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article imageOp-Ed: Goodell, NFL want us to forget Deflate-gate but Go, Hawks, Go!

By Marcus Hondro     Feb 1, 2015 in Sports
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft tried to manipulate us into forgetting Deflate-gate so the game's big day can go on without being besmirched. Fans fell for it and the issue seems closed but we can exact revenge.
NFL deflates Deflate-gate
Before getting to that here's a quick recap: there are 24 footballs, 12 from each team, submitted to the referee before each game. The 12 footballs you offer up become the 12 your team uses on offence. The referee signs off on all 24, first making certain they are between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch.
This occurred before the game against the Indianapolis Colts. After the balls were weighed and signed off on by the referee 11 of the 12 balls to be used by the Patriots on offence became under-inflated, each by two pounds or more. Given the cold and rain it was easier to throw and catch the softer balls. Arguably harder to throw long, but New England quarterback Tom Brady does not often throw long.
Eleven of them on one side out of 12 were lighter, zero out of twelve on the other side. Huh. Now these balls were used for only the first half because the Colts, after an interception, noted the weight difference and officials were informed and for the second half the under-inflated balls were replaced.
There followed various denials by the Pats, including a press conference by coach Belichick where he said odd pseudo-science things about footballs and rubbing them and deflation. Nothing of that seemed to make sense to this layperson, indeed it seemed more like gobbledygook than reasoned, informed science. That opinion was confirmed by Bill Nye The Science Guy, who said Belichick "...didn't make any sense" at all.
NFL Deflate-gate investigation
The NFL was forced to investigate but all but stopped as the teams assembled in Arizona last Monday. They first made sure to leak the fact that the locker room attendant for the Pats, unnamed, took the balls from the referee and before delivering them to the officials who would keep them until needed on the field, went into a bathroom with the balls for 90 seconds.
Was this an attempt to make it seem as if this person is responsible, and he acted alone? Which of course would be ludicrous. Are you really, as a locker room attendant guy, or kid, whoever this person is, going to deflate the footballs your team will use on offence, without being told?
Obviously if this person deflated the balls — there seems no other explanation as the balls were taken from him directly to the official — then his orders would have come from Patriot coaching staff. Probably not from Brady or Belichick, they'd want to keep themselves distant from it all so as to be able to deny involvement, which they've done, though their denials were not comprehensive.
The NFL says their investigation will take weeks and seem to have shut it down for now. I would quibble with that, I believe I could conduct the investigation much quicker. I would sit down this person who transported the balls and spent a-minute-and-a-half with them in a room unobserved, and ask him, after first hooking him up to a lie detector, about the whole sordid affair. Take an hour, two hours tops.
Super Bowl first, cheaters second
The NFL isn't about to annul the Pats win over the Colts and play the game over or give the Colts the Super Bowl berth, or have the Colts play the team the Seattle Seahawks beat, the Green Bay Packers for the berth (that would be fun).
But nothing they could do before the Super Bowl would really make this go away without impacting the game, so they made it go away temporarily. They took one for on the chin for Roger Goodell's friend, Robert Kraft.
If Bill Belichick and the Patriots did deflate footballs then the Super Bowl would have less allure. For me. Don't like cheaters. Never have. Most of us don't. It don't matter to me if their cheating had a large impact on their 45-7 win over the Colts, or no effect whatever because cheating is cheating.
But by not finishing the investigation we won't know the truth until the game is long over. Should they eventually be punished it will mean little if they win the Super Bowl. They'll have in essence gotten away with it. What can fans do if they believe the Pats cheated and that we've been manipulated to forget about it? How can they get their revenge?
It's not much but it's all we have — Go Seahawks, Go!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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