Final Ruling Discussion
posted at 9/13/2007 9:54 PM EDT
This is a highly suspicious and unfair ruling. I think the fines are fair, and I would have supported a suspension of Bill Bellichick, since it was clearly at his direction these infractions occurred.
But Comissioner Godell has gone to an arcane and twisted bag of punishments by taking away a 1st round pick conditional on them making the playoffs/ and a 2nd or 3rd if they don't. Instead of adopting a fair punsihment of a 2nd round or 3rd round pick plus a suspension for the man who was behind all the wrong doing, he has decided to favor other teams and get into the mind of bellichick's players by implementing a punishment with perverse incentives. He is trying to psychologically force the patriots into losing the season, by putting doubt into the player's minds that they have the incentive to win (and lose the 1st round pick). He will find the patriots players and organization as a whole, however , is far more resistant to feeble mind games like that.
I had originally been one who felt embarassed that my favorite team had been accused and convicted of cheating. Although I had suspected the NFL was more about destroying your opponent than always practicing fair play, never did I expect the comissioner of the NFL to play favorites. Even still, never in the history of any sport have I seen a punishment of this sort be handed down, which would reward a team for intentionally failing. After hearing Godell's verdict, I firmly stand behind this team, and the notion that the NFL is not about fair play or honor, and in this context, I understand why the patriots took every advantage they could get.
Further, I call on all the media outlets, to express their concern for the sake of sports, that punishments which are not directed at the offender, but attempt to ruin and force into failure an organization, are categorically unfair. What choice now do the patriots have, but to arrogantly thumb their noses at everyone (but the fans), who would back such a cowardly action by the NFL organization, and continue dominating their opponents as they have in the past?