Behind Enemy Lines: Deflategate Edition
This piece is a collection of thoughts from 4 NFL fans, two from the Dolphins and two from the Patriots. As we know, both fan bases have moderate fans, and those who are more extreme in their views. This article highlights both, with insights from the moderate and extremist fans of the Patriots and Dolphins.
Often, fans lock themselves in on their own perspective, and shut out the rest of the football world’s opinion. One of the best ways to understand a situation like this is to listen to each side’s perspective. While Dolphins fans and Patriots fans rarely see eye to eye, I have decided to risk my own health venture into a dangerous place… a place very few Dolphins fans have ever gone before. Yes people, I am talking about the mind of a Pats fan. Luckily I have returned alive, and have brought with me two opinions, one from a moderate and one from an extremist. This piece also contains the opinion of a conservative and moderate Dolphins’ fan. So enjoy this while you can, because it’s the first and last post for the Deep End about Deflategate. I’m sure you’re just as sad as I am.
The Moderate Dolphin:
This is where I find most Dolphins’ fans stand on the issue, and it is a common Non-Patriot view for Deflategate.
Let’s be clear here to start: I don’t like Brady. I don’t like Belichick. I don’t like Brady’s kids. What brand of toilet paper does Brady use (assuming he hasn’t hired someone to handle that for him)? Yeah, don’t like that either. But, 4 games and two draft picks for deflating footballs seems like Roger Goodell making an example out of one of the league’s most prominent faces. Which I am okay with. Because like I said, I don’t like Brady.
I also don’t believe there is a chance that Belichick didn’t know what was going on. Belichick knows EVERYTHING that happens inside of that building. Someone sneezes? Report on his desk. Brady changes the aforementioned brand of toilet paper? Report on his desk. Deflating footballs to increase comfort for their quarterback? Report on his desk. The reason I believe Brady didn’t hand over his phone is because that could have had implications for Belichick, who Goodell would love to suspend for a full season as a second-time offender (after Spygate).
Overall, I think the draft picks were unnecessary, and a 2 game suspension would have sufficed. No, this is not a big deal. No, it did not affect the outcome of the AFC Championship (or any other) game. But it does show a general refusal by an organization to follow the rules. That is the issue with the New England Patriots. I also want Brady on the field because I want Miami to win the division outright, with no asterisk. I know this might not be a popular view among Dolphins fans, but I believe the commissioner went a bit too far just to prove a point. But hey, if they’re going to make an example out of someone, at least it’s Brady. Because like I said, I don’t like Tom Brady.
–Max, Dude With a Blog
The Extremist Dolphin:
We can talk all we want about how crazy Patriots fans are, but we cannot overlook the fact that there are some Dolphins fans that are out of their damn minds. Here are the thoughts of a truly radical Miami fan.
I get it. I really do. I sympathize with Tom Brady. Being married to Gisele would probably make anyone worry about the over-inflation of their balls. But when your best excuse for cheating starts with “My wife is one of the ten hottest women on the planet…,” you probably shouldn’t have cheated.
Now, sure, whether it’s on a spouse of 30 years or a third-grade geography test in Ms. Jenkins’ class (complete hypothetical), we’ve all cheated before. But Tom Brady didn’t just cheat on Ms. Jenkins’ test. Tom Brady cheated his way to winning a “Best Student” award from Ms. Jenkins and kissed the cutest girl in elementary school while the rest of us tried to talk to a girl for the first time.
Really, Tom Brady is a test of our faith. We all fell for his act.
We all believed. We believed Tom Brady was a good quarterback. We thought his 95.9 career quarterback rating meant something. We placed him in conversations of the greatest quarterback ever.
A pudgy sixth-rounder who morphed into a Hall of Fame quarterback, Brady sure has a case as the greatest draft pick in NFL history. But doesn’t that seem fishy? That this guy
became this guy.
Maybe you’ve never seen a before-and-after picture of a man selling his soul to the devil. Well, now you have.
If we’re lucky, Lucifer is a hell of a negotiator (pun intended) and Brady will spend the rest of his days rotting in eternal damnation anyway. But for a man who is consistently accused of having a God complex, Roger Goodell has acted awfully mortal this past week.
Depending on your feelings about Greg Hardy, Roger Goodell has never had to deal with a Satanic pawn before. But now he does and all he can muster is a four-game suspension. From a deific standpoint, that just won’t cut it.
Then again, perhaps Goodell is simply setting up an apocalyptic Week 6 showdown between the Patriots and Colts, as Beelzebub comes to face to face with the NFL’s best facsimile of Jesus Christ.
-Matt, Thought Chad Henne Was Good
The Moderate Patriot:
Yes people, they do exist. I know- it surprised me too. Here we have what is essentially the equivalent of a leprechaun riding a unicorn chasing a flying pig. Yes folks, the only thing more rare than a Tony Sparano 4th down attempt: a moderate Patriots fan.
Before we get started, let me make something clear. Patriots fans are assholes. It’s just true. That being said, once you get past the arrogance, Patriots fans can be some of the nicest and most fun-loving fans in the NFL (provided you don’t insult Tom Brady).
Did the Patriots deserve the punishment they received? The short answer is no. The longer answer is yes, but it shouldn’t have been so damn much. You’re telling me the Saints paid for players to injure other players, and that offense is somehow less than having slightly under inflated balls? I get that cheating is cheating, and the intent is what matters. But at some point the actual offense needs to be taken into account, and a 1st rounder is absurd.
Did Tom Brady deserve the punishment he received? Again, probably not so much. The evidence implicating Brady was circumstantial. I understand it if they want to treat the Patriots as repeat offenders, but Brady has been squeaky clean up to this point. Four games is absurd, and I could easily see it being brought down to two upon appeal.
At the end of the day, the reason that Roger (I don’t respect him enough to call him Mr. Goodell) came down so hard on the Patriots is that he didn’t want to look like he showed the Patriots favoritism. Roger has been on thin ice for years, and he just managed to piss off the most influential owner in the league (fact). If Mr. Kraft can finally oust Roger, than maybe we can have a Patriots victory that everyone can celebrate. Until then, in the words of Rob Gronkowski, “Yo Sõy Fiesta.”
–Christian, Owns a Shane Vereen Jersey
The Extremist Patriot (Get ready):
This was dangerous for me. Asking an extreme Patriots fans to unleash his opinion in 250 words was a very risky prospect. But I manned up, and actually found it quite interesting (in the same way I might find a study on the clinically insane interesting). This can be a learning exercise for all Dolphins fans, and you can do it without having to worry about being verbally assaulted in a Boston accent. Ladies and gentlemen, the moment of truth: an extremist Patriots fan.
The Patriots have been found to have used footballs that were slightly underinflated in the 45-7 AFC Championship “Game” against the Indianapolis Colts. The world is now asking for the Patriots to give up their Lombardi trophies, and for a public beheading of Tom Brady. All of this because of a highly questionable investigative report on Deflategate that wouldn’t last a day in the federal court of law. Is this really what the NFL and its fans have turned to in order to stop tossing and turning at night reliving memories of their defenses being torched by Brady and company? Even if Brady decided that he was above the rules and told the locker room staff he likes his footballs more deflated then the leagues rules allow, is this really as bad as the Falcons pumping crowd noise into their stadium? Or the Chargers being caught using stickum on their footballs and gloves in 2012? What about the Vikings and Panthers tampering with their footballs they could be better well suited on a freezing November Sunday?
The reason that these teams got slaps on the wrists and lack of attention while the Patriots are under such scrutiny is because the New England Patriots have about 50 more wins and four Superbowl victories more than any of those teams since 2001. Do you really think if they Patriots didn’t have a winning record against every team in the NFL (besides those pesky Giants) do you think this would have the media attention it has received or the punishment would of been so severe? Brady should of have knocked out Giselle in an elevator so he would only miss 2 games instead of a quarter of a season for using under inflated balls. So enjoy your four game head start because Brady will be back angrier than ever and will make sure your collective nightmares will not end anytime shortly.
-Michael, Twitter Handle is @BradyIsBetter. Seriously.
Thanks to Michael, Matt, and Christian for putting together their thoughts for the article. It is much appreciated.
And since I don’t want any Patriots fans to think this is an act of support for their team in any way, shape, or form, here is a GIF. Enjoy.