Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Curious Case Of The Incredible Shrinking Balls

I realize I may be setting myself up for some pretty harsh criticism from Patriots fans, but I have to express my total disgust with a team that clearly doesn’t think they can win even a single game without cheating.

In a post I published on Sunday, January 18th, I wrote about the history of cheating by the New England Patriots.  Little did I know that very Sunday, the Patriots would be embroiled in yet another scandal on the gridiron.

The NFL, according to ESPN, found 11 of the 12 footballs New England provided for Sunday’s blowout of the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game were underinflated by as much as two pounds per square inch of pressure.
Back on November 16, 2014 Indianapolis Colts safety Mike Adams twice intercepted QB Tom Brady and gave each of the balls to the Colts’ equipment manager to save over concerns that those balls were under-inflated according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.  Sources confirm that the League was aware of the Colts’ concerns going into last Sunday’s AFC Championship game.

Monday morning following the game, Brady appeared on WEEI’s “Dennis and Callahan Show” feigning surprise that a deflated ball was even an issue.

“I have no idea,” Brady said as he laughed at the question. “I think I heard it all at this point…It’s ridiculous…Oh, God, that’s the last of my worries. I don’t even respond to stuff like that.”
Dan Wetzel over at Yahoo! Sports puts it right where it belongs:
As for ‘[hearing] it all at this point,’ the implication is that Brady had never heard of a ball being under-inflated, let alone his. As such, the suggestion was just ridiculous. Like, say, the NFL accusing him of filling it with helium.”
Through the years, Tom Brady has always been able to remain above whatever the latest fray [was] that engulfed the New England Patriots.” 
“Brady was the quarterback, perhaps teased for his fashion or footwear or occasionally awkward celebrations, but never much on issues of substance. He was the underdog turned megastar, likable and respectable and just oh so good.”
“Bill Belichick played the villain, the supposed win-at-all-costs genius under the ratty hoodie.  When allegations of underhandedness or unsportsmanlike play or anything else hit, it was all assumed to be Belichick’s orders, not Brady’s.”
In 2012, the Saints, after being found guilty of placing bounties on opposing players, Head Coach Sean Payton served a one-year suspension, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams got an indefinite suspension, assistant coach Joe Vitt got six games and general manager Mickey Loomis got eight games. They also forfeited two second-round draft picks and were fined.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has proven he has no stomach for meting out punishments to fit crimes like the brutal assault by Ray Rice on his fiancĂ©. He suspiciously allowed the destruction of Belichick’s “Spygate” videotapes and now he faces yet another credibility problem with a franchise that is a repeat offender of NFL regulations.

He’d better grow a pair and not try to paper over this.  At the very least, Belichick and Brady should be suspended from the Super Bowl.  The club should be fined not thousands, but millions of dollars and they should not have any draft picks for the next two years.  The Patriots need to be taught a lesson.  Get their attention.  If you get their attention, you’ll get the attention of every other player, coach, general manager and owner in the NFL.  Maybe then this deplorable behavior will end.
Am I making a mountain out of flattened balls?  Jerry Rice, 2010 Pro Football Hall of Famer who played in the League for 20 years, had 1,549 career receptions, 22,895 career receiving yards and 197 career TD receptions has an opinion on the matter:

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