I recently wrote an article stating the the New England Patriots should have an asterisk next to their Super Bowl championships. I say this because of spygate, and the fact that the Patriots cheated during the duration of their dynasty.
In the comment discussion I had with many people—but two especially—I told them that if they showed me other championship teams that were caught cheating, that I would write about them as well.
I am doing this because it is my belief that cheating is wrong in every way, shape, and form. To me, every team that cheats needs to be punished, and I believe that taking Lombardi trophies away is appropriate.
Since I have written an article exclusively about the Patriots, I am going to start with the most recent since.
1996-1998 Denver Broncos
In December 2001, the Denver Broncos were fined near $1 million dollars, and stripped of a third round pick due to salary infractions from the 1996-98 seasons.
In talking to some people about this prior to reading the report, I heard it was an accounting error by someone in the accounting department.
After reading this post, I realized that this was not simply an accounting error.
The Broncos deferred payments to both John Elway and Terrell Davis to the tune of $29 million dollars.
That is a complete slap in the face to the entire league. Denver won two Super Bowls while violating the salary cap.
Today in the NFL, above average starters make in the $7-8 million dollars per year. Back then, they made considerably less.
The difference is an additional five to six starters making top dollar on a team that was already good enough to make the playoffs.
This is a disgrace to the game and to every team in the NFL that follows the rules. Since the NFL will not strip people of Lombardis, this is one that needs to have the * next to it.
Jimmy Johnson's Dallas Cowboys
In the wake of the whole Spygate incident with the New England Patriots, Jimmy Johnson from FOX sports reported that when he was with the Dallas Cowboys, they did the same practice that the Patriots did.
As I said with the Patriots, hold true to all teams. If the Cowboys videotaped signals from where they were not supposed to, regardless of how much it helped the team, this is still cheating.
Why there was no rebellion to this really surprises me. Two of the best teams of the 90's, including the one everyone knows as the team of the decade, admit to cheating.
The 1970's Raiders
The motto of the Oakland Raiders is "Commitment to Excellence". It should be "win at all costs".
In an article published on ESPN, Lester Hayes speaks how when he first came to the Raiders, Fred Biletnikoff showed him how to use stickum.
Stickum is an illegal sports substance that helps you hold on to the ball, a players jersey, or to else you touch.
I tried it one day in high school practice to see what it was like, and it was like super glue on your hands.
The cheating practice did not end there.
From 1971 to 1973, Bob Brown convinced the NFL to allow him to wear braces on his wrists.
What he did not tell them was that the braces were made out of leather that would slide over his hands, so when he hit a defensive player rushing the QB, he could hit them with these leather gloves.
It was reported the John Madden would even sneak into the opposition's locker rooms before games so that he could spy on them, and try to get any advantage he could.
Papa Bear Halas
In an interview with Steve Sabol on lyflines, he speaks of Papa Bear dating to the 1961 or 1962 team that obviously cheated.
Back then, there were no TV contracts, so teams would tape their own games. Each week, you would give a copy of your previous game to your next opponent, so that you could study each other—just like it is done today.
Halas decided that he was going to record every game with two different cameras. The one for him was recorded so he could grade his team. The second recording was done out of focus, so the other team couldn't.
Again, this is something that is just poor sportsmanship. It is cheating to gain an unfair advantage.
I have an eight year old daughter. Most of the time when Cydni and I play a game, I let her win. Every once in a while, I will win, and before the game is over, she will get mad and storm off.
So, I guess I can say that these men, that are grown adults, act just like my eight year old daughter. It is more important to win than to be fair.
Every one of these men, and every one of these teams should be ashamed of themselves. And every one of these teams need to have the * placed next to their name, on every record and Super Bowl.