Thursday, January 22, 2015

WITH BALLS DEFLATED, ROGER GOODELL UNDER PRESSURE


Roger Goodell has to get this one right.

On the heels of the Ray Race scandal which tarnished the NFL's beloved shield and
severely damaged the reputation of its commissioner, Deflate Gate has dipped the league
in controversy, gripping the nation with the Super Bowl less than two weeks away

The New England Patriots, a model NFL franchise but one that got exposed for reckless
and blatant cheating in the SpyGate scandal in 2007, is being accused of thumbing their
noses to the rules and authority once again.

In the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, 11 of the 12 game
balls they provided were found to be underinflated. Everybody outside of New England
has branded Bill Belichick, the mastermind of SpyGate, a cheater again.


Social media's in a frenzy, the public is outraged, and the NFL's reputation could be about
to take another big hit with the entire world watching.

Roger Goodell, this is your big chance to regain credibility and the respect you lost with
the American public, one that doesn't have much faith in your leadership and ability to
guide one of the most powerful brands in the world after seeing how you mishandled
the Rice scandal.

For the commissioner, it's not really about the Patriots' balls, but rather his. He set this
league up to be a high-scoring one where quarterbacks are protected and receivers can't be
touched. Quarterbacks should have footballs they are comfortable throwing with and if
rules allow teams to provide 12 balls per game, then it's a safe assumption most of them
are chosen by the player who handles them the most and under the most pressure to
succeed.

Coaches, players, and front-office personnel see Deflate Gate as a non-issue and some
are even embarrassed that it's become such a big controversy.

But the issue for the commissioner is the apparent blatant non-compliance by the Patriots
once again. It doesn't look good when the NFL's most successful franchise follows up the
SpyGate scandal with this one.

The perception around the country is that Belichick and the Patriots cheat to win. Their
head coach, arrogant and smug, will do what he wants, the league be damned. He wins
often, but the SpyGate scandal will be attached forever and now DeflateGate is threatening
to worsen his image and image of the league even more.


Goodell cannot screw this one up. The fact is, the balls provided by the Patriots were
checked by referee Walt Anderson two and-a-half hours before the game and he personally
approved them. At halftime, they were checked again and found to be underinflated by
two pounds.

If it's discovered the Patriots did a switcher-roo with the balls in that two and-a-half
window from the time Anderson checked them and the start of the game, that's a huge
problem. Huge.

If the Patriots intentionally deceived the referees and the league, they will pay if
Goodell has the intestinal fortitude to do so. You can't let a team as successful as the
Patriots and one that is already a convicted cheater, get away with any shred of deception,
you just can't.

Imagine what the perception will be if there's no punishment against the Patriots and
the commissioner presents them with the Lombardi Trophy next Sunday night? It will
be utter outrage and any credibility Goodell had left after the Rice scandal will be gone
and never be able to be recovered.

This is your chance to get it right, Mr. Commissioner, the world is watching.

4 comments:

  1. LOL. So let me get this right.
    First off, I think the only people outraged are the media trying to make a big deal of this. Since, in a recent poll 90% of fans believe this to be a non-issue. The 10% who do, probably don't like the Pats anyway. Second, I'm not buying "spygate" as a big-to-do either. So they took notes on hand signals and made notes on the play on the field - with a video camera, no less. I'm sure all the teams employ some kind of watch-and-learn tactic for that edge. The Pats just happen to get caught red-handed on it -- and on one game against the dreaded "Jets", if I remember correctly. The fine was probably deservedly so, since they blatantly overtly did it for all to see. They were fined for being morons – not masterminds of some conspiracy. hahaha
    So media, stop stirring the pot. Let this story die as it should and maybe Roger doesn't need to make a "significant" decisive approach to this ...cough, cough... outrage.

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  2. Matt, thanks for your opinion. NFL thought SpyGate was a big issue. Fined Belichick $500,000. Probably chump change for you, but it's still a lot. Took first-round draft pick, which is like gold to NFL teams and fined Patriots $250,000. The deflated balls issue is ridiculous. But if it's found the Patriots did a switcheroo after balls were checked and approve, it' a problem. It's about integrity of rules and league.

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  3. ;-) I think this would be even more funny if the Colts did the "switcheroo" and blame the Pats for it? After all, who would believe the Colts would stoop so low?
    Just an observation: Football deflation noticed in second quarter. Refs make football changes at halftime. Pats play with regulated footballs in second half.
    First half score: Pats 17
    Second half score: Pats 28.
    I think the Pats played better with properly inflated balls.
    Also, there is a pound difference in the min-max inflation of balls. The footballs were determined to be 2 lbs underinflated. Is that from the Max or the Min? I "assume" from the minimum. But?
    Also, have you read the story from Brad Johnson (Bucs QB) who paid the ball boys $7500 to "properly" prep his footballs before Super Bowl XXXVII? http://www.dailynorseman.com/2015/1/21/7867069/brad-johnson-scuffed-his-balls-before-super-bowl-xxxvii

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I put the Brad Johnson story in article yesterday. No player, QB thinks it's a big deal and isn't. But with Pats reputation for cheating, it's a huge with Super Bowl upon us. Media love scandal.

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