TRUTH IN BLOGGING: It has been decades since I played football and even then I was a tackle, never handing the ball.
But as a father I tossed around footballs for my now-adult children; trust me, I knew when a ball was under-inflated, "soft."
If an almost couch potato can tell if a football is under-inflated, is it possible that an NFL center and quarterback failed to notice something amiss with the ball's (balls'?) internal pressure?
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is no newcomer to the gridiron. He was a QB at Michigan before signing with the Patriots in 2000.
As New England's QB, Brady played 209 NFL games between 2000 and 2015 with 7,168 passing attempts. How many times did he handle the ball in practice sessions? Anyone's guess.
SO HOW CAN IT BE that the center, the QB, and the receivers failed to notice the ball was soft? The same question can be asked of the game officials who handled the ball(s) between every play. Did the Patriots and officials (gasp) conspire - say it ain't so - to defeat the Indianapolis, nee' Baltimore, Colts in Superbowl xLix (49 for those who flunked Roman numerology).
CNN, under a headline reading Tom Brady likely knew of 'inappropriate activities,' Deflategate report says cites an "NFL commissioned report" that focuses on at least four "interesting" points:
- Text messages between a part-time New England Patriots employee and an equipment assistant with talk of cash, free shoes and autographs.
- The part-time employee -- a locker room attendant responsible for 12 footballs before the AFC title game -- spending 100 seconds in a bathroom after game officials had approved the balls for play.
- Measurements taken at halftime after a team that is losing tips off the league about footballs that appear to be too soft.
- The Patriots' star quarterback and the equipment assistant suddenly exchanging phone calls in the days just after news of underinflated footballs blew up.
Maybe the Patriot's win was legit; perhaps the Colts should have stayed home. But if the New Englanders cheated, their win should be forfeited and everyone on the offense who handled the ball should loose their winner's bonus.
If there was cheating, the NFL officials that handled the ball should be fined at least what they received for officiating and they should be banned from officiating at any games - professional or otherwise - in the future.
I can understand that weather has an effect of air bladders - every time we have a cold snap (here that means 60F) I have to pump up the flivver's tires - but if that was the case, the Colts' balls also would have been soft; apparently the Colts were playing hard ball.