The NFL has done the right thing regarding the NE Patriots cheating last weekend. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called the cheating what it was:
“This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field.”
And he imposed a stiff fine – $750,000 in total fines; $500,000 for the coach and $250,000 for the team. In addition, the team will forfeit draft choices. If they make the playoffs, they will lose a first-round pick. If they don’t make the postseason, they will give up their second-and third-round picks.
It was important for the integrity of football that the NFL not look the other way and slap the team on the wrist.
*But maybe it was just a slap on the wrist.
How can the league not suspend a coach who oversaw and condoned such cheating? Any player in any league found cheating is instantly suspended. Why should a coach be different?
Answer – he shouldn’t be different.
Perhaps the most important thing to come out of this, however, is this – The Patriots are forever diminished in the eyes of the American people and their actions cast a shadow over every win* they have ever had.