Friday, January 23, 2015

6 comments Flaming Hot Takes on Deflated Balls and the New England Patriots

I have a history of hating the Patriots. They have been too good at football over the last decade and a half and they beat my favorite team in the Super Bowl, which did not please me. I almost got in a fight with three Patriots fans in Charleston, South Carolina in the early 2000's because I insisted Tom Brady wasn't as good as he's given credit for while arguing with them and waiting in line for a hot dog from a street vendor at 2:30am. I was very inebriated AND wrong, which are two states of being that go hand-in-hand well. I'm still not a huge fan of them, partly because of their famous fans (Hey, Bill Simmons!), but I get over it and I'm more impressed by their long-term excellence at this point. So it turns out they deflated footballs against the Colts (at least during the first half) in the AFC Championship Game against the Colts. They then used regular footballs in the second half and buried the Colts. It seems like they played better without the deflated footballs. Either way, this is not legal and they are being killed by the general public. By "the general public" I mean "sportswriters with hot takes." I'm not going to defend cheating and I do believe the Patriots will be and should be punished in some way, but it's never enough with the media for the Patriots to get punished, something VERY SEVERE must be done. Sportswriters say this is the ABSOLUTE TURNING POINT AND HERE'S SOMETHING TO GET YOUR ATTENTION THAT'S BEING WRITTEN BY ME RIGHT NOW SO PAY ATTENTION. That's how hot takes happen.

Again, I'm not going to defend cheating, and once they figure out who deflated the balls then the punishment needs to be handed down, but these draconian hot takes just make me laugh. I can still agree the Patriots were in the wrong while also laughing at those who react strongly to the Patriots being in the wrong. They'll be punished, it's just a matter of when and how badly. It's fun to discuss sportswriters freaking out over the integrity of the game being ruined. I love a good disaster.

I'll start with Gregg Doyel, who spent most of the week up to the AFC Championship Game getting in contrived and immature fights with the New England media as a way of getting the word out there that he now works for the "Indy Star" and furthering his burgeoning brand/app/whatever. There's no such thing as bad press and Doyel got some press for getting in pissing contests with the New England media. So of course he jumps on the story of the Patriots deflating footballs.

Here's the thing about DeflateGate, this silly idea that the New England Patriots used under-inflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game against the Colts:

It's not silly.

It's the Patriots.

Gregg seems to use this reasoning a lot. It's not whether Gil Hodges should be in the baseball Hall of Fame or not, it's that he is Gil Hodges and that's why he should be in the Hall of Fame. The state of existing is the only reasoning Gregg needs.

Lots of people will forever believe the Patriots cheated the Colts on Sunday. Why? Because it's the Patriots.

Insightful. It needed to be mentioned twice apparently that the Patriots are the Patriots. I feel prepared to move on now.

Either you are, or you are not, willing to cheat.

And Belichick is. The NFL found him guilty of – even responsible for – the Spygate scandal during the 2007 season.

And yet, Belichick managed to escape the death penalty. How could that be?

With very few exceptions, people can be divided into various either/or categories: Employed or unemployed. Smoker or nonsmoker.

Cheater or not a cheater.

Yes, with very few exceptions there are no shades of gray. It's one extreme or another. This is EXACTLY how life works. No areas for maneuvering between two extremes. Welcome to the Gregg Doyel reality, now have a seat on the couch or chair, but don't even think about putting your feet on the loveseat because it doesn't exist in his reality. There's a couch or a chair. Choose one.

Indiana knows about this. The Hoosiers hired Kelvin Sampson in 2007, shortly after he had been busted for NCAA recruiting violations involving impermissible phone calls at Oklahoma. The idea in Bloomington, surely, was this: No way he'd do it again.

Since coming to work for the "Indy Star" Gregg has also been doing a lot of this "I'm an Indian/Indianaite/Indianan like you and here is an example specific to Indiana" stuff.

He did it again.


Cheaters cheat. It's what they do.

Now then, is that a definitive statement that Bill Belichick or the Patriots cheated the Colts on Sunday? Nope. It is not.

Yes, it is a definitive statement. Cheater or not a cheater. Belichick has been proven to be a cheater so that's what he is. Remember, "divided into either/or categories" that's how it all works?

But it's a definitive statement that his past history of cheating makes this allegation – which is ludicrous and absurd and really, really, hard to believe – not so ludicrous. Not so absurd.

Specifically if you are still a little butt hurt that you talked trash all the way up to the AFC Championship Game about how the Colts would win and then they got their ass kicked. It makes it easier to believe the allegations are not absurd in this instance.

Butt hurt or not butt hurt. That is the question. Choose one. 

This sort of thing has happened before. Deflating a football is a thing, thanks to Lane Kiffin's 2012 USC Trojans, who were fined and reprimanded by the Pac-12 for deflating footballs against Oregon. Kiffin denied it. A team equipment manager was fired. Was the equipment manager acting on his own? Well sure, that's possible.

Just like it's possible the Patriots are utterly and completely innocent of the allegation against them now, that they deflated one or more footballs on the sideline after NFL officials had examined them before kickoff.

Maybe Lane Kiffin did it. Bill Belichick is close to Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin is Nick Saban's offensive coordinator and Lane Kiffin has deflated balls before. Where was Lane Kiffin on Sunday evening?

First, any idea how easy it is to deflate a football?

No Gregg, I have no idea how to deflate a football. It sounds like a complicated procedure.

It requires one little needle. That's it. Hold the ball, jab the needle, listen for the hiss. Take the needle out.

Take the needle out or don't take the needle out. One or the other.

Second, any idea how awkward it feels to write this story from here, in Indianapolis, as if deflated balls might be the reason this city's team lost on Sunday? The footballs aren't the reason. That game wasn't about the Deflatriots. It was about the Patriots. They're better than the Colts, so much better than lots of us – the line starts right here – had given them credit for. The Patriots were tougher, more skilled, more poised and more innovative. In hindsight the Colts had no chance.

Nice way to bring the story of the Patriots deflating footballs back to you, while also linking your old hot takes. Really the deflating of footballs was about Gregg Doyel more than anything.

Third: What if?

Great point. It gives me a lot to think about.

What if the NFL finds that the Patriots were in fact using a football that was deflated below regulation levels? Maybe the NFL won't be able to determine when or how it happened.

What then?

Obviously Belichick will have to be stripped of his hoodie and forced to work slave labor in the mines of whatever country has the most dangerous mines to work in.

Maybe then Belichick will get the black lung after a day or two of working in the mines and he'll die. Because that's what Belichick deserves, to die.

I'm kidding of course. Doyel's suggestion isn't this extreme, but is equally as stupid.

I'll tell you what should happen: The Patriots should be removed from the Super Bowl. Which means the Colts should be going to Glendale.

An Indianapolis writer thinks the Colts deserve to go to the Super Bowl. Homer or not a homer? Choose one and there is no gray area.

Someone on the Patriots deflated those footballs, but I'm not sure that was the difference in the game nor does a satisfactory punishment seem to be to allow an unworthy team to be in the Super Bowl.

Will this happen? Of course not, which is why I'm mentioning it way down the story – it has to be said somewhere – but not starting this column with that idea. Because it's a preposterous idea, not worthy of the headline. The NFL would never, ever remove the Patriots from the Super Bowl, even if it does find they were using illegal footballs.

Nice troll job, Gregg. Here's how this troll job worked.

-Gregg says what SHOULD happen.

-Gregg says this won't happen.

-Gregg says his own idea of what should happen is so preposterous it doesn't deserve being mentioned in the headline.

-But again, the preposterous idea of what should happen wasn't so crazy or unworthy that Gregg doesn't think it shouldn't happen.

It's a nice way of coming up with a crazy punishment and then not standing by it.

Cheating can't be tolerated. Simple as that. A team can't use an under-inflated football, get caught, and then be allowed to play its next game – a game it reached by winning the one with the deflated football – as if nothing happened.

Cheating can't be tolerated. I can agree with that. But I thought sending the Colts to the Super Bowl was an unworthy idea that didn't merit a mention. Now all of a sudden it's the idea Gregg is building the end of this column around.

Contradictory or not contradictory. Choose one and there is no gray area.

Not a fine, not a docking of draft picks, not even a lifetime suspension of Belichick, though I would support all three, if the Patriots are found guilty of cheating. Sorry -- left out a word. If the Patriots are found guilty of cheating … again.

So the preposterous idea that won't happen and doesn't seem worthy of a headline is the best punishment for the Patriots in Gregg Doyel's opinion. I wonder if he understands how stupid this sounds.

Meantime, allow the system to run its course. The Patriots are innocent until proven guilty. They deserve that.

Even if lots of us have made up our minds already.

Because the Patriots deserve that, too.

(Bengoodfella burns himself closing the article because the hot take is still simmering)

Now Bob Kravitz chimes in with his own hot take about what should happen to the Patriots.

If the NFL deems that the Patriots doctored the footballs to the team's advantage in Sunday's game, one of two things must happen:

Indianapolis writers are all about there being two options. Obviously the two options here are:

1. Death penalty

2. Life imprisonment without parole

If Patriots owner Robert Kraft has an ounce of integrity, he will fire Bill Belichick immediately for toying with the integrity of the game for the second time in his otherwise magnificent career — the first issue being the SpyGate fiasco that earned Belichick and the team fines and a forfeited first-round draft choice.

Okay, that could happen. It sounds sort of dramatic though.

If Roger Goodell has an ounce of integrity,

We could stop here. The answer to this is known already. If it helps the NFL, Goodell does it. If it hurts the NFL, Goodell Jedi-waves it away.

and he's not spending all his time going to pre-game soirees at Kraft's mansion, he will not only fine Belichick and take away draft choices, but suspend the head coach for the upcoming Super Bowl.

Does this sound excessive?

The whole "ounce of integrity" thing sounds a bit dramatic.

It is very hard for me to believe — no, it's impossible for me to believe — that this was one large, cosmic accident. A deflated football, and we're talking about two pounds worth of deflation,

Yes, but not a real two pounds of deflation. A typical football weighs less than a pound. Otherwise quarterbacks would be slinging just short of the equivalent of two newborn babies around the field in the form of a football. So two pounds of air isn't two pounds like most people think of pounds. It's noticeable, but not to the extent Bob Kravitz paints it as being. The Colts-Patriots officials touched the football after every play and managed to not notice the ball was semi-deflated.

It's very hard for me to believe that some rogue ball boy, acting on his or her own, unilaterally decided to use a pressure gauge to independently take some of the air out of the ball.

There's only one way this could happen, and that's with Belichick's full knowledge and approval.

Nope, it could also happen with the approval of Josh McDaniels without Belichick knowing. Think Jon Gruden knew that Brad Johnson took air out of the football during the 2003 Super Bowl? Maybe, maybe not.

Go ahead and chalk it all up as sour grapes on the part of the Colts, who would have lost badly had they used a beach ball, a hockey puck or a badminton shuttlecock. But, the Colts noticed something odd about the football when D'Qwell Jackson intercepted Tom Brady. Jackson himself told me he didn't notice anything strange, but, then, the Colts want to distance themselves from this thing as much as they can.

So D'Qwell Jackson did or didn't notice something strange? Kravitz says Jackson noticed something strange, but Jackson claims he didn't notice something strange. Of course, Kravitz assumes Jackson is lying in order to show his ounce of integrity in protecting the very same cheaters that Kravitz claims lack integrity for covering up the use of deflated footballs. Jackson is either lying or he isn't.

General Manager Ryan Grigson walked over to the Colts public relations spot and took a phone call, and seemed quite perturbed. This was very unusual for a general manager who spends his time quietly watching the game from the press box.

Was this investigation inspired by the Colts? I have no doubt that it was.

So if Jackson is lying about noticing something strange, what does that say about his integrity? Or does he have integrity by staying out of his whole thing? What if Tom Brady is lying about noticing whether the football was deflated or not? Is he staying out of it or lacking an ounce of integrity?

This was cheating — pure and simple.

And either Kraft or Goodell have to do something very dramatic to make it clear that this kind of nonsense will not be tolerated.

If it was anybody but Belichick, if it was a coach who has no history of attempting to circumvent the rules, it would be worth a fine and maybe a draft choice.

See the penalty of deflating footballs isn't such a big deal, but because it's Bill Belichick it becomes a much bigger deal. Because as sportswriters love to point out, sports doesn't deal with innocent before guilty, but apparently sports does have an off-the-books "three strikes" or "repeat offender" rule that should be used for Belichick's latest transgression.

And here, too, is the shame of it: Belichick doesn't need to cheat. His team is that much better than anyone else, save the Seattle Seahawks. We'll find out more about that next Sunday.

Not if Gregg Doyel has his way.

Let's be honest about this: If the balls were properly inflated this past Sunday, the Patriots would have won…um…45-7. The footballs had little or nothing to do with the outcome. The Pats simply ran over the Colts. They out-coached them and out-played them. Badly.

Which is why it would be stupid to remove the Patriots from the Super Bowl.

Winning without honor, without integrity, is not winning. (Unless you're a myopic Patriots fan).

I can agree that winning without integrity isn't winning. To deflate a football against the rules is to lack integrity. I can't figure out how much integrity it really shows is lacking. The Patriots didn't win because they deflated the football. That much is agreed upon. Is deflating the football lack as much integrity as a baseball groundskeeper who landscapes the foul lines to favor the home team's hitters (such as helping the ball stay in play on bunts, etc)? Is deflating the football lack as much integrity as the Minnesota Twins starting fans behind home plate when the home team is at-bat? If Clayton Kershaw was found to have scuffed a baseball during a playoff game and the Dodgers went on to win the series, should Kershaw not be allowed to play in the next series when the Dodgers advance? Should the Dodgers even advance to the next series because they had a player cheat in the previous playoff series? I don't know the answers to these questions, so that's why it is hard for me to jump on the "LOOK AT THE LACK OF INTEGRITY!" train because I have no idea how deflating a football equates to other equal or non-equal minor changes that are legal or not legal in other sports. Does it lack integrity that Boise State's uniforms blend in with their playing surface, thereby giving the team a slight advantage at home?

It was instructive to spend early-morning Wednesday on a couple of Boston radio shows. They wanted to know if Aaron Rodgers should be penalized for admittedly over-inflating footballs. (Not if they're within the prescribed PSI). One wanted to know if Pete Carroll should be fired because so many Seahawks have been popped for using performance-enhancing drugs. One moron even rolled out the Nixonian “well everybody cheats'' argument, which inspired blind laughter on my part. All deflections from the issue at hand.

They are deflections, but also legitimate questions that need to be asked. If Seahawks players were busted for PED's, doesn't that lack integrity too? Why shouldn't Pete Carroll pay for this transgression? If a head coach knows the football his team is using was partially deflated, then wouldn't that same coach know his players are using PED's? Maybe.

Kraft needs to do the right thing. Goodell needs to do the right thing. Belichick should not be coaching in the Super Bowl, or worse.

Or worse. What's worse than not coaching in the Super Bowl? Should the Patriots be forced to trade Tom Brady? Perhaps the Patriots should be stripped of all draft picks until Bill Belichick is publicly drawn and quartered. Bob Kravitz knows deflating the footballs had no impact on the Colts-Patriots game and there is really no precedent in the NFL for deflating footballs, but one thing is for sure. The response must be severe, swift, and be "the right thing" even though few people even know what the fuck that is.

Chris Chase chimes in with his own hot take about how the Patriots should be disqualified from playing in the Super Bowl.

Cheat on a test in school? You fail, no questions asked.

Really? No questions asked? No questions like, "How did you cheat?," "Was anyone else cheating?," nothing like that?

Cheat on your taxes, the IRS will find you. It won’t be pretty.

They may not find you. I've seen plenty of people who cheat in minor ways on their taxes who have never been caught or audited.

The New England Patriots cheated in the AFC championship. As such, the team should be disqualified from the Super Bowl.

(The hot take sizzles on the ground)

Deflating 11 of 12 balls in Sunday’s game, as has been reported by ESPN, is a major violation and something that had a great affect on the game.

Apparently it has a 30+ point effect, even though the Patriots only used the deflated footballs during the first half.

Given the number of deflated balls, it’s almost impossible this was accident, meaning that someone in the New England organization willfully tampered with the rules to give his team an advantage.

Not exactly. Given that nearly all of the footballs were inflated to the wrong pressure it could show this was an accident. If the gauge measuring the pressure in the ball was in error or the person pumping up the balls had the wrong pressure (by accident) then it was a consistent error. If the footballs were all at different pressures with only half of the footballs at the wrong pressure then I could see how the rules have been tampered with. 11 of the 12 footballs being at the wrong level could speak to a consistent error in measuring the pressure. Of course I don't believe this happened, but a consistent error like this could show malfeasance or possibly just a basic error that caused the balls to be improperly inflated.

Of course, it’s not realistic to disqualify New England from the Super Bowl.

Why do the sportswriters who first suggest banning New England from the Super Bowl follow it up with "That's not realistic"? Stop suggesting this solution if the solution isn't realistic.

But, again, they should.

But, again, it's not realistic. But, again, they should. You know, if it weren't unrealistic. But, again, they still should. Though it is unrealistic. It's probably a good penalty. Even though it is unrealistic. Still, the NFL should ban the Patriots from the Super Bowl. It's just not realistic to do this. But, again, it should happen. If only it were realistic. Which it isn't. Though it should be.

The defenders of New England have been even more laughable than they were during the videotape controversy of 2007. “It doesn’t even help that much!” Sure it doesn’t. That’s why they were doing it. Of course it helps. Deflating gave Brady an easier grip on the ball (at least in the first half; there’s question about whether the balls were re-inflated at half time when it was 17-7).

I'm not a defender of New England. I simply know it was an advantage that didn't seem to show up too much on the scoreboard in the first half as compared to the Patriots performance in the second half without the deflated footballs. New England re-inflated the balls at halftime and began to destroy the Colts from that point on...with re-inflated footballs. I have no idea how much a deflated football affected this game and I don't know if anyone else has this answer either.

If it’s found out that Bill Belichick knew anything about this, even after the fact, Draconian sanctions are the only way to go...If Sean Payton gets suspended for an entire year because of Bountygate, Belichick deserves at least the same thing. He affected the sanctity of the game and fairness of one of the three biggest battles of the year.

I would disagree with this. I think intentionally injuring opposing players is worse than deflating footballs. I know deflating footballs involves the whole "integrity of the game" thing, but intentionally injuring opposing players is causing physical harm outside of the game being played. I think that's worse.

Draft picks should be taken away, not for one year, but for two or three, because the Pats are always picking toward the end of the first round anyway. Or take away some salary cap space, like the league unjustly did to the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys.

Yes, the NFL should choose to take away salary cap space in the same injust way they did it to the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys.

But I’ll happily blame the Patriots for being skeezy once again. I’ll blame Belichick because, as Goodell said about Payton during Bountygate, the head coach is supposed to know what’s going on with his team.

Oh, so you are going to use Roger Goodell's words as it pertains to knowing exactly what a supervisor's knowledge concerning his underlings actions should be? Okay then.

I’ll blame Tom Brady who clearly knew the balls were deflated but is getting off scot-free in this controversy because he’s the Golden Boy and is handsome and is married to a supermodel. (It’s amazing how no one criticizes Brady. He’s just as guilty as the others.) But there’s blame for others too.

How about the Patriots' center who handled the football on every play? How about the officials who handle the football after every play? The officials are there to enforce the rules and since deflating footballs by two or three pounds is just SO FUCKING NOTICEABLE one would wonder why the officials didn't notice.

But in the here and now, if the report is true, the New England Patriots should be hit hard. But they won’t and the Pats legacy will grow even more.

This will not deflate the Pats legacy.

With a Super Bowl win in two Sundays, people will be inclined to say Bill Belichick is the greatest coach of all time. But at what?

The greatest coach at football. I can't wait for Belichick to be up for Pro Football Hall of Fame induction. The NFL gets it's very own asterisked PED user when Belichick comes up for enshrinement.

Mark Kiszla is also prepared to blame Tom Brady and wonders why nothing ever sticks to him. Kiszla says Brady is like Barry Bonds. Yep, those words were written.

As I was writing this post, I found these words from Boomer Esiason. It doesn't excuse what the Patriots did or didn't do, but it shows there is more than the "It's just like the Patriots to stretch the rules" narrative that is being pushed. It seems other quarterbacks had an issue with the integrity of the game, including Saint Peyton Manning, who wanted to be allowed to scuff up the football. I'm sure he never scuffed it up without permission though.

Tom Brady is too good to be true. At age 37, the sexy quarterback of the New England Patriots looks cool, whether wearing a championship ring on his finger or Uggs on his feet. He married a supermodel straight from the pages of the Victoria's Secret catalogue. And his hair is perfect.

Not really. In his long hair phase, it was pretty disgusting. 

Too good to be true. Isn't that what we once believed about Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong?

Deflating footballs is now equivalent to using PED's, slandering others when they choose to call you out on using PED's, and cheating on your wife. Got it. At least Kiszla comes out swinging and throwing his hot takes around. I'd be disappointed otherwise. 

In a league ruled by quarterbacks, made filthy rich by quarterbacks and personified by quarterbacks, Brady is the undisputed king. Oh, Peyton Manning might sing about chicken parm in a television commercial. It's Brady, however, who owns three Super Bowl rings. He's the No. 1 quarterback of his NFL-crazy generation.

Every generation is QB-crazy. It's the most publicized position in the NFL, which explains why fans are QB-crazy. 

Before any knucklehead calls for disqualification of New England from the Super Bowl tournament because the Pats played with squeezably soft footballs inflated significantly below the league requirements, let's make it clear the Colts, the Broncos or anybody else weren't going to win in Gillette Stadium on a rainy evening in January.

Because that's unrealistic. Though it should happen. But, again, it is unrealistic. Still, it should happen. 

But as defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, the social media conscience of the Denver locker room, declared on Twitter: "If the footballs were deflated by that amount, it's definitely cheating. Harder to fumble, easier to catch, and helps you throw further."

Who would benefit the most from the deflated footballs?


As well as Blount and the Patriots' receivers. They would all benefit the most. Though I would also add that if the football is easier to catch then the opposing team's secondary should find it easier to intercept a pass, right? Maybe D'Qwell Jackson made the interception because the ball was deflated so much. 

Long on the record with his affinity for throwing with an underinflated football, Brady tossed three touchdown passes against Indy in wet conditions where having a firm grip on a slippery pigskin definitely could have helped him.

Peyton Manning is on record as liking a scuffed ball. If the Broncos ended up using a scuffed ball, does that mean Manning did it? 

But let me humbly ask: If suspected cheaters in baseball are treated with such disdain in Hall of Fame balloting and Armstrong fell so hard from grace for the same transgressions committed by so many cyclists in a tainted sport, then why is there not more outrage about the Patriots?

Oh dear God. Because using a deflated football is the same thing as using performance enhancing drugs? The are equivalent misdeeds? That's really what Mark Kiszla is claiming? This seems like a pretty tenuous comparison to me. 

Because cheaters never win. Or so are we were taught in elementary school.

It's not the truth that hurts. It's the shrapnel from the shattered myth that makes us bleed.

I have known for years that cheaters do win. No shattered myth here. 

Not all forms of cheating are created equal. But, in his heart, maybe, just maybe, Brady isn't all that different from Barry Bonds.

Yes, maybe Tom Brady is exactly like Barry Bonds. Really there is no difference in these two athletes. It's like Kiszla has a hot takes handbook with key words in it and he found the name "Barry Bonds" in the book, so he felt like adding Bonds' name to this column for maximum hot sports take result.

Maybe Tom Brady is more like Bernie Madoff. Brady asks for his fans to buy into him as a clean-cut guy who plays the game "the right way" but he's really taking the fans investment in him and then selling that investment to Satan himself, while continuing to ask for more investment in him as a football player and person, all while putting on a public face of being an angel. This public face of an angel tricks his investors into thinking Brady is doing something with their investment of love and fandom that he really isn't doing. At the end of the day, the fans have nothing to show for their investment in Brady, while he rides off into the sunset with Super Bowl trophies, MVP trophies, and his name as one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. Tom Brady is Bernie Madoff. 

Tom Brady you are a PED user who ran Ponzi Scheme so evil, which affected the outcome of the AFC Championship Game in such an obvious way, that even the officials who touched the football after every offensive play didn't know you were obviously taking the air out of the football. Go train for the upcoming baseball season with Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez and may the fates deal with you as they see fit.


HH said...

"Oh, so you are going to use Roger Goodell's words as it pertains to knowing exactly what a supervisor's knowledge concerning his underlings actions should be? Okay then."

I laughed out loud.

Chris said...

I would counter Gregg Doyel by saying that it's not because "It's the Patriots", it's just human nature. Ever since there have been rules in sports people have been desperately trying to find ways to game the system and gain a competitive advantage by occasionally bending the rulebook. The NFL is not exempt from that concept.

Snarf said...

Anyone who thinks that the loss of cap space for the Redskins and Cowboys was "unjust" is a tool. It's not that they spent money in an uncapped year. They were free to spend $1B dollars in salary if they so chose. What they did was alter other contracts to move cap hits out of subsequently capped periods and put them into an uncapped year and make dead money/amortizable cap hits occur in a very distorted manner. Again, it's not what they did in an uncapped year, but rather how they tried to manipulate the cap in the future.

Eric C said...

The NFL rule says
"Anyone who alters the inflation of a ball faces a $25,000 fine."

Fine the team, be done with it. This is not a story.

Frank said...

for someone who hates the Patriots, from this Pats' fan view, you are being remarkably fair about the situation. good work, as always. I think the backlash on this absurdity, the moral posturing etc. by the media, has already begun. people are already sick of this story; the way ESPN handled it from the beginning was despicable.

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, and those who break the rules should be punished. There is evidence this has happened before with other teams and I have no idea how severe the penalty should be. The Patriots should be punished, but it didn't make a difference in that game and these knee-jerk reactions sound silly.

Snarf, I barely paid attention to those uncapped penalties because I was bitter at the Panthers cutting payroll so low. I thought it was a just penalty based on what I knew and manipulating the cap does seem like wrongdoing.

Eric, if the NFL wants to fine the Patriots for every football was deflated to where the fine was $300K then that's fine. I know some will say fines don't do anything. Maybe, but the whole "Don't let Belichick coach the Super Bowl" or "Send the Colts to the Super Bowl" thing isn't a real solution either.

Frank, thanks. I try to be fair. I think what they did was wrong, but I'm not going to act like the Patriots were putting bounties on opposing players. I think that's more severe. Honestly, if it were a close game, I may have changed my mind. It wasn't a close game and the Patriots did better without the deflated balls. I'm ready for the Super Bowl.