the employee responsible for the deflation called himself, a pair of autographed footballs and signed a game-worn jersey that he had previously obtained was possible a thank you for getting those football to the illegal PSI which Brady preferred?
- Pittsburgh defeated the third-seeded Cincinnati Bengals, 31–17; the top-seeded Indianapolis Colts, 21–18 in the Immaculate Redemption/Tackle II game; and the second-seeded Denver Broncos, 34–17, in the AFC Championship Game. The Steelers also became the eighth wild-card team to go to the Super Bowl and the fourth in nine seasons.
- The New England Patriots are once again embroiled in a controversy over whether they cheated. The Patriots were found to have had an advanced scout and film crew at the Cincinnati Bengals Week 14.
Patriots Bengals Cheating
Maybe that’s not enough to get a conviction in a court of law, but in a court of common sense it was always likely Tom Brady knew. It was ridiculous all along to believe that a man who spent so much time handling footballs couldn’t tell the difference between one under-inflated and one properly inflated. If Ted Williams used to know when his bats were off by a touch of an ounce, Brady knew this. So what kind of cheating was it? He’s not necessarily a guy who could cork his bat, just one who might add a little too much pine tar. It’s reasonable to assume Brady didn’t think it was cheating, just getting a little home-field cooking, the same way the Giants used to control the wind at The Meadowlands or Red Auerbach would crank up the heat at the Boston Garden. But nobody had to answer for that, while Brady stood up in front of media members after the AFC championship and basically laughed off any wrongdoing.
Brady doesn’t get to make that call. It appears he cheated and he did it knowingly. He should, and will, get suspended (probably for 2-4 games) because he knew the deflation of balls was against the rules and apparently stayed involved with it anyway. Cheating isn’t a zero-sum game like some believe. There can be degrees of it and Brady is probably at the lower end, but it’s cheating nonetheless. In the 1960s or 80s, such a move might considered creative, like those moves above or putting a little Vaseline on the baseball just to get some break. But everyone’s far too serious about everything these days, especially sports, and that’s why this excerpt from Page 2 of the 243-page Wells Report is all that matters:
In layman’s terms: The Patriots (probably) cheated.
The destination for all NFL-related videos. Watch game, team & player highlights, Fantasy football videos, NFL event coverage & more. Former NFL player Adam 'Pacman' Jones was arrested Monday and charged with one count of misdemeanor assault, according to TMZ Sports. He is reportedly accused of knocking out a bouncer at a bar in.
Bengals Catch Patriots Cheating
Slot games free spins. Compare that to Kraft’s quote from before the Super Bowl. “It bothers me greatly that reputations and integrity and, by association, that of our team, has been called into question.”
But that’s where Kraft’s defense went off the rails. The Patriots have no integrity to question, Robert. Once a cheater, always a cheater.