Those who are partial to the great team and their star quarterback, are quick to minimize the effects of taking these illegal measures. Dismissing the rule bending of deflating footballs as being an insignificant advantage. Yet, it is the motivation and the boldness of players who seem to feel that they are above the regulations, which also epitomized poor sportsmanship due to cheating. This should disqualify the team from their Superbowl title since the path to the season finale was tainted with cheating, if there is any justice at all.
Another famous occasion where this mentality within the ranks of the New England Patriots was on display for those who care about following the rules of the game was the boldness of the lies being told in the week before the DeFlateGate farce. Bill Belichick was accused by the Raven’s Coach John Harbaugh of having submitted a four-man offensive line that had an illegal receiver on the list. This was thought to have been a trick and created an advantage so that the Patriots would prevail as they did in a close contest in the Divisional Round of the playoffs of 2015. They won by a narrow 35 to 31 points. The Raven’s felt that this act deprived them of enough notice so that the turnaround time to launch a proper offensive was conveniently too short. Does any guilt filter in? One has to wonder, or does pride in the cunning override this condition of illegal gamesmanship?
Another famous and successful plot the favorite sons called the New England Patriots carried out was the SpyGate scandal. It is said that this was the scandal that topped the list for the most nefarious in the history of the Patriots NFL participation. During 2007, while playing the New York Jets, New England had been videotaping the Jet’s play-call signaling. This was illegal. A proper investigation did take place which revealed that this practice was going on from 2002 to 2007 when it was finally discovered. Punishment was similar to the DeFlateGate incident. A monetary fine was also imposed of $250,000 along with the denial of a first round draft choice for that season and a fine levied on Bill Belichick of $500,000.
Much earlier in their career, in 1972, when the team was under the other leadership, the snowy game against the Dolphins was scoreless until the forth quarter. Assisting the Patriots to victory the snowplow operator plowed a spot in the field for the Patriot’s kicker Josh Smith to kick the winning field goal. The Dolphins complained that this was a shameful act of unfairness and perhaps the worst in the history of the NFL. Such is the reputation of the New England Patriots, going back decades. They will use their craftiness, cunning, and propensity for cheating better than all other teams with no shame or guilt it seems, claiming the others “gotta study the rule book and figure it out.” Tom Brady reflects on these issues by calling such tactics ‘weapons.’ for making important plays.