Thoughts On DeflateGate
The never ending controversy revolving around the 11 of 12 Patriots game balls looms large, the weekend before the Super Bowl. The Patriots press conferences were about as convincing as Hayden Christensen’s portrayal of Anakin Skywalker, meaning we have a real problem.
The Patriots have been caught cheating before. They get no benefit of the doubt and nor should they. It is inexcusable to bend the rules for a competitive advantage. Their grip on the wet footballs was not worth tarnishing the integrity of the game.
Now the league is stuck, having proven cheaters preparing to play in the Super Bowl. Now the league has to weather the unbearable scrutiny of this developing story for another long 10 days. Its exactly what the league deserves. It is a true punishment for being incompetent enough in its procedures, that this is even a possibility.
The league knows that teams will always try to gain a competitive advantage. They know that Bill Belichick and the Patriots will try harder than anybody else. The officials knew that the balls were deflated during the AFC Championship game. The NFL allowed the game to go on, they allowed the balls to remain slightly deflated.
The NFL has a bad reputation of knowing something bad has happened and doing nothing about it… Its kind of what the league does. From the Ray Rice debacle to the Patriots second scandal (we all remember SpyGate) this has been a bad public relations year for the league.
The league is in a powerless position. They can’t cancel the Super Bowl. The Patriots will laugh off any lost draft picks or suspensions if they get another championship in the process. The Patriots get away with it, even if they receive drastic punishment.
The incompetence of NFL officiating and NFL employees allowed this to even be a possibility. In the end its the league that takes the biggest punishment. The NFL has some big questions to answer in the aftermath of the deflated footballs.