I Stopped Caring About ‘Gates’ And So Should You

Cheater! They’re cheaters! Vacate all their wins and Super Bowls! Asterisk it all! They shouldn’t even be in the league anymore! Get those bastards Goddell!

We get it irate sports fan. There’s a public outcry for fair play and competitive balance contradictory to those despicable, tuck ruling, signal spying, ball deflating Patriots. Hell they shouldn’t even be called Patriots anymore. It’s a vile insult to the very term used to define our fore fathers who fought those evil Red Coats back in the 1700’s so today we can spend 9 months arguing about pigskin pressure, the Ideal Gas Law and who was ‘generally aware’ of what.

I’m done caring about gates. Why does everything have to be a ‘gate’ anyway? The rest of the world is probably wondering, “Don’t you Americans have any bigger controversies to over report about?” The answer would be yes. #mericagate

Look did the Patriots do something? Probably.

Does the shadow of Spygate loom larger than the beacon from Gillette Stadium’s lighthouse? Apparently.

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Well it is easier to grip.

Has the story completely spun out of control in hopes of finding the gun everyone thinks is smoking? Well I’d like to nominate the phrase “smoking gun” as the most overused term of the year and thus request the term rescinded from the vocabulary of sports journalists and anchors forever. #deadhorsegate

And now we’re on to headsets? Headsetgate? That’s not even catchy! Gate this! After all the backlash and mud slinging, do you really think said franchise would try something on opening night with the microscope tighter than ever? The night they drop the Super Bowl banner? On national television? Those would be some overinflated balls Belichick has. I’d actually respect that amount of daring.

But as a logical homer I’ll never refute the Patriots were caught cheating the system and therefore the benefit of the doubt has been abolished. There I said it. I’m a bad person for continuing to pledge my allegiance to a crooked team that’s been caught with their hands in the cookie jar. I couldn’t possibly have any concept of fair play or sportsmanship. I’m a cheater by association and my kids will probably grow up wearing nothing but grungy hoodies too! #fashiongate

Athletes and the grumpy old men who coach them have always been towing the rulebook line to gain a competitive edge. In the good ole’ days when cheaters could get away with it, they used to call it “gamesmanship”. Fans just didn’t hear about it until years later, if ever.

Now in 2015, everyone with a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection is a news reporter with an online audience, making the court of public opinion judge, jury and provocateur. Perception in today’s world is 9/10ths of the law and I’m sure this is what Al Gore had in mind when he invented the Internet. #Goregate

So fine, if it’s that big of a deal I say ban Brady and Belichick from the NFL for life. How about that fairness police? If they’re such cheaters in the court of public opinion they shouldn’t have the privilege of making millions off a game. While we’re at it, let’s sentence them to solitary confinement in their mansions of lies with nothing but a deflated football to play with!

But to be fair, I say every player… scratch that, every athlete who’s ever violated a rule or code of conduct … including the PED users, domestic abusers, rapists, child beaters, assailants, drug takers/traffickers, drunk drivers, and murderers … in the court of public opinion should never be allowed to play their sport again. Lawbreakers go to jail and the PED users get sentenced to solitary confinement in their mansions of lies with nothing but a deflated football to play with!

Why couldn’t the above happen? Simple.

  • There’s too much money on the line.
  • Owners would be putting an inferior product on the field (if they survive the purge that is).
  • Jails are full already.
  • Millionaires don’t easily go to jail.

But it would be much easier to use professional sports as the model of fairness for our children. Or maybe the best lesson to learn is that life’s not always fair and participation trophies aren’t resume material. #capitalismgate

Stop being so naïve and sensitive about the purity of sports. Behind the smiles, underdog stories and acts of charity (while usually genuine) most of these guys and gals excel at being uber competitive, egomaniacal alpha dogs competing for fame, fortune and the American way. That’s how they got to where they are. Oh yeah, and hard work too.

We the sports fans created this system by shelling out more money every year for tickets, stadiums, merchandise, and fantasy leagues. So either a large enough percentage of the consuming population will completely cut themselves off from sports (doubtful). Or athletes will continue to chase a competitive edge, reach the pinnacle of sport and cash in their next multi-million dollar contract. #truthgate

Sports are not personal. There’s no my team, your team, your coach, my QB, we won, you lost, you cheat. Sports are an entertainment business. Always have been. Always will be. During the Roman Empire when gladiators were killing each other in the coliseum it was just for entertainment. I wonder if any of them tried to cheat?

So much ownership is put on these teams and players because we fans invest so much time and money into them. But they’re not in it for you and me. I’m quite certain most athletes aren’t thinking about their drunken face painted fans while in their king sized bed next to their smoking hot significant other unless it’s “fan” appreciation night. #mistressgate

And that sucks to think about because sports are such a part of our culture. Teams are regional. Passion for their histories are passed down through generations. Their players walk the very streets we do only with more God-given athletic ability. It’s irritating when they make millions of dollars from a game and screw it up by doing something stupid. Why can’t they just play by the rules like we have to?

We should hold them to a higher standard because they get all the fame and fortune that comes with competitive greatness. Or we could stop worshipping athletes as deities. #Godgate

Maybe we should start realizing that in a pool of thousands of professional athletes, there’s always going to be people who break the law, harm others, bend the rules and try to cheat the system (even if it’s only a little). They’re as much a reflection of humanity as a pool of thousands of everyday people and that’s a reality that deserves a hashtag.

Given my cynicism you may ask why I still watch sports? For starters I like beer, nachos, wings and shouting over the game with my buddies too much to warrant searching for another perfect marriage of effects. The activity is not the same while watching a Big Bang Theory marathon on TBS. #Sheldongate

But here’s the real reason why I think sporting events will always draw a crowd no matter how corrupt, petty and unbalanced sports may seem at times.

My Dad and I haven’t been to a ball game together in 14 years because I moved away from home at 18 and timing never worked out until recently. #seriously?gate

A few weeks ago the Yankees were playing the Red Sox at Fenway Park. We managed to score tickets 5th row in front of home plate. The best seats either of us have ever had at a ball game.

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Did I mention we’re both lifelong Yankee fans?

We drove up to Boston on a clear afternoon, parked the car (sorry, pahked the cah) and walked together 2 miles to the stadium. We stopped at Lansdowne Irish Pub for dinner. He had the Bangers and Mash. I had the Pub Burger. And we both had $1 oysters with great conversation that’ll stay between him and I. Then we got to our seats that were finally better than the TV and continued our usual routine of respecting great plays while jeering bad ones. Trust me, no player is safe!

But I couldn’t really tell you about most of the game. I know the Yankees won the game 3-1 but I don’t remember who hit the ball, who scored or who drove in the runs. That game was never about who won, who lost, or who didn’t get a fair shake. Quite frankly I could have cared less. But I’ll always remember the day I shared with my Dad as we walked out of Gate A at Fenway, talking about doing the same thing at Gillette some day soon. #familygate

I guess some gates I still care about.

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