‘DeflateGate’: It’s time for NFL to forfeit games for cheaters

It appears New England coach Bill Belichick has been busted — again. (Getty Images)

New England defeated Indianapolis 45-7 in last week’s AFC championship game. It wouldn’t have mattered if all 12 football were properly inflated. The Patriots were going to win that game whether Tom Brady was throwing a beach ball or a cinder block.

But the Patriots are proven cheaters, going back to “Spygate” days. They’ve have already been fined and lost draft picks for past offenses and the assumption is the NFL will do the same thing here. But if the NFL suspends players for several games when they test positive for performance enhancing drugs, in the belief that it gives the players a competitive advantage, shouldn’t the same policy be in place for obvious incidents of cheating?

I’m not saying the Patriots win over the Colts should be vacated. But I am saying that’s what needs to happen in the future.

It appears New England coach Bill Belichick has been busted -- again. (Getty Images)

It appears New England coach Bill Belichick has been busted — again. (Getty Images)

A team video tapes another team’s coaches’ defensive signals to gain a competitive advantage. Appropriate league response: Forfeit a game.

A team doctors equipment so its offense can score more easily in a bad weather game: Appropriate league response: Forfeit the game.

At the very least, coaches should be subjected to suspension in cases like this. I’m sure New Orleans coach Sean Payton would like to chime in.

It shouldn’t take NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his rule-makers to come up with a list of forfeit-worthy offenses. I’m sure any team that has played against the Patriots would be happy to help.

If Goodell is worried that the players already hate him, no worries. They’ll get behind this, as long as everybody still gets their paycheck. The 53 players on the Patriots’ roster may vote against forfeitures but the other 1,643 won’t.

ESPN reported that 11 of the 12 footballs used by New England in the AFC title game were under–inflated by two pounds per square inch according to NFL regulations. That can’t be a coincidence. And, yes, the fact that it’s the Patriots and they already have a rapsheet does make it worse.

If the NFL passed rules that stated certain forms of rules-skirting would result in forfeitures, there would be no surprises. It all would be in black and white.

A recent writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
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— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: After 29 straight wins, Florida State morphs into grease fire

 

Reader Comments 0

89 comments
Adam2016
Adam2016

Schultz knee jerk reaction due to his biased hate of the Patriots represents not only his ignorance but a lack of patience.

First rule of umm, journalism ?  is to blurt out propaganda before gathering the facts because it makes perfect sense until every conspiracy theory gets rejected like a ugly broad at a high school dance..

Hey Schultz you should walk away from this blogging gig , you are almost as bad at this as the idiot officials that handled footballs in the playoffs.

Jake Taylor
Jake Taylor

This is much ado about nothing.  As any Canadian with a winter tire will tell you if you take an inflated object from a warm environment into a cold one for a couple of hours it will lose air pressure.  Belichick et al were simply smart enough to know that if you inflate the balls to the minimum 12.5 psi indoors, then leave them out in the wet and cold for a couple hours (not to mention half of the game), the pressure will deflate to a more likeable size for Brady....all within the rules.  The only dumb ones here are the media who keep driving this thing down the wrong road.  Americans are ignorant about a lot of things, but it's a little surprising they can be so ignorant about something as simple as this.


Mery Eva
Mery Eva

our neighbor's sister gets 88 every hour on the laptop and she has been out of work for 8 months... last month her paycheck was 14449 only working on the internet for four hours a day... look at this page


► ►►►► http://bit.do/realjobs 


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Don Vanderpool
Don Vanderpool

The NFL should make an extreme example of the cheating and lying patriots.

Rob Billeaud
Rob Billeaud

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha - oh please you're killing me. I mean, you cannot be serious! We're talking the NFL here, buddy. The NFL would film players taking a leak and broadcasting that if they thought it could make them a buck. The NFL is NOT going to forfeit anything because doing so would cost them BIG money. Oh, and the Super Bowl? Seriously?You think the NFL is going to pass up the Patriots in favor of Indianapolis? Are you insane? Can you even comprehend the amount of revenue that would go out the window if that were the case? You need to do a little research on big vs. small market teams and their impact on merchandising and media revenue before you write such ludicrous articles. It's not about right and wrong and never has been with the NFL, it's all about the almighty dollar.

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

NE & Bill Billicheat have proven they will cheat in any way possible and they really do not care if they get caught because the consequences are insignificant. Years of cheating has also benefited Brady in soooooo many ways (more than any of us could quantify)...........this truth should also taint the Tom Brady name!


It is absolutely time for SWIFT & STRONG consequences. This is not the only cheating going on by NE & Bill Billicheat.

DrPhill
DrPhill

Obviously NFL should hire ball watchers of highest caliber.

reckingball
reckingball

If each team gets to use their own set of footballs during a game, then what is wrong with allowing the QBs to make minor adjustments in the PSI of the ball, to the level in which they are comfortable with?

The game is a lot more entertaining when the offenses enjoy their highest levels of success, imo.

This is kind of like a MLB pitcher rubbing down a baseball, a little bit, anyways.

CoronaGT
CoronaGT

@reckingball  They can make minor adjustments in the PSI of the ball.  They just have to be within the range of PSIs that are mandated by league rules (balls must be between 12.5 and 13.5 PSI).  Eleven of the 12 Pats footballs were below 12.5 PSI and may have been as low as 11 PSI.


It is not like rubbing down a baseball, which is legal.  It would be more like, when batting, sneaking in baseballs that have a different core with more pop.  Or, it would be more like blatantly scuffing a baseball to increase movement, which is illegal.  Those things give an illegal competitive advantage, which is what deflating a football below league standards does.

goblue86
goblue86

@reckingball What an inane analogy.  News flash; it is not against the rules for MLB pitchers to rub down the ball, even with a little dirt.  It IS against the rules for them to 'doctor' the ball, like gouging it, filing it, etc.  Try to stay with us here; the players don't get to decide, in the NFL, to make adjustments to the ball...like 3 extra pounds of air for a long field goal attempt.  An NBA player doesn't get to decide to use a ball with less air when he is shooting free throws.


PaulinNH
PaulinNH

In the rush to condemn the Patriots, burn Beliechick in effigy, kick them out of the SB, etc. I must have missed the evidence that the Patriots cheated. 

There is a report that 11 of 12 balls were 2 psi underinflated - OK.  The balls are supposed to be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 psi and they are 2 psi under? 2 psi?  Not 2.0 psi?  Not 1.6?  I would fail a 1st year Chemistry student who came up with those kind of significant figures.  How was the data collected?  Who did it?  Was it the same person before and after?  Was it the same instrument before and after?  I guarantee you can get 2 different people to take a measurement with the same instrument and get 2 different results.

Let's wait for some detailed evidence before lighting the torches and pulling out the pitchforks.

CoronaGT
CoronaGT

@PaulinNH  This is not a chemistry class, Paul, it's football.  I'm sure the refs have a gauge that they use to measure the PSI in the footballs, because that is part of their responsibility every game.  Maybe they use multiple gauges to ensure accuracy.  I don't know.  Apparently, the balls were underinflated enough that the Colts could tell by feel when they intercepted a pass in the first half.  I have no idea how the refs missed it given that they handle the ball on every play; they should be held accountable for this as well.  I don't think it matters how much they were underinflated; it was enough to warrant that pressure be added to the footballs at halftime.  If it was 2 PSI, that is 16% below the minimum level, which seems significant to me.


I don't think the deflated footballs affected the outcome - pressure was added at halftime and the Pats kicked the Colts butts in the second half.  It is just the principal - the Pats did cheat, just like they have done in the past.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@CoronaGT 


First of all - a 2 psi drop in pressure (if real) in the ball could not be caused by the changes in temperature seen.

My question is simple - how do we know that there has been a 2 psi drop?  For that you need to know with some precision what the measurements were (I have yet to have seen the numbers), what was the accuracy of the test, what instrument was used, etc.

You are "sure the refs have a gauge to measure PSI" and you think that using multiple gauges ensures accuracy.  Ever used a tire gauge?  What if the 2 gauges read different numbers?  What if the precision is to only 1 psi?

Floppy
Floppy

I'm still pissed at the Patriots getting away with stealing the Rams plays for their Superbowl matchup! Had the tapes and everything - that seems to have been conveniently forgotten about. Cheat to win, what a team.

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

@Floppy  They didn't have the Rams plays. They had video of their walk-through which, for the uninitiated, is a simulation of a team's first offensive series of a game. If I remember correctly, that Super Bowl lasted longer than one series. Belichick is not the first coach to do this nor the last. He learned it while coaching for Bill Parcells who no one calls a cheater for some reason. Oh and get over it.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Don Shula is calling him.........Bill Billicheat.

ATLFan
ATLFan

@TOJacket  Right! Don Shula called him that earlier this month and caught a lot of flack for it. Guess who's laughing now?

MikeS777
MikeS777

The problem as I see it is the NFL has everyone from ESPN to Jimmy Johnson constantly making excuses for these guys, going on the air pretending nothing happened and Belichick is a modern day Bill Walsh.  The league and everyone associated with it wants this to go away because NE has been the "dynasty" of sorts for the past 15 years.  It's their "model franchise" and it's a lot of egg on their face.

Now you have Rodney Harrison talking about how mad the Patriots are going to be because everyone is doubting them now LOL.  What a line of crap.  The only one who doubted them was Belichick because they keep pulling this crap.  He is the one undermining all their hard work and efforts.  Everyone else is just not stupid enough to pretend it's no big deal.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

@MikeS777 Me thinks thou protest too much!!  This is like the baseball teams that let the infield grass grow too long or the golf courses that let the rough get too thick.  Or Gaylord Perry dropping the strategic glob of spit on the ball at just the right time.  Let's not get crazy over this.  No amount of inflation would have given the Colts the slightest chance.


I would much prefer to have Belichick on my team than the metrosexual back-stabbing nose up
Arthur's butt protege Thomas Dimitroff emphasizing we're a team full of good guys known for being soft.  Is it wrong - probably?  Does it deserve this much airplay - not in my book!

TOJacket
TOJacket

@TreeRollins @MikeS777 The ball not having the proper air gave them a advantage.......and that Tree is cheating............sorry stinking cheaters.

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

@MikeS777  Everyone else, yourself included, can't contain their glee at being outraged over nothing. I still haven't seen proof, nor have you, that this was intentional. I still haven't heard why, when the balls were inspected and marked before play as mandated by NFL rules, that the officials didn't make a correction. I still haven't heard why, when the balls are in the possession of a league employee during the game and touched by a referee before and after every play, it took a whole half to discover the problem. I also haven't heard how deflating the ball makes Blount a better rusher or would have in any way made the Colts better against the Pats defense that day. Seems to me that if I was going to cheat, I wouldn't do it in a way that anyone with hand swho could touch my footballs could catch me.

KeepinItSimple
KeepinItSimple

Pats should have to forfeit that game RIGHT NOW and lose picks.  Brady floated some passes in the second half if you noticed. but that was only after the officials had been advised.  If he floats a couple of those in the first half and they get picked the entire game could have changed.


Simply stating it was a blowout and would not have mattered is a statement for the immature or utterly ignorant.  We all know teams play differently depending on game situations.  If the game stays close early who knows what happens.

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

@KeepinItSimple  Another way to say KeepinItSimple would be DumbinItDown. No proof that the balls were intentionally deflated. No proof that anyone was asked to intentionally deflate them. No proof that this was done on purpose at all. It is also an exceedingly stupid way to cheat, if that is in fact (though not yet supported by any evidence) what they did.


But, yes, grrr and rabble! Throw the book at em! They's cheaters!

BLowE12
BLowE12

Oh now I figured it out!! Dimitroff Forget to Bring the Cheating down with him from New England!! That is the Patriot way!

MM2
MM2

Schultz, you are such a coward!  GTH!!

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

Anybody gonna ask if the balls were intentionally less inflated? No, because if it was unintentional, we couldn't do this social media outrage nonsense. We'll just assume it was intentional because CHEATERS!


If I was going to cheat, wouldn't I have done it with all 12 balls? Wouldn't I be aware that other people, like say those who aren't on my team, would be able to touch the balls during the game and expose my nefarious plan?


But why try to find out what could have happened when we can jump to recrimination and condemnation immediately.

KeepinItSimple
KeepinItSimple

@FineousMcDirtyBird Sorry Fin, there is no way a ball loses 2 pounds of pressure in three hours, even due to cold.  Especially given the balls being used by Indianapolis still were within regulation.  

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

@KeepinItSimple @FineousMcDirtyBird I didn't speculate on how the balls lost pressure or if they even did. When are they inflated? Neither you or I know. Could it have unintentionally been less inflated? Not outside the realm of possibility. Were they initially tested before the game with a bad gauge? Maybe. Was the equipment manager simply lax in his duties? Possibly. It's this stupid conspiracy based on nothing more than another overblown scandal over a decade ago that drives me to wonder how much thought you people are actually putting into this.

RichardKPE
RichardKPE

Until someone explains to me how a deflated football makes Blount harder to tackle, consider me as not giving a spit.

Jim70
Jim70

Jeff, and nobody has mentioned the snow plow incident in Dec, 1982, against the Dolphins when the snow plow guy veered off the yard marker line to give the Pat's field goal kicker a clear place to kick.  Pre Bill Cheatichick, but still the Pats.


Pats made the field goal and won 3-0.  Refs should have moved the ball over so the kicker had to kick from a game situation.

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

I'm a Falcons fan. I got no dog in this particular fight. But "Spy-Gate" always sounded like sour grapes BS to me. Even some of the most respected coaches in NFL history (Parcels, Johnson, et al) are on record as saying that they stole signs and watched other team's walk-throughs. The key take away is that none of them felt that it gave them a demonstrable advantage.


As for "Deflate-Gate," the kid that maintains the balls during the game is an NFL employee. The referee handles the ball before and after every play. If the deflation was THAT egregious, was't it their responsibility to stop everything and correct it?


So two things:

1. Enough of the "cheater" nonsense. They won. They continue to win. Get over it.

2. Enough of the "-Gate" crap with these so-called scandals.

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

@FineousMcDirtyBird  According to NFL rules, all balls provided by a team for offense are supposed to be inspected, marked, and checked throughout the game. Under this standard, how is a team supposed to get away with deflating balls that are inspected by NFL officials prior to their use? We are seriously going to cry foul, demand draft picks and forfeit games after the league itself didn't do it's job? I reiterate, get over it.

MikeS777
MikeS777

@FineousMcDirtyBird Please, lets not join in the NFL homer chorus that insults everyone's intelligence.  Are we really supposed to be stupid enough to believe that stealing signals gives no competitive advantage?  That NE never used the stolen signals nor affected any game's outcome during the Spygate years?

1.  The outcome doesn't change the intent. They tampered with the footballs in order to gain a competitive advantage.  They filmed signals in order to gain a competitive advantage.  Just because they have a talented team doesn't change the fact they still cheated.

2.  They got caught filming signals after the league even sent a memo warning against it.  They got caught filming a former staff member's Jets team (Eric Mangini) who blew the whistle on it because he knew what they were doing.  They had a tape library with detailed edited tapes of taped signals overlayed in game film.  Nothing so-called about it.  Now they have physical evidence that 11 of 12 footballs were 2 lbs per square inch deflated.  That doesn't happen in two hours of 40 degree weather. haha.

The more people make excuses for this kind of stuff, the more people will think they can get away with it.


 

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

@MikeS777 @FineousMcDirtyBird  It's not a homer chorus. I could give a rat about the NFL or the Pats. Let's look at your points again, shall we...


1. You have no proof that the footballs were intentionally deflated. And if they were, why not all of them? Was the 12th ball the lucky ball? Or were they too incompetent to fully commit to the cheat? Doesn't make sense. And I'm already on record as saying I don't care if they were stealing signals. Why wasn't my team doing the same thing?


2. They got ratted out by Eric Mangini. A paragon of truth and sportsmanship that used the same tactics (i.e. sign stealing and video taping) to defeat the Patriots earlier that season but was so butt hurt that it didn't work in their second meeting that he just had to tell the league. Somehow his cheating is better. As for the footballs, why everyone keeps bringing up the weather in this debate mystifies me. THE BALLS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE INSPECTED BEFORE THE GAME. THE OFFICIALS HANDLE THEM BEFORE AND AFTER EVERY PLAY. THEY ARE IN THE POSSESSION OF A LEAGUE EMPLOYEE DURING THE GAME. HOW WERE THE PATS SUPPOSED TO HAVE SUCCESSFULLY CHEATED EXACTLY?


But by all means, keep feeding the childish outrage machine.

stiffneck
stiffneck


The Boston Globe reported late Tuesday that the officiating crew for Sunday's game, led by referee Walt Anderson, discovered at halftime that the game balls were under-inflated after testing them with two different gauges.


I would imagine the balls were re-inflated at this point.  Seems this took the wind out of the Patriots cause they could only muster a measly 28 points in the second half haha.

oledawg
oledawg

OOOOOOOOOO... the Patriots played with a football that may have been underinflated by a half pound after being in subfreezing weather for 4 hours.  Scary!!!!! I haven't been this upset since I saw someone riding a bicycle without a helmet.  Even our President wears his helmet.  Turn in your mancard Shultz!  Wish the Falcons had CBB!!!!

CoronaGT
CoronaGT

@oledawg  It was raining, genius, so there were not subfreezing temps for 4 hours.  In fact, I believe temps were in the 40s.  And I bet you'd be singing a different tune if someone had pulled this stunt against your precious Dawgs, especially in a close loss.

MikeS777
MikeS777

For now, I think the only justice is going to come at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks.  Can you imagine if the Patriots win the Super Bowl now? lol  What a mess.