I don’t know about you, but I’m getting quite bored hearing about what has been called “Deflategate.”
That’s what the wags dubbed the New England Patriots’ subterfuge in deflating footballs below what the National Football League rules allow during last year’s playoffs. Tom Brady, the golden boy quarterback of the Super Bowl champs, got whacked with a four game suspension by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for allegedly either asking that the balls be deflated or not saying anything about it, and has been appealing the ruling.
What makes Brady’s misdeed (he says he did no wrong) is not the act but the cover-up. Seems that the NFL asked for Tommy’s cell phone so it could track his texts and emails, but Brady told them he had lost it or thrown it away or broke it or something.
Yep, sure Tom.
Let’s be honest here about dishonesty in sports; it has always been a part of games and probably always will be. In baseball, base runners try to steal signs from the catcher to relay to the batter and the pitcher does stuff to the baseball to make it move the way he wants. In football, players hold, kick, trip and punch one another. In basketball, players grab the jersey of opposing players to slow them down, and in hockey a well-placed stick on the ice can bring an opponent to his knees.
That’s why we have officials, referees and umpires, to catch the perpetrators (if they can) and call penalties on them. About the only sports where cheating doesn’t take place are golf and tennis. In fact, golf demands that players police themselves and woe to he or she who doesn’t do so. In tennis, the players are far away from one another, visible to everyone, there are people who call the lines for them to prevent them from making bad out calls, and a chair umpire (who sits in a chair above the court, kind of like a god) to further keep them in line.
But Deflategate goes on and on ad nauseam. With the world in turmoil, where boys will be girls and girls will be boys (as The Kinks once sang), shots ring out in theaters, airplanes disappear, and bombs go off in marketplaces, we discuss Tom Brady’s guilt or innocence as if the matter was as crucial as geopolitics or the upcoming election. Actually, I’m surprised Donald Trump hasn’t weighed in on the subject. He has on just about everything else.
It’s time we move on. Let Tom continue to proclaim his innocence, watch his team play for the first four games of the season and take his medicine like a big boy. If he had just come clean in the first place, say, “Yeah, I asked that the balls be deflated a bit but I didn’t know it was against the rules or such a big deal,” and issue a strong mea culpa, he would have gotten maybe a one-game suspension or a fine and we could have spent more time talking about training camps and the upcoming season, which, no doubt, will be marred by continued discussion of the incident.
Hmmm, I guess I’m as guilty as anyone in keeping this ridiculous saga alive. So, I’m going to just stop writing and check to see how my New York Giants are looking in pre-season. It’s time to play some football and stop talking about the football.
by John Torsiello