For the love of God, enough is enough.
Yet I’m still reading articles about how the Patriots are horrible cheaters, destroying the NFL, worst organization in history, never deserved to win, worse than Bin Laden, responsible for the out-of-control youth in America, causing the nation to go into a recession, yadda, yadda, yadda.
The Patriots cheated, were caught, and were punished.
End of story, right? Of course not. All of the "my franchise is holier-than-thou and would never cheat" NFL fans don't think the punishment is enough.
A $750,000 fine and the docking of a first round draft pick, the harshest penalty in NFL history, isn't enough.
A publicity-hungry Senator who still can’t believe Donovan McNabb threw three interceptions in the Super Bowl is actually wasting government time and money investigating what the Patriots have done over the last seven years.
Wasting tax-payer money at a time when our national debt is $9,253,439,097,069 and growing on the videotaping practices of the New England Patriots.
Are you freaking kidding me?
Here’s what I suggest we do:
Suspend Belichick for life.
Take the Patriots away from Bob Kraft.
I’m fine with all this, as long as we revisit other NFL infractions that seem to have been forgotten during this Spygate scandal.
I suggest we start with the following:
1) Revisit the docking of a third round pick from the Denver Broncos for cheating on the salary cap. The 1998 Broncos won the Super Bowl, but in reality they never should have been allowed to field a team because they cheated on the salary cap.
They were docked a third round draft pick.
By today’s Patriots-related standards, that’s hardly enough. They should be stripped of their Super Bowl championship, John Elway should be removed from the Hall of Fame, Mike Shanahan should be suspended for at least a year, and they should lose their entire 2008 draft.
2) In 2006, a doctor on the Steelers’ staff purchased $150,000 in testosterone and human growth hormone. While there is no proof a player actually used the stuff, it still constitutes breaking the rules.
The Steelers should be docked a second-round draft pick and their Super Bowl title should have a Barry Bonds style asterisk next to it.
3) Jimmy Johnson admitted to dabbling in the same video practices as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
That’s $500,000 in fines for him, $250,000 for Jerry Jones, and one of their two first round picks this season (plus all the other things we agreed to at the start of this column).
I mean, he admitted to doing the exact same thing Belichick did, so he should get the same punishment.
4) Ron Jaworski said the following at some point during the 243 hours of Super Bowl pregame:
"I'm going to give you a real-life example. I'm going to take you back to 1975.
I'm playing quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams against the St. Louis Cardinals in a playoff game. We had stolen their signals by studying the St. Louis Cardinals defensive coordinator who called the plays.
James Harris, my backup quarterback on the sideline, had a red towel in his hand. Every time I broke the huddle, I would look over to James Harris. For a quarter and a half, I got nothing.
But then in the second quarter, I break the huddle and James Harris throws the red towel on the ground. That was the signal to me that he had gotten their signal that a blitz was coming, the middle of the field was open. I hit Harold Jackson for a long touchdown pass.”
Looks like we need to take at least a second round pick away from the Rams, right?
The NFL ruled that the Dolphins tampered with him while he was still under contract to the Colts. His team was stripped of their first round draft pick (which was awarded to the Colts).
Had they not committed this infraction and stolen Shula from the Colts, one could argue they never would have had their undefeated season. I guess that means we need to put an asterisk next to the 1972 Dolphins' perfect season.
The list of examples goes on and on.
You can read about how far back cheating in the NFL goes in this fantastic article: http://www.thesportgallery.com/sport-stories/1967aug-nflspy.html
I’m not saying the Patriots didn’t deserve the punishment they got. I actually think the punishment fit the crime. But the singling out of one franchise and ignoring the rest of the NFL is both insulting and petty.
If you root for an NFL team that has been around for more than twenty years, odds are I can go back and find an example of them cheating.
I could lecture you all on throwing stones from glass houses, but I’m certain it will fall on deaf ears.
As a Patriots fan who lived through all of the horrible years, the Tony Eason years, the one and two win seasons, I promise you this: I will NOT let NFL fans, former Patriots employees, a ridiculously biased Senator with nothing better to do, or a former Rams player who still doesn’t understand how his team lost 6 years ago ruin the last seven years for me.
Three Super Bowl championships, four AFC championships, six AFC East championships, and the only 16-0 season in NFL history—and we’ll be back again next year even without our first round pick.
Whether you, Senator Specter, the New York Jets, Al Davis, Jessica Simpson, the state of Pennsylvania, or the wonderful “anonymous” commenters who are kind enough to post their Spygate thoughts on every article I write like it or not.
My name is Sean Crowe and I root for the AFC Champion New England Patriots.