Why Bucs Super Bowl Ball Controversy Pales to the Patriots

NFL NEWS: Super Bowl XLIX

Brad JohnsonBrad Johnsons hand in altering game balls prior to Super Bowl XXXVII pales in comparison to Deflate-gate with the New England Patriots and heres why.

Johnson, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, is renowned for his compulsions from replacing about everything but his pants every quarter over the course of a game. He admitted to paying two ballboys working for the NFL $7,500 to make sure the footballs for Super Bowl XXXVII were scuffed and broken in before the game.

This is nothing new as it resurfaced on the Tampa Bay Times website, but has regained traction in light of the controversy.

Johnsons scuffing was known and perfectly fine to his SB opponent, former Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon.

Buccaneers_Warren_Sapp_2013_5The Bucs were perennial playoff contenders from 1997-2008 during the Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden years. The only controversy in regards of the integrity of play was then Raiders head coach Bill Callahans inflexibility to deviate from Grudens (his former team) playbook in Super Bowl XXXVII. The Bucs defense clearly salivated at the chance to jump on Gannons tendencies as Gruden acted the part of Gannon during practice week prior to the game. In their first and only appearance so far in the big game, the Bucs drubbed the Raiders, 48-21.

Since Bill Belichick was hired to be the Patriots head coach in 2000, the team only missed the playoffs three times. His lone losing season was in his debut, but 11 seasons later, combined for an impressive 171-62. Belichick proceeded to win three of his five Super Bowl appearances, now entering his sixth Super Bowl. His opponent are the defending champion Seattle Seahawks.

Patriots_Bill_Belichick_2015However, Belichicks legacy hit a pretty big snag with Spygate in 2007 when then New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini, a former Patriots assistant, tipped league officials that the Patriots might have been filming their signals. After the Jets lodged a formal complaint, the NFL fined Belichick $500,000 and the team, $250,000. The team also forfeited their 2008 first round draft choice.

Despite the one of the stiffest punishments handed by the league until Bounty-gate, the Patriots would later be the second team to ever achieve a perfect regular season at 16-0 before losing to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

Since Spygate, the Patriots still havent won another championship. Those who thought the Patriots were out to prove their 2007 scandal was forever buried in the past, now emerges Deflate-gate, which the team is accused of reducing 11 of 12 footballs by as much as two pounds during the AFC Championship game. The Patriots crushed the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7.

As Patriots fans can claim some perceived agenda against them for their prolonged greatness, deflate-gate just reopened some old wounds and the shroud of corruption runs rampant again in and around Boston. The Patriots and their fans have every bit the reason to feel that their backs are against the wall as they did prior to their first Belichick-led Super Bowl as a 14-point underdog, but now its for completely different reasons in attempting to salvage some form of possible tainted legacy.

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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