As all of you should know—because you are presumably not from Boston and therefore know how to read and deduce things logically and with reason—the New England Patriots are rotten and filthy cheaters. This statement is supported by the fact that they blatantly cheat to win football games. This statement is bolstered by that episode of Entourage with Tom Brady in it wherein he possibly cheat to win charity golf events. This statement is buoyed by that dream I had were Bill Belichick cheated in a futile attempt to win an Academic Decathlon in order to keep Adam Sandler from proving his worth and inheriting his father’s company, even after the decathlon’s moderator asked him to leave his wife, who is a dirty dirty tramp by the way, alone.
Because it was in writing Dohhhhhney Wahhhhhlberg. Because it was explicitly forbidden by very clear NFL regulations. Because you were warned (once again explicitly) by the league office (once again in writing) that it was illegal and not to be tolerated and you kept on doing it anyways. Because, if any of the other 32 teams had done it to you, you would be throwing clam chowder in innocent people’s faces due to the murderous rage said injustice would engender inside your soul.
Don’t believe me? Take a second to imagine how you’d feel if, say, the Giants had been caught taping and memorizing your defensive signals before their shocking victory in Super Bowl XLII Pats fans. Would you just shrug your shoulders and realize that David Tyree’s catch and/or an possession of an offensive-line so inept they started Justin Tuck on the path to selling Subway sandwiches for years to come cannot be explained by illegally procured video footage? Or would you unleash an army of lobsters through the streets of lower Manhattan so that both rats and crustaceans could molest Giants fans in the purest form of punishment for sports impropriety that the world has ever known?
The hard part about cheating, the act, is that once it is done it is often impossible to determine what kind of impact the intentional deception had on the outcome of an event. How many homeruns did Barry Bonds hit with steroids in his system that he wouldn’t have hit without their aid? How many gold medals would the US women’s gymnastics team have won if the Chinese Government didn’t force young girls into child labor camps filled with pommel horses and uneven bars and then lie about their age? Would the Monstars have been able to compete with the Toon Squad without stealing Shawn Bradley’s talent? Could Shawn Bradley’s talent possibly ever have made anyone better at basketball in the first place?
Yes, we can reasonably determine that without Shawn Bradley’s unique skill set the Monstars likely never stood a chance against Newman from Seinfeld and the rest of Toon Squad, but that question aside the point remains the same. Cheaters don’t cheat to guarantee their success. They cheat to improve the possibility of it. They cheat because they are afraid that, without gaining an advantage that the other team doesn’t have, they are going to fail. They cheat because, in their minds, they are unsure if they are good enough to win without it.
That’s why the Patriot’s cheated, to increase the likelihood that they would win the game. And that’s why we must now, retroactively, cheat them. To prove that cheaters never win. And true winners never, ever cheat.
Potential “Spygate” Punishments for the Patriots
1) Force the Patriots to have at least one player without arms and legs on the field at all times.
2) Book the Kansas State marching band to perform at half time of every single Patriots game. If they can sculpt out a penis going into the hood of Belichick’s sweatshirt, then they really got skills.
3) Change Robert Kraft’s last name, and by proxy the name of his company, to “Dookie Pants.” Take special notice of the creative shapes and colors that “Dookie Pants Macaroni and Cheese” might come in in the future.
4) Spread a rumor that Tom Brady pees sitting down. Count how many times Tony Kornheiser giggles while discussing the story on PTI.
5) Steal all the pork chops out of Vince Wilfork’s fridge and replace them with Brussels sprouts. Think this is a hilarious prank until you discover that Vince Wilfork is stubborn enough to starve to death.
6) Confuse Troy Brown with the rapper Pastor Troy the next time you see him in public.
7) Instagram a photo of the finest branch on the nearest tree with the caption “Deion’s Branch.” Then Instagram a picture of you breaking said branch off of said tree. Then accuse Deion Branch of being a tree murderer.
8) Bribe Judge Richard Berman to actually do his job and legally force Tom Brady to drive a smart car.
9) Hire Gilbert Gottfried as the play-by-play announcer on the Patriots radio network so that Mike Tomlin will at least laugh hysterically while being forced to listen to New England’s broadcast during his trips to Foxboro.
10) Replace all of the New England Clam Chowder at the Gillette Stadium concession stands with Manhattan Clam Chowder, which to be fair is infinitely worse.
11) Put a sign up in each and every South Boston lawn that reads “Tom Brady thinks you’re a Qu-eeee-rr.” Laugh hysterically when 100% of South Boston is sentenced to life imprisonment for collectively murdering Tom Brady at the exact same time.
12) Outlaw Patriot themed face tattoos for residents of the state of Massachusetts. See Rhode Island’s population quadruple.
13) Move the Seahawks to the AFC East and replace Darren Bevell as play caller with anyone who has ever scored a touchdown in a game of Madden ever.
14) Bring Charlie Weis back to the squad as the Head of Nutrition and “Not Allowing Our Players To Get Adult Onset Diabetes.”
15) Encourage Marshall Faulk to urinate in the only batch of Gatorade that the Patriots are allowed to drink during each and every game. Hope that Marshall Faulk urine doesn’t have the magical quality that many believe that it does.
16) Make Bill Belichick wear a stylish cardigan with no shirt on underneath it to each and every game.
17) Create a HBO comedy about Rob Gronkowski and his loser friends entitled “Hangers-On” that is executive-produced by Mark Wahlberg and features supporting characters named “W,” Tragedy,” and “Salamander.”
18) Get the ghost of Paul Revere to tell you on a ouija board that, due to his disgust, the Patriots must now be called “The Dingleberries.” Because that’s what all of America’s enemies are.
19) Seduce Julian Edleman into a meet-up by changing your profile photo on Tinder to a shot of Vanessa Ann-Hudgens sans clothing. When he shows up don't be wearing a shirt in order to figure out whether or not you being a 28-year-old man with navel hair is a deal breaker for him.
20) Coerce Tom Brady into supporting Donald Trump's run for president and, in the process, confirming that he is a total dipshit.
21) Automatically reverse the numbers in the win and loss column of the Patriot’s record. Oh, too bad it looks like you are 0-1 this season Billy Bell. Not even a coach as smart as you can save this sinking ship!!!
22) Have a below-average speller write a blog post about how much the Patriot’s cheated on the Internet that between 4 and 8.4 people will read.
23) Create doubt. At the end of the day that is what Spygate does. It doesn’t totally void the greatness of Tom Brady. It doesn’t completely define the genius of Bill Belichick. It doesn’t even, as much as I want it to, exonerate the St. Louis Rams for committing three unforced turnovers and literally giving away a game that seemed impossible for them to lose. What Spygate does, however, is lessen the accomplishments that it helped the Patriots to achieve. What Spygate does, however, is change the lense through which all of Brady and Belichick’s glory is viewed. What Spygate does, however, is cause us to question whether or not what we saw was authentic and real and legitimate and, ultimately, truly great.
We can’t replay the games. We can’t change the results. We can’t remove the Lombardi Trophies from Foxboro and act like they were never there. The ’01*, ’03* and ’04* New England Patriots were the champions of the world. That can never be taken away from them*. But the way we perceive them as champions can, or has, changed. There are, rightfully, asterisks in both the history books and this blog post (see above) now. The New England Patriots put them there. When it comes to their presence, the New England Patriots have only themselves to blame.