Winning at all costs appears to be the mantra these days. Why is that? Everyone looks for an angle, getting the edge or an advantage. Whatever happened to integrity, good sportsmanship, or, simply, playing by the rules. Well, we have been inundated with examples of how the ends justify the means and somehow cheating is okay. Even if you get caught you either deny everything or have your spin doctors make light of it.
This blog is not solely about Tom Brady or “Deflategate”. I’m not really sure how serious deflated footballs become in a championship. It still seems a great deal depends on execution of plays necessary for the win. But the question will always remain: how much did the deflated balls influence the outcome of the game? Would the Patriots be the champions had none of this happened? Who knows? The incident the NFL was investigating happened before the Superbowl in the divisional Championships against the Colts. It seems a lot more would have had to happen for the Patriots to have lost the Superbowl. They nearly did that on their own and how it not been for the Seahawks blowing their chance…well, they would have had to run the ball on the final play of the Superbowl but lets not revisit that.
It’s somewhat fitting that every scandal since Watergate has borrowed the “gate” ending. Maybe that’s where all this rampant cheating to win started – though I doubt it. You see, cheating is as old as people. It’s just that in the annals of stupidity there is hardly anything that rises to the example of a President, almost assured of a victory in his reelection bid, trying to gain an unfair advantage over the opposition. Yes, that was all that Watergate was truly about. Afterwards the denials and coverup were the real reason a President had to resign.
What should be the punishment for Tom Brady? A fine, suspension, a lost draft pick for the team? Ya, know, it probably depends on who you ask and what is their favorite team. Still, it puts into question the integrity of the sport of football an the NFL. It affects the image of the league. That’s kind of serious. I mean – how do we as fans know whether the fix is in on games? What sorts of things go on that have not been uncovered? That’s the true crime, here. The lost innocent belief that there was ever a level playing field. It calls to question whether it is a team using their raw talent and considerable practice at honing skills that wins games.
In America we have reared a generation or two of cheaters. That’s what it looks like. And this is the end result. Winning at all costs no matter how it is done is all that matters in the modern world. No one seems to mind the tarnish on the awards or the asterisk mark next to a entry in the record books. Everything is okay as long as you don’t get caught, right? Fortunes are made and game are won by outsmarting the competition, finding the advantage and seizing the opportunities. There is considerable grayness when it comes to whether something is really cheating.
I guess that in the end it comes down to how much one’s personal integrity matters. If your conscience is fine with the way you won something, then that makes it all right. As long as you can sleep at night. Maybe I’m the dinosaur here. I still believe that rules matter and playing fair is how we should conduct our business whether it is sports or business. It was how I was raised. Then again, I had a pretty sheltered childhood where what is right and what is wrong was pretty clearly defined. I can thank my parents for the lack of ambiguity in how I see things.
By the time the Superbowl comes around next year, all of this will be forgotten unless, perhaps, Tom Brady has returned to the playoffs. Then I suppose the question about Tom’s balls maybe asked again. He has some to claim he is innocent of wrong doing, at least in my book. It taints everything else that he has done with his talent and through hard work.
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