New England Patriots

You knew that people would bring up the Patriots cheating during Super Bowl week. But a writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer took things to another level and found a way to bring up Aaron Hernandez.

Yes, it’s probably the worst thing you’ll read all week.

The general gist of Bob Brookover’s story is that the Patriots should have known that Hernandez would become entangled in multiple murder cases. That his background, questionable past, and red flags should have been enough to know that Hernandez would eventually resort to (allegedly) murdering three people.

The shame of the matter is that the Patriots, and specifically coach Bill Belichick, acted as if they could not possibly know something so awful would ever happen despite the fact that Hernandez had a troubled past at the University of Florida and in his hometown of Bristol, Conn.

And it insinuates that the Patriots didn’t do enough research to know that Hernandez would be involved in (allegedly) literal murder. Because no other player in NFL history was ever capable of doing bad things to others…

A recent CBS documentary – All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez — detailed Hernandez’s life and made it clear that little research needed to be done to understand that he was a troubled soul capable of doing awful things.

To be fair to Brookover, perhaps he wasn’t responsible for the most cringe-worthy part of the whole piece, the headline: “Maybe it’s no coincidence that Aaron Hernandez tragedy happened to Patriots”. Implying that the Patriots actively look to employ (alleged) murderers.

Or maybe he did write the headline, based on the article’s conclusion.

Once he no longer could help them, it became a sin to even speak the name Aaron Hernandez. Maybe it’s not a coincidence that the NFL team that has had the most success in this century also had to deal with the league’s greatest tragedy.

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Look, the Patriots ultimately made a terrible mistake to draft Hernandez. They made an even bigger mistake to sign him to an extension. But at the end of the day, they cut his ass the second he got arrested in his murder investigations. They did their best to cut ties just like any other team would. You couldn’t distance yourself from a player in a stronger way than how the Patriots did it.

To bring Hernandez up almost five years later when it has no bearing whatsoever on Super Bowl LII, and to insinuate that the Patriots are just that much more evil than the rest of the league because of him, is unconscionable. Not only is it a bad take to hold any team at fault for not predicting that a player would be involved in murder cases, but to spew that take now instead of 2013 makes it that much worse.

Hopefully, the rest of the Philadelphia writers just talk about cameras and deflated footballs for the rest of the week. They’ve already plummeted to the deepest depths. Nowhere to go but up.

— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.