…my first impression when this first arose? STOP THE INSANITY!! To steal a popular phrase from the 1990’s. I was like…are you kidding me?! The ball was lighter than it should be. Ok, maybe it was easier to grip, but could the ball travel more erratically or something if there was less air than normal in it? Or some other negative factor to balance the positive? I mean, what’s the difference?? It’s a pound or two…big deal.
Now…it is I that is deflated…along with thousands of New England Patriot fans it would appear. Controversy around the team…AGAIN??!! Right before the Super Bowl? Ugh…
It’s really unbelievable. There is no other way to describe it.
I really want to wait until the investigation (or “investigation”?) is over and all the facts are in to form a final judgment on this situation. But the dribs and drabs coming out from “anonymous sources” are certainly not promising.
Part of my first inclination was also that everyone hates the Patriots. Belichick is an arse. Brady is a pretty boy. People are jealous of Brady’s life as a whole I guess. Spygate still looms overhead, the Pats have not won a title since. The Patriots, and Patriot fans, can be overwhelmingly arrogant. The Pats have been extremely successful since the Kraft’s bought the team…they win over 10 games and the division every year, and are about to go to their 7th Super Bowl in just over 20 years of owning the team. Robert Kraft and Roger Goodell are close and everyone hates Goodell now, so by the transitive property…etc., etc., etc. This was just another thing to pile on. Just because.
There’s no doubt that all of the items in the above paragraph play some sort of role in this whole scandal. But that overshadows the likelihood of what actually happened:
The Patriots are guilty…again.
The troubling thing is that the Pats did not need to do this to beat the Colts. And it’s my opinion that every team/player/coach/manager/etc. does something to push the edge of the rules/limits of good sportsmanship to gain a competitive advantage, whether it be spying, deflating, freezing out the visiting locker rooms, turning off the AC at the old Boston Garden for a June basketball game, watering down the base paths against speedy teams, stealing notes out of the visiting locker room trash cans, PEDs, salary cap shenanigans, kneeing someone in the junk at the bottom of a pile, corking bats, scuffing a baseball (or adding Bullfrog, if you will)…the list is endless. The stories today rehashing how Aaron Rodgers likes to overinflate the balls and “try and get away with it”; Eli Manning and what he does; Brad Johnson paying someone to doctor the balls before his Super Bowl, etc…these stories are just a miniscule sampling of the hijinks that occurs in sports.
I absolutely do not blame parties for looking for their particular edge. But the simple fact is that the Pats need(ed) to be more careful than everyone else, since they got caught once and are under the microscope waaaaaaaaay more than other teams. The fact that they are so brazen and figured they weren’t going to get caught, well…it’s just surprising. Or is it?
Stories coming out today indicate that the Colts had brought this up to the league after their November game. If they did, shouldn’t the Pats have been aware of the complaint? And presumably the league told them to stop? And then the Patriots clearly did not? Similar to the whole Spygate thing…where every team videotaped as a rule, the league sent out a memo telling all teams to knock it off and the Patriots clearly didn’t? That’s part of the problem, they didn’t stop after being told to. Maybe other teams didn’t stop either. But since teams look a little more closely at the Pats, they needed to be smarter.
I still have many unanswered questions, or clarifications of some of the information that has been thrown out there already. Were the Colts balls definitely tested, and when? Were the balls re-inflated at halftime, or were “backup” balls used? If backup or re-inflated balls were used in the second half, how could it be 28-0 Pats in that half and only 17-7 in the first half with the supposedly advantageous balls? If Mark Brunell, Jerome Bettis and Louis Riddick can have a whole ESPN segment being adamant that a deflated ball was better and then showed by example how they could press their fingers deep into a deflated ball, how come the officials on the field did not notice it? I mean, they handled the ball before every play, how was that missed? Was all the testing done like has been reported, with gauges and not “feel”? Is the weather during the game a factor, as well as weighing indoors and testing outdoors after being in the cold and rain for a few hours? And then some.
So we shall see. I assume that the NFL will try and wrap this up quickly, so next week’s focus can be on the actual game at hand. But can they really wrap this up that quickly and have definitive answers? Not so sure.
Either way, it’s a loss for the team and the fans. If the Patriots win, they cheated. If they lose, it’s because they couldn’t cheat. It’s unfortunate for the football world actually. Because this Super Bowl actually could be a good one.
There’s no doubt in my mind that, regardless of the final results of the investigation, that Bill and the team will use this as more motivation for the Super Bowl. The whole “no one believes in us” kind of garbage that underdogs usually like to rally around.
But the stain that never went away with Spygate is now infinitely bigger. The legacy is forever sullied. It’s never going away, even if somehow they are exonerated in this particular case in the end. That’s unfortunate, to say the least.
Posted on January 21, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged Aaron Rodgers, Bill Belichick, Boston Garden, cheating, Deflategate, ESPN, Insanity, New England, NFL, Patriots, Robert Kraft, Roger Goodell, scandal, Spygate, Super Bowl. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.