On Thursday, Sept. 10, the New England Patriots beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, officially kicking off the 2015 NFL season. In the first couple weeks we have seen some surprising games including the Seattle Seahawks loss to the Saint Louis Rams and the Indianapolis Colts loss to the Buffalo Bills. We have seen kickers struggling to complete the PAT, or Point After Touchdown, after it was moved back to the 15 yard line. And there was closure in the Deflategate scandal when quarterback Tom Brady’s suspension was overturned by a federal judge. Brady and the Patriots were accused of purposely “deflating” the footballs to allow a better grip in the slippery conditions of the AFC Championship game against the Colts.
At first the NFL suspended Brady for four games and fined the Patriots $1 million while taking away one of their first round draft picks in 2016 and one of their fourth round draft picks in 2017. Following the suspension, Brady started the appeal process. Brady’s appeal had to be heard within 10 days or else it would be denied. Upon review of the appeal, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell decided to stand strong on his original decision and refused to take away Brady’s suspension. After this, Brady brought the situation to federal court, and won, just like he has proceeded to win on the field. So far, he is off to an impressive start with nine touchdown passes, zero interceptions and a completion percentage of 72.2.
Opinions of Deflategate and Tom Brady vary drastically from being interested in it like freshman Jake Ellithorpe to being completely uninterested in it like freshman Cassie Murphy. “Tom Brady and the Patriots both cheated. They should just own up to it and save all the drama,” said Ellithorpe. Teachers, like students, also have many different opinions on the subject. “It’s unfortunate, they didn't need to cheat to win,” said physical education teacher Jeff Ike; “it hurts the overall perspective of the game.” But instead of attacking Brady and the Patriots, social studies teacher Andrew Cottet went after the NFL and Roger Goodell. “Goodell didn't handle the situation correctly, they only suspended an NFL “golden boy” so it would discourage other players in the league from cheating,” he said. “But don't get me wrong, what Brady and the Patriots did was not okay, but they didn't do anything that anyone else wouldn't do,” Mr.Cottet clarified.
Along with the Deflategate and Tom Brady scandal, new league rules have emerged such as a longer Point After Touchdown and new female refs and coaches on NFL teams. Many people are against the PAT simply because it is being missed more regularly and is meant to be easy. “The new PAT rule is so ridiculous. There is no reason they should make it harder. It should be easier because it is basically a reward for scoring a touchdown,” said freshman Nolan Giblin. However, junior Jacob Harron thinks it makes the game more competitive.
On the topic of the new female refs and coaches, people of all ages and genders have found the new advancement for women in the world of male dominated sports refreshing and good for the NFL. “This is great for the NFL. More women should be allowed to do similar things like this if they want. There is no reason they shouldn't be allowed just because they are women,” said physical education teacher Emily Rowles. “It's great to have them,” said senior Evan Neugebauer who thinks they earned the right to be there.
The season may not even be close to over, but many people already have their Super Bowl predictions. Many think like junior Julia Kelner and sophomore Caelen Constantino that the Seattle Seahawks will once again win it all. Another common favorite is the New York Giants. “They are resilient and never give up,” said Coach Ike. Instead of having a prediction where one team wins, some people have a Super Bowl match-up prediction such as Assistant Principal Will Dowdell who thinks the New England Patriots will play the Green Bay Packers.
Along with the start of the NFL season, Fantasy Football returned. Many students love Fantasy and usually participate in more than one league like freshman Ameen Iraqi who participates in three leagues and sophomore Kellen Mulvihill who participates in two. Some popular top pick options for Fantasy were Aaron Rodgers, the top pick for Giblin and Neugebauer, and Jamaal Charles, the top pick for Iraqi.