The Patriots went out and rocked the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night in Foxboro. On a night that should have been celebratory for Patriots players, coaches and fans, it once again turned into a night of answering questions about how the Patriots may have “cheated”, this time by using underinflated footballs. First the Indianapolis media got word, and then the news went mainstream, as it always does when it involves someone questioning the validity of a Patriots win.
So here is how this went down.
A local reporter for the Indianapolis Colts (I refuse to use his name) was told by a source that the Colts had issued a complaint to the NFL regarding certain balls not feeling right and possibly being underweight. The rumor started when D’Qwell Jackson made an interception in the second quarter and reported to his equipment manager that the ball felt “soft” (which we now know is false.) Apparently the report made it up the ladder to GM Ryan Grigson, who made NFL officials aware. This is what we were TOLD, but this may not be what actually happened. More on that later.
When the news first came out, most just assumed that it would be a non-issue and squashed before it could become serious. WRONG! Once certain media outlets got a hold of this story, it exploded into the huge controversy it is today, and now instead of writing about the matchup between Seattle and New England, I’m talking about footballs being underinflated. Not only am I talking about it, EVERYBODY is talking about it, and the truth is the story has reached an absurd level.
First we were told that the issue started on the Brady interception on Sunday night, but that story suddenly changed. Now it’s being reported that Indianapolis complained back in November about the balls being softer than they should be. Well, which is it? Was it reported initially on Sunday or November? Then we hear that the NFL planned to check the balls at halftime on Sunday because of the call in November.
OK, let me get this straight- the NFL is told in November that this is occurring, and they kept it completely quiet? So does that mean this was some type of sting operation on the Patriots? If that is the case, then the NFL has lost all credibility by putting one team at a disadvantage for an entire half of a championship game. The NFL may be having a tough year, but there is no way they’re going to put a team in a position like that, no matter how ignorant they may be.
If the NFL did warn New England, then that means the Patriots are complete fools and ignored the edict. That doesn’t make any sense at all, especially after dealing with the completely overblown “Spygate” issue. Belichick learned his lesson in 2007 and he certainly isn’t dumb enough to get involved in another scandal that can further stain his legacy. Our society loves to tear down a consistent winner, and this is exactly what has happened with “Spygate” and “Deflategate”. It’s not just the fans that are sick of Belichick; it’s the coaches throughout the NFL too.
After New England beat Baltimore, John Harbaugh said the Patriots were using illegal plays because they deployed formations that he’s never seen before. Instead of actually admitting that he and the Ravens defense were confused, they resort to calling the Patriots out and say they’re being “deceptive”? Well yes, they were being deceptive and trying to fool the defense, but they were completely within the rules and the only person Harbaugh has to blame is himself. Call a timeout John, that’s why you get three per half.
Now, instead of formations, the Patriots were messing with the balls to gain a competitive advantage? Seriously, what is going on here? Yesterday, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady both went to the podium and said they had no clue what happened to the footballs. The media reaction, specifically the four-letter network out of Connecticut, jumped on these interviews like a shark on blood, accusing both of them of lying and demanding apologies and suspensions. Mark Brunell got choked up after calling Brady a liar; why is he choked up? What is wrong with these guys?
Jerome Bettis demanded an apology from Brady; for what? Does he have to apologize for your special teams unit getting smoked by Troy Brown on a punt return in the 2001 AFC Title Game? I find it very convenient that the entire panel was made up of players who lost to the Patriots in the playoffs at some point in their career. I’m sure they’re unbiased (my eyes just rolled so much that I think they’re stuck.)
There was even a “body language specialist” brought in to discuss what cues they were giving to determine if they were being truthful. Has everyone lost their minds? Seriously, is our society reached the point where we think everyone is guilty until proven innocent, and without proof, the stigma never goes away? That’s how it looks from where I’m sitting, and it’s very sad that this is the culture we live in.
So as we sit here on Friday night after receiving a vague statement from the NFL about using lawyers and forensics (seriously?) we’ll continue to have moronic talk shows and news outlets like CNN discuss why Brady should be suspended, all the while not having any solid facts whatsoever. My question to these ignorant talking heads is this- if and when the NFL says there was an issue with the pressure gauges or human error, which is where this is headed, are they going to be prepared to issue an apology to the Patriots?
Slandering an entire organization and everything they’ve accomplished is wrong, and if it turns out that the Patriots truly did nothing wrong, the media and the NFL should be just as accountable as the Patriots would have been. We all know that won’t happen because of the double standards in this country, but that is what SHOULD happen. It’s sad that we have reached this point. Here is some advice for the judge, jury and executioners that labeled the Patriots cheaters- wait for REAL facts to emerge and stop trusting every ridiculous report on Twitter or any other social media outlet. The truth always comes out eventually.