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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Deflate-Gate Debate Threatens to Overshadow Super Bowl

First appeared on Blogcritics.

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Deflated footballs were supposedly used by the New
England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.
 
 By now the discussion about what is being called “Deflate-Gate” (the supposed deflation of footballs used by quarterback Tom Brady in the New England Patriots’ overwhelming victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game in Foxboro, MA, last Sunday) has reached Bill Cosby scandal dimensions. Anakin Brady is being painted as a more than worthy student of Bill (Darth) Belichick, the Patriots head coach who long ago moved to the dark side with a vengeance.


Even good old Darth Vader would probably see his fellow Sith Lord Belichick as perverting the force, but heck anyone with a red light saber has to be considered part of the team, right? Belichick’s long history of questionable tactics is well known (National Football League fans well remember “Spygate”) and always keeps him under the microscope, but this situation seems to be blossoming into an even bigger storm from which Darth Bill may have a hard time extricating himself.
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Darth Bill no doubt likes apprentice
Brady's full embrace of the dark side.

Darth Bill has already started the spin by claiming that in his entire career that he never discussed the inflation/deflation of footballs with any team employee, player, or even the guy scrubbing the toilet. If you believe this one, I have a nice rusty bridge over the East River I’d like to sell you. Darth Bill is one slick-willy, and his distancing himself from disciple Anakin Tom is like letting him fall into the lava on that hot planet of media scrutiny right before the Super Bowl. 

The fact the NFL players far and wide are having a hard time believing Brady’s story is not surprising. So when the three-time Super Bowl winning QB says, "I have no knowledge of anything. I was as surprised as anybody when I heard Monday morning that this happened," you have to wonder if this is the worst case of fibbing since Sgt. Schultz said, “I see nothing” on the old Hogan’s Heroes TV show.

To add to the absurdity of Deflate-gate, the NFL finally made a statement on Friday that was about illuminating as a nightlight bulb in a subway tunnel. After interviewing 40 people (why were Brady and Darth Bill not among them?) they said “the evidence thus far supports the conclusion that footballs that were under-inflated were used by the Patriots in the first half” and that they were properly inflated in the second half. This announcement sheds little light on why and how this happened, but considering that the score was 17-7 at the half, and that the Pats went on to a blow-out 45-7 win (scoring all those second half points with properly inflated balls), it seems like the NFL is pushing for a business as usual week before the big game.
Commissioner Roger (Nowhere to Be Found) Goodell apparently is too busy somewhere pretending to be an ostrich to even comment on the mess that is going viral and probably won’t go away before the coin toss to start the Super Bowl on February 1.

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One question - shouldn't Gisele be
"Alice" in the center square?
 
For now we have what ABC News has jokingly called The Brady Crunch. The image alone brings back bad memories of Friday nights when I was a kid, but the more salient issue is that Brady’s peers and NFL coaches suspect him and believe that he has made a full turn to the dark side. As a New York Jets fan, I love seeing Brady and Darth Bill getting backed into a corner. Of course, when this happens they will no doubt pull their red light sabers from inside their dark robes and try to slay any padawans in the room foolish enough to question their tactics or ethics.

To continue the extended Star Wars metaphor, I hope the Seattle Seahawks will be as successful as Luke and his fellow Jedi in Return of the Jedi and kick Darths Brady and Belichick to the curb. I doubt we will see Brady lift old Bill over his head and toss him down an airshaft before the game, but it would be great to see the Pats get a drubbing. Nothing hurts old Darth Bill more than losing, and I bet much of America probably agrees with me and would like to see the crusty emperor dethroned.

As the Super Bowl approaches, we have to hope that the NFL has the balls secure to be certain nothing similar happens to them. Hopefully, someone will be checking every ball for proper pressure. You can count on everyone thinking about that more than anything – even what Katy Perry may be wearing for the halftime show.

Here’s hoping that the Seahawks win and that Darths Tom and Bill will go home as deflated as the balls they used back in Foxboro. May the force be with you, Seattle Seahawks!

  Photo credits: abcnews, edition.cnn.com, foxnews   

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