The fallout from Deflategate continues, and will likely continue until the Superbowl.
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Let’s get one thing straight: It doesn’t matter if the New England Patriots deflating footballs in the AFC Championship Game had an impact on the outcome. Cheating is cheating in any sport, in any situation. What if the Patriots had won by 1 point in the final seconds of the game? Would that argument still be valid? Unlikely.
With any other team the punishments would likely be minor for first infractions. But considering that the Patriots have, in the last decade under the same regime, made it almost a habit of tarnishing the integrity of the NFL with Spygate, spying on the Rams before the Superbowl in 2002 – and now this? Sorry, but someone has to be held accountable before the NFL starts undergoing scrutiny the way Major League Baseball has. Someone has to be punished.
And now, here are the five best possible punishments for the Patriots at the end of the Deflategate controversy:
5. Heavy fines – Probably the least effective punishment there is, considering that just about everyone at the top of the Patriots food chain makes the maximum amount of money the NFL can fine them in just a month. Nonetheless, the NFL has fined the Patriots heavily in the past for their behavior in Spygate and there is every reason to believe that the NFL will want the hammer to fall even harder on their collective wallets.