Daily 49er

From Ray Rice to deflategate, the NFL season has gone through the wringer

Inconsistencies with rule violations has cost the NFL their credibility.

Quarterback+Tom+Brady+celebrates+with+his+teammates+after+winning+Super+Bowl+XLIV+28-24+against+the+Seahawks+for+the+fourth+time+in+franchise+history.+The+Super+Bowl+was+held+at+The+University+of+Phoenix+Stadium+on+February+1%2C+2015+in+Glendale%2C+Ariz.+
Quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with his teammates after winning Super Bowl XLIV 28-24 against the Seahawks for the fourth time in franchise history. The Super Bowl was held at The University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Ariz.

Quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with his teammates after winning Super Bowl XLIV 28-24 against the Seahawks for the fourth time in franchise history. The Super Bowl was held at The University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Ariz.

Anthony Behar (SIPA USA/TNS)

Anthony Behar (SIPA USA/TNS)

Quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with his teammates after winning Super Bowl XLIV 28-24 against the Seahawks for the fourth time in franchise history. The Super Bowl was held at The University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Ariz.

Kayce Contatore, Contributing Writer

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National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell is probably relieved that this football season is finally over. The 2014-2015 season has had more ups then downs facing controversy after controversy.

The latest offense has been the notorious ‘deflategate’ involving the New England Patriots. The Patriots, who already have a bad reputation among the league as cheaters, as a result of ‘spygate,’ are under investigation of whether they had anything to do with under-inflating the footballs used during the AFC Championship Game.

‘Spygate’ is the name given to the controversy when the Patriots were caught illegally videotaping the Jets’ defensive signals eight years ago.

A lapse in rule enforcement on the part of the NFL is at play. Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks came under scrutiny before the NFC Championship, during which he tweeted wearing gold shoes for the game. The league responded by threatening that if Lynch wore the cleats, he would be suspended from the game. How can a player be suspended for wearing gold cleats while no punishment has been had for cheating by deflating footballs?

“Belichick already has a credibility problem,” said John Shrader, sports broadcaster and California State University, Long Beach professor. “I don’t think they care about a damaged reputation.”

Of the 12 footballs used by the Patriots, 11 were reported to be under-inflated. Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick blamed the bad weather for the deflation. But bad weather cannot only affect only one team’s footballs; none of the Indianapolis Colts’ footballs were reported as being under-inflated.

In fact, the LA Times reported that Brady had checked the footballs before the game to make sure they were to his liking. Maybe Belichick and Brady are proving that cheaters can actually prosper in life and win a Super Bowl title.

While everyone wants to win, it’s supposed to be about sportsmanship and having respect for the game. During the Australian Open tennis tournament this year, Tim Smyczek insisted that Rafael Nadal replay his serve after a fan shouted and caused Nadal to fault. Nadal went on to win the match and stated Smyczek’s sportsmanship was “amazing.”

The National Football League is investigating further into the situation, but if the Patriots are found to have tampered with the game balls, the penalty against them will be lax. The organization might have to pay a fine and lose a few draft picks, but this is not enough.

According to the LA Times, the investigation is still on going and will take a few weeks to come to fruition. The Patriots did not have to worry about losing any star players or their head coach for the final game. Could this be because Patriots owner Robert Kraft is a close friend of Goodell?

The friendship between Kraft and Goodell is no secret. A GQ magazine story last week stated that Kraft was Goodell’s “fiercest advocate” and that he was the “assistant commissioner.”

Goodell and the league had no problem suspending New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton when they discovered that he played a part in offering money to players who injured or knocked opponents out of games. If Belichick is found guilty of taking part in “deflategation,” he should face the same punishment.

“The NFL would have to suspend Belichick [if found guilty],” said Shrader. “Somebody will pay for it, but it will probably be a poorly paid equipment manager.”

The Patriots don’t have to worry about their reputation being damaged because they already have a credibility problem, but issues like these are what give the NFL a terrible reputation. There are too many double standards. It’s time for the rules to be upheld and the proper punishments to be dealt.

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