09/10/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak
Ka Boom! ESPN Article Drops A Bomb On The New England Patriots And The NFL
Wow. Talk about a turn of events. Just when you thought all of the shenanigans surrounding the New England Patriots and the NFL were finally over, ESPN comes out with Spygate Revisted. And the allegations of cheating far surpass anything that was discussed before. This time, it also included alleged covering up of the Patriots cheating by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Whoa, that's some pretty serious stuff.
The ESPN article says that Deflate Gate was blown up to the epic status it had because it was the NFL's version of a make up call after Spygate. Honestly, Deflate Gate was blown out of proportion from the beginning. Footballs being underinflated had no influence on the outcome of an AFC Championship game that was a blowout. The evidence against Tom Brady being involved was very thin to begin with, and started to stretch more with the release of the Wells Report. There was never any evidence that Brady was directly involved in deflating those footballs. Roger Goodell justified his suspension and overruled Brady's appeal because Brady destroyed a cell phone the NFL had requested as part of the Deflate Gate investigation.
I always wondered two things about the Deflate Gate saga. First, I couldn't understand why Goodell kept pushing it as hard as he did. I didn't understand why he wouldn't step down from overseeing Brady's arbitration hearing when the NFLPA had requested he do so. And second, I never understood why Patriots owner Robert Kraft accepted the league's punishment of losing a 1st round draft pick and a million dollar fine, when Kraft had stated Brady and anyone involved in the Patriots organization had nothing to do with deflated footballs.
According to the ESPN article, Goodell's relentless pursuit of Deflate Gate was his way of making up for what would be interpreted as the NFL covering up the Patriots cheating in regards to Spygate. According to the article, there was evidence of the Patriots illegally video taping coaches for play call signals dating all the way back to the 2000 season. That the Patriots had taped opposing teams signals 40 times from 2000 through 2007. That the intricacy of the Patriots video taping was far more sophisticated than what was originally reported. That the Patriots actually had someone sneak into visiting teams locker rooms and steal play sheets. And that after the Patriots were caught, that Goodell did all he could to make sure what was really going on didn't get out. Since Kraft was very influential in Goodell getting the job as league commissioner, the article states that Goodell helped cover up Spygate by having league officials actually destroy evidence. There's plenty more than that, I'd suggest you read the article yourself if you want to see the full scope of what all it entails.
If most of this is proven true, the NFL is in a bad way. Especially if the covering up of evidence by Goodell is proven true. If so, he has to be removed as commissioner. He probably should be anyway just for the buffoonery that has been the result of his decisions and actions in other things around the league. The disciplinary process in the NFL is a joke. Almost all of the publicity the NFL has gotten since the start of last season has been bad. First Ray Rice. Then Adrian Peterson. Then Greg Hardy. Then Deflate Gate. And now this.
Of course the Patriots have denied all of the allegations from the article. Some say ESPN came back with this now as their own way of retaliation, since they actually broke the Deflate Gate scandal, which was shown to be far less than what was originally reported. Goodell has yet to say anything regarding the article.
So just when football fans thought the off the field drama would end after Deflate Gate, here is another major twist in what has become a soap opera staring the New England Patriots and Roger Goodell. Remember when watching the NFL was just about watching football and the outcomes of games were decided by the better team actually winning on the field? I miss those days.
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