As a longtime NFL fan and 20-year season ticket holder of the New England Patriots, I believe I owe all Saints fans an apology.

These past six-plus months have opened my eyes as to how the NFL front office operates. When the Bountygate ruling and suspensions were announced a few years back, I was initially shocked at the extent of the punishments, but I put my faith in the NFL and assumed it must have determined the truth after a thorough and fair investigation. After all, they wouldn’t be so harsh on one of their own teams unless they really had the facts.

With Deflategate, I now have a much different perspective and see how underhanded the NFL can be. I have taken the time to read all the reports and assess the facts on my own. I can clearly see through the numerous leaks, lies and inferences that tried very hard to smear my team and my quarterback.

However, I did not make the same effort during Bountygate and instead just blindly believed in the NFL. I now realize that I was wrong, and, for this, I apologize to the city of New Orleans.

Our teams now have something in common, as both have been spurned by the NFL. I wish you the best for the 2015 season. I sincerely hope our teams next meet in San Francisco, as having the commissioner hand the Lombardi trophy to either winner would truly be poetic justice.

Dave Cassery

director of software operations

Grafton, Massachusetts