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article imageNew England Patriots accused of cheating, again

By Vincent Gerace     Jan 20, 2015 in Sports
It has been confirmed, following a 45-7 dismantling of the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game, the New England Patriots are under investigation for under-inflated footballs that were used in the game.
The NFL has a policy, like all football leagues from high school on up, that the balls be inflated to a certain amount of pressure, it was noticed by a Indianapolis equipment staff member that one of the Patriots balls’ did not meet this requirement following a D’Qwell Jackson interception that resulted in the ball being brought to the Colts’ sideline and Jackson mentioning that the ball felt too flat. As far as what reports are saying this was the only time in the game such an instance is known to have occurred and the ball was removed from play.
It is NFL policy that each game ball is checked by officials before the game to see that they meet the necessary requirements, and each ball is marked by an official. Following the time the balls are examined, and leading up to kickoff the footballs are not allowed to be handled by either team. This being the case, the balls would have had to be deflated on the sideline during the game, or balls that were never examined by the officials would have to be put into the game; balls that would not have the necessary marking to indicate it was checked. Either way the on field crew is not the only officials that work an NFL game. There are also officials stationed on each sideline and either of these tactics would have to be done under their nose.
Furthermore, it is plausible that one of the balls used in the game could have been on or just over the requirement to be acceptable and the cold weather, which was below freezing, caused the ball to deflate. That, plus pressure being put on it throughout its use in the game may be the culprit here. Either that or Rob Gronkowski spiking the ball too hard, which he seems to think is the true reason.
In any event, it might be easier to believe that this was a matter of chance, and not a matter of attempted cheating had the Patriots not previously been under investigation for additional filming during a game more than the league allows, which was discovered to be the filming of the opponent’s defensive signals (New York Jets) as well as suspected spying on teams leading up to games, as in the case of the 2001 season Super Bowl verse the St. Louis Rams. In this case, Rams players and staff believe Patriots’ employees were taping St. Louis final walk through before the big game. For those of you who don’t know, walk throughs are typically I light, slower paced practice, but one of great importance as teams use these to go over every aspect of the game, and cover every element of the game plan as a final tune up, both physically and mentally before game day. Rams’ former tailback Marshall Faulk still feels his Kurt Warner lead team was cheated out of a second ring in three years. He argues that New England was a little too prepared for plays St. Louis had installed specifically for the Super Bowl and had not previously run, and therefore there was no previous film on these plays for New England to legally study, yet they were perfectly anticipating them. “We had some plays in the red zone that we hadn’t ran. . . . And a couple of plays on third down that we walked through also . . . And they created a check for it. It’s just little things like that. It’s either the best coaching in the world when you come up with situations that you had never seen before. Or you’d seen it and knew what to do.” Faulk also wonders why the tapes in question were destroyed following their discovery, “...if they wanted us to shut up about what happened, show us the tapes. Don’t burn ‘em,” Faulk said.
In any event the Patriots are under investigation for “Deflate Gate” and face a potential fine of $25,000 or more and possibly revoked draft picks for the next NFL Draft. The loss of draft picks was the punishment handed down after being found guilty for illegal filming of defensive signals’ of their opponent, the New York Jets, in 2007. This was followed by a season in which the Pats still managed an eleven win campaign and made the playoffs every year since so it doesn’t appear that a big void was created by the subtraction of a first round and third round draft choice.
It remains to be seen what will come of this, and what will be done with the evidence in question. In any event the New England Patriots will head to Arizona in preparation for Super Bowl LXIX but as this modern dynasty prepares for another chance at the Lombardi Trophy, something they haven’t won since found guilty of their illegal camera work against the Jets in 2007, will they be known as three time champs, or rather, three time cheats?
New England Patriots | FindTheBest
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