7. The New England Patriots And Deflategate
The AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts held on January 18, 2015, was a one sided affair as the Pats cruised to a 45-7 victory en-route to the Super Bowl. In the game, Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted a pass from Tom Brady and kept the ball as a souvenir. A Colts equipment manager measured the pressure of said ball on the sideline and notified the NFL that the ball was below league regulation range. What followed was a whole years worth of investigating and legal wrangling that was dubbed “Deflategate,” being one of the main sports storylines all the way through the following season.
The New England Patriots had previously been under fire years prior after they were caught filming an opposing teams practice. The new allegations only fueled the belief that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady were “cheaters” considering their massive success for the past 14 years, appearing in 6 Super Bowls and winning 4. Battling with the NFL in court, the New England Patriots were involved in court room dramas worthy of a daytime soap opera as Brady’s personal cellphone even came into question, amongst other items. Ultimately, the courts saw no wrongdoing on the part of New England and this was further cemented as the franchise has had yet another successful season, currently sitting atop the AFC with a 12-3 record.