If you believe in integrity and fair play, you can’t root for the New England Patriots on Sunday.
The last thing you want is for the Patriots to beat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona.
You can only hope that the Sports Gods will see to it, and not reward a team that doesn’t play by the rules.
This isn’t about being a hater or a closet Seahawks fan.
It’s about the backbone of sports. It’s why we care so much. If you knew a sport was fixed or a team got an advantage by doing something against the rules, it wouldn’t feel as good.
Heck, we probably wouldn’t care much at all.
For sure, Tom Brady and the Pats will have fans rooting for them.
There’s Boston, New England and Michigan where Brady was a star in college. And of course, family and friends.
But in NFL America, most will not want to see coach Bill Belichick hoist that trophy over his head while standing in a confetti shower.
Any honestly, you can’t blame folks for thinking that way. After all, for many it will be hard this time around to ignore “DeflateGate.”
Let’s face it: It’s hard to root for apparent cheater, especially serial cheaters.
Enter The Patriots.
Even if you think there’s has been too much made out of the 11 (out of 12) Pats’ footballs that were under inflated by two PSI, according to NFL rules, in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, there was still something rotten about the situation.
It’s hard to shake the fact that the Patriots have been branded as cheaters – again. They were found guilty in 2007 of recording opponents defensive signals. The NFL fined them big time (a total of $750,00) and took away a draft pick.
This time around, although the NFL hasn’t rendered a verdict yet, the Pats’ integrity has been called into question. And this time, Brady, the league’s Golden Boy, is front and center. His word about not having any knowledge of what happened doesn’t play well. In fact, it reeks.
Not just with some fans, but even with former greats in the game. Even John Madden and Troy Aikman have pointed the finger at Brady being involved. Those two know a little something about football.
And on Thursday at the Super Bowl, former QB Joe Montana, a four-time Super Bowl winner and Brady’s boyhood idol, blamed Brady for this scandal.
“If I ever want a ball a certain way, I don’t do it myself. So, somebody did it for him,” Montana said to the media in Phoenix. “But I don’t know why everybody is making a big deal out of trying to figure out who did it. It’s pretty simple. If it was done, it was done for a reason. There is only one guy that does it. Nobody else cares what the ball feels like.”
Everybody knows that taking the air out of a football would help a quarterback in wet weather. That’s what Brady faced in the championship game.
Brady missed a golden opportunity to come clean and be honest.
He could have accepted responsibility, telling the media that he asked the ball boy to let some air out of the balls, but didn’t realize it was below NFL regulations. That would have been more believable than acting as if some rogue ball boy took it upon himself to do it. That makes no sense at all.
We get it. Most Pats fans are trying to downplay the whole situation, blaming it totally on haters and reporters out on a witch hunt. Many taking the stance that it didn’t have an effect on the outcome of the game as the Patriots destroyed the Colts on both sides of the ball.
In reality, Pats’ fans are shaking in their boots. They are afraid that if the league rules against the Pats and Brady in “Deflate-Gate” that this incredible run by the Pats will be tainted forever.
Other fans will have the opportunity to turn their nose up at all the Patriots success in the Brady era.
It would pain New England fans almost as much as the Pats losing their third straight Super Bowl. And that would be the case with a loss on Sunday.
Remember, the Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since “SpyGate.”
It would only be fitting that that streak continues.
Parker’s pick: Seattle 24, New England 17.