Monday, May 11, 2015

A Different Perspective on Tom Brady and Deflategate

News Flash: The Indianapolis Colts had footballs that exceeded the NFL inflation standards. News Flash: The Indianapolis Colts told the NFL before the playoff game that Tom Brady throws an underinflated ball. News Flash: The NFL did nothing. Why? Tom Brady did not cheat by the customs of professional football. There’s rules, and then there’s accepted customs in sports. Some rules are treated with a nod, nod, wink, wink, trumped by the generally accepted customs of the sport. It is well understood in the NFL that QB’s don’t abide by the stated rules with footballs. Each has a personal preference. Spitballs are illegal in baseball, but Gaylord Perry is in the hall of Fame. George Brett was caught with a pine tar bat, but is in the Hall of Fame. NBA refs allow superstars an extra step and hesitate to foul them out. The NFL understands the custom of the game. Offense, not defense, sells tickets and creates excitement for the fans. The NFL did nothing because it did not see an issue with the underinflated footballs. Then it, that is Deflategate not the football, blew up. Schadenfreude! Bring the Patriots down. The Patriots have been winning too long. Belichick plays loose with the rules. He’s always looking for the edge, an angle. Payback Watch the mighty fall. Some sportswriters, columnists, and announcers positively salivated over the Patriots getting caught “cheating.” We cheer for you on the way on, and then root for you to fall on the way down when you became too successful. The Wells Report said it was ”more probable than not” that Tom Brady “was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities.” That’s hardly proof. There’s no smoking gun. 243 pages, but no conclusive evidence! “Generally aware?” General awareness is not specific knowledge. Ted Wells, the NFL’s attorney, is too good an attorney to think his finding would hold up in court. The NFL says the sanctions are imposed for “conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL.” That’s hysterical! The NFL, a league, which has historically tolerated thugs, rapists, domestic violence perpetrators, and even murderers, is sanctimonious about integrity. Ray Lewis is headed for Canton. NFL players are often alcoholics and druggies off the field. Several achieved success through steroids. Integrity? The test for the NFL was success on the field. The NFL, a league, which turned its back on concussions, is hyperventilating about .4 psi. The underinflated balls did not affect the game. The Patriots defeated the Colts 45-7, shutting them out 28-0 in the second half. Tom Brady threw two TD’s in the second half with properly inflated balls. The Patriots defeated the defending champion Seahawks, using properly inflated footballs. Tom Brady will file a grievance through the NFL Player’s Association. The odds are that the grievance will be granted and Tom Brady reinstated. If not, the suspension will probably be reduced. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell essentially punted to an arbitrator. He has general awareness the punishment will not stand.

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