I like football. I don’t love football. I played the game when I was young and enjoyed playing it. On the other hand, I am not one to sit on the couch all weekend to watch football games. I admit when my poor Bears are on TV, I will flip back and forth to see how they are doing. I don’t think I have watched an entire game in years.
One of the reasons I don’t watch a lot of football is because, in my opinion, the game has changed so much that it isn’t football anymore. Forgive me for being old, but the fundamentals of the game have just about disappeared. I am sick of watching grown men making millions of dollars who can’t even tackle properly.
The rules have changed so much, to protect the players which is a good thing, that no one even knows what a penalty is anymore. Including the referees. The last two games involving the Dallas Cowboys proves that point, I think. As a result, all we see during the games is a bunch of men running around trying to “slam into” the opponent instead of trying to “tackle” them. It has become very boring to me.
We have instant replay to “get the call right” but things like penalties cannot be reviewed. Which is why in those two games involving the Cowboys in the playoffs there was no review. So much for “getting the call right.” On top of that, players “trash talking” has gotten so bad, I feel like I am watching Pro-Wrestlers at the microphone rather than Pro-Football Players.
I don’t have anything against trash talking on the field. But, when you bring it to the post game news conference, it is more like WWE than football. All of this is going on when the NFL has a problem. It has mishandled all kinds of situations that crept up during this season. Look at the Ray Rice and the Adrian Peterson cases.
Before the Seattle Seahawks game on Sunday, the NFL said that if Lynch wore “gold-colored spikes” he would be disqualified for the game and fined to boot. They said it would violate the uniform rules. They have fined him thousands of dollars already for not speaking to the media, and threaten to fine him in excess of $50,000 if he doesn’t speak to the media during Super Bowl week. Then they fined one of his teammates for giving an obscene gesture after a touchdown.
This brings us to what is becoming the infamous “deflategate” incident in New England. According to reports, the New England Patriots were using under inflated footballs in the game. One of the Colts complained after he intercepted Brady because he thought the ball felt funny. It turns out that 11 of the 12 balls the Patriots were using were under inflated by 15%!
According to the rules, footballs must be pressurized between 12.5 and 13.5 PSI. All of these balls were retested at halftime and were found to be at 11 PSI. I grew up in the north and I know that weather affects PSI. But, not at a 15% rate. Besides, the footballs that were used by the Indianapolis Colts were not under inflated. So, you should be able to rule out the weather being a factor.
I know this doesn’t sound like something very egregious. Nor am I suggesting that the Colts might have won if the footballs were not under inflated. Let’s face facts, the Colts stunk in the game. But, having played the game, I can tell you that under inflating the ball does make it easier to grip it making passing easier and forced fumbles harder. Especially on cold wet days like Sunday was in New England.
You must also remember that it was Tom Brady and Payton Manning who lobbied the league to allow each team to bring “their own footballs” to the game. Before the 2008 season, the home team supplied all of the game balls. But because quarterbacks each like the ball a little different, Brady and Manning lobbied the league in 2007 to change that rule. Now each team plays with their own footballs during the game.
Besides, we have to take into consideration that this is not the first time New England has been discovered to be cheating. Remember “spygate?” If the NFL is truly out to “protect the integrity of the shield” as they claim, then the only correct thing for them to do is suspend Brady and Belichick for the Super Bowl. During their news conferences yesterday, both men said “I have no idea what happened” over, and over.
In an ironic twist, Brady said he wants his footballs at 12.5 PSI, but then said he doesn’t feel any difference during the game. That is a real stretch for me. He says he can’t feel the difference in the one piece of equipment he handles all of the time, but thinks 12.5 PSI is the “perfect football.” Look, I like Tom Brady, but I believe he just got caught in his own lie and needs to be punished.
Belichick claims he knows nothing about inflating footballs. Yet he also contradicted himself when he said that he alters the inflation of the balls in practice so his players “practice under the most extreme conditions” like during the game. Another contradiction that is hard for me to swallow.
During his news conference Belichick threw his quarterback under the bus. His quarterback then threw the equipment staff under the bus in his news conference. All the while standing in front of a backdrop that read “Gillette Flexball.” Now there is a subliminal message if there ever was one!
To use Belichick’s and Brady’s own words, I would be “shocked” if anything was done to punish the New England Patriots before the Super Bowl. Even if there was some kind of punishment handed out before the game, it will not include the suspension of either Belichick or Brady.
Even if both men are telling the truth that they don’t know how the balls were under inflated, which I find hard to believe, remember what Commissioner Goodell said during the news conference handing out punishment for the Saints in “bountygate”. He said: “ignorance is not an excuse.”
I know “boutnygate” was far more serious than “deflategate” but as he likes to say, “rules are rules” and must be followed by all. Therefore, I see no recourse but to suspend both the coach and quarterback for the upcoming game. Otherwise we will continue to see the NFL become more and more like the WWE.
I think you can only sum up this NFL season as a really shitty one for the league! Only, they have no one to blame but themselves.