By, Alyssa Davis on Sept. 28, 2015
Eight months have come and gone since the fateful game that gave birth to Deflategate, yet the Kean community is still debating the National Football League playoff matchup between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his team were accused of cheating after it was discovered that 11 of the 12 game balls that were allotted to them during the contest measured under the regulation size of 12.5-13.5 pounds per square inch (PSI).
An under-inflated football is easier to catch and throw providing an unfair advantage.
The victor, in this case New England, of the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship game moves on to the Super Bowl. This is part of the reason that Deflategate gained so much prominence.
Some gridiron fans are convinced that the Pats were rightfully accused.
“My initial reaction was the initial reaction of any logical person: The Patriots are cheaters and they obviously cheated again,” Sports Writing Professor Jerry Carino said referring to Spygate, a similar scandal that the Patriots were disciplined for in 2007. “It’s clear to anyone with a brain that the Patriots bended the rules and deflated the balls.”
Patriots fan and senior Geology major Jaime Parello believes that the deflated balls did nothing to change the outcome of the game.
“I read an article that said the Patriots’ passing game only contributed 14 points to the teams overall score,” she said. “The final score in the game was 45 to 7 so even if the deflated balls were significant the Pats still would’ve won by like 24 points. And plus, who says they even knew that the balls were soft.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued Brady a four game suspension without pay to be carried out in the new season.
“I think the reason it was made into such a big deal is because of the stage they were at when they played the Colts, but to me the ruling of four games was crazy because that’s the same amount of suspension some other guys have gotten who have done way worse things,” said Kean’s head football coach Dan Garrett. “I understand why they did it, but I don’t think it was the first time something like that happened and I don’t think it will be the last.”
Others believe that the punishment was just. “The teams in the league should abide by the commissioners ruling, that’s the whole reason to have a commissioner,” Carino said. “The NFL was right to suspend Brady for four games.”
In August, the NFL Players Association along with Brady met the NFL in court with the hopes of coming to a settlement. No settlement was reached. Finally, on Sept. 3 the judge threw out Brady’s suspension saying that there was a lack of fair due process for the signal caller. The NFL then announced that it would appeal the judge’s decision.
This only opened up more avenues for debate.
“Nothing in sports should ever wind up in court it’s just tying up the legal system that should be dealing with life and death matters,” Carino said. “It’s so painful to see these things go to court. The NFL should have a better procedure in place for adjudicating their controversies. The whole thing is a joke, it makes the NFL look silly and it’s a misuse of the court system.”
Others feel that Brady had every right to take this case into the legal system.
“There was no clear evidence to prove that Tom Brady or any players or coaching staff were at fault,” freshman Chicago Bears fan Zack Hofschneider said. “He had every right to plead his case and try to get out of a suspension which was issued on no solid grounds.”
Brady opened the 2015 season and his team edged the Pittsburg Steelers 28-21. In an interesting twist, Mike Tomlin, Steelers head coach, complained that his coach-to-coach headsets picked up a Patriots’ radio broadcast for most of the first half, which prevented him from communicating with his staff. New England said it had the same problem.
Tomlin and the Steelers plan to file a complaint with the league.
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