So, some NFL sources are saying that 11 of 12 Patriot footballs were under inflated during their absolute drumming of Indy… 11 of 12 seems like 10 too many to be an accident.

Now, TheLongTalk will be the first to admit that football is not my forte. TLT knows a bit about the game… mostly due to 12 and 90 answering a barrage of questions during every game they watch with me… but that’s about it.

However, this post isn’t about football it’s about cheating and what cheating does to a win… which is to say, it taints it. Like a heavy does of vinegar taints an ice cream sundae… completely and irreversibly.

If the New England Patriots cheated, and it seems they did, then their win… even if properly won… is now and forever forward irreversibly tainted.

The same way Lance Armstrong’s wins are worthless, the same way Barry Bonds home-run record is meaningless. The same way Marion Jones track records and many medals are nothing more then a footnote under her huge P.E.D. headline.

A win accomplished by cheating is tantamount to a lose.

So, what has one gained when they’ve cheated their way to victory? In professional sports, the answer is MONEY, FAME, and STACKS & STACKS of MONEY.

Lance became a media sensation and multimillion dollar endorsement machine by winning and it seems he became a winner by cheating. There are real world, tangible, upsides to cheating and so… cheating will never end.

If the stakes are adequately high, someone involved in the endeavor will attempt to cheat. It’s a fact of life on this small blue dot spinning in that large black vacuum. Cheaters will try to use cheating to win if winning means anything at all.

That doesn’t meant that every single game or enterprise is tainted by cheating. Not every game has a cheater playing it, but some games do… and if a cheater is playing, they might not always cheat.

Surely some cheaters are talented athletes on their own merit and don’t need to cheat during every outing… but when the going gets tough, the cheat gets cheating.

So, if cheating is a fact of high stakes competition… which TLT would prepose that it is… then what can be done about it?

Thus far this post hasn’t really been a argument… we’re not in a car and there’s been no arguing… but here’s where things might get argue-ish.

TheLongTalk would purpose that there are only two courses that can be taken to address cheating in professional sports.

1. PUNISHMENT: There are not rules that can rule the cheater. No lawless that can make the lawless, lawful. People who ignore the rules, will ignore any new rules added. The only thing to do is to punish the cheater… severely.  Minor rule infractions with well established consequences should be handled like minor rule infractions, but cheating should be treated like an affront to sports as a whole. When a player cheats… SIDE NOTE: When is it that rule breaking ends and cheating begins… that player should have the hammer brought down on them, there should be no mercy.


2. ENDORSEMENT: Who is it that the old saying goes… if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Since there will always be those among us who seek to gain by illicit measures, why not encourage everyone to take those same measures. If you want to re-level the playing fields in a P.E.D. world, doesn’t everyone need to be using P.E.D.’s. The only way to ensure that someone isn’t getting an unfair advantage is to make sure everyone is getting an unfair advantage.

So what do you all think? How can cheating be addressed, what does “cheating” really even mean? Is it an issue or is it so wide spread that it all ends up coming out in the wash?

Let’s hear your take on TheLongTalk’s insanely long and rambling manifesto.

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