Patriots : The Failure Of Football And The NFL

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he National Football League (NFL) is by far America’s most popular sports league. Among the 32 clubs in the league, the New England Patriots are one of the most valuable franchises. From 2000 to 2014, the club claimed 12 division titles, played in nine AFC Conference Championship games, reached five Super Bowls, and lifted the Lombardi Trophy on three occasions. Along with winning, controversy follows closely behind, and the Patriots are not immune to it either. In 2007, the Patriots were caught illegally videotaping opponents, causing the NFL to fine the club and coach Bill Belichick, and taking a draft pick away (McNear, 2017). Ever since then, the Patriots have been under the microscope from the league, media, and fans. Then came January 18, 2015. The Patriots were hosting the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game on a cool rainy Sunday evening. It was just a normal football game until halftime, were behind the scenes at Gillette Stadium, NFL officials were checking the air pressure of footballs. It was thought that the Patriots were deliberately deflating footballs. That moment spiraled into what many refer to as deflategate and becoming one of the leading stories not only in the sports world, but nationally, as NBC and CBS ran stories during their nightly telecast. One of the leading newspapers in the Boston area, the Boston Herald, had a very challenging task on their hands the week following the controversy and leading up to the Super Bowl—that is, how to

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