In the May wake of Deflategate and Clinton Foundationgate, one is left with the question of cheating and what difference it makes. Tom Brady, the “more probable than not” game-ball deflation-conspirator is on course to be at least suspended and fined for his cheating. The jury is still out on the impact that alleged quid pro quo at the Clinton Foundation will have on Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations. In spite of the short memory of the public, history books record legacies and even in a culture that holds no one accountable, cheating still leaves a mark.
Where There Is Probable Smoke, There Is Probable Fire
Investigator, Tom Wells, might have liberally used the phrase “more probable than not” in his exhaustive Deflategate report, but make no mistake that the preponderance of evidence implicates Brady’s direct involvement in this scandal. There is probable smoke coming off of every one of the over 300 pages in Well’s report. It shows that Brady built a fire under Patriot staffers to deflate game balls; potentially improving his ball handling for the Indiana Colts AFC championship game in January. Even with properly inflated balls, the Patriots were projected to win the game by at least a touch down by every prognosticator out there. Brady is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the game. Multiple Superbowl MVP’s, marquee supermodel wife, GQ-rated good looks – Brady has it all and still feels like he needs to cheat to keep it.
In the grand scheme of things, Brady’s deflation cheating is not on the level of taking performance-enhancing drugs or for that matter, slugging a girlfriend in a casino elevator like Ray Rice. However, he is the poster-child, marquee athlete, for a reputation-bruised NFL rocked by scandal after scandal of late. Look for Commissioner Roger Goodell to certainly punish his wunderkind in some fashion. Insiders say it will likely be a suspension in the neighborhood of a few games, not likely as much as a full season.
Brady Works At “Cheaters R Us”
Although Patriot’s Coach, Bill Belichick, has been cleared, thus far, of direct involvement by Well’s investigation, he is no stranger to a cheating controversy. The Patriots were caught cheating in 2007, when coaching staff was spotted videotaping hand signals by New York Jets coaches during games and comparing plays run by their offense and defense. The NFL fined the team $250,000 and Coach Belichick was fined $500,000. The Patriots gave up a first round draft pick.
Allegations have surfaced that other teams have accused the Patriots of playing with deflated balls and that the Colts were part of the cheating sting that was being perpetrated on the day of the AFC championship. Regardless of the veracity of this report, there is certainly evidence of a culture of corruption where the team plays fast and loose with the rules of the game. It is not surprising that Brady would, as he said, “feel comfortable,” with the false narrative that was presented concerning the early allegations of ball deflation and cheating. He was in good company.
Foundationgate Could Be Tip Of The Iceberg
Scandal is a phenomenon that seems to follow the Clinton family through their historical relationship with American politics. Bill Clinton has a sordid history of adultery and cheating that predates his presidency to his days as a governor in the great state of Arkansas. In spite of being a serial womanizer and jetting around the globe in the company of convicted pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein, he remains one of the most popular former presidents – the darling of the progressive movement. His speaking fees combined with those of his wife have generated millions for their personal wealth, estimated to be in the range of $55 million. However, the accusations that they exchanged speaking fees and donations to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for favorable quid pro quo influence in official Department of State business are the tip of an iceberg that could sink the titanic presidential bid of any mere mortal candidate.
The Clintons are certainly not mere mortal politicians. The venerated control team reportedly hunkers down in campaign situation rooms and strategizes counter offensives and controlled leaks like no other team in the history of partisan politics. Their control of the press with impending release of Peter Schweizer’s book, Clinton Cash, exposing potential cheating and scandal at the family foundation, was so astute that polling showed Clinton’s favorability rating has actually risen a few points in recent weeks. They scooped the indomitable New York Times by releasing separate chapters of Schweizer’s work to different news outlets that virtually deflated the Times’ investigative reporting like a Patriot game ball.
More Gates Than A Microsoft Family Reunion
The Clinton political history is filled with “gates.” The press, having the tendency of nicknaming scandals with the suffix “gate” in the fashion of Nixon-era’s Watergate, has had a field day covering the Clinton history of cheating allegations. Some charges stick, others are swept under bulging rugs, but decades of various peccadilloes from “bimbo patrol” to “Monica-gate” to the current “Foundationgate” are accumulating. Whether the fallout of these scandals will finally weigh the Clinton legacy down to the ground, remains to be seen.
Proverbial Clinton supporters dismiss these current charges as more-of-the-same smear campaigns. They point to the good that Clinton Foundation accomplishes around the world. However, a separate investigation of how the Clinton Foundation monies are allocated show that the foundation accomplishes only ten cents of good for every dollar donated. One would wonder what good the other 90 cents on the dollar does for the world. Skeptics say that 90 percent profit for a global non-profit is the difference that cheating makes.
Examples Made and Forgotten
Americans love to forgive and forget. Everybody loves a story of redemption and the comeback. However, in the case of both these examples of Brady and Clinton, the cover up is often viewed as worse than the crime. Cheating and the lies told to cover it up weave a tangled web that, in the digital age, survives in perpetuity. Brady is the poster boy for one of the world’s most popular sports. Clinton could be the first woman president and the most powerful person in the world. The reputations and the character of people of this stature must be held to a higher standard than the average citizen. Whether they care about the deserved respect of others, they must be expected to care about the respect shown their station in life. Classless behavior like cheating is beneath these figures and it most definitely does make a difference.
Opinion by Chris Marion
Headline image by Photoforía – Creativecommons Flickr License
Inline image (1) by Keith Allison – Creativecommons Flickr License
Inline image (2) by Steve Rhodes – Creativecommons Flickr License