Tag Archives: Indianapolis Colts

Deflategate comes to an end

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 02:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots warms up before a game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium on November 2, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

A young man with whom I am acquainted is a happy fellow.

Trevor is as die-hard a New England Patriots fan as anyone this side of Cape Cod. However, heĀ lives way out here on the Texas Tundra, in Amarillo.

But by golly, he loves them Pats. He went to this year’s Super Bowl game in Arizona that the Patriots won in that remarkable fashion over the Seattle Seahawks.

I know he’s happy because a judge today tossed out a four-game suspension handed to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who’d been accused of conspiring to deflate some footballs prior to the Patriots’ AFC championship game victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The Pats won the game by a zillion points, so the deflating of the balls — no matter who did it — never really mattered.

But Brady got pounded with that four-game suspension handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Well, the suspension has been lifted. The NFL will appeal. My hunch is that the judge’s ruling will stand. Brady will take the first snap when the Patriots’ regular season begins.

Trevor will be made whole again.

I happen to agree with most Pats fans, that the four-game suspension was too severe. Brady perhaps needed some sanction. Fine him a lot of money; hey, he can afford it.

Four games? It was too much.

As for the appeal that Brady launched several months ago, consider this little item: He appealed his suspension to the league and the arbitrator was none other than theĀ same man who administered the suspension in the first place, Roger Goodell!

Is that fair?

I think not.

So, let’s get on with the pro football season. As for the air pressure inside those footballs, don’t let the players anywhere near the balls until it’s time for them to take the field.

Brady suspension lifted


Brady’s cover-up bites him in backside

Didn’t we all learn from the Watergate scandal that the cover-up almost always is worse than the crime?

Then again, the principal involved in a boiling sports controversy wasn’t even born yet when the Watergate scandal took down the president of the United States and sent several high-ranking government officials to prison.

Still, didn’t New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady hear of such a thing when he was in high school or attending the University of Michigan?

Brady’s four-game suspension in this year’s upcoming NFL football season will stand. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had imposed it in the wake of the now-famed Deflate-gate controversy. Brady then appealed the suspension to, strange as it seems, to the same man who imposed it. Goodell decided to let the suspension stand.


And why is that? Well, it turns out that Brady destroyed the cell phone that contained text messages that supposedly implicated the QB in the issue of whether he knew anything about the deflated footballs used in the Patriots’ game in which they clobbered the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game this past year.

Good grief, man. All he had to do was turn over the cell phone. He didn’t do it, apparently knowing that he had done something wrong.

My strong hunch is that his destruction of the cell phone infuriated Goodell so much that he dared not lighten the suspension.

The cover-up, Tom, did you in.

This story likely isn’t over. TheĀ NFL players union will appeal the suspension.

They’d better hurry. The season starts in just a few weeks.

Non-story about footballs becomes … a story

Man, oh man. I’ve been all over the pea patch on this “Deflate-gate” story.

I’m still believing the story has been overblown, overhyped and oversold as a “scandal.” Now the National Football League has suspended superstar New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for four games next season, fined the Pats a million bucks and taken away two draft choices as punishment …

… for something that “probably” happened.

The “probably” is that Brady might have known something was going on when someone deflated those footballs prior to the AFC championship game the Patriots won by 38 points against the Indianapolis Colts. The deflated footballs were easier to throw and catch, supposedly, as if it mattered in a game that the Patriots won in such convincing fashion.


I could see fining Brady a lot of money. He can afford to pay whatever the league would levy against him. I can see the team paying a fine. Suspension? Loss of draft picks? I don’t know.

I get that the league is trying to dissuade future cheaters from doing something improper. It’s sending a message of some sort around the NFL.

The NFL report alleging Brady’s “likely” complicity in the deflating matter is full of qualifiers that make it seem at best circumstantial. If only the league could prove what it has alleged, then I could accept the punishment as delivered.

Then again, if only Tom Brady had been more forceful in his previous denials about the matter, then I could believe fully that he did nothing wrong.

Still, I’m left wondering how this story got so huge in the first place.


Reading Tom Brady's body language

My wife isn’t a football fan, per se.

She doesn’t care so much about the details of the game, or even the men who play it.

However, she’s an astute reader of body language. She’s told me this about New England all-Universe quarterback Tom Brady, who’s been accused of having general knowledge that someone deflated those footballs prior to the Patriots’ game with the Indianapolis Colts.

“He looks like someone who was spoiled by his mother and has gotten away with everything he’s ever done,” she said. Does that mean Mrs. Brady actually spoiled little Tommy, or that my wife has inside knowledge of such? No. She said only that he looks like the type. “All he has to do is smile,” she said.

That was her takeaway from Brady’s appearance the other day in which he refused to answer questions about the deflated football story that has a lot of NFL fans in a tizzy these days. He looked “too smug,” she said.


The rumor mill is churning out stuff about the National Football League getting ready to suspend Brady for at least part of the next football season. Some reports say he might have to sit the entire season out if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell decides to drop the hammer.

I don’t particularly care one way or the other whether Brady sits or plays. I don’t think there’s that much of a story there about what Brady knew about the balls’ air pressure and when he knew it. I mean, the Patriots clobbered the Colts that day.

However, if my wife’s intuition is correct — and she is the very definition of “woman’s intuition” — then the all-world QB is likely to receive the shock of his life when the NFL commissioner decides to punish him for breaking a simple rule.



Thanks, Tom, for keeping 'Deflate-gate' alive

Oh, I was so hoping Tom Brady could take the air out of the Deflate-gate story today.

The New England Patriots quarterback didn’t deliver. Instead, he kept this non-story buzzing by refusing to discuss it in front a friendly crowd gathered at a long-ago-scheduled public appearance.


He came into the hall packed with about 4,000 cheering fans and then declined to say anything about the NFL report that says he “probably” knew something about the footballs that were underinflated prior to the Patriots’ rout of the Indy Colts in the AFC championship football game.

There’s no proof that Brady did anything wrong. No proof that he “cheated.” Nothing that says he watched some mysterious individual deflate the balls to make them more catchable and throwable.

He didn’t deny doing anything wrong. He didn’t say anything.

The story won’t disappear, even though it should.

We can thank Tom Brady’s tight lips for keeping it alive and kicking.


Brain injuries deserve attention, too

It’s fascinating to me to watch the media get all exercised and worked up over deflated footballs and whether one of the Super Bowl teams cheated its way into the big game.

Meantime, another actual crisis is festering and no one talks publicly about with the same fervor we’ve heard in recent days about “Deflate-gate.”

I’m talking about traumatic brain injuries. Concussions. Football-induced dementia.


I want to mention it because Frontline, the acclaimed PBS documentary series, recently rebroadcast its special on this matter. It has gotten next to zero attention, as sports media — and even mainstream news talk shows — have fixated on whether the New England Patriots purposely deflated footballs in their AFC championship rout over the Indianapolis Colts.

“League of Denial” chronicles what some have said has been the National Football League’s complicity in some of the brain injuries players have suffered. Indeed, some current and former NFL stars — former quarterback Brett Favre comes to mind — have declared they won’t let their sons play football for as long as they can control their sons’ activities. Why? The sport is too dangerous, they say.

The Frontline special can be watched online. It’s worth seeing over and over.

Perhaps it will awaken us to a real scandal about the health and welfare of professional athletes who take a beating that no human body can withstand.

Deflated footballs? I couldn’t possibly care less.


Let's change the subject; enough 'Deflate-gate'

Will someone out there please put a cork on this football inflating matter?

Please, pretty please?

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick held a press conference today. A young friend of mine here in Amarillo — a dedicated Pats fan — said he thinks the coach “put an end to it today” with his presser.

Man, I hope so.


Belichick says the Patriots followed “every rule” with regard to the footballs, which have become the subject of ongoing controversy and commentary — yes, including here. Someone ratted out the Patriots after they smashed the Indy Colts in the AFC championship game, saying the balls were under-inflated, which reportedly made them easier to catch in the cold, rainy weather in Foxboro, Mass.


The story is growing more legs than a centipede. I’m waiting now for the conspiracy theories to start hatching. Bet on it, once they do and they start getting lives of their own, this story will never die. Ever.

My solution is a simple one. The National Football League should take responsibility for inflating the balls. Inflate them identically. Pay no attention whatever the quarterback wants. Tell eachĀ QB, “Here’s the ball, buster. Take it or leave it.” Give each team their allotment of footballs as they are taking the field for their pre-game drills. And do not let anyone other than the players — and officials, of course — touch ’em before, during or after the game.

Now, let’s get ready to play the Super Bowl.


Media love "Deflate-gate"

Howard Kurtz, savvy media critique that he is, has posited the theory that the media are hyping up the “scandal” involving deflated footballs and whether the New England Patriots cheated their way into the Super Bowl because, well, it’s good for ratings.

Writing on FoxNews.com, Kurtz wonders precisely why the media have become fixated with this story. The Patriots, after all, clobbered the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game this past weekend. The notion that they purposely deflated footballs to make them more catchable had zero bearing on the outcome of the game, according to Kurtz.


The media might start concocting conspiracy theories any moment now and might start ascribing all kinds of evil intent on the Patriots.

Kurtz has one idea on what might be driving this media interest. He writes: “Much of the sports media canā€™t stand Bill Belichick, the Patriots coach. He openly treats reporters with disdain. Heā€™s become a symbol, fairly or unfairly, of sports arrogance and immorality.”

What’s more, as Kurtz says: “At his presser yesterday, Belichick looked nervous, defensive, ticked off to be there, as if he were undergoing a root canal. When he got done with a halting monologue denying any knowledge of ball tampering, he gave one-sentence answers to a few questions and cut it off.

“Every good scandal story needs a villain, and Belichick is it — especially because he was fined $500,000 in the 2007 Spygate incident, where the Pats secretly videotaped the Jetsā€™ defensive coachesā€™ signals.”

In the grand scheme of serious public policy issues, this one ranks — oh, I don’t know — perhaps nowhere.

But it does involve entertainment celebrities, aka known as highly compensated professional football players.

It’s all too bad. My fear now is that with the Super Bowl now barely more than a week away and with all the pregame hyped planned prior to the game, the media are going to overlook what could be an exciting sporting event between two talented football teams.

Instead, they’ll seek to solve the mystery of, “Who in the hell deflated those footballs?”


'Deflate-gate' turns into media monster

How is it that some stories that seem relatively inconsequential at the beginning turn into major headline events and the top subject of every cable news-talk show in America?

Welcome to the era of “Deflate-gate.” Good bleeping grief!


New England Patriots head football coach Bill Belichik has issued a oh-so-precise denial of any wrongdoing. He says he did not know of the dozen footballs assigned for his team’s use being tampered with, or know who might have deflated the balls to make them more catchable.

OK. What about the quarterback, Tom Brady? What did he know and when did he know it? Brady says he knows nothing about any funny business prior to — or during — the Patriots’ 45-7 rout of the Indianapolis Colts to win the AFC championship and a trip to the Super Bowl to play the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. It’s been kind of fun listening to the sports talking heads come up with different analogies to describe how badly the Patriots beat the Colts. “They could have beaten them throwing … ” oh, beach balls, water balloons, Frisbees, whatever.

All these denials, buck-passing and admissions of ignorance are simply fueling speculation that someone — the coach, the QB, the equipment manager, the center, the officiating crew — knows something that they aren’t revealing.

Brady said something Thursday about how much air pressure he prefers to have in the football he throws. No word, yet, aboutĀ the PSI preferences of Russell Wilson, the Seattle quarterback.

Here’ a thought. Why not simplyĀ require the National Football League to inflate every football to precisely the same air pressure, give each team their allotted number of game balls — just before they take the field for their pre-game drills — and tell the players, “All right fellas, here are the balls. Go out there,Ā play your guts out and may be theĀ better team win”?

Do not leave this matterĀ in the hands of the principals who will play the game.

I’m beginning to sense a conspiracy theory in the making, one that willĀ become a monster thatĀ will neverĀ die. Not ever.

Let's call it 'Deflate-gate'


You’ve heard it said that “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

The New England Patriots won the American Football Conference championship in a rout over the Indianapolis Colts. Now it turns out they might have, um, cheated just a bit.

How? It’s those footballs they used. Eleven of the 12 balls the Patriots used were deflated by 2 pounds of pressure, making the balls a little easier to catch in the rainy and cold weather conditions that plagued the game in Foxboro, Mass.


This isn’t the first time the Pats have been caught and/or accused of cheating. Remember “Spy-gate,” when the Patriots reportedly spied on the New York Jets’ practice sessions prior to a game?

What should the NFL do?

Well, you can’t replay the game.

But the team ought to pay a price monetarily. Fine the coach, or whoever was responsible for the deflating the balls. Perhaps you can force theĀ Patriots to surrender a significant portion of their earnings from the sale of “AFC Champs” gear or the proceeds from whatever they earn if they win the Super Bowl.


This all kind of reminds meĀ of the controversy that ensued after Muhammad Ali knocked out George Foreman in October 1974 to regain the heavyweight boxing championship. The “rope-a-dope” tactic, in which Ali leaned against the ropes and allowed Foreman to wail away while Ali covered up, worked to perfection partly — it was alleged — because someone loosened the ropes, forcing Big George to lunge a little farther to throw his haymakers. The late Angelo Dundee, Ali’s trainer, denied messing with the ropes.

I mentioned that to my wife this morning. Her answer? “George is a big, tough guy. He should have just stepped in a little closer to throw his punches.” Holy crap! I never thought of that. Good call, honey.


AFC loyalist that I am, I plan to root for the Patriots against the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. However, you won’t hear me hoot and holler if they win. It’s hard to cheer out loud for cheaters.