I may get some flack for this, but I can’t keep quiet.
The recent controversy surrounding the Patriots’ deflated footballs is the topic du jour as we look forward to Super Bowl Sunday. I’ll be honest—I’ve never been a fan of that team. This isn’t the first whiff of a cheating scandal, and probably won’t be the last. I may not have hard evidence of wrongdoing, but 11 out of 12 underinflated footballs does not sound like a coincidence.
What galls me most is that neither the coach nor Tom Brady will admit any culpability. For better or worse, Brady is a sports hero to many, and he knows it. What kind of message does it send to kids and young adults when he (and his team) deny any fault during the investigation?
And doesn’t he realize that, in his effort to maintain his innocence, he’s made himself look incompetent and cowardly to anyone with half a brain? Even if he didn’t direct the equipment manager to deflate the balls once weighed, I’d respect him more if he’d at least acknowledge that he noticed the difference during the game.
I mean, come on! Does he expect us to believe that a man who has made his living throwing footballs, and who is on record a couple of years ago as having a preference for deflated footballs, couldn’t tell the difference that day? How is that possible when the other players (ones who don’t touch the ball nearly as often as a quarterback) could tell? Common sense tells us that any quarterback would have been especially particular about his footballs during such a critical game. According to this ESPN link, other NFL players don’t buy Tom Brady’s denial, and neither do I.
And while we can never know whether the mental advantage and confidence Brady derived from playing with those deflated balls made a significant difference in the outcome against the Colts, one thing is clear: some of the biggest losers in this scandal are the Patriots fans.
Not only is the team’s recent championship win corrupted, but now its fans can’t even enjoy the anticipation of Sunday’s game because the news coverage is all about the scandal. Worse, even if the Patriots beat the Seahawks on Sunday, that win will be tainted with the question: did they even deserve to play?
Needless to say, I’ll be rooting for the Seahawks on February 1st…how about you?