Final Deflategate thoughts!

Because we are all ultimately sick of hearing about Deflategate, I will respond to the top 10 myths and opinions from this abominable episode for the NFL, for the Patriots and for Tom Brady.

10. Everybody does it so it’s okay! See the following quotes below from Jeff Blake, Brad Johnson, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Leinart, Rich Gannon, Boomer Esiason and Charlie Whitehurst respectively:

“I’m just going to let the cat of the bag, every team does it, every game, it has been since I played. Cause when you take the balls out of the bag, they are rock hard. And you can’t feel the ball as well. It’s too hard. Everybody puts the pin in and takes just enough air out of the ball that you can feel it a little better. But it’s not the point to where it’s flat. So I don’t know what the big deal is. It’s not something that’s not been done for 20 years.” “Well, I would say [to a ball boy], ‘Take a little bit of air out of it. It’s a little bit hard,’” Blake said. “And then he’d take a little bit out and I’d squeeze it and I’d be like, ‘OK, it’s perfect.’ That’s it.”

In 2012 Brad Johnson paid 7,500 for ball handlers to scuff and wear in the balls before Super Bowl XXXVII, per Johnson’s preference. “I paid some guys off to get the balls right,” Johnson told the Tampa Bay Times in 2012. “I went and got all 100 footballs, and they took care of all of them.”

 “‘I like to push the limit to how much air we can put in the football, even go over what they allow you to do and see if the officials take air out of it,’”

Every team tampers with the footballs, Ask any Qb In the league, this is ridiculous!!”

 “Ask any quarterback, and this is a non-issue. Everybody does something to them. It’s like a pitcher, he wants the ball a certain way.

– “It really does seem totally ridiculous that this story has been blown so far out of proportion,” If you look at the footballs that the quarterbacks are playing with and throwing for the last six or seven years, just realize that everybody is doing the same thing.”

 “It’s us, We go in and take the air out of them because they’re more fun to throw.

Yes everybody does it and yes Eli and Peyton Manning are both jealous cowards for not sticking up for Brady, but the bottom line is the Pats got caught and when you push the envelope like the Pats so often do and when you have become a franchise dynasty, than you make a lot of enemies. Every time I used that excuse with my parents, they always said I dont care what everybody else does, just you!

9. The NFL had an agenda to punish the Patriots and tear down this dynasty!

This is simply not true as the NFL has had more bad publicity this season than Alex Rodriguez usually has in one week. What is true however is that once Bill Belichick allegedly went back on his word about taking accountability for Spygate, Goodell used this layup of an opportunity to hammer the Patriots knowing the majority of owners, players and fans would be thrilled.

8. The deflation of the footballs had no effect on the outcome of the game!

Even the most ardent Patriot haters would have to admit that but that hasn’t been the issue since day one. The Patriots were punished plain and simple because of their unwillingness to cooperate in the investigation and because Tom Brady didn’t come clean in the first place.

7. Bill Belichick hung his QB out to dry.

Belichick most certainly did hang his QB out to dry and what no one is talking about is it remains to be seen, how this impacts their relationship going forward. Belichick could have handled this so many different ways, but he chose to proactively distance himself from Brady. Even if he said, you need to talk to Tom, but if there are minor PSI issues, than that would be consistent with what every QB does in the NFL. Belichick is an evil genius and an amazing coach, but he has no success without Brady and owed him more.

When Tom Brady elected to not address this when it first came up and play dumb, he was mirroring lessons taught by his mentor Bill Belichick. Brady got bad advice and he now has to pay for it.

6. This will affect Brady’s legacy!

It would be ridiculous for this to affect Brady’s legacy. Brady’s playoff accomplishments are unmatched and he does the most important thing, win! Four Superbowls, six appearances and in first in virtually every playoff statistical category speaks for itself. All the Brady haters out there are kidding themselves if they say they would rather have anyone else.

5. Every dynasty must come to an end!

Not so. The way Belichick and upper management have navigated the salary cap in the last 13 years shows that there is no reason this has to end. However, history has proven that people hate long-time winners. It is interesting though what a 180 degree turn the franchise has done since they beat the Rams back in 2001 and were beloved by the entire country. Whether it be the Yankees, Cowboys, 49’ers, Celtics or UCLA Bruins, no one likes teams that always win.

4. Robert Kraft didn’t know what was going on!

This is absurd as people who believe Tom Brady wasn’t texting orders on football preparation. Whether it was after his wife Myra’s death or just because he has become so used to and addicted to winning, Kraft couldn’t be as successful as he is in business today without realizing who Bill Belichick really is. Kraft has signed off on whatever Belichick wants and he is willing to let his team’s reputation suffer as a result. He isn’t about to look a gifthorse in the mouth and as long as his team keeps winning, then he is okay with it. Or maybe it’s that 20-something girlfriend that has him preoccupied.

3. Roger Goodell is a dictator addicted to power!

The fact that the NFL owners are okay with one person having unilateral power to the point where he can hear an appeal of how own rulings and judgment is beyond belief. This is why we have HR people in the corporate world and why we have principals in schools and why we have a court of law, Roger Goodell’s inconsistent handling of discipline among other things has been a black eye to the league. The NFL will continue to make money hand over fist, but Goodell himself inspires no confidence and the owners know it, the players know it and he is one more scandal away from losing his job.

2. Kraft elected not to appeal the decision because he made a closed-door deal with Goodell so Brady’s suspension gets reduced or eliminated!

If Brady’s suspension gets overturned by appeal, than this in my mind is 100 percent true. If the suspension gets altered by two games or less, than Kraft knew the Pats didn’t have a leg to stand on and didn’t want this to drag on any longer.

1. Pats fans can’t enjoy the success in the same way in light of all that has happened during the Belichick era!

I think this is 100 percent true. Even if the NFL had excused the Pats of wrongdoing, the stigma would have been there, the Pats suspicious track record was already there and haters would have used anything to tear down the Patriots’ accomplishments. 

I admire leaders who exploit loopholes and weaknesses in regards to rules and strategy. But I also admire accountability and honesty and the Patriots want it both ways. They say they did nothing wrong but they insult our intelligence by hiding information and making up phony stories.

If anybody sees Bill Clinton, maybe he can let us know the meaning of “is”. 

Part of being a Bostonian is to gloat about living in the City of Champions and having four successful sports teams, but nobody wants to be labeled a cheater whether it is justified or not.

Meanwhile, all of this overshadows the fact that Brady has had perfect attendance at offseason workouts and whether the Patriots can survive with no Revis and a who’s who of a secondary this season. 

Would love to be a fly on the wall when Brady was playing golf with Michael Jordan this past weekend. I’m sure Jordan made Brady feel better by recounting all of his gambling transgressions.


Pre Pro Bowl

Wow what a quiet week in sports. Seems like there is nothing going on. So deflating.

The worst part is the Pro Bowl isn’t getting nearly the attention it deserves. This might be the most befuddling event of the four major sports. For the tremendous success the NFL has had and the amount of money  the league makes, the approach to this game couldn’t be more ass-backwards.

First of all, the Superbowl participating players opt out and many other marquee players frequently bow out because they don’t care. The NFL has tried to liven things up by doing a fantasy draft. The top two revenue sources of the NFL are based on fantasy leagues and gambling. Those don’t apply in the Pro Bowl hence no interest in conjunction with what I mentioned above. And when Andy Dalton got named as an alternate that was the last straw. How about having the Pro Bowl after the Superbowl. I know the NFL would have nothing to offer its fans between the conference championship games and Superbowl, but more Superbowl hype would be more appealing than a boring game with alternates and players not caring. The NHL has the skills competition, the NBA has the slam dunk and 3 point contest, MLB has the home run hitting contest and the NFL has a fantasy draft and beach football??????????

Okay so let the trash talk begin. Seahawks nickel corner Jeremy Lane said “Gronkowski isn’t very good.” I would say Lane isn’t very good but I didn’t know who he was prior to the quote. What I simply don’t understand is why insignificant players are stupid enough to provide bulletin board material and specifically to go into detail about Gronk being ineffective when people are physical with him. Yes these guys should be motivated regardless of bulletin board material, but if what Lane sees on film is correct, than why call it out and instead just take advantage of it. As competitive as Gronk is, you don’t think now more than ever he is going to try and shed that label in front of gazillions of fans on Superbowl Sunday.

Remember prior to the Eagles-Pats Superbowl in 2005 when Freddie Mitchell said he just knew the numbers — not the names — of New England’s cornerbacks. Stupid, not necessary and coming from an insignificant player trying to make a name for himself giving needless extra motivation to the other team.

And one more trash talk note. I found it comical that Aaron Rodgers felt the need to call out Richard Sherman before the NFC Championship game saying he wasn’t afraid of him and then proceeded to get picked by Sherman in the first quarter. Again, why say anything at all and let your actions and the actual game do the talking for you.

Green Bay is probably the model franchise in the NFL and its fans and team has always been classy. But that was not only one of the biggest sports chokes I have ever seen, but one that will stick with the players and fans for years and too much of the focus was on Seattle’s big comeback and not enough on the multiple wasted opportunities by the Packers in the first half.

So I guess that’s it. I think there was one other thing. Ichiro Suzuki and the Marlins are close on a one-year deal. I kid I kid.

“Inflategate”. I refer of course to 1977 when former great Raiders kicker Ray Guy was suspected of kicking a football filled with a substance lighter than air. Houston Oilers return man Billy “White Shoes” Johnson said he has never seen a ball hang up there that long. According to news accounts, the Oilers were able to retrieve one of Guy’s footballs and took it back to Houston. The Oilers would send the ball for testing at Rice University, but no helium was found, according to the AP.

And now we have “Deflategate”. This has been talked about ad nauseum all week so I am just going to make a few points.

  1. When the Raiders were a dynasty/always winning and successful (this was before they changed their slogan in the last 25 years to (“Just Lose Baby”) in the 70’s  and early 80’s, people hated them and found every reason to pick on them. Same with the Steelers. Then the 49’ers and then the Cowboys. I mean people were so resentful of “America’s team” and so many people rooted so hard for them to lose. And now we have the Patriots, who to add insult to injury have a coach the majority of the country despises because of his obstinate, secretive and unfriendly nature and a QB who is perceived as the ultimate pretty boy.

  2. Yes there is a pattern of cheating and crossing the line, but what is more disturbing is that the players who have lost key games to the Pats over the years are using circumstantial evidence in some cases and no evidence in others, as an excuse for their failures instead of owning up to not being good enough.

  3. I wear my “City of Champions” badge of honor as fiercely as anyone and have always prided myself on being able to have a comeback when an annoying fan from an opposing city tries to trash Boston teams. Prior to 2004, I had nothing to say to Yankees fans. Now I can say the Yankees have the biggest choke of all time in pro sports and the Red Sox have been the better team in the 21st Century. Montreal hasn’t won a Cup in 20 odd years and the Bruins have had more success overall for a while now. The Celtics have the most championships in NBA history and now I have nothing to say for the Pats. There is nothing worse in this world in my opinion than being called a liar or a cheater. Once you open the door, it is virtually impossible to close and regain trust. Belichick opened the door and now the entire team, and fan base suffers for it and permanently has to answer for it. So disappointing and frustrating. The most detestable word in the English language now has to be asterisk for Pats fans.

  4. If Bill Belichick really did spy on the Rams prior to the Superbowl, did he have that little confidence in his own team or when he taped the Jets: Same question? So if Belichick didn’t know about this, and this was on Tom Brady, did Brady have that little confidence in his receivers and himself where he needed this slight meaningless edge against a team that has been clearly inferior to them for a while. A home game, bad weather, inexperienced QB wasn’t enough. Maybe this is a conspiracy  but I am having a hard time believing Bill Clinton did not have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky any more than Tom Brady wasn’t aware of what happened.

Until next week!