Ray Lewis: Patriots should have asterisk for cheating
Ray Lewis is a prideful man who holds the sport of football in the highest regard. To Lewis, the game is about RESPECT and INTEGRITY. He believes in WORKING HARD and PLAYING THE GAME THE RIGHT WAY. And the way the Patriots had deflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game against the Colts did not sit well with the former Baltimore Ravens linebacker.
Lewis spoke on ESPN’s Pro Bowl pregame show Sunday and shared his black-and-white opinion of deflategate. Simply put, Lewis thinks the Pats were cheating. He prefaced his comments by cautioning Patriots fans that he is not attacking the team out of jealousy, which is what many Pats fans feel is the root of the complaints.
“Every time we talk about the Patriots, you have the Patriots fans … you get all the talk about the jealous of them and all that. I won two Super Bowls, I’ve been Defensive Player of the Year, I’ve been MVP of the Super Bowl, I’ve went to New England and won … so I’m not jealous of them at all,” Lewis said.
Lewis then went on to talk about the integrity of the game being compromised by the Pats and how they need an asterisk for cheating.
“But the integrity of this game. Marshawn Lynch … the league clearly said to him, ‘If you come out of the tunnel with those shoes on, we will not only suspend you for this game, but we will suspend you for the Super Bowl.’ Now we’re back at another place where we let a team go into an AFC Championship, and if it’s proven that they played with deflated balls … because if it’s not cheating, then the Colts should have had the same option to play with the same balls. So we’re at a place now where we’re going to celebrate an organization once again, put an asterisk by it, because they went into a championship game.
“The integrity of this game! That’s not the way you go into games trying to win football games.”
Lewis was ranting during his comments so they became incoherent at times, but there is no mistaking his point: the Patriots had an advantage over the Colts by playing with an under-inflated ball, and that is cheating. The problem is Pats fans may not take him seriously because of his prior reputation as a Tom Brady detractor and the lack of integrity in his personal life; it’s hard to take the preaching of a man seriously if that person committed obstruction of justice in a murder case and was under question for deer antler spray.