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Play the game right or don’t play it at all

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As sports fans, we can often put on blinders when it comes to our teams. All that we want is for them to triumph over the other team, because their victory is our shared victory.

A truly good game can come off as a David vs Goliath sort of scenario.

Until you find out that David was never supposed to win, he cheated.

After the fact, the truth comes to light that performance enhancing drugs were involved or illegal substances were used to better a team’s chances of winning the game. It is all cheating and it all takes something away from the experience.

The recent accusation against the New England Patriots and the deflating of balls Jerry Rice, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, came out condemning the possible cheating. The only problem is that it was revealed that Rice and various others on his team and in the league were using the substance known as Stickum to make sure they were catching passes, a few years after it was banned by the league because of the unfair advantage is presented, according to CBS Sports.

When confronted about this cheating, Rice defended it by saying that everyone at the time was doing it.

At the same time, it was recently revealed that the Atlanta Falcons were using fake crowd noises to pump up the sound in their stadium when their opponent was on offense, which is a move to try and give the team a psychological edge. They’re facing possible fines and a lost draft pick as the NFL finishes their investigation.

We can’t forget the Cleveland Browns who already are facing fines and a lost draft pick along with a possible multi-game suspension of their team/general manager Ray Farmer because of a violation of the league’s electronic device policy. The violation stems from a high-ranking personnel member of the team texting the sidelines about play calling during a game.

Cheating is cheating, it doesn’t matter if every team in the league is doing it, it is wrong.

Sadly this tidal wave of cheating revelations has even struck Little League.

On Feb. 12 Little League Baseball stripped the U.S. Championship from the Chicago-based Jackie Robinson West team and suspended their coach for violating a rule that prohibits the use of players who live outside the geographic area that the team represents, according to ESPN.

Basically they cherry picked from various districts to build what boils down to a super team, which invariably gave them quite an advantage over others. In light of the championship being stripped from the team it was instead awarded to Mountain Ridge Little League from Las Vegas.

Clearly every team out there is looking for an advantage over others, and they are hoping not to get caught.

Every sport has its issues, like baseball and steroid use, but just because something is widely done does not make it acceptable.

It’s easy to say that since everyone is trying to find an advantage and it only turns into a big deal when they’re caught, that it’s just the way things are and we should shrug it off.

The problem is as a society the people involved are held up as supposed role models. We want our children to emulate them and to grow up to be like them.

What message does it send when those role models are breaking rules left and right just in the name of winning? A pretty bad one.

It’s time for the leagues to come down harder on players for their bad behavior. Whether it’s cheating, domestic abuse, DUI’s or whatever you call that childish behavior of Marshawn Lynch.

Stop giving out these pathetic fines and wrists slaps that mean nothing to these players. It’s the same as telling a child not to do something, only to turn around and let them continue doing the same thing.

Make the players and staff play the game the way it’s supposed to be played or find those who can.

Simple as that.

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Play the game right or don’t play it at all