NFL teams visiting Gillette Stadium, deflated balls are the least of your worries.
The New England Patriots apparently are devious, rule-bending jerks. Even building Patriot Place, the shopping plaza surrounding Gillette Stadium, was merely an elaborate scheme to help head coach Bill Belichick cheat, according to Sports Illustrated.
In a column framed around the accusation that the Patriots deflated balls in Sunday’s 45-7 AFC Championship Game win over the Indianapolis Colts, Sports Illustrated listed many other ways in which the Patriots “cut corners.”
Here are some:
–Patriots staffers who supply the visiting team with towels eavesdrop and report back findings to the home team.
–Opposing coaches put locks on their locker room to prevent Patriots staffers from walking in to grab play sheets.
–Head coach Bill Belichick didn’t follow the unwritten rule to run by his ineligible formations with the league office before running them last Saturday
–Belichick instead ran it by NFL referee Bill Vinovich before the game in hopes to confuse and intimidate the official.
–And the best of all: The large monitor outside CBS Scene restaurant in Patriot Place only is visible to the Patriots’ sideline, which gives Belichick and the Patriots the advantage of being able to see replays.
Keep in mind that there are monitors in coaches booths, and teams have a person assigned to watch replays to see if a call on the field is worth challenging.
The column also includes this line: “Maybe some of this is overstated. But the perception is real, and it is not totally unfounded.”
The NFL will decide whether the Patriots cheated or not by deflating balls. The investigation is expected to take time, and a verdict might not be reached until next week. Sports Illustrated’s Michael Rosenberg probably won’t believe their findings anyway, however, because “without hard evidence the NFL probably doesn’t want to embarrass one of its Super Bowl teams.”
That must be why the Patriots haven’t been punished for any of their other dastardly tactics listed above.
Thumbnail photo via Elise Amendola/Associated Press