Cory’s Corner: Who has more integrity: The Patriots or the NFL?

I was — and am still am — a firm believer that Tom Brady and the Patriots should’ve been punished for orchestrating plans to deflate footballs.

But now that they’ve been handed a fine, a loss of draft picks and a four-game suspension, the court of public opinion could sway their way with one simple question.

Who has more integrity, the Patriots or the NFL?

It’s a simple, yet impossible question. On one side you have the Patriots that have turned into the most coveted franchise in the last 14 years. In that time, New England has never finished a regular season under .500 — including the perfect slate of 16-0 2007.

Of course, there’s that issue with Spygate. The Patriots were caught for videotaping the Jets’ defensive coaches signals.

After that, people started to raise an eyebrow whenever the Patriots did well. They wondered if it was truly earned organically or through borrowed means. And that of course leads us to the current Deflategate, which had nothing to do with the score or outcome in the AFC Championship Game last year.

But that’s the worst part about the entire story. The Patriots blew Indy out of the water but still needed any inherent advantage possible. That just shows a boatload of arrogance that they wouldn’t get caught or the naïveté that wouldn’t be punished even if they did.

Then there’s the NFL. The shield has taken a few dents the last few years.

First, there’s the ongoing problem with concussions. Now that head injuries are finally getting understood, lawsuits by former players aren’t going away.

Next, there’s the Ray Rice debacle. How did the NFL commissioner not know there was a video of the assault in the elevator? And if he really did know, why didn’t he do anything about it?

And like the Patriots, the NFL has a pretty large ego issue. The NFL is currently oversaturated with television offerings on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays during the regular season. One of the NFL’s best qualities is that it only happens once a week, but with games showing up on TV more and more, it is slowly drifting away from required viewing.

But the biggest integrity question mark is that Roger Goodell pays himself $45 million to run the league. He has to be embarrassed that he’s making that much because the NFL will soon opt to pay taxes just so that they don’t have to report the incomes of its executives.

Neither one is better than the other. The Patriots have turned into the Yankees of the NFL. They are easily the most hated, while also being the most successful.

The fact that they had to cheat to win — twice — just means they will do it again. The only thing that Brady is going to remember from this year is that he gave New England its fourth Super Bowl title.

The NFL had to punish the Patriots to try and gain a morsel of credibility with the public. If they let the Patriots walk, everyone would’ve screamed for an asterisk or claimed that the Patriots are coated in Pam since nothing sticks to them.

Now that it’s going to the appeal process, the NFL must realize that it will be fighting a mirror image of itself.

The question is, who is Goodell going to believe?



Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn


14 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: Who has more integrity: The Patriots or the NFL?

  1. Patriots…NFL has not much, plus now its coming out that the NFL wanted this to happen to the Pats, actually may have been a sting type operation that they were setting up and waiting for…pretty cheap stuff, led by this NFL guy who worked in the Jets organization….this ball crap is way over blown…maybe they should start really digging into every team and see how clean they all really are…not very probably, everyone wants an edge…

  2. Two peas in a pod. The arrogance of the Patriots organization is unbelievable. Why not try anything and everything to win? They know that Goodell isn’t going to hand down a real punishment. And Goodell, is there anyone more arrogant than that 45million dollar piece of buffalo dung? Are the Patriots and Goodell in bed together? Adrian Peterson please get your switch and start whoopin these ballsacks…

  3. As a football fan, I’ll be watching this battle very closely this summer. It will have huge precedent for every team, owner, and player down the road that goes beyond one franchise.

  4. Sean Peyton was suspended for one year because he did NOT know about the bounty program of the Saints D-coordinator.
    Biil Belichick either knew or did not about the deflated footballs but zip happens to him. Roger Goodell please explain that on your $45 million a year for doing precisely what.
    I can’t stand Goodell.

    Then again if you know anything about how US courts operate you would be flabbergasted.

  5. Wow, I think the question barely arises. I see very little wrong with the NFL. I have little doubt that the NFL has provided an even playing field for all 32 teams. I don’t think games are fixed, or the officiating is tilted. The NFL might take a liberty with the scheduling, but teams overall get a fair shake. I think the league revenues are split up properly. I do think the punishments are goofy, but that seems to be due to the incompetence of a couple of people who should be replaced. The concussion issue is one that might count against the NFL, depending on what they knew and when. This at the same time fans like the big hit. The author doesn’t like Thursday night games, but I do. That has nothing to do with integrity. The author is upset with how much the NFL pays Goodell, I find it a startling amount, given that he is a goof, but my guess is that the author is opposed to any CEO getting paid large amounts. Given the uproar, the NFL decides to give up its tax free status, but that just makes this author more suspicious. The owners of the 32 teams are pretty savvy people, and that’s what they want to pay Goodell. I do recommend that the NFL should fire Goodell and pay someone else $5 or $10 million. That would take care of the stupid disciplinary decisions, the tax issue, the overpaid issue, and the incompetence issue.

  6. Well said about the salary. Both Bountygate and deflategate needed punishment, the former should obviously have been harsher than the latter. Goodell doesn’t seem good at handing down measured punishments, though.

    1. “Goodell doesn’t seem good at handing down measured punishments, though.”

      It’s a daunting task….for instance,when dealing with fans who would hire a great architect to build their home to their exact specs then want him beheaded for building it as they wished.

      Goodell has done for football what every fan screams of joy and benefit yet like the architect needs to fear those who he gave elation too. 🙂

  7. And now without further ado….’Shouldergate’ has been resurrected and placed upon the plate of hypocrites who would scream “Not my team” whether in the present or the long gone era that was possibly the greatest in NFL eras. 🙂

  8. Integrity is not a more or less characteristic. It’s not a sometimes thing or an issue by issue thing, you either have it or you don’t. In the case of the Patriots and Goodell, neither have it and neither have more integrity than the other. They are tied with none. Thanks, Since ’61

  9. I don’t care if a coach knows about things like Deflategate or Bountygate or not. When you’re in charge, you are responsible for whatever your team does or fails to do. In that regard, Belichick has already compromised his integrity.

    Goodell has bungled so many things we all know he has no integrity either.

  10. I am so sick of this entire subject. Can we get back to talking about Ted Thompson. Thank you,

  11. The thing that bothers me again is the use of -gate for yet another “scandal”. It was the name of the hotel, not a damn suffix.

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