If you aren’t cheating you aren’t trying. It’s only cheating if you get caught. Everybody cheats.
Once news broke that an NFL investigation revealed that 11 out of 12 of the New England Patriots’ game balls were under-inflated two pounds less than the league requirement, this was one of the recurring themes I saw across social media. Are we at a place in our society where cheating is heralded as a sign of effort – that it’s ok to cheat as long as you do it well enough not to get caught? The justifications for deflate-gate have been astounding.
Maybe I’m naive. Maybe I live in a fictional world where morality and ethics are important. Maybe the philosophy of Bill Beli-CHEAT, the New England Patriots, and those who defend their habitual swindling and defrauding are really the right ones. Maybe taking pride in beating someone on a level and fair playing field is antiquated.
The Patriots defeated the Colts 45-7. There’s no question that if those game balls were inflated to the league requirement they would’ve still won the game. That’s not the point. Belichick was caught cheating in the past and fined $500,000 and a 1st round draft pick for it (the maximum allowed by the league). Now, another Beli-CHEAT swindling tactic has been revealed…and let’s not even begin to think about transgressions they weren’t caught doing. (Side note: if a few balls were deflated, I might give New England a pass, but 11 out of 12 is intentional)
All eyes are on Roger Goodell. This football season has been filled with more drama than an episode of The Haves and Have Nots. But unlike the Ray Rice incident, not only are ethical and moral questions raised here, but with habitual cheating, the integrity of the game has been compromised. Allowing the Patriots to continue their defrauding without facing tougher consequences will set a precedent. As much as I’d like to see a GREAT Super Bowl, the long-term rectitude of the game is more important to me. Beli-CHEAT and the New England Patriots should NOT be allowed the honor of participating on the NFL’s biggest stage. This isn’t an isolated incident. New England’s organization has been synonymous with seedy actions.
Will Roger Goodell hold Belichick and the organization to the same standard of ethics he holds NFL players? Anything less than a Super Bowl disqualification will endorse the theory that if you aren’t cheating you aren’t trying. Is that what we really want in professional sports?