Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Deflategate Be Damned: Tom Brady Says Those Balls Were Perfect.

When I first heard about this thing called "Deflategate" last Monday morning, my heart sank. I couldn't have felt more disappointed to think that the New England Patriots could have purposely deflated their game balls to gain an advantage in the AFC Championship. I was crushed. This is not the distraction fans in New England needed in the two weeks leading up to Tom Brady's sixth appearance in the Super Bowl.

After the dreaded "spygate" scandal that named my favorite team a bunch of cheaters, my fan psyche was fragile. I despised the fact that many felt the Patriots couldn't win another championship without cheating. This under inflated ball controversy was just one more incident to get those haters up in arms about punishing and penalizing and disciplining this team. Some critics even called for the NFL to ban the Pats from participating in the Super Bowl all for a couple of flat-ish balls.

We've heard every argument in support and against these accusations. And many of the teams' backers have vehemently maintained a football that was deflated less than two psi under the league requirement could not be the reason the Patriots destroyed the Indianapolis Colts by 38 points. Even D'Quell Jackson, who intercepted a Tom Brady pass and was reported to have brought attention to the deflated ball, says he had nothing to do with it. Sounds like a conspiracy to me.

So the Patriots are forced to defend themselves to the media and present technical evidence as to what happened to the balls after they were approved by the officials. Bill Belichick turned into a mad scientific with experiments and facts on the effects of atmospheric conditions on leather balls. Tom Brady is raked over the coals as to why he didn't notice the balls were under inflated because all these moronic reporters actually think once the ball is hiked and the play is happening that Brady has time to squeeze the ball and think to himself, "huh, that feels soft. I should report this to someone." (If anything, these press conferences have been a treasure trove of completely awesome soundbites.)

And then we hear that the balls were presented to the officials not properly inflated but the balls were approved. Or that because of a delay in the starting time of the AFC Championship game, the balls were in the possession of some rogue locker room attendant who spent the next ninety seconds in the bathroom frantically letting the air out of the balls... but only eleven of them because he ran out of time.

It was clear to me that a few days into this whole hullaballoo, it was all just a giant pile of bullshit. Haters are going to hate even when there is no tangible proof that the Patriots were directly responsible for the soft balls. For a brief moment, I thought it might actually dissuade me from caring about the Super Bowl. But then I stopped worrying about the consequences and now have joined the camp that believes this whole ordeal is a non-issue and just a reason for all those idiot former football players who think their opinions are important to bash a team that most likely has pounded on them in the past.

That disappointed me thought the Patriots were going to be damned if they did or damned if they didn't win. The won because they cheated or they lost because they couldn't cheat. But then I snapped out of it. With the mega-watt spotlight shining on this team right now, there's not a snowball's chance in hell that they would or could ever cheat in the Super Bowl. Every commentator, reporter, NFL representative and official will have them under the world's most powerful microscope just waiting for them to slip up. The Patriots will be on their best behavior so if when they win, they win clean.

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