Friday, January 23, 2015

10 Things Social Pressure Is Forcing Me To Think About That Patriots Ball Thingie

Because if you're going to opine on something sportsish this week, it has to be the shriveled balls of New England.

  1. The compulsive need to "name" the "scandal" with something cute like Deflategate or Ballghazi is a stunning indictment of the mainstream sports media's inability to produce anything above lowest common denominator hurr-hurr-hurr material. That being said, I look forward to the day when Bill Belichick is caught rigging the turnstiles at Gillette Stadium and the resultant furor is labeled "Gategate".
  2. All the people getting up on moral high horses about how this is a deadly affront to the purity of the game and the Worst Thing Ever, let me remind you: RAY FUCKING RICE. Oh. Wait. You forgot about all that, right? Right.
  3. Anyone making lame-ass defenses like "Well, there's no way they could have deflated the balls after weigh-in" or "Maybe something else happened to deflate them" or, and I'm pretty sure this one is coming soon, "ALIENS!" is just pissing in the wind at this point. 11 out of 12 of the balls tested as deflated. Dozens of former players have spelled out exactly when you'd want a deflated ball, what benefits it would give you, and how you could identify one instantly. Just stop embarrassing yourselves already and admit it happened.
  4. 11 out of 12 balls were deflated. You get the feeling that Belichick - whom nobody has ever seen at the same place and time as Dr. Doom - is right now standing over the guy responsible for the deflating, holding a taser and shouting "DO YOUR JOB!"
  5. Speaking of which, the odds that Belichick didn't know the protocol for preparing balls are somewhere close to the odds that I could win a game of HORSE with Kyle Korver. I'm more inclined to believe that Bill Von Doom ran a couple of trainers through ball deflation drills so that they could "adjust" balls on the fly with the effortless grace and speed of a Gronkowski post route. 
  6. Yes, the Patriots would have won that game if the Colts had been using balls dipped in Flubber. That being said, the Pats broke the rules. Saying that doesn't matter because the margin of victory was so large is to suggest that the rules only matter at certain times, which is to say that they don't matter at all. And considering the use the Pats have made of esoteric rules interpretations - Tuck Rule, I'm looking at you - that's maybe not the best position for Patriots fans to take.
  7. Tom Brady looked surprised that Dr. Bill threw him out of the sled during his press conference for the media wolves to feast on. Multiple Super Bowl wins do provide a certain level of teflon coating for nonsense answers like the ones Brady gave, but sooner or later Vinny from the Cape (long time listener, first time caller) is going to figure out that both Belichick and Brady can't be telling the truth. And if they're not both spotless avatars of Patriots football purity, then the cognitive dissonance is going to get really thick around Foxboro way. 
  8. There is literally nothing meaningful the NFL can do to "punish" the Patriots for this. Suspend Belichick for the Super Bowl and risk having the entire northeast howl? Yeah, right. Take away draft picks? Who cares - the Pats will just sign another washed-up vet, toss him in the Lazarus Pit they hide behind the Alewife T station, and LeGarette Blount the world again instead. Fines? With what that team brings in? What "Spygate" and the deflated balls have proved definitively is that the NFL is nothing more than the SEC writ large, where any punishment meted out is not for cheating but for getting caught, and won't be allowed to interfere with next year's Iron Bowl in any case.
  9. After the nonsense that was the Mueller Report, precisely nobody is going to believe the NFL's report on the incident. I suppose they felt they had to do it, but come on. It's not that the NFL's investigative arm is untrustworthy. It's that the reports that come the other end clearly are.
  10. Somebody please tell me that the anti-steroid fanatics in the Boston sports media and WEEI listener base are not tying themselves into pretzels (Philly, if you please) trying to rationalize this as the moral and proper thing to do. Because if they are, I'll make popcorn.


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