I have a problem with the Patriots cheating. For me, it is not so much what they have done, it is the arrogance they show when confronted about it. Tom Brady was absolutely aware of the deflated footballs, just as countless other quarterbacks were aware when they executed the same strategy. Bill Belichick absolutely knew he was wrong to have videographers record the signals and practices of opposing teams. He also knew it was frowned upon to steal the plays from opposing teams' meeting rooms. When he was caught, he lied and pled ignorance, and some people bought it. That is why I have such an issue with that team.
I absolutely love the fire I see in Mike Tomlin in his post game conference. He is angry about the fact that once again there were headset issues in his game against the Patriots.
I understand the fire from Steeler fans around this issue. However, perhaps you need to let that die. Like I said before, people in glass houses.
The simple fact is the Pittsburgh Steelers are cheaters too. I could talk about the championships in the 70's who were fueled by performance enhancing drugs. The team doctor for the Steelers up until 2007 was indicted for purchasing and illegally prescribing anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw admitted to using steroids.
How about in 2012 when the Steelers were playing the Bengals and after a Ben Roethlisberger sack needed to burn a precious timeout. That's when Emmanuel Sanders faked a cramp and was subsequently fined by the NFL. The team also received a fine.
Then Tomlin needs to look no further than himself when in 2013 he "accidentally" stepped into the path of Jacoby Jones returning a punt. Tomlin was on the field and saved the touchdown for the Ravens.
There are plenty more examples. In fact, there are examples from every team. No team has avoided the stigma of performance enhancing drugs. Many teams have been fined because of their creative ways of managing the cap. Offensive lineman and defensive backs constantly master the art of "Holding without getting caught" to gain an unfair advantage over their opponents. Speeding is still speeding whether or not you get caught.
If you are not cheating, you are not trying. There is truth to that. In a competitive game where so much money is at stake, there are going to be people bending and outright breaking the rules all the time.
Before we, as Bengals fans, get too over our skis about teams we despise cheating, we need to understand the Bengals are no angels either. Jeff Blake bragged about how he had footballs under-inflated the whole time he wore stripes. The biggest cheat in recent memory for the Bengals turned out to be the best in my opinion.
During the 2014 season, the Bengals were on the verge of losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Holding onto a slim one point lead, the Bengals allowed the Buccaneers to move into field goal range inside the last two minutes. It is 100 percent against the rules for a coach to challenge a play inside of two minutes, but Marvin Lewis tossed his challenge flag onto the field. The outcome was a counting of the players on offense exposing they had 12 men on the field (CHEATERS!), the Bengals were awarded the penalty and the game ended 14-13.
I may make light of the level teams have gone to in order to tip the scales in their favor and I understand that some infractions are much more blatant than others. I also hope to shine some light on how being a fan of one team, could make accusations and actions of another seem much worse based on your loyalties. So as you sit back and enjoy the start of the NFL season, feel free to call anyone you want a cheater, because chances are they have been at some point.