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Should the New England Patriots forfeit their win over the Indianapolis Colts?
The Integrity of professional football is on the line with the reports of cheating by the New England Patriots. Cheating does not belong in any sport especially win an important game is on the line. The suspicion of cheating or even the appearance diminishes the sport of professional football. The statistics record of this team is unbelievable to say the least and it was a dramatic turnaround after 2007 as research can be found. Looking at the statistics of this team and the significant turnaround in their statistics after 2007 they are off the chart compared to other teams in the league. The current cheating incident with this team raises questions about their record which cannot be answered at this point and their wins and statistics now have a cloud over them which will forever be a part of their history. When cheating occurs and is discovered whether it is a team or an individual it brings past achievements into question.
The evidence of cheating in the New England win is undeniable and though the investigation is ongoing by the NFL a decision should be made as to whether the Patriots should represent the NFL in the Super Bowl. Cheating in any sport should have consequences and this sport is no different. Other sports such as professional baseball have imposed drastic and appropriate actions for players who have been found cheating or violating the rules of the sport. The same type of action should be taken in this incident.
Cheating should not be rewarded in this incident by letting the Patriots go to the Super Bowl. The Indianapolis Colts should be the team to represent the NFL this year. The investigation should go forward by the NFL to determine who took this action and who knew about it. This incident has tarnished the reputation of this team and the quarterback and it will be difficult for the public to ever see this team in a different perspective. If it is decided to let the Patriots continue to the Super Bowl and should they win that win will have a cloud over it as a result of the cheating which has been exposed. The integrity of both the NFL and the AFL needs to be protected by making the right decision and quickly. If it is decided to take the win away from New England the Indianapolis Colts need to have the time to properly prepare for their encounter with Seattle. Taking away any win if cheating is discovered will send a strong message to all professional football teams.
One action which should be part of changes involves both teams using the same footballs in any game. From what can be determined this is not currently the situation. Other actions may be necessary dependent upon the results of the investigation now taking place and if other processes need to be change to protect the integrity of the game then there should be no hesitation in making those decisions.