By Scott Taylor
In a game that ended 45-7, the media representing the losing team believes the winning team cheated because it “underinflated” the footballs.
Yeah, I know. Had the score been, say, 21-20, somebody might have been allowed to whine. But after the New England Patriots eviscerated the Indianapolis Colts by 38 points on Sunday, the biggest post-game story was “the Patriots deflated the footballs.”
Holy crap! That was it? We’re told that 11 of the 12 footballs used by the Patriots were underinflated by as much as two pounds per square inch. Freakin’ frightening.
Guess that’s why Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson picked off a Tom Brady pass in the second quarter. Brady was probably using a properly inflated ball and couldn’t throw it.
Of course, Jackson immediately notified team equipment officials, who notified Colts coach Chuck Pagano and Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson who contacted the NFL. And from the second quarter to the end of the game, the NFL evidently did nothing. Now, instead of giving the Patriots credit for demolishing up-and-coming star Andrew Luck and a good Indianapolis Colts football team, the world of talk radio and daily newspapers has decided to legitimize any suggestion that Bill Belichick and the Patriots cheated.
Again, 21-20, an issue. 45-7? C’mon, man.
It must have been the balls that resulted in Luck completing 12-of-33 passes. Yeah, that’s it. It was the footballs. His balls were properly inflated so that means he couldn’t throw them straight.
What a crock.
The game balls that each team received “for preparation” according to the NFL, had to be approved by referee Walt Anderson two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff. When they are approved, they are returned to NFL’s ball attendant and no alteration is allowed.
The balls are required to be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch and weigh between 14 and 15 ounces. According to the NFL on Wednesday, some of the Patriots’ footballs were as much as two pounds per square inch underinflated.
Oh, those cheating Pats. Trouble is, the NFL still doesn’t know who underinflated the balls, where the balls were underinflated, how the balls were underinflated and who told who to do what.
The only sane people throughout this sordid exercise have been the members of the Indianapolis Colts.
Dwayne Allen Tweeted: Not a story. They could have played with soap for balls and beat us. Simply the better team. We have to continue to build!
Pat McAfee laughed as hard as I did when he Tweeted: If New England was to be DQ’d… we’d be their replacements right? I should probably lay off these strawberry margs.
New England’s Vince Wilfork had a wonderful response when asked about the balls: “I don’t know anything about that. I don’t touch footballs. I tackle people.”
Frankly, I don’t think for a second that the Patriots cheated. I just think this is another hilariously sad story in an NFL season so full of sad stories that the league looks like the Keystone Cops. In fact, the NFL is proof that even morons can make big money if somehow, they’ve convinced the idiot masses that the product their selling is enticing.
In a year of felons, bad decisions, phony officiating, questionable outcomes and really dumb executives, Footballgate is gloomily appropriate.