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Shannon Sharpe is killing the Patriots: Former player has a point on Deflategate

BSN Denver Avatar
May 7, 2015

 

Deflategate. Spygate. Textgate?

The New England Patriots don’t need the word “gate” mixed in to suggest a controversy or scandal; with Bill Belichick as head coach, the mascot “Patriots” has now become synonymous with cheating.

On Wednesday, it was found through a report that New England quarterback – the poster child of the NFL – Tom Brady was texting with Patriots employees about his displeasure with the inflation of the footballs certain weeks and that those employees were to help implement the deflation.

Here’s a passage from the NFL’s investigative report, which can be found in full, here:

“In the weeks and months before the AFC Championship Game, McNally periodically exchanged text messages with the Patriots equipment assistant primarily responsible for the preparation of the Patriots game balls, John Jastremski. In a number of those text messages, McNally and Jastremski discussed the air pressure of Patriots game balls, Tom Brady’s unhappiness with the inflation level of Patriots game balls, Jastremski’s plan to provide McNally with a “needle” for use by McNally, and McNally’s requests for “cash” and sneakers together with the “needle” to be provided by Jastremski. A sports ball inflation needle is a device that can be used to inflate a football (if attached to an air pump) or release air from a football (if inserted alone into a ball).”

Simply, the Patriots cheated. Cheated their way to a fourth Super Bowl victory under Belichick with Brady at QB. And while the NFL cannot prove completely that Brady actually instructed his fellow New England employees to deflate the balls, he was “at least generally aware” the report concluded.

One former NFL great spoke out Wednesday on Twitter, outlining what he believes to be just punishment for the current Super Bowl champions:

Sharpe, who’s famous for “calling in the National Guard” on the sidelines during his playing days, exclaiming, “We are killing the Patriots!” has his loyalties resting with the Broncos. As a player, Sharpe should be credited with the evolution of the tight end position, helping develop it into the pass-catching threat we know it as today. Following his playing days, the three-time Super Bowl champion was elected into the Professional Football Hall of Fame, playing for both the Broncos and Baltimore Ravens and against the Patriots many times.

But that doesn’t mean he’s wrong.

New England cheated during “Spygate,” filming an opponent’s practices, which also happened in Denver when Josh McDaniels was the Broncos head coach. The Patriots also bent the rules last season with their alignments on offense and the way they were declaring eligible receivers in a deceptive way. Now, there’s “Deflategate.”

It seems cheating is bred into the Patriots’ football culture, through and through.

Is Belichick one of the greatest NFL coaches and Brady one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game? Yes. But, all this cheating hangs a dark cloud over the team’s top era and those influential men.

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