A ‘Patriots Are Cheaters’ Debate Broke Out On ESPN — Because Of Course

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Whether the New England Patriots really are “cheaters” is perhaps the NFL’s most hotly debated topic.

But is it possible that Patriots haters always will be committed to their takes, regardless of validity?

As you’ve probably heard, Julian Edelman is appealing his four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. And if he loses his appeal, it’s possible the Patriots wideout takes the fight to the United States court system.

The situation was a topic of discussion during Monday’s episode of ESPN’s “First Take,” whose hosts debated whether Edelman or the NFL looks worse. Then, guest Will Cain dropped this:

“Where we stand today, Edelman looks worse,” Cain said. “But if this drags on, and this appeal goes on, and if Edelman takes it to the court system outside of the NFL … it’ll become the NFL that looks bad.

” … It’s about reinforcing ideas that we already have, that we want to believe. And people out there want to believe that the New England Patriots are cheaters. So, you hear something about Julian Edelman cheating, and you jump on that. … But if it continues to drag out and this appeal goes on, it’ll reinforce a different idea that we have: that the NFL is a bunch of keystone cops, that these investigations are haphazard, that they don’t know what they’re doing.”

You can watch Cain make his point at the 2:30 mark in the video below:

(Fair warning for Patriots fans: The clip contains the usual “cheater” rhetoric that could tick you off.)

So, do some people really “want” to believe the Patriots are cheaters?

Well… yeah. Obviously.

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