Deflategate Ruling Finds Patriots Guilty
Over four months after the New England Patriots won the 2014 Super Bowl, the NFL has finally concluded it’s investigation into whether or not they purposely altered footballs to gain a competitive edge against their opponents.
It’s not looking good for Tom Brady and co.
Per the report released by Tom Wells, two Patriots employees – locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski – played a role in releasing air pressure in footballs leading into games.
The two exchanged text messages before games during the season, providing evidence that team employees and likely even Tom Brady himself knew what was happening.
With Wells basically letting it be known that the Patriots were in some fashion guilty, the next step is some type of discipline issued by the league. Considering a player is said to be involved (Brady) and two employees were committing acts considered to be cheating, it’s arguable that Brady could be separately disciplined, in addition to some form of discipline being handed down to the organization, itself.
Let the speculation begin.
The big question isn’t if a suspension is looming for Brady, but how big it could end up being. Players and coaches have been banned from the league for far less, as we’ve seen coaches like Sean Payton and Gregg Williams pushed aside for at least a year for their involvement in the infamous Bountygate.
However, this is actual cheating that arguably involves one team gaining an advantage over the other. If the allegations are true and Brady was orchestrating the manipulation of footballs, he was taken deliberate, premeditated measures to gain an edge on the football field.
Brady had previously denied any “knowledge” of tampering of the footballs, and claimed he “didn’t notice” the change of the balls during games on the field. Whether or not the NFL buys his excuses and let’s him skate by, of course, remains to be seen.
What happens in the next week or so could be very interesting for the defending Super Bowl champs. Depending on the punishment enforced, they could find an attempt to defend their Super Bowl title quite difficult.
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