Yesterday, football fans everywhere turned into 12 year old boys. Rookies, you may be confused by the sudden proliferation of the word, “balls.” Remember, this is a safe place for your stupid questions. Today I’ll bring you up to speed on #deflategate.
Here’s the run-down
– Last Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts lost (horribly) to the New England Patriots.
– One of the Colts’ only highlights was an interception made by D’Qwell Jackson. Wanting a momento of that catch, he handed the ball to his equipment manager, who would normally put it in his locker later.
– But somehow that manager realized that the ball seemed under-inflated, and alerted someone.
– It was discovered that about half of the Patriots’ balls were either under-inflated, or deflated.
– Balls must be at a certain PSI level (pounds per square inch) for regulation play: 12.5-13.5.
– Each team supplies their own balls, which are chosen by the QB as per his preferences, handed to equipment managers. Then checked by officials.
– Patriots QB Tom Brady asserts that he likes his balls at 12.5 – on the lowest end of PSI.
– The less air in a ball, the easier it is to grip and throw. It’s also easier to catch, and hang on, preventing it from being stripped from the receiver.
– So now we’re in the throes of #deflategate, with accusations of the Patriots cheating.
Press Conference #1
The Patriots Coach, the monotoned Bill Belichick, insisted that he didn’t know about the procedures related to ball inflation/deflation. That’s funny, because he’s been a high-level coach for 20 years, and I’ve been a low-level fan for 1.5 years – and I know.
I read it when I wanted to know about football. In, I kid you not, Football for Dummies.
But you can’t use just any old ball; strict rules govern the ball’s size, weight, and even brand. In the NFL, the ball must be a Wilson brand, bearing the signature of the commissioner of the league, Roger Goodell. The ball can be inflated to between 121⁄2 and 131⁄2 pounds of air pressure.
His claims of ignorance of tampering may or may not be true – but claiming ignorance of ball procedure seems awfully fishy.
Press Conference #2
Tom Brady spoke to the media yesterday, insisting he had no knowledge of ball-tampering. But some inconsistencies rang out like a bell.
Brady explained the process of checking and feeling the footballs (giving some of the most giggle-worthy sound bytes). He explained how it’s really individual – that is, QB preferences are very specific, and he’s looking for a perfect feel. When he’s done, he said, they are perfect as far as he’s concerned.
But when asked if he noticed a difference after the half (when the deflated balls were used), he assured reporters that he couldn’t tell a difference.
Seriously? All that testing for preference – and no notice when the PSI was a full 1.0 less? Fishy.
Sports Center tweeted out their poll, regarding the country’s perceptions of Belichick and Brady’s honesty.
Other things you should know, Rookies
– Belichick was accused of cheating before. He allegedly set up cameras to record opposing teams, so that he could anticipate plays.
– Seahawk CB Richard Sherman has called out the NFL for favoritism, pointing out that Marshawn Lynch was nearly banned from play for the color of his shoes, as well as repeatedly fined for crotch-grabbing as a touchdown celebration move. Meanwhile, nothing may happen to this Super Bowl bound team, who has infractions that actually affect play.
On a personal note
I’ve clearly been thinking about this too much. Last night I had a dream that Marshawn took a little blue Nerf football, put it in a mesh bag, and tied it to his waistband. It was his quiet protest against #deflategate during the Super Bowl. Then, he scored a touchdown! He didn’t grab his crotch, though. Instead, he grabbed at the blue Nerf ball, in a similar gesture. In my dream, I cried. “He’s still gonna get fined,” I wept. I was so sad, but proud of my Pookie.
I have problems.
(But not as big as Belichick’s!)
Hugs and loves and properly inflated balls!