Thursday, January 22, 2015

Are We Teaching Our Children to Cheat?

"Deflategate" is the moniker for last Sunday's incident involving in play under-inflated footballs jury-rigged by the Patriots during the AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts.  The Colts charged the Pats with intentionally under inflating the  balls, making them easier to catch, handle and throw.  The Pats beat the Colts 45-7 and were always ahead.  So much so that the Colts tight end, Dwayne Allen, tweeted:

I live in New England and they are rabid about their sports teams.  I went on Twitter hoping to find denunciations of the behaviour, the cheating.  Most of what I found were dismissive articles, posts and accusations that other teams are jealous and stirring up a non-controversy.  

Belichick gave a news conference this morning, revealing little but slyly placing responsibility on Tom Brady. 
I talked with team power brokers—general managers, head coaches and coordinators—as well as position coaches and others about the situation, and I got a mixed bag of opinions.  “Of course it’s a big deal,” said a defensive coordinator. “You go try to throw a ball in wet conditions that is fully inflated, and then throw one that has less air. Of course you’re going to get a better grip. It’s a definite advantage. And look which team it is. Not a surprise.”...   In his press conference on Thursday, Belichick categorically denied any knowledge of tampering with game balls: “I can tell you that in my entire coaching career I have never talked to any player [or] staff member about football air pressure. That is not a subject that I have ever brought up.”   the MMQB  1/22/15
Uh huh.   This is not Belachick's first involvement with a cheating controversy.  
 In 2007 Belichick payed a $500,000 fine for having an assistant videotape the New York Jets defensive signals. The team was also penalized with the loss of a draft pick for 'Spy-Gate.' At the time, the team had already won three Super Bowls. But haven't won one since.  Jeff Darcy 1/22/15
Baseball suffered for years with the controversy, accusations and denials of doping. Respected power players like Canseda, McGwire, Bonds, A-Rod, Clemons, Sosa, Piazza & more demoralized fans and the integrity of the game when it was finally confirmed they had been doping  and lying about it for years.

My question is, what are we teaching our children?  If we minimize the behaviour, are we not saying it's okay to cheat?  win at any cost?  rules don't matter?  I've heard more than one talking head/reporter/sports columnist say that everyone knows it happens; these guys just got caught.
And yet, because of some gamesmanship in Sunday's 38-point win over the Colts, the topic is something else, something silly that is being presented as sinister... "Footballs,'' I wanted him to say with a snort and a shake of the head. "We're talking about footballs."  Chad Finn 1/22/15
Would those same people who say "Everyone does it", "Everyone knows it goes on" give a pass to a golfing opponent who'd moved their ball for a better lie during a tournament? 

I think not.


DJan said...

Well, the Super Bowl will put two very different teams together, and it will be interesting to see how it all settles out. I hope we, the Seahawks will win, but it's going to be interesting, no matter what happens! :-)

California Girl said...

DJan, I hope the Seahawks win as well. The Pats don't need to cheat but they do anyway. Belichick's a grumpy & I think a comeuppance is due. One of the articles I link to noticed the Pats have not won another Super Bowl since Belichick's Spygate episode in 2007.

bill lisleman said...

I'm not sure of my opinion on this. Of course cheating is wrong and deserves penalty of some kind. Do we depend on the NFL (or any other professional sport) for heroes? Maybe they have become the wrong place to look.
Another part of me says, really should I even care. With all the bigger issues around us and the world does a slightly deflated ball really rate? But then many of the tough issues make those balls a good diversion.

California Girl said...

Lisleman, I responded to your comment this morning but it apparently did not take. Must not have proved "I'm not a robot". Now I forget what I said.

Thanks for your observations!

bill lisleman said...

Certainly a decent robot equipped with sufficient memory would remember every detail.

A Beer For The Shower said...

This is why that South Park episode about cheating is even more relevant than ever. If you've never seen it, Cartman goes to an inner city school (like Stand And Deliver) and teaches the black and Hispanic kids how to cheat, because white people (like the Patriots) can do it and get away with it every time.

So on that note, I'd say yes, this definitely matters.

California Girl said...

Bill, who says I'm a "decent robot"?

California Girl said...

Beer Boys, guess I'll have to watch that episode. I've never been a fan of South Park. I'm out of the demo, so to speak. But, sounds funny.

btw, you'll be thrilled to know I'm a big Peyton Manning fan. I'm now hoping the Seahawks kick some Patriot ass.

Wow. If I ever said that out loud around here, I'd be shunned or worse.


by Cole Scott