You know what I’m talking about right?
Unless you’ve been underground with no access to the outside world for the past few months, then you know about the situation that took place back in January in the NFL that sent the internet world into a tail spin.
Of course I’m talking about a team and their deflated balls.
Actually, after this week, I think I’m talking more about a league Commissioner and his overly inflated balls because the more I read and hear the more I feel the following 2 things:
1. This has nothing to do with footballs.
2. The NFL has done a bang up job of taking over the world with their push to use controversy as a means to encourage discussion and (more likely than not) ticket sales for next season.
Because, hello? It’s May, not August or January, and yet here we are, still talking about football.
Does anyone give a shit that the NHL is just weeks away from the Stanley Cup Finals?
Does anyone care about the NBA playoffs that are currently happening?
Does anyone realize it’s baseball season?
Does anyone care that the NFL season doesn’t even start for another 3 months?
The answer (to all of the above) is no. Because this week all anyone can talk about in the sports world is whether you’re for or against Tom Brady. For or against The New England Patriots. For or against cheating in the league.
Well frankly I’m sick of it all.
The bottom line is that every team cheats. Plain and simple.
And The Pats’ recorded violations aren’t at the bottom (Browns/Cardinals who BTW did the same thing in 2005 with NO PUNISHMENT) but they’re nowhere near the top (nice work Broncos).
However, that’s just the NFL.
I don’t care what league you play for, if it’s one of the 4 majors or if you toss in MLS, NASCAR, Golf, Tennis, or any other professional sport as well because every single sport holds an element of “how far can we push it until someone calls us out?”
For The Patriots that call-out time was this past week.
But when the penalty came down on Brady and the team – 4 game suspension for Brady, loss of 1st round pick in 2016, loss of 4th round pick in 2017, a $1million team fine, and indefinite suspension to the 2 equipment guys (without pay) – I started shaking my head.
Actually, scratch that. I started getting irrationally angry at this entire thing and that irritation has only built, not dissipated.
Why am I irrationally angry?
Because of the severity of the penalty over something that could have conceivably happened due to weather.
Or someone being sneaky.
But no matter what caused it, I read that entire report and there isn’t one single definitive piece of evidence, not one definitive statement that Brady actually was involved.
But they sure said “probably” an awful lot.
Brady was suspended for the same number of games that a player caught doing performance enhancing drugs (PEDs, steroids) gets. And for those keeping track it’s 2 more games than Rice got (initially) for brutally beating his now wife in an elevator.
Rice was only suspended indefinitely when the video from that elevator incident leaked to the public and the outcry forced Goodell to make that decision or risk looking like he didn’t care that a top rated running back just perpetuated brutal domestic violence on a woman until she was at the point of unconsciousness.
Of course, Rice appealed and the penalty was lifted. Yes lifted. He’s free to play again right now.
In fact, the league standards on game suspensions are pretty wishy-washy since Goodell came in as Commissioner in 2006. Certain things are pursued with aggression (Michael Vick and his dog fighting – 2 season suspension) while others are a slap on the wrist at best (Donte Stallworth killing a pedestrian while driving drunk – 1 season).
According to this list here’s a very small sampling of violations and their subsequent penalties that I (as a human being) consider just a bit worse than alleged knowledge of release of air pressure from a ball:
2006 – domestic violence – 1 game
2007 – 2 DUI arrests – 2 games
2008 – child endangerment – 3 games
2010 – alleged sexual assault – 6 games (later reduced to 4)
2010 – battery of a woman – 1 game
2013- repeated player safety violations – 1 game
Note how every single one either matches or is less than the suspension given to Brady?
And that doesn’t even include PED suspensions, which range anywhere from 1 game to life depending on the player and whatever criteria deemed to matter by the league.
So where do the Patriots fit into this whole thing?
Thin air, that’s where.
Because Brady, according to the “investigation” conducted into this whole debacle, was probably “generally aware” that more than the allowable pounds of pressure were probably released from 11 of the game balls.
Now please re-read that last statement and look for the reasonable doubt.
See the word probably? In the 243 page “report” the word probably appears 7 times.
Well I’m probably a best-selling author, probably a millionaire and probably the most attractive woman in the history of history too.
What the league stated was they want to try to maintain the integrity of the game of football and that’s why this penalty is so harsh.
I don’t care about footballs and their air pressure. If Goodell and the rest want to preserve the integrity of the game of football they need to get into their time machine and go back to 1920 when the first professional football league was formed and start there.
Because in this day and age there really is no way to preserve any of that integrity he talks about. It’s all tainted by corporate money and sponsorships. The fact that (if this suspension upholds) Brady's first game back will be against the Colts (the team who allegedly blew the whistle) can't be coincidence.
Plus, if you’re backed by the right people and suck up enough to the media/general public for your personal redemption then you’re untouchable. Just ask someone like Ray Lewis or Ben Roethlisberger.
Better yet, don’t bother. Instead, come over my place and let's watch a civilized game like ice hockey where the players aren’t above the law but also don’t need to be because they tend not to get into all that stupid shit to begin with.
From now on that’s probably the only sport I’ll be supporting.
Image courtesy New England Patriots