Ben Leber Weighs in on ‘Defatlegate,’ New England Patriots
Former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Ben Leber joined Jeff Thurn on Friday's edition of Overtime.
Leber (@nacholeber) works for KFAN in Minneapolis, and played for the Vikings from 2002 to 2010.
Is 'Deflategate' a big deal surrounding the New England Patriots and the NFL?
"(laughs) Here's the thing, I think some opinions are being slightly twisted here. My stance on it is, it is not a big deal. I don't advocate cheating, but the fact is it did not have a competitive advantage in their football game. Doesn't seem to be much competitive advantage in the difference in a 10.5-pound ball versus a 12.5 PSI ball. And I think it is not really an issue. Like did they cheat? Absolutely. Should they get penalized for cheating? Yes. There should be a fine and something else. But everybody wants to put these guys on a stake and burn them. It's wrong. The fact we have two weeks to talk about the game and the Super Bowl, the fact nobody really cares about the Pro Bowl. This is news and people are going to talk about it over and over again. I do think they need to be punished. You need to play within the rules, whether it's ignorance or not. Whether Tom Brady knew what specific PSI he liked. Ignorance, according to the NFL, is not an excuse. And there needs to be some sort of punishment, but come on people, this is not, 'hey we need to suspend these guys for the game, take away all these draft picks, suspend Brady and Belichick for the year kind of like Bountygate.' This is an issue they either knew about it or didn't know about. It's a small deal. They cheated. They got caught. Hand down a proper punishment. We don't need to go over board and burn these guys at a stake."
*For comments, or story ideas, email Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter @samtastad.