Due to Spy-gate in 2007, both the media and NFL fans have little patience for any hint of cheating from the New England Patriots. And the Pats paid dearly for this scandal, with head coach Bill Belichick being fined $500,000 and the team losing a first-round draft choice the following year. But what people are calling for after New England’s latest scandal, “Deflate-gate,” would be a far more significant punishment.
Deflate-gate is the term for findings that 11 of the 12 footballs that Tom Brady used during the AFC Championship were two pounds under standard pressure. There are members of the media and fans who believe that the Patriots should actually be banned from Super Bowl XLIX for Deflate-gate. Sorry to say that if you’ve already engaged in 2015 Super Bowl betting and done your research, you’d be starting over in this scenario. But would the NFL actually go as far as to kick New England out of the Super Bowl?
Not Likely, and Everybody does It
Ever since word came out that Brady used deflated footballs, talk around the media is that virtually every quarterback does this to some degree, or at least has the balls broken in to their liking. And while Brady and the Patriots may have overdone it, taking such a harsh line as to ban New England from the Super Bowl would be too much.
Furthermore, it’s obvious that the deflated footballs didn’t win the AFC Championship for the Patriots. They drubbed the Colts by a score of 45-7 and ran all over them, with running back LeGarrette Blount providing three touchdowns. So it’s not like deflated footballs were the sole cause of a 38-point victory.
But there will be Punishment
While the NFL isn’t going to remove New England from the Super Bowl, league officials aren’t going to let this team get away with what they’ve done either. The minimum fine for tampering with the football is $25,000, as per the NFL’s game operations manual. But these are the masterminds of the Spy-gate fiasco, and it’s the same quarterback and head coach running the team.
Now, are we talking Brady-suspension big? Probably not, and NFL analyst and former QB Trent Green said as much recently. While Green diminished the intense coverage that this mini-scandal is getting, he also thinks that a ball boy or equipment manager will be fired, a large fine will be levied, and the team will lose a draft pick.
“I think it’s going to be huge,” Green said. “When you look at what happened with the Spygate deal and the fact that they made a significant fine at that time ($500,000), I think that they’re going to try to make a statement with it.”
While Brady contends that he didn’t have the balls “altered” or have anything out of the ordinary done, the point is that league rules were violated. And while a Super Bowl ban would be ridiculously harsh, another big fine and the loss of a draft pick (not sure if it should be first-round this time) would be enough to send a message to other QB’s/teams around the league.