The Super Bowl is over and my beloved New England Patriots are reigning champions. They won despite being plagued by accusations regarding under inflated footballs during their AFC Championship stomping of the Colts. Accusations that have been categorically denied by everyone from Tom Brady to Robert Kraft and none of which have been substantiated. But I am not going to talk air pressure, or defend the Patriots…my rant is this: In the last THREE days, the following NFL stories and scandals have broken – not a single one of which has appeared on my Facebook or been a leading story on The Today Show.
In order to differentiate, I have placed each story into the three main issues that people seem to be wailing about with the Patriots:
C – Cheating I – Integrity NFL – Actions not in accordance with the NFL “Shield”
1. Cleveland Browns, TextGate, C & I & NFL
The Cleveland Browns GM stands accused of texting coaches during the game – a practice that is expressly forbidden because it could lead to a competitive advantage. They currently face fines and a possible loss of a draft pick. That’s serious business and if found guilty, will face the exact same sanctions currently being threatened against the still innocent until proven guilty Patriots. PS: The Browns have plenty of other breaking news within their organization – Josh Gordon was banned from the NFL for a year for violating once again the Drugs and Alcohol policy and Johnny Manziel has checked into rehab.
2. Green Bay Packers DT Letroy Guion, FelonyGate, I & NFL
Good ol’ Letroy was pulled over with $190,000 in cash and over 350 grams of marijuana in his truck. He was extremely uncooperative and hostile to the police and was charged with felony drug and gun possession. Definitely not keeping up with the integrity side of the NFL.
3. Baltimore Ravens NT Terrence Cody, GatorGate, I & NFL
Cody was indicted this week on 11 counts of animal cruelty, including abuse or neglect of a dog and an alligator. The aggravated animal cruelty are felonies (as they should be) and are also coupled with a drug possession charge (of course). It is hard for me to contain my rage regarding people who abuse defenseless animals, so I am just going to leave it at that.
4. Atlanta Falcons, Artificial NoiseGate, C & I & NFL
The Falcons are currently under investigation for pumping in artificial crowd noise during the past two seasons while their opponents were trying to call plays and during the huddle. It is definitively cheating, and appears to have definitely happened – The Falcons owner has apologized and expressed his disappointment in their lack of integrity, though the investigation is continuing and the Falcons still face fines and possible loss of a draft pick. Fines and loss of draft picks? That sounds familiar. But fans don’t care about the Falcons (or Browns) cheating because no one cares about the Falcons (or Browns). Because they aren’t beating your team all the time.
5. Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle, ArrestGate, I & NFL
Randle was arrested for drug possession after police responded to a call for domestic violence with a weapon. Drug arrests in the NFL seem to be a weekly occurrence, but I am including this one because it is his second arrest in four months. He was arrested for shoplifting in October. Clearly a wonderful representation of the NFL.
6. New York Jets, TamperingGate, I & NFL
The New York Jets owner apparently publicly expressed his interest for Darelle Revis to return to the New York Jets. This is a violation of the league’s Anti-Tampering Policy. I chose not to give this one a C for Cheating, primarily because I think it’s silly – but the rules are the rules and the integrity of the game is sacred and everyone just keeps telling me that when they discuss the PSI of footballs in a game won by 30+ points.
7. Indianapolis Colts LB D’Qwell Jackson, Just a MisdemeanorGate, I, NFL & Idiot
Jackson was arrested this week for getting in a physical altercation with a pizza delivery guy over a parking spot. A parking spot. So I am charging him with insulting the NFL Shield, a lack of integrity, and being an idiot. And not to add insult to 30+point defeat injury, but Jackson is the 5th member of the Colts to be arrested in the last 9 months…including the Colts owner (DUI). Maybe the NFL should launch an investigation and examine the science behind an organization with more mug shots than playoff wins this year.
Just a reminder…these stories all broke THIS WEEK. And can all be found on ESPN – some front page, some buried. NONE can be found on The Today Show or on my Facebook feed. Did adding “Gate” to all their offenses make it real to you? Make you want to design a meme or haunt my Facebook page posting articles of football pressure? No? Could you look inside yourself and see that this Patriots situation was treated unfairly by both the media and opposing fans because it’s personal (we hate the Patriots) rather than an actual big story? Especially considering the cheating accusations against the Browns and Falcons – the ones that come with the same exact possible penalties as the Patriots? But no one cares about because the Browns and Falcons do not win. And that’s the truth of it.
And just to make this clear – if this was sanctioned by anyone in the Patriots organization, it is absolutely wrong and I agree they should be punished for it. But the punishment should fit the crime… and at this point, if they are found innocent of wrongdoing, will people even believe it?
I doubt it – because the court of public opinion has already ruled against them.
Because. They. Win.
Have you been following these stories the past three days? Sharing articles? Worried about the integrity of the game?