We already know at least one Super Bowl is tainted (2003), and that the AFCCG played in Foxboro is also tainted. How do we know this?
We all know Rodney Harrison was recently suspended because he was named in a government investigation as a recipient for HGH from a shady pharmacudical company that delivers drugs via the Internet. What we now know is Rodney has taken this stuff for a while. According to an article by Brendan J. Lyons, Rodney had a shipment of HGH delivered to his house before the 2004 AFCCG against the Colts. In the game, and in the Super Bowl, Rodney was one of the key players, and without him playing well the Pats would not have won:
But a few days before the game, according to law enforcement sources, Harrison made what would be his first of several discreet calls over a three-year period to order drugs from a South Florida wellness clinic -- a clinic that later became a target of the Albany County district attorney.
The clinic's workers knew they had a star athlete on the phone -- he wasn't their first pro sports client -- yet they crafted a phony prescription, signed by a doctor, for the drugs that Harrison, now 34, believed would help prolong his career, sources said.
Later that month, about two weeks prior to the Patriots' Super Bowl victory over the Carolina Panthers, a package containing human growth hormone in preloaded syringes arrived at Harrison's New England residence.
I'll put it in language that general idiots and New England apologists can understand, because like Bill Belichick they seem to have trouble understanding plain and simple English: Rodney took HGH prior to playing those two playoffs game. That means he cheated. Had he not taken HGH, he would not have had the same impact on the games, and in both those games he was a big reason why New England won. If Rodney were playing within the acceptable rules of the game, New England would have last one of those games and not been rewarded a championship. Thus, Super Bowl 38 is a tainted Super Bowl and has a gigantic * next to it.
I feel most sorry for guys like Brady and Vinatieri. I think players like them are clean, and not illegally caught up in this whole Spygate thing or this HGH scandal. But these activities undermine their accomplishments as well. It is truly a sad, sad state of affairs for the NFL.
I'm not harping on this folks simply because I enjoy writing about cheating. I don't. A tainted sport ripe with cheating is not a sport worth following. It's a reason why baseball is disgraced, the NBA is a farce, and boxing is little more than pro wrestling with big gloves. When I see the same kinds of things begin to be tolerated in a sport as great as the NFL, I simply cannot turn my head away. The mistakes made by baseball, basketball, and boxing were that they refused to acknowledge the problem when it was happening. Then, when it blew up in their face, they lacked the balls to do anything about it. Roger Goodell has shown he is willing to do something about problems. He'll kick you out and publicly disgrace you if you piss on this sport. I hope he continues this course of action as the tactics of several New England employees continue to drag this league into the gutter.