It’s Official: The NFL is OK with Cheating!

By: G.Stryker; @SNStryker (Twitter), @SNStryker (Instagram)

Cheaters never prosper. That is the old saying we are taught as children to value fair play and sportsmanship over cheating to win. It’s also a lie. The New England Patriots prospered tremendously from cheating by videotaping opposing team signals. In 2007, they were fined $250k, their head coach $500k, and lost a first round draft pick. Matt Walsh was interviewed and testified that the Patriots were cheating as far back as 2000. In this instance, the Patriots cheated, won three Super Bowls, and were docked a first round pick during a year when they had two first round picks.

Patriots head coach, Bill Bellichek was not suspended, though he was fined more than any coach in history at a cool half million. When asked why Bellicheck wasn’t suspended, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated, “I believe that the discipline I am imposing of a maximum fine and forfeiture of a first round draft choice, or multiple draft choices, is in fact more significant and long-lasting, and therefore more effective, than a suspension.” Those words would end up being hollow.

Undeterred, the Patriots again took advantage of the 2006 rule for the team on offense being able to provide their own footballs. After the balls were checked by referees, they were taken to another room and intentionally deflated below league standards, to be used during games. By doing this, the ball was easier to catch, and they also had the lowest fumble rate in the league. For some reason, quarterback Tom Brady and his team of ‘deflators’ were the only ones penalized for the infraction. Brady was not suspended for cheating in the 2014 season’s AFC Conference Championship, he was instead suspended the following season at the beginning of the year, allowing plenty of time for him to win a Super Bowl and be named the game’s MVP before facing any punishment for being caught red handed. Another instance of cheating awarded with a Super Bowl title.

The fact that Bellichek got off scot-free from the “deflategate” scandal was odd to me. Especially since Goodell already punished him for his hands on nature and controlling every aspect of his team by saying, “Coach Belichick not only serves as the head coach, but also has substantial control over all aspects of New England’s football operations. His actions and decisions are properly attributed to the club.” In this instance, there was zero punishment, and thus no deterrent to further cheating.

Now the league has caught the New England Patriots again, for a 2nd infraction of taping opposing team signals in Cincinnati. Instead of protecting the integrity of the league, the NFL essentially gave the New England Patriots the same penalty as the last infraction. $1 million in fines, and loss of a third round draft pick. Even if the $1M fine is one of the largest ever levied, do you think a multi-billion dollar organization and one of the highest valued franchises in New England is going to bat an eye at that amount? Furthermore, they were docked a first round draft pick the last time, and now, when the team needs to draft a new quarterback, they are only docked a 3rd rounder?  

Where is the consistency? Where is the justice? Where is the integrity? Evidently the NFL doesn’t care. It seems to be protecting the legacy of the New England Patriots who have now been caught three times under the same head coach for cheating to win. And with another three Super Bowl wins in the past six years, what is their incentive to stop?

Unlike the NFL, the MLB is a league that was tarnished severely during the “Black Sox Scandal” in 1919 where eight players of the Chicago White Sox were paid by a gambling ring to throw the World Series and allow the Cincinnati Reds to win. Since that moment, there has been a zero tolerance policy on cheating in baseball, and their punishments are dealt with swiftly and severely. You want to know what happens when you steal signs and win a World Series? Two managers of the Houston Astros were suspended for the year (the club also fired them), the team was fined $5M, and they lost their 1st and 2nd round draft picks for the 2020 and 2021 drafts. This is how you deal with cheating. Severe punishments to the leadership, severe punishments in the draft, and a fine that is above and beyond what would be expected that deters other teams for attempting to do the same.

Instead, the NFL has shown time and time again that it is more interested in protecting the New England Patriots than it is in protecting the integrity of the game. So much so, that it released one article on the league punishment for cheating the same day multiple articles were released on Cam Newton being hired by the Patriots as their new quarterback. Instead of focusing on the lesser punishment the Patriots received for cheating yet again, fans are treated to articles for how smart Bill Bellicheck is for picking up a former league MVP, who no team seemed to want for the past four months, but hey that doesn’t matter, look how smart he is!  

The only thing Bill Bellicheck is good at is cheating and getting away with it. For a league like the NFL that lacks integrity when it comes to violating rules to win football games, their message is well received by the fans. Cheaters always prosper in the NFL.


Do you believe the punishment was too lenient? Sound off below and let us know how yinz really feel!



  1. Michael Bodamer

    July 1, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    The NFL needs to get their shit together! As a Steelers fan I hate the patriots in general but I started to hate them more when I found out that they were cheating. And these $1 million fines are BS . They’re for the birds , the patriots need to be fined like $10 million each time they get caught!

  2. Kenneth Gurule

    July 1, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    The NFL should take 4 Super Bowls from them. Spygate, Deflatgate
    They cheated to get them so why should they be able to keep them?
    Brady & Billacheat are going to HOF with cheaters on there backs, but nobody will mention their cheaters .Because just like you said no punishment only fines

  3. Ron

    July 1, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    Kraft and Belicheat have ole Roger wrapped around their fingers

  4. Terry Hall

    July 2, 2020 at 12:18 am

    Godell has got to go! This BS makes the NFL a joke. I’m almost done with this. If I didn’t love the Steelers so much I’d never watch football again

  5. Daniel Reames

    July 2, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Should have been stripped of all their wins dating back to the first time they got caught cheating.Sadly, members of that team will be or already are inducted in the Hall Of Fame. Something more to tarnish. Theres a reason people are turning out football. Goodell needs to go and put someone in power that has a set.

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