The New England Patriots are one of the most hated teams in all of sports and, unfortunately, it may be for good reason.
Despite having one of the winningest coaches of all time in Bill Belichick and the All-American champion in Tom Brady, there's still a dark cloud that's been surrounding the franchise for over the past decade.
News broke this morning that the NFL is now investigating if the Pats actually deflated balls before the AFC Championship game against the Colts yesterday, and if these dirty tactics are true, it just reminds everyone of that dirty C-word: cheating.
Yes, New England has a dirty reputation of doing literally whatever it takes to win, but how much longer will they be allowed to get away with tactics like this?
And what will it take for the NFL to finally do something about it? The full history of their lack of integrity tells us everything we need to know.
2002: Marshall Faulk claims Patriots cheated Rams out of Super Bowl win
Tom Brady won his first championship with the Patriots at Super Bowl XXXVI against the Rams, and Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk was the first person ever to call out Belichick for having just a little too much intel ahead of the game. He said,
2004: James Harrison calls out the Patriots for more signal stealing
More claims of the Patriots having impossible information about the opposing team's game plans came in 2004 via Steelers linebacker James Harrison.
2007: The videotaping controversy known as "Spygate" rocks the NFL
After multiple accusations of spying on teams, proof of this reality came to light in 2007 when the league finally disciplined the Patriots for recording the Jets' practices.
Defensive signals, formations and different personnel strategies were stolen and the Patriots were finally punished... Sort of.
The Patriots were stripped of their first-round draft pick the following year and fined $250,000.
Bill Belichick was fined $500,000, but the team still got their shot to play in the Super Bowl.
Of course, that was the year the Giants spoiled their perfect season, proving karma is a bitch.
2015: Legendary coach Don Shula calls out Bill Belichick
The former Miami Dolphins coaching legend, who went head-to-head with Belichick, had a hilarious nickname for the Pats coach.
During an interview, he said,
2015: Used illegal plays against Baltimore in divisional playoff game.
The Patriots came back to beat the Baltimore Ravens in the 2015 AFC divisional playoff game after falling down 14 points.
However, with the use of illegal plays and formations that even fooled the refs, they came back to stay in the title hunt, beating their foes 35-31.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh immediately called out the Pats for something that should've never happened. He claimed,
2015: Accused of deflating balls during AFC Championship game against Indianapolis
Just one game later, the Patriots were accused of even more cheating, and allegedly deflating balls in the AFC Championship game is as low as it gets.
Granted, the Colts were completely outmatched and New England was the better team, but this cheap tactic is all but confirmed, and, according to Bob Kravitz, the team is awaiting league punishment.
According to Kravitz, balls that are deflated are easier to throw and catch. He said,