When the news regarding the New England Patriots so-called "SpyGate" scandal hit the media, I was stunned.
As a die-hard Patriots fan who's been following the team since 1992, my feelings were equivalent to the types of emotions that would arise from finding out your wife had been cheating on you, or your best friend had been lying to you.
I had to take a serious look at whether or not I still wanted to consider myself a fan.
Then came the harsh reality of modern-day "homerism."
For those who are not familiar with this term, a "homer" is a sports fan who depicts blind loyalty to a team or organization, despite any shortcomings or faults the organization might have.
Ever since that Week 1 heart-wrenching news came to be known, Patriots fans everywhere have absolutely disgusted me in a way that I cannot fully express without having my vocabulary called into question.
From internet message boards, to fan sites, from newspapers to SportsCenter, anybody and everybody who has backed the Patriots on this issue has been desperately searching for people to point their fingers at—as if they think that by doing so, these targets could somehow assume reponsibility for what happened.
Sure, a memo went out at the end of last season regarding numerous rumors concerning multiple teams' use of videotape to steal signals and get an illegal edge on game day.
But guess what? Just because other teams have done it, that doesn't make it right.
A week after the Patriots were caught cheating, Ravens coach Brian Billick accused the Jets of simulating the snap count at the line of scrimmage. Even though neither the Jets nor Billick have anything to do with New England, every single Patriots message board on the internet had a 20-page-long discussion thread about it.
Did any of this make you feel better, Pats fans?
Are you kidding me? Was somebody scouring that closely for a reason to bring the credibility of an opponent into question? What happened to just enjoying sports, and letting the league handle illegal play?
Now, with the regular season getting ready to come to an end, we are still forced to listen to poor attempts to justify the Patriots' wrongdoing. As per today's clipping on Yahoo! Sports:
"The Jets were caught videotaping at Gillette Stadium last season and the Patriots had that New York employee removed from the area, according to published reports Wednesday. Jets coach Eric Mangini said his team received permission to film behind both end zones during the playoff game in January."
So, can somebody tell me why this article was even written, given that the above quote was in the first paragraph of the article? If they were given permission to do this, then it seems to me that there's nothing to see here.
Oh wait, that's right... it's another chance to reach for an excuse for what the Pats did. Let's make it public.
Fellow Patriots fans, members of the media, and anyone else who reads this: Please cheer for your team on the field, but let them handle their own housekeeping.
You don't need to justify what your favorite team does off the field—they're perfectly capable of doing so on their own.