Super Bowl champs tarnished by Deflategate?

By staff writers Kyle Wonzen and Justin Wong

They won it all… The fame, the glory, the title. But the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl title will forever be tarnished by the huge controversy surrounding possible cheating.

The Pats had a strong season, with a record of 12-4, but getting into the Super Bowl would prove to be much more of a challenge. They beat the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game 45-7; it wasn’t close at all, but the game wasn’t the real challenge.

Shortly after the game, sources confirmed that 11 of the Patriots’ 12 balls were found to be deflated. The controversy was escalated even further when apparently a ball boy carried all 24 game balls into the restroom for approximately 2 minutes. Could he have deflated 11 balls in 2 minutes?

What sparked the controversy even farther was when it was released that in a 2011 interview, Tom Brady admitted that he likes his balls as deflated as possible, which not only sparked controversy all around the US, but even set some fans to the point that they were suggesting disqualifying the Patriots from the Super Bowl.

The Pats were not disqualified, and they ended up winning their fourth Super Bowl in a thriller of a game.

But the talk about “Deflategate” isn’t over. To even escalate controversy further, this isn’t the first time the Patriots may have cheated. A huge controversy in 2007 known as “Spygate” also involved the Patriots, with the same owner, quarterback, and coach, videotaping the New York Jet’s defensive coach’s play sideline signals.

Bill Belichick, the current New England Patriots’ coach, was fined $500,000 for “Spygate,” the maximum allowed by the NFL and the largest fine on a coach ever in the league’s history. The NFL also fined the New England Patriots $250,000 and cost them their first-round pick in the 2008 NFL draft. Belichick apparently claimed that he has been taping other teams’ plays since he first joined the Patriots in 2000.

Did the Pats cheat again? It wasn’t so clear-cut this time. A professor at Boston College claimed that there was a small chance that the cause of ball deflation was from weather and air pressure, but it seems unlikely 11 of the 12 balls were deflated from air pressure. Although they still won 45-7, if the Patriots did in fact deflate the balls, it could cause a big blowout. What do you think? Did they cheat?