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This about sums it all up
File this under the "not gonna happen" category.

Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel, who has not hid his disdain for the Patriots in the past, said that the Super Bowl XLIX victory should be vacated if the team is found guilty of intentionally tampering with footballs before or during the AFC Championship game against his Colts.

Whether he actually believes what he's saying or he's just looking to get extra clicks (that's known to happen a lot in the journalism world) is another story. But what's on paper is on paper, and Doyel is on record as saying the Patriots are guilty in his eyes because of their past, aka Spygate.

Doyel also says no matter what, everyone lost when it comes to this ordeal, from the NFL itself to the fans:

There will be no winners in this thing, because in the world we live in, there is no way for anybody to win. Everybody has lost, no matter what the Wells Report says. At this point, we're just waiting to find out how badly someone, or everyone, lost. And it could be bad. The worst-case scenario for anyone is for the NFL to determine that the Patriots deflated their footballs on purpose before a 45-7 rout of the Colts in the AFC Championship Game — and for the NFL to vacate that result, and the Patriots' ensuing victory against Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX, telling Bill Belichick to kiss its asterisk.

Doyel knows that if the Patriots are found guilty, (which at this point looks sort of unlikely) their win over the Seattle Seahawks will not be vacated. But that won't stop him from dreaming.

I'd love to see Super Bowl XLIX vacated. I'd love to see Belichick suspended the entire 2015 season. That assumes the Wells Report proves he cheated.

Hard to see Belichick being suspended a full season for this. Despite the Patriots having a history of cheating in the past, even that is too extreme. This isn't Bountygate.

What was most interesting about Doyel's column to me was that he called out the media for doing an awful job, aside from a few people, with getting the news out.

This story brought out the worst in us, suggesting in some cases and confirming in others that local reporters are biased toward their local teams. That's not a black-and-white statement applied to everyone in both media markets, but in general, the stories out of New England were spun to explain the deflated footballs, while the stories out of Indianapolis went hard after the Patriots.
We now know Chris Mortensen's original report of 11 of the 12 footballs being under 2 PSI is untrue, we know Jay Glazer's report about the Ravens being suspicious of the Patriots deflating footballs is untrue. It just keeps going on and on from there. And whether you want to believe it or not, the media truly has done a terrible job from beginning to end, jumping on every single piece of news they can get their hands on.

Now it's time for a bit of a rant.

When I was in college I wrote for my school's newspaper. At the time I was on the staff, the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State was easily the hottest topic across the country. If you followed the scandal as closely as we did, you know Penn State's student newspaper prematurely reported the school's head football coach Joe Paterno died. At the time, they were wrong and had to issue an apology shortly thereafter. That was a lesson to every reporter not to report something unless you had your facts straight. Even before and and after that happened, I was always taught to not be so quick to report something if I couldn't confirm it was 100 percent true. My journalism professor has been teaching students about the industry for 30+ years, so the guy isn't stupid.

I guess when it comes to Deflategate, journalistic integrity is dead.

We know how poorly this has been spun. While Doyel has had strong opinions, no one has been worse with this whole thing than ESPN. From Jerome Bettis needing a "sip of water" to try and digest what Tom Brady said during a press conference a few days after the AFC title game, to Mark Brunell crying on air, it's been a complete circus.

ESPN apparently hates a winner unless you're LeBron James. They took the public perception of the Patriots outside of New England and ran with it in every single direction. They knew their ratings would skyrocket if they were at the forefront of bashing the Patriots. To their credit, they did a good job of that.

It's no secret as I said before that journalists will say something they don't truly mean to get extra clicks. I did it from time to time when I wrote for my college's newspaper, and that's exactly what ESPN and Doyel did. I sincerely doubt all of those people outside of Adam Schefter and Brian Dawkins would truly justify some of the things they said (especially you, Trent Dilfer). At least Schefter and Dawkins have had rational opinions, and it even seems like Schefter is on the Patriots' side.

The near-sightedness of Doyel and some of the "experts" at ESPN and other networks are some of the reason people feel this way about the Patriots. Fans who feel the Patriots cheated again have a right to feel that way because it's happened. But if you believe everything you read, which a lot of people do, you're feeding into these media pundits' hands and becoming just as near-sighted as they are.

Am I a homer? A little, sure. I've got no problem saying that. Everyone is to an extent. But as a former college journalist and a rational football fan, this is the reality of the situation. I'm tired of this stuff and I wish the investigation would end so we know what the results are and then can move on from there.

Rant over.

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Jesse Gaunce 2/24/2015 10:37:00 AM Edit
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