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On 13-year anniversary of Tuck Rule debacle, Patriots caught cheating again

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

It seems the Patriots are incapable of having success in the NFL without cheating. The most recent incident was revealed on Tuesday when the NFL found that 11 of the 12 footballs they used in the AFC Championship game last Sunday were underinflated by as much as two pounds each. That's illegal. And it's cheating.

This is not the first time the Patriots have been caught cheating. The last time was back in 2007 when, wouldn't you know it, they also played in the Super Bowl.

That time it was the infamous "Spygate" scandal in which they were found to be videotaping opponents offensive and defensive signals on the sideline. Belichick admitted at that time that the Patriots had been doing doing as far back as 2000 -- the year before their tainted dynasty began.

They had won three Super Bowls using that technique and it wasn't until their former coach Eric Mangini became the Jets head coach and called the league's attention to it that they stopped and were punished for their actions. By then, they had three Super Bowl trophies so... totally worth it.

The first of those Super Bowls they won came in 2001 and should never have happened at all. That was the year of the infamous "Tuck Rule" game which had shady dealing stank all over it. One where Charles Woodson blitzed Tom Brady, forcing a fumble that was overturned supposedly because of an archaic rule that has since been removed from the rulebook.

The 13th anniversary of that game was Monday; the day before a study revealed the Patriots had cheated again.

As fate would have it, Eric Mangini interviewed for the Raiders vacant Defensive Coordinator position on that same day, bringing together the team at the wrong end of the first incident and the man credited with bring to light the method by which the Patriots used to mysteriously always know what opposing offenses were going to do.

All the while the Raiders are trying to rebuild their team as well as yet another new coaching staff, the Patriots franchise -- along with the same owner, head coach, and quarterback who have been partaking in these shady incidents for the better part of the past 13 years -- are preparing for their sixth Super Bowl in that time.

We'll see if Roger Goodell tries to whitewash this incident just as he did with the NFL's domestic violence epidemic and just his predecessor did the Raiders in the Tuck Rule snow job 13 years ago.