Last week the hammer was dropped on the New England Patriots and Tom Brady for deflating balls in order to gain a competitive advantage (see: cheating) in the AFC Championship game. The NFL suspended the Golden Boy for four games, while docking the team two draft picks (including a No. 1 in 2016) and adding in a fine of $1 million dollars for good measure. A hefty punishment indeed, especially considering Patriots owner Robert Kraft is known to be BFFs with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
While America overwhelmingly believes Brady and his ball-handlers at least bent the rules, one argument being made from Boston homesteads is that every team cheats, the Patriots just got caught because you’re a jealous hater of their success. Lending some credo to this notion is an enterprising new site, appropriately called your team cheats. The site charts all of the infractions that each NFL team has faced, ranging from the Denver Broncos with 49 instances of cheating, to the Jacksonville Jaguars—presumably because they’re one of the last expansion teams—with 12. While that information is interesting and valuable for giving context, I think they missed some obvious advantages teams have created for themselves.
Jerry Jones fills the visiting team’s locker room with money, forcing players to swim it in like Scrooge McDuck.
New York Giants
Eli’s face is advantage enough. It’s so distracting.
The stadium is filled with Santa Clauses who throw batteries.
Opposing team hotel is located in Northern Virginia and the team has to drive the beltway during rush hour and HOW ARE ALL OF YOU BAD DRIVERS?!
The excitement of a Saturday night in Zubaz lulls the opposition into a deep sleep and they wake up having missed Sunday entirely.
Dan LeBatard’s Dad distracts them with his dancing.
New York Jets
Like a masked wrestler, opponents have no idea who the Jets really are and become distracted with creating a game plan.
Isn’t getting people to travel to Glendale cheating enough?
San Francisco 49ers
Opponent’s Uber drivers lock them in the car and tell them about their great app idea while they cross the bridge over and over again.
Russell Wilson’s ex-wife hangs out making this face:
St. Louis Rams
Opponents have to spend time with St. Louis Cardinals fans and the smug-ness renders them unable to perform.
Peyton Manning’s secret weapon: Weed-laced Papa Johns.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City switcheroo: Players think they’re in Kansas, but wind up in Missouri or vice versa. What state does this team play in again?
San Diego Chargers
Visitors are distracted by the litany of Philip Rivers children, of whom there are many.
The Bears footballs are covered in honey, thus taking the cheating to meta-levels.
Their team ambassadors do most of the heavy lifting.
Green Bay Packers
Teams arrive to discover that there is no Lambeau Field and there are no Green Bay Packers. The entire team is a collective hallucination of the state of Wisconsin.
Rogue bulls block the team from entering the locker room.
Ravens front office treats the visiting team to local crabcakes, however the crackers used in the mix are double the normal recipe and they turn off the water in the locker room.
Poisoned Skyline Chili. Also known as Skyline Chili.
The new jerseys. Why are they wearing orange when the team name is Brown?
Terrible towels soaked in ether are thrown at opponents by fans.
The Cam Newton yogurt pyramid scheme.
New Orleans Saints
The all-you-can-eat beignet bar is a trap! Don’t do it!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Visiting teams go for a bike ride, only to be arrested for not having their hands on the handlebars and forced to forfeit the game.
Silver Jews songs are pumped into the visiting locker room, making them very depressed.
A trail of Shahid Khan’s mustache wax covers every available surface, rendering offensive plans obsolete.
Jim Irsay knows where the party is. You wanna come?