Are you sick of "Deflate-gate"? Yeah, me too. I hate to say it people, that's the cost of doing business being a Patriots fan. Whether you believe that or not, I'm sorry. The story is not, what was done, rather it was, who did it. The issue I have had over the past two days was put into light by WEEI radio host, Michael Holley, is that nobody is being objective about this whole thing, Patriot fans, Patriot haters, media and the NFL. I was guilty of that for a while.
For Patriot fans. It does not matter that it has been going on for years. A rule was broken and the Patriots got caught, end of story. Everyone, including myself, has made the point that other NFL Quarterbacks (QB's) have admitted to doctoring the ball. Before we go and indict those QB's and the NFL for those admissions, they admitted to doctoring the ball before the game and see what they can get away with. They never admitted to doctoring the ball(s) DURING the game. So it is not the same thing. Am I saying that it doesn't happen, no I am not. I am just saying those references aren't the same.
For Patriot haters. The Patriots got caught cheating! Do your happy dance! Very nice, now that that is out of the way, can you please stop ignoring the fact that other teams have been caught and that it wasn't a story then? The man who broke the story, Bob Kravitz, went on to a local radio show and stated that Patriots Coach Bill Belichick should be fired. When asked if Green Bay's coach should be fired for their QB's admission, rather than say it's not the same thing, he insulted the hosts calling them Nixonian and said it was irrelevant.
Two teams were warned during a game earlier this year for heating up footballs because the temperature was extremely cold. That is the same thing Mr. Kravitz, and yes there was no talk of it then and when it is brought up now it is disregarded by Patriot haters. Why? Because the Patriots were caught before, so they need to surrender their first born on trivial issues while the rest of the league can continue to test the limits of the rules without being called to the carpet. How is that objective?
The notion in the media that the Patriots should not be allowed to participate in the Super Bowl is not only ridiculous, but laughable. There isn't one of the remaining thirty teams that would take that spot, because they didn't earn it. You can argue that the Patriots didn't either and I get that, but let's not go overboard yet. The talk on that has drastically retreated because people started to realize how dumb it sounded.
The NFL is not going to deal with this objectively, mainly because the Patriots have put them in a position where they can't win. If they come back and levy the customary $25,000 and or draft picks (as first reported by Kravitz) penalty they will seem, to the "haters", lenient and that Robert Goodell, the Commissioner of the NFL, is in the pocket of Robert Kraft. If the league comes down hard and outside of the customary penalty, Patriot Nation will scream foul and claim that the NFL cares more about deflated footballs than it does its players battering women. Definitely a precarious position to be in.
As a Patriot Fan, I am not mad at Coach Belichick for what is going on. Like I said earlier, it is the price of doing business as a fan. However, it gets harder and harder to defend him. Players and coaches around the league have been coming out and saying that this really isn't a big deal, but the Patriots don't get the benefit of the doubt because, as ESPN Columnist David Fleming coined, of the "The Schmuck Factor". To gain the smallest of edge, the Patriots put themselves in this light, constantly. Patriot Nation can defend that all they want, I will just choose not to, it is what is.
We all need to move on from this. The NFL needs to come back soon (as of this writing they had not) and levy their punishment, there will be one, no doubt. Then the Patriots, Fans, Haters, Media and NFL can all focus on the greatest spectacle in sports, The Super Bowl.
If you don't take it from me, ask my wife