Sports Ethics: Deflate-gate, Deflated

Could we be the last people to comment on “the report” and the probable deflation of the New England Patriots game balls? Hopefully, yes.

In case anyone believes we know something that you don’t; we don’t. As a public service (and our guess is as good as yours), here is how we see this whole thing unfolding:

Tom Brady Deflate-gateThe NFL will come around to saying something about Brady; we figure it will cost Brady between 2 and 4 games. A lot of New England fans will rant and rave. That’s what fans do. The good news is that no one in the league office will suggest that Brady should leave football; no one will put an asterisk in the books after the Patriots Super Bowl victory; no one will suggest that anyone in the Patriots front office should resign.

What may happen is that the “ball-boys” will fade into oblivion. Someone will “can them.” They will end up selling running shoes at Foot Locker or might get paid an Honorarium to appear on an ESPN special that will air 3 a.m. on a Tuesday morning in February 2019.

The NFL and their commissioner won’t care what the fans think when the decision comes down. Oh sure, the fans might “boo” Goodell at the 2016 draft, but they’re booing him already. If I were paid $38 million a year, you could say whatever the heck you wanted every time I stepped out on a stage. What is important is that the owners aren’t booing him. That is because the league has turned to gold under Goodell. He is golden; he is diamond encrusted. He is the reason you spend $7.50 for a hot dog and $12 for a beer and need to float a loan to buy an imported, licensed shirt that costs about $1.50 to make. And you know what? It’s all good because football is riding a huge wave right now. I understand; I love the game too.

Belichick will look around for a QB who can win them a few games during Brady’s absence. The QB (probably a 10 year veteran with a so-so arm) will even win them a few games. During that period, every other QB in the league will have a “No comment” about Deflate-gate. Why? Because almost all of them know their time as starters in the league is limited, and one day, they might be asked to fill-in for another QB who was suspected of doing something wrong.

After the consequences of Brady’s actions blow over, Deflate-gate will become a footnote under “Jokes of 2015.”

 Close enough, folks?

Was I close enough?

Everyone wants something out of Deflate-gate. Patriot’s fans want everyone who is not a Patriots fan to blank themselves. People want other QB’s to rip into Brady. Fat chance. Some people want to see Brady in a sackcloth with ashes. He’s too good looking and his wife is a model. He’s not going to wear an old bed sheet and dump yesterday’s charcoal briquettes over his head. It will dirty the private jet.

Me? I want an ethical playing field in professional football.

Do I believe that the footballs were deflated? Yes I do. That is my belief. But, is Deflate-gate really an issue? Only to a point. Deflate-gate, unlike the original Watergate, is a mild distraction. Fans love distraction and the NFL knows that too.

During the Deflate-gate distraction, we have had the Aaron Hernandez verdict, players leaving the game over fears of dementia, cheerleaders fighting for salary and benefits, more players thumping more spouses, players who were caught in scandals getting reinstated, NFL prospects doing drugs and getting DUI’s. Where is the anger and outrage?

What bothers me the most about Deflate-gate is what has surrounded Deflate-gate. What we as fans have been all too happy to overlook while reports as thick as books were written about locker room attendants deflating game balls.

The common mantra among many fans across the league is: “It’s time to put such and such behind us.” That might be fine, except “such and such” never seems to get resolved. The only thing we can do to confront “such and such” is sports ethics. When will we be as passionate about ethics as we have been about pounds per square inch?






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