A Letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

Dear Mr. Goodell,

My name is Angie Six. I’m a mother, a wife, and a fan of football. I live in Indianapolis and root for the Colts, but I love the game more than any one team. I look forward to football season more than all the holidays rolled together, and I’m terribly sad when the season is done.

I’m terribly sad and more than a little angry for another reason today, though. I woke up this morning, got the kids off to school, and settled in to catch up on the day’s news with my coffee. My coffee which I just happen to drink out of an NFL-licensed mug. There I saw the news that the New England Patriots had under-inflated 11 of their 12 allotted footballs during the game against my Indianapolis Colts. In other words, you have evidence that the Patriots cheated.

New England Patriots Cheat

It’s been a rough year, eh? I know. I’ve been watching. I’ve kept my mouth shut and my opinions to myself. Until now. The sexual assaults. The child abuse. The domestic violence. It’s shameful and it needs to stop. My kids know that I love football and they know how your league has struggled with these issues. They know I’ve struggled as a fan, too. They know because we talk about it over dinner. We talk about what’s right, what’s wrong, what the consequences of these deplorable actions have on a person’s reputation and career. We talk about the responsibility we have as consumers, when we support a brand and its representatives whose actions don’t line up with our values.

And yet, myopic as it may be, these issues haven’t affected my personal decision to support the NFL, or to encourage my kids to embrace the game. These issues are personal choices, made by individual players, that do not affect the integrity of the game. These issues are ones I can feel confident in using as teachable moments for my kids, where they can see negative results as a consequence of making poor choices. I can tell my kids that you can’t hurt people in this manner. It is against the law, and you will be punished. In short, I got this.

Cheating, on the other hand, may very well be the last straw. Kids understand cheating. We can all relate to cheating, because everyone one of us has at least been tempted. There are so many life lessons I’m trying to impress on my kids, but this is one of the most important: to be honest and to do the right thing, especially when no one is watching over you to make sure you do so.

When you cheat, it says to the world that you don’t believe in yourself, that you didn’t think you had it in you, that your need to be better trumps everyone else. I don’t understand how this is necessary in this league, with these players. If you can’t do it with one of the best quarterbacks of all time, surrounded by a group of insanely talented players? Then maybe it’s not your turn. Maybe you go back to the drawing board and come up with some new, crazy (but completely legal) plays. Maybe you train that much harder in the offseason. Maybe you research and analyze your way to a better draft. Maybe you come to training camp with fire in your belly. You know, like we want to teach our kids to do when real life knocks them down a rung or two: dust yourself off, take a good, hard look at why you failed, and do better next time.

That’s why I’m writing you, Mr. Goodell. I’m imploring you not as a fan of the game, but as a parent. Do not let this opportunity pass you by to make a statement to everyone who plays in this great league: cheating will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

If you glorify the cheaters by looking the other way, or with a slap on the wrist, or a fine that amounts to pennies from their pocketbooks? Your actions speak loud and clear to this future generation of NFL fans. They may be young, but they’re not naive or stupid. They’ll understand very clearly that cheating, while generally frowned upon, can be justified if the end result means winning. Playing by the rules, guiding yourself with integrity? That’s for chumps, man. Not champions.

I do not want to teach my kids that the decision on whether or not to cheat lies solely in determining the return on that shady investment. Is it worth it? I want the answer to always, unequivocally, be no.
You’re worried about whether parents are going to let their sons play football, Mr. Goodell? You need to be more concerned about whether or not we’re going to let them watch football.

If you turn your eye from this issue because it’s complicated, because it looks bad for the league, because everyone does it to some extent, or because this particular team and these players are the poster boys for what a successful franchise looks like, shame on you. It’s a disservice to the hundreds of honest men you employ, who put their bodies and careers on the line every game for the sole purpose of our entertainment.

You see, that’s just what it is – entertainment. As much as I love the NFL, as much as my Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays from September to January revolve around your product, I have no problem walking away if these shenanigans continue. I have better things to do with my time, and I surely have better choices in entertainment that don’t send mixed messages to my kids.

I know you won’t see this letter, and even if you did, I’m pretty sure you don’t really care. I’m just one mom, just one measly fan. That’s fine. Keep this in mind, though. This one measly fan is known for her love of football. I can just as well be known for my disapproval of it. This one measly fan has influence on the potential little fans in her home. This one measly fan has income that she often chooses to spend with the NFL. This one measly fan has interacted with lots of other measly fans in the last few days that feel the exact same way. And just as slowly and subtly as you can deflate a football, you can suck the enthusiasm right out of your once mighty and loyal fan base.

IMG_1159

Sincerely,

(Hopefully, still) A Fan

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Comments

  1. Katy Anderson says:

    I share your exact sentiments! These were my very same thoughts when I read the news Monday morning. Good for you!

    • Do you want some cheese with your whine? lol Aaron Rodgers readily admits to over-inflating balls, which is violating the exact same rule that the Patriots are accused of violating. Should Green Bay forfeit their superbowl?
      The Colts lost because they couldn’t stop the run. They gave up 177 yards on the ground & 3 rushing TD’s.
      Also, if letting air out of a ball is worse than domestic violence and child abuse in your home, perhaps CPS should pay your home a visit.
      Deflating footballs, if it happened, had no effect on your team this past weekend. They were DECIMATED. The Patriots could have played with a watermelon, and beaten your team handily.

      • That’s the irony of the whole situation. The way the Patriots manhandled the Colts they didn’t need to break the rules. Yet they did it despite being the clear favorite. That tells you all you need to know about the Patriots’ character and integrity.

        They should change their name to the New England Nixons.

      • This is not about the Colts losing, it is about the honesty and integrity of the game. This is NOT a whine but a challenge to be a true leader and adult who does the right thing. It is you who need to take a hard look at what you read and take off your silly blinders

      • Now I kind of want to see the game replayed with a watermelon instead of a football …

      • Tammy Easterday says:

        Yes but I would rather lose with dignity than cheat my way to a win.

      • William
        The very first sentence you attack her, you need to read it again. Not once did she mention why anyone won or lost nor did she mention as to how anyone won or lost. Simply that there was some alleged cheating go on. She was just simply stating her an opinion as a huge NFL fan.

      • Ok William, apparently you are not very smart and you can’t read. She said that she knows the Colts would have lost anyway. That is NOT the point. The POINT is the CHEATING! JUST CHEATING! It shows all the impressionable young ppl out there that cheating is FINE as long as it benefits you. Doesn’t matter who the cheating hurts, doesn’t matter that cheating is supposed to be wrong. As long as YOU win, that’s ALL THAT MATTERS! You think we have an uncaring, unfeeling, unDISCIPLINED younger generation, you haven’t seen ANYTHING yet if this attitude is tolerated and even encouraged. Any person, no matter what they are competing in, has to be the best they can be HONESTLY, for the victory to be PURE, RIGHT, DESERVED!!!
        Cheating is CHEATING! That means Tom Brady and ANYONE else who cheats in pro SPORTS, not just football, has a VERY low opinion of themselves and their abilities. If they need to cheat, or try to cheat, they are not THE BEST. Period and that is what the Superbowl is supposed to be about. Patsies should have to forfeit their bid to the Superbowl this year because they cheated! Besides, NO ONE who has thrown a football for as many years as Brady is NOT GOING TO KNOW something is wrong with the BALLS! Almost ALL former NFL quarterbacks agree that there is NO WAY he didn’t know, couldn’t have known!

        This is NOT about the way the Patsies won. This is not about the FACT that they won and would have whether they cheated or not. I personally detest the Colts. I am from Indiana, lived in Indianapolis until I was 26, when I moved to Oklahoma. I am and have always been a Cowboys fan, number one and a Broncos fan, number two. THIS IS ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY CHEATED,,,,,PERIOD!! If the Colts had played like they had a pulse, this would be a VERY different issue. It would be not only about the fact that the Patsies cheated but about the fact that the Colts very well may have lost BECAUSE of it. It’s ONLY INCIDENTAL that the Colts played like 6th graders.

      • I also have a great idea for all of us “Measly fans” that the NFL are VERY close to losing forever over this…….Soccer or as they say in Britian, “Football” anyone?? I think I will start watching Soccer, or even golf, (gag) before I will EVER spend another dime of my money, and BELIEVE me, I have spents THOUSANDS over the years on NFL stuff, on any NFL team again. Who’s willing to go to these lengths to prove to the NFL that Americans are SICK of Business as Usual in this country! How about some freaking INTEGRITY, CHARACTER, HONOR for Pete’s sake?!?!?!

      • Judy Schwartz says:

        So William, are you saying that just because one person deflates or over inflates the football that it’s OK? C’mon!! You’re a better person than that… Cheating is cheating, and in my book, if you cheat you are NOT a winner….

      • William you missed the point man.I think Brady is the best of all time.But understand he knew without question he knew.Is it a big deal/No .Would it have changed the game /no.But a rule was broken by someone in the org.

      • William, you need to re-read the letter. She is not saying that the only way they could have won was to cheat…..lets face it, the Colts were out played. The only difference might have been the score, however they would have still lost the game. The letter is about cheating. Brady knew the rules. Brady broke the rules. It’s hard enough making certain that your child understands that cheats is wrong but when a good team cheats…….it makes it even harder.
        Its about cheating and the proper action to take.
        Did you know that the fine the Team received for Cheating was the same amount they threatened Lynch with for not Talking to the media?? How is it that not talking to the media is as bad as cheating????

    • Trisha M Causey says:

      Yes!!! This mother and NFL fan agrees fully I love this season more then Christmas and my birthday combined but will hold my head high as I pack away all my NFL gear into a box and donate it if this fiasco continues. I am trying to raise a better more moral fan for our generation to come and refuse to allow him to believe I stood behind such unethical values. To bad for my husband he has had it easy buying gifts guess its time for a bit of imagination bc I won’t be caught in anything NFL if this isn’t handled right!

    • Studies have already shown that the pressure of the footballs was almost certainly caused by environmental factors and no cheating occurred. I wonder if the author is going to stand up for whats right and teach our children not to lie by redacting this smear piece.

      • So Justin, “science” only occurs on one side of the field, only during certain times and only to select balls? The 12 balls supplied by the Colts checked prior to the game as required passed, as well as the 12 provided by the officials. All 36 balls (the afore mentioned 24 and the 12 supplied by New England) were checked at halftime…..out of the 36 balls checked, 11 were under inflated, interestingly all 11 were under the control of the same team. All 36 balls were corrected at halftime to the proper inflation. At the end of the game all 36 balls were shown to maintain the allowable inflation. So you are saying it was proving scientifically. The hypothesis …..the balls deflated due to cold air. For the hypothesis to be true, the evidence would need to conclude overwhelmingly that footballs deflated. Scientist would agree that evidence less than 50% in agreement would disprove the hypothesis. 11 of 36 is less than 33%. If you consider the samples as being doubled….first half ball inflation to 2nd ball inflation, you drop to an even lower percentage of 16%. If you want to consider that defects would be the cause, the distribution of defective balls within the batch would most likely follow a bell curve. The odds of all defective balls being only distributed one team is highly unlikely. Small sample studies can be tailored and give false results.

  2. Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes. Signed, Another Measly Fan

  3. You Rock Angie Six. This is by far the best communication over this horrible situation I have read.
    I do not know you but I love you!

  4. This is by far the best communication on this subject I have read. I do not know you Angie Six but I love you. Every word is exactly what needs to be said. I thank you!

    • I totally agree. What has happened to America? I know you can never totally control every situation, but when it becomes known that a law was deliberately broken and nothing is done about it, we are condoning it. If it is a rule and it is broken, consequences should follow. Major consequences that would have a lasting impact that would make you think twice about doing it again. In my opinion they should be disqualified from the Super Bowl. Did the Colts play well, obviously not, but cheating, lying, and stealing go hand in hand and we are telling all that it is okay to do this and get by with it. Paying a small fine with the millions these guys make is nothing. I am a 60 year old woman who dearly loves my team and root and cheer for them, even setting my timer on my DVR so I don’t have to miss any of it while I attend Sunday night church services. I will be praying for you, Mr. Goodell because it seems to be up to you, what kind of image and characteristics will be portrayed in the NFL. It’s time for someone to have the courage in America to stand up and make a difference now and for future generations.

      God bless you, Mr. Goodell
      Sincerely,
      Donna.

  5. Kimberly sullivan says:

    Another pissed off fan from Indy, Nj and Denver. You cheat, you lose. No God Damn Draft violations. Penalize those who could go to the Super Bowl. They cheated, they lose. If you don’t know, PATRIOTS CHEAT A LOT! Maybe they will FINALLY GET THE MESSAGE!!!

  6. Ross Fausett says:

    I don’t think anyone could put it any better than this, signed another measly fan.

  7. Shared on Facebook! I so identified with you message. As a huge NFL fan and mother of 3 little NFL fans, I hope your letter reaches the people that are in a position to make decisions regarding this. Thanks for voicing your opinion!

  8. Well written and thought out, I think we can all relate.
    It IS a tough situation… but people have to make tough choices everyday.

    Congrats to you MOM!
    I’m sharing and imploring my friends to share as well.
    I’m a Colts Fan. They LITERALLY have training camp in my backyard.
    But more than that since moving to Indiana, i have developed a new respect
    for the game of football and what it does for communities, families and youth.

    This is a great opportunity for the LEAGUE to send a message that makes an impact.

  9. Cheryl Jung says:

    Funny, my response was very similar to Smith’s

    YES YES YES. 100%, totally, THIS.

    You are not a measly fan – nor is Smith, nor am I.

    We are the voice of conscience our children hear every day when they’re forced with little decisions – and some day, in the all too near future BIG decisions. And they’ll remember the conversations we had about this, and they’ll apply it to their own lives.

    Thank you for voicing, 1,000 times over and way more eloquently than I could, exactly what I have been thinking and feeling about this.

    Signed,
    A mom that controls the remote on game days and is instilling a conscience in the next generation

  10. there is actually no evidence that they themselves tampered with the ball, because it would be impossible for them to do so prior to the game due to cameras and how the balls are stored. it was most likely refs being negligible on the job and now the NFL is covering their asses. nice try though.

    • BB, are you really that crazy! The officials don’t keep them under lock and key after they are examined they are given back to the appropriate teams. You can buy an inflating need at walmart pack of 3 is .99.

      yes and the referees only were negligible with the Pats balls.

  11. Brandi P. says:

    Thank you Mrs. Angie! I back you 100%! We are just measly fans in these billionaires eyes, but they wouldn’t be where they are without us.

    • cindi wells says:

      So very true Brandi. And what everyone is not choosing to address is the fact that this is all a politically, $$$$$$$, driven situation in every sense of everything. There is enough money in those luxurious press boxes to exonerate everybody and anybody that had anything to do with wrongdoings and to save face for NFL and their known cheaters. So as much as fans think that they can show and express their disappointment in the situation you must collect MORE money than all of the press boxes combined ,to possibly make anything change now or in the future!

  12. Susie Ridgeway says:

    Yet another measly fan. There’s this little thing called integrity. If I had ever had the utter audacity to cheat and got caught cheating on an exam (as an example), I would expect to get a failing grade. What type of message does it send to the kids that play in youth football if a professional football team is allowed to cheat? That cheating’s okay under some circumstances?

    • Sheila from Kentucky says:

      Angie, you hit the mark! Susie, youth football, middle school, high school, and college football. Our kids grow up loving the game because we parents love the game. And it is still a game even if pros made millions of dollars. Teach our children to play fair, no lying, no cheating, The this bigger than life, extremely popular NFL quarterback stands there and publicly denies knowing anything about deflated balls. As many years and footballs he has touched he can tell you exactly how much the ball weighs. I think the only fair punishment for cheating is to be stripped of the championship. And there is no way the Patriots should be allowed to play in the Super Bowl. I’d rather toss a coin for the team to take their place – but to forfeit the championship would, by default, give the Colts the win, Let them play in the Super Bowl. At least they played honest. The NFL needs to make a strong statement right here, right now.

  13. Tracy Burns says:

    Very well stated.

    Signed another measly fan.

  14. Sandy kasprzak says:

    wonerfully stated letter. I live in MN and have watched football my whole life. I will walk away as well. I too am lucky enough to afford to depend money with the NFL and will stop if this is not dealt with.

  15. What did you tell your children when the Colts were cheating and piping fan noise through the PA system. Or when your owner was caught trying to cheat a drug and alcohol test while driving. I would use the same thing.

    • Jenny Tuell says:

      Thank you Melissa, this mom Angie is nothing more than an attention seeker who likes to go around accusing others of cheating while her beloved team owner gets pulled over and charged in recent months of DWI and felony drug charges , and the sad thing she is teaching this horrible behavior to her children. Deflated balls or DWI with 4 felony drug charges, I guess she has no problem with her teams owner driving around her town drunk endangering lives of others including her own children. Oh and Im sure she thinks that her beloved Irsay is such a fine role model for her children !! Irsay cheated the system, other coaches have been forced to sell their teams on much lesser charges !! Judge ye not lest ye be judged !

      • Thanks for taking the time to read and comment in a respectful manner, Jenny. If you read my reply to Melissa, I think it addresses your concerns with Mr. Irsay. Other than punishing people after the fact, the NFL can’t control the actions of individual players or other employees outside of the game, anymore than school systems can control teachers and coaches who sexually abuse children. Be sure to check out my many other attention-seeking posts I’ve written lately, such as “How to Have a Simple Christmas” and “DIY Instant Oatmeal.” I’m just a rabble-rouser at heart.

    • Melissa, thanks for taking the time to comment. While the idea of pumping fan noise into the stadium is lousy, I can’t find any information that it is actually against the NFL rules, other than this: “When, in the judgment of the Referee, the level of crowd noise prevents the offense from hearing its signals, he can institute a series of procedures which can result in a loss of team time outs or a five-yard penalty against the defensive team.” If I’m incorrect, please let me know.

      As far as Mr. Irsay’s behavior goes, that falls in line with how I feel about the various transgressions that NFL players commit each season. The NFL cannot control the behaviors of individual players or league employees. What one player (or in this case, Mr. Irsay) does off the field doesn’t affect the actual play of the game. Do I approve? Absolutely not. But as I wrote, I can use those moments as opportunities for discussion and point out consequences these people received for breaking the law or the rules. Mr. Irsay was suspended 6 games and fined $500,000. Mr. Rice and Mr. Peterson are not playing football.

      None of us are forced to support the NFL, and we all have to make our own judgement calls on what we deem appropriate to condone and support in our own personal lives. To me, the situations are not apples to apples, but I understand that others don’t see it that way. I’m not telling anyone else how they should feel about this situation or what they should do. I’m just expressing my own sentiments. They resonate with some, and fall flat with others, and that’s okay. All I’m personally asking is that, if it’s found to be true that footballs were knowingly tampered with by the Patriots organization for the purpose of gaining advantage, they are punished to the full extent of the NFL rules.

      Anyhow, thanks for taking the time to comment and for being respectful while doing so.

  16. Rhonda Clark says:

    AGREED 100 %!!!!

  17. Rose Plumback says:

    I couldn’t agree more or said it better. He needs to make an example (this time) of the New England Cheatriots. They have cheated before and got a slap on the wrist, so they think (and apparently are right) that they can continue to cheat.

    This measly fan will also simply walk away. Get enough of us gone and where will your franchise be???

  18. Sharon Williams says:

    I totally agree with you on this – I love Football and the NFL – but if something isn’t done about this, I will be looking for other things to do on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday’s!!!

  19. Moyer Bites says:

    If deflating a football does not create an advantage then why did the Patriots do it?

    In my opinion no one will know because neither the Officials, Patriots Staff, or Players handling the footballs consistently during the game did not report the violation.

    By not doing so, all these individuals should be fined, suspended, and ineligible to play (or officiate) in this year’s Super Bowl. This includes the Patriots coaching staff, quarterback, center, rushers, receivers, etc.

    For Coach B, this is the 2nd time found breaking the rules. I believe he should no longer be allowed to coach or own a team in the NFL as well as be ineligible for the NFL Hall of Fame.

    Hey Bill meet Pete, he also didn’t believe in his team.

    • I couldn’t agree any more !!! Maybe if the colt’s or any other team had deflated balls maybe they could catch also, in the rain. just saying might have been more fair. Then ref’s wouldn’t have to cheat too.

  20. Standing.

    Applauding.

  21. Yvonne Larison says:

    Mr Goodell: This young lady is right and the sad part is if a slap on the wrist is what they get It will happen over and over again. These teams that cheat need hit hard where it hurts. The Pats don’t deserve to be a Super Bowl contender this year or for the next 5 years. They deserve to loose 5 years of first round drafts and fined millions of dollars. The coach should be band for a year the first time and a lifetime the second! This stuff would stop because they would really be losing something important to them. I would be the first to admit the Colts would not of won that game the way they played however, cheating should trump all cards and should disallow the Patriots to play. I hope you find a punishment that far exceeds the small kick in the backside these teams generally get. They laugh at you and the NFL because of weakness. Be the strong governing body and govern to once and for all stop this cheating.

    • I agree with you.Something needs to be done,and yes they were caught before but they are still at it.If you can’t play fair then don’t play at all.

  22. Strong

  23. Doug Sloan says:

    It is not just that they cheated – it is that they cheated again. There is a pattern of cheating in the New England Patriots organization. Consequently, more than the prescribed penalty for a single incident is required. An NFL response is needed that will send an unmistakable message to this organization and to all of pro football.

  24. David Covington says:

    Wonderfully stated, Angie. It would be very bad if about everyone turned away from football because of some lousy cheaters. There aren’t enough rules in the NFL to punish a team for cheating like they do for college.

  25. Wow. You’re amazing. I hope this goes viral. I completely agree. You go girl!!

  26. Roberta Eagleston says:

    Children will learn that to win, one must cheat.
    NFL needs to punish the Patriots Team and coach by rescinding the win over the Colts.
    The Seahawks should play at the Super Bowl.
    Only fair way.

  27. Barbara. Fox says:

    Another house full of football fans AGREE 100%!!! send a message to the rest of the league!!! Cheaters ruin it for everyone!!!

  28. Cyndi Petroff says:

    Thank you for penning this letter. My sentiments exactly.

  29. I conquer. Angie you said it perfectly. I am a Colts fan through and through and if they were the ones under investigation, I would feel the same way. Cheating is Cheating no matter what team it is. (Although I think the Colts have more integrity and would not do anything like this) Thanks for putting it out there.

    • Donna, I would hope so, but I’m not naive. I think what bothers me so much about this is the dread that I’ll find out it’s true: all the teams cheat in some way, shape or form. And that’s what I think I can’t stomach. I’d like to believe that there are teams out there that play by the rules. If everyone is indeed doing it, then I’d like to see the league come down hard as they did in Bountygate. There’s no reason this game can’t be played fairly and safely, and still retain fans and generate revenue.

  30. Cheryl McLaughlin says:

    Every fan, parent ,child, needs to copy this letter and send it in. Well send and I am writing now too!

  31. As a father of 4 and a fan myself, 100% Agree. I didn’t like either team before but now I hope the seahawks cream pretty boy Tom. If the league doesn’t do anything, I won’t watch it either way.

  32. Bravo. Very well written to express the sentiment of countless fans. There is a lot at stake with Goodell’s decision. The Super Bowl could be the lowest rated ever and football could lose quite a lot with a wrong decision. America will be watching this one closely.

  33. I believe in every thing you said…. proud to have you in the fan of nfl.. I hope that it does get to this man and they do something about it.. I’m also A big Fan of the COLTS!!! and they got the raw deal of it.. I hope the pats. get kicked out. I believe seahawks should get the Superbowl . they deserve it, I hate CHEATER!!!

  34. Yes. Finally someone has the guts to say what needs said and you said it wonderfully. As a fellow Colt’s fan, NFL fan, football fan and mom, I am standing with you.

  35. You are all off. Stop teaching your kids to sit passively when sexual assault and domestic violence are the issue. And stop teaching your kids to blame others for your own shortcomings – the fact is the Patriots routed the Colts – and who knows if D’Quell Jackson comes up with the INT without the under-inflated ball.. Ask any Colts player if they feel slighted about this. You also make it sound like the Patriots intentionally deflated the balls. How do you have proof? Did the referee not touch the ball every time it was set for the next play? The Colts had suspected this early in the game, but decided to let the game move on rather than do anything about. If they really felt it was ‘cheating’, why did they let the game continue??? This stuff has been going on for decades, but when the Patriots turn in 11 under inflated balls after one game, you cry foul. I guarantee piddly little rules like this are broken every game of the year. Just like you could call a penalty on every single play if you wanted to. Did the refs put an actual gauge on the balls before the game or did he just feel them and say good enough?

    Enough already – get over it. And think about what message you’re really sending to your kids.

    • Jared, I think if you re-read my post, you’ll see that I never said sexual assault and domestic violence weren’t serious issues, or that I think this issue trumps them in any way. We have had many conversations about Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Jim Irsay. I simply said this one is different, because it’s an issue kids can relate to. My kids have not been personally exposed, thank God, to domestic violence, sexual assault or drug abuse. But they do face situations every day, just as we adults do, when the temptation to cheat is presented.

      And believe me, nothing will make me happier than to have the NFL do a thorough investigation and find out that the Patriots had no fault in this whatsoever.

      • I have read through many replies before I decided to add my two cents. NOW, I am an angry mother who also tried her best to teach her children values. Jared, cheating, violence, assault, stealing, drug abuse, the list goes on and on, are not justifiable. Not in football, baseball, basketball, or LIFE. End of story. It is wrong. Angie, as a mother who tried and failed, don’t give up and don’t give in, keep teaching your children the correct way to behave. I, too, am a die-hard sports fan and I, too, have walked away from watching many teams, attending games, buying products, etc.

    • Tracy Seamster says:

      Dear Jared let me ask you this! Just what kind of a message do you think Angie is sending her kids? Sounds like you would rather her teach them to just remain silent when there is an huh? Wow!! An the proof well they have done this before!! I think if the Colts would have done this the Patriots would have wanted the win to be overturned! We all know the colts didn’t play well. And they know it BUT they played the game an they played it straight! You haven’t heard they deflate their footballs! I think as a fan we are the ones who feel nipped! So when you sir tell someone to get over it maybe your the one whom needs to move on. She in my eyes is doing what most parents teach children to have good morals an value truth an where it takes you in life!

  36. I completely agree with you, NFL is going down ! I have lost all respect and what it stands for.
    Who knows what else they have done that they didn’t get caught at.

  37. Well said! However, you can still get your “football fix” outside of the NFL. Come watch the Indianapolis Tornados from May-September. It is minor league football featuring guys who aren’t paid millions of dollars and play simply for the “love of the game” or to make it to the next level. Some of our players have played in the NFL, some are trying to get there. Please check out the website at http://www.indianapolistornados.com. It is the best kept secret in Indianapolis. Affordable, fun, family oriented, football entertainment all summer long! (It will hold you over until the Colts come back).

    A fellow football fan.

  38. Very well said

  39. Thank you! I won’t be watching. My money can go elsewhere.

  40. it’s not about the game, the colts were beaten by a better team, it’s about integrity. Like it or not, sports figures are role models, this isn’t the first time the patriots have been caught cheating, what haven’t they been caught at? This needs to be the death penalty for the patriots, ie no playoffs for 5 yrs loss of draft picks, belichek fired. if you don’t make the penalty harsh, you send a message that the ends justify the means, and you reduce the greatest sport on the planet to the level of pro wrestling

  41. Janeen Kilgore says:

    Thank you! This is the point I have been trying to make all along. This is an honesty and integrity issue. How can you suspend a coach for a year, over over-encouraging your players to play well and give teams who repeatedly cheat a pass?

  42. Tracy Seamster says:

    thank you our household feels the same .way! If they don’t make good on this injustice we will not watch the Superbowl this year. Cheating unpunished is as unjust as lying about what they know they have done in the past! And when another team has given the heads up about it then why let them continue to have access to the football! I will never watch Brady throw another ball in my eyes Bill an Brady are in trustworthy! Thanks for standing up for us NFL moms that look forward to an love the game! But now with a tainted reputation I might rethink my love for the game!!!

  43. Dear Angie,
    Kudos on a very well written article. However, as a parent of two young boys myself, I would be more interested in teaching my kids not to adopt a mob mentality and work themselves into a frenzy without first gathering facts. I would use this opportunity to teach them not to blindly call for blood and over zealous punishment until an issue has been investigated.
    It may very well be that the Patriots organization intentionally altered the balls to their advantage, I don’t deny that. However, so far all we know is that the NFL is investigating these claims. All other statements have come from unnamed sources, some of which have turned out to be false. As an example, the Colts linebacker who supposedly noticed something wrong and reported it to the team has come out and said he did not notice anything wrong or make any statements about the pressure of the ball.
    What we should be calling for is the NFL to investigate this incident to resolution and not be influenced by external outrage. If it turns out the Patriots are guilty then we should call for appropriate penalties as already defined by the NFL. Asking the NFL to go above and way beyond what is prescribed is unfair. Can you imagine being pulled over for speeding which should usually be a fine and then being sentenced to prison for a year because “that’s what everyone on the internet wants??

  44. I 100% agree with Angie Six. Our children look up at all sports figures and want to be just like them. I too spend money on official NFL products. I live in Indianapolis and am a Colt’s fan. The reason that I am upset with this issue is that it appears that cheating in the NFL is condoned and not taken seriously. I’m sure that the ball handlers will take the fall to keep the heat off the coach, quarterback, owner or any other player. I also know there is a range that the sir in the ball can be to be legal.

    As we all know they cheated before. With happening again I don’t think they learned their lesson with the penalty that was imposed after tape-gate. I find it odd that we end these travesties with the word gate. Just as we did with Nixon and Watergate. He was impeached and lost his office, and this is what he is remembered for in History. He was the leader of our country, just as Bill Belichek is the leader of this team. This is the second scandal his team has been caught cheating, and if actions are not taken against him and the team franchise it appears that the NFL condones these actions. The talk that he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest coaches of all time. For what? Teaching our children that it is okay to cheat.

    I believe Beilchek should be fired and banned from the NFL. Brady should also be fired and the owner should be fined and the team should not be allowed to play in the Superbowl or any other play off games for many years to come.

    If all that happens is a slap on the wrist and a fine that means nothing to people that are paid money just to play a game for entertainment this fan will stop supporting the NFL and find another way to spend her time and money, and hope that the entire country will follow.

    • maybe they should collect some facts before doing any of what you suggest? check the story now – none of it was true….but we’re on to the next newscycle and no one cares any more.

      • I’m waiting for the investigation to be completed and the opportunity to read the full report, and then I’ll follow up on this post again with any further thoughts I have. I don’t think it’s the case that no one cares anymore (it’s certainly not the case for me), but it’s pointless to pontificate on it any further until the investigation is over.

  45. Emily Heim says:

    You expressed in your letter exactly how I’ve been feeling this week. I have 3 sons and all we’ve talked about this week is cheating. So challenging explaining to a 10 year old why they are getting away with what they did. I love football too!!! And I would have been absolutely disgusted if our Colts had been the ones cheating. I’m not going to watch or let my boys watch the Super Bowl. Thanks for your letter!!

  46. To fail to realize that this is a systemic issue, and not solely on the shoulders of the patriots, would be lazy, unintelligent, and uninformed. The patriots have adapted to the NFL “game”, that is, if you do not cheat, you will be left behind – this will mean possibly losing your job as a coach and not earning as much for your family. The NFL is a business, and there are MANY unwritten rules. To single out the patriots for their dominance is completely ridiculous. Do your research. Don’t jump to conclusions. Have some evidence to support your opinions. And see that the best teams in the NFL are the ones that bend the rules the most. This does not make it OK to “cheat”, but you must realize that these goings-ons are an arms race to the top and highly intelligent, motivated people will do any means to get on top. So if you ignore dozens of previous “cheating” situations of the exact same character and magnitude, and single out the best, you are ignoring the fact that the NFL as a whole is the issue.

  47. Maybe the players in Super Bowl were already decided. If the Patriots were picked Brady probably
    got “back room deal” but had to cheat to make it happen!

  48. Gomakemeasammich says:

    stop complaining because the colts continuously get crushed every year by the pats. The true lesson here is to outwork your competitors which the pats have done all season. 45-7 really? That’s like getting an un cooked steak and blaming it on the lighting in the restaurant.

    Go make me a sammich….no crust

  49. Thanks so much for so eloquently laying out the real issue behind these reprehensible actions. There a much bigger issues at stake here than just who wins. I am a big baseball fan and the whole performance enhancing drug scandal really soured me on the game but not as much as the lukewarm response from the owners. I can only pray that the “artificially flavored” players NEVER make it into the Hall of Fame.

  50. Great commentary, Angie. Keep it up!

  51. If you were really that concerned with cheaters and liers than why do you people keep voting for the same idiots in political office, or conduct business with companies that do you and the world harm….I think you should be more concerned with real problems instead of a freaking GAME!!!!

  52. nathran goobs says:

    agreed. as a Colts fan myself i can take a bad loss. we may not have deserved to win and that’s fine. I was over the defeat at halftime. Monday morning i was enraged that the pats cheated YET AGAIN. Half of me wasn’t surprised. Regardless of whether or not the whole team knew about it, disciplinary actions need to be taken against them. And as for Aaron Rodgers.. if it is really against policy then yes he should not be allowed to have his football overinflated. if it isn’t against policy then so be it.

    P.S. I’ve been a hardcore football fan my whole life. I enjoy watching football no matter who’s playing. This year i really don’t want to watch the super bowl. why? because a team thought it was okay to cheat to get there. (the only reason i’d be watching is to watch the patriots get it handed to them)

    -Another Measly Fan

  53. TruthSeeker says:

    Anyone claiming Rodgers does the same thing is reaching for straws, or simply has no reading comprehension.

    He likes OVERINFLATING, yet admitted that oftentimes the balls come in lower than he likes (hence the mandatory weigh-in the refs do 2 hours and 15 min before the game). The difference is, the Pats had the balls in proper specification on weigh in, THEN ALTERED OR SWAPPED THE BALLS AFTERWARDS. THEY CHEATED YOU IDIOTS. Rodgers never admitted to changing the psi of a ball once it has been inspected and approved before kickoff, you numb skulls!

    Also, in the Rodgers quotes, he also admitted, there is no advantage to a HARDER/OVERINFLATED ball in his opinion, but there may be for DEFLATING the balls (what Tom Brady and the Cheatriots were caught doing).

    Know what you’re talking about before continuing to spew out JUNK that makes ZERO sense.

  54. TruthSeeker says:

    Another point that MUST be repeated over and over here.

    Not even the COLTS players thought the illegal balls were the difference in that game. The point is, if you really are naive and ignorant enough to think that the Patriots decided to use this ONE particular game for their test run of deflating balls, then you need to seriously give your head a shake. They have likely been doing this for a long time. They wouldn’t do it, if they didn’t think it didn’t give them an edge.

    This isn’t hard to comprehend. They are SECOND TIME OFFENDERS in cheating here. The integrity of the game must be upheld at all times, otherwise we may as well fix the matches like in WWE Pro Wrestling. Right?

    Although the illegal balls didn’t affect the outcome of the game against the Colts, it could have had an impact in many other close games, including the Ravens game. That game was extremely close, and if provided an edge that made a difference, the Ravens would be in the AFC Championship against the Colts.

    They could have been doing this for YEARS for all we know.

  55. I am a Colts fan. They got their butts kicked. If your team is that good why cheat? I dont think I have ever missed a Super Bowl in last 45 years. I dont see the point to watch this one. How will they cheat this time. They have a great team…..Why?

  56. John Cates says:

    While I do appreciate the letter, this would be a lot better if it did not come from a Colts fan. And, there are life lessons to be learned and can be taught to you kids from the NFL. #1 and foremost, life is NOT fair. In every aspect of life you are going to have cheaters …. period. You can teach how to over come or accept that sometimes you can not win. You can teach that even if you do win, you still have a stigma. You can teach a child that you don’t have to cheat … just believe in yourself …… such as “look, the Patriots would have won anyway, now the cheating only tarnishes the win.” …. or how a few players cheating has labeled a whole team, a team that includes very talented players, who work hard and now label from someone else’s doing. There are dozens of life lessons to be taught from the NFL. I 100% understand wanting justice and fairness but that is not what the NFL is all about … the NFL is about making that money!

    • or you could realize that there isn’t a single shred of evidence to support the claim that they cheated…and you could teach your kids about not rushing to judgement when they have no proof.

  57. You exactly reflected my views on the situation. I also live in the Indy area and I’m a mom of four. We are also a football family and we love our Colts. We knew going into the game that the odds were not in our favor, but they weren’t when we played Denver the previous week. This is not about the fact that we had lost. It’s about the fact the the Patriots feel the need to cheat to win games. It doesn’t matter if they’re playing the Colts, Broncos, Ravens or any other team.

    I also believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. This is one of the times they got caught. They only received a slap on the hand for spying, so they continued. They probably cheated many more times and were not caught. There is also talk of illegal substitutions during the Ravens game. When is it going to stop?

    What is that teaching our children? It’s teaching them that you have to cheat to win and that it’s okay, as long come out on top. That’s not the message that I want to teach my children. I want to teach them that you work hard for what you get. Sometimes, you might lose, but that’s okay because you know that you did your best.

    For next week, the Seahawks have gained six more fans from this family. I hope they crush the Patriots.

    • it is coming out now that the NFL has no evidence. this was a gigantic witch hunt. and the head of NFL security has already fingered the Colts GM as the person who pursued the witch hunt.

      The only thing the Pats ever did was film signals of opposing coaches from the sidelines during a game in which 80,000 other people could see those same signals in plain view. It would have been within the rules to videotape that same coach within the press box. A practice that many, many other coaches and teams have admitted to doing. That is how minor the infraction was….and for that they were fined a million dollars and lost a first round draft pick.

      You should collect your facts before you judge – it is what the Bible teaches us – and certainly a good lesson for you and your kids.

  58. Dean Heiss says:

    As far as I know, the referees handle the ball almost as much as the QB. Why didn’t THEY realize the balls were under-inflated. IT’S THEIR JOB. I think it happened after the game.

  59. herschel53 says:

    I am not a fan of the Patriots, Bill Belichick, or Tom Brady. But I know they leave NOTHING to chance. Why would they risk a conference championship with under-inflated balls unless they had practiced with them and knew how they would handle? They would have practiced with under-inflated footballs during the previous week. This practice would have involved everyone who touches the ball. Too many people would have been involved to keep it a secret. Someone would have talked!

  60. Dear Goodell.

    I have always strived to have my children find people guilty without any evidence. I have have taught them that’s it not important how minor the crime might be, or if they even did anything wrong, they must be punished. I told my children there is no god, so don’t believe that stuff about bearing false witness. The only thing important is that my needs are satisfied, and we stop these Patriots from winning.

    Thanks..great parent

  61. Bah… sexual assaults, child abuse. domestic violence don’t move you to speak but under inflated balls in a severely lopsided game outrage you? I wanted the Colts to win. They got pummeled. As Bob Costas stated, they could have been using balloons or bricks. It wouldn’t have mattered. Patriots probably did cheat – they didn’t need to. They’ve done it before. Too bad you didn’t think enough of the other issues to speak up earlier this year. Want to set a good example for your kids? Speak up about the other issues.

  62. Okay I read this and am asking in all sincerity if the author of this team plans to find another team to root for in order to uphold the lesson she says she wants to teach her kids about honesty and integrity. After all, is it not the holier than thou Colts that had to suspend their starting safety this year for cheating by taking PED’s? Did the Colts offer to forfeit all the games they won while he was playing loaded up on PED’s? I would love to hear her answer as to what she feels the league should do to her team for the wins they got, not the after punishment, but the wins while Landry was playing as a cheater. And will she stand for her own values in not following the Colts anymore for cheating as well?

  63. It is looking more and more like the NFL has nothing. no evidence. now leaks are saying only 1 ball was underinflated and that was the one that happened to be handled by Colts staff.

    I’m thinking that, as a parent, you might want to teach your kids about the Salem Witch Trials. It is a powerful lesson in not rushing to judgement when all you have is a biased reporter and leaks from people with an axe to grind rather than cold, hard facts.

    Should be a very teachable moment for you and your kids.