In light of the major controversy currently taking place in the NFL, we at Koa would like to discuss the true heart of this matter, which is not the suspension for Tom Brady or the fine that has to be paid by the Patriots. It isn’t even about who was responsible for deflating the footballs; rather, the true atrocity, that seems to be getting somewhat overlooked, is the fact that a team cheated.
Scandals are, sadly, relatively constant in professional sports, especially in the world of football as of late. Whether the transgression be on an individual, team or franchise level, there must always be consequences given in order to uphold the honesty and sanctity of the sport and the people within it. This is a fact that everyone is aware of—however, many get caught up in the penalties more than the actual wrongdoing. In the instance of the Patriots, the team blatantly and knowingly cheated to gain favor. This is the worst offence that could possibly be committed for it denigrates not only the sport and the other teams in the league, but it also vanquishes the trust of the fans.
Sports are a beautiful thing. Sports give people the opportunity to join together with others who share a common interest, it creates strong communities comprised of passionate and united athletes and supporters, and it produces the perfect blueprint for becoming a hardworking, engaged and respectful person. All sports, soccer, basketball, golf, tennis, track, football, etc, may use different rules, arenas, and equipment, yet at their core they all rely on the same foundation: honesty of play. Cheating strips every sport of this imperative base layer—even with my minimal knowledge of structural engineering, I feel pretty confident in saying that if a foundation is broken the entire structure will likely collapse.
There will always be tough losses, frustrating games, and crazy calls made by the officials; cheating, however, is never the answer in overcoming these obstacles. Sports teams never get better by taking illegal shortcuts—sure there might be a brief momentary victory (the Patriots did win the Super Bowl after all), nevertheless, the only way to genuinely improve upon yourself, and as a unit, is to push yourself and your teammates harder and farther. You must have an innate desire to prove that you can endure those losses and unfair calls because you are strong, talented and capable of defeating adversity due to practice and heart, not because of lying and illegal manipulation.
People love sports. They love watching sports and they love playing them. There is a trust between fellow teammates, as well as between the fans and their respective teams, which engenders an indefatigable feeling of respect and conviction. Cheating destroys this trust—it, quite simply, destroys the game. Never be afraid of losing or coming in second, third or last place. If you give every competition your genuine best, then you are going to be a successful athlete for a long time. For as the famous idiom states, “Cheaters never prosper”.
-Tony Korson, CEO 05/14/15