In case you’ve been somewhere under a rock—or, you know, not in front of a television or a computer or a newspaper or a radio for the past couple of days—here’s the biggest story in the week-and-a-half leading up to the Super Bowl:
In the AFC Championship game, Indianapolis Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted a second quarter Tom Brady pass and said, “Holy shit. This feels a bit soft, son.” He then handed the ball to the ref and expressed his concern. An investigation into the soft ball was made and it led to the revelation that 11 of the 12 balls used by New England didn’t meet the NFL’s inflation requirements, which is a thing you probably didn’t even think about being a thing until now.
But it is.
See, according to a bunch of internet comments that I’ve now read, underinflated balls are easier to catch and MUCH easier to throw than properly inflated balls. (The catching part makes sense to me; the throwing part, maybe not as much.) Anyway, I guess it’s a rule and the rule was broken and now everyone is flipping their shit. I’m not, though. Look:
The Patriots are lousy cheaters.
We know this. Apparently, it’s kinda their “thing.” What’s that quote about how if you’re not cheating you’re not trying? It’s sort of head coach Bill Belichick’s mantra. The thing is, they suck at it though. They’re always getting caught. And they’ll probably get fined a trough-full of money and it might cost them something draft-wise, but ultimately their legacy will remain untarnished because, from soup to nuts, they’re better than videotaping practices or jacking with equipment. These two things alone–no matter how many times they engaged in such nefarious activities– did not make them a dynasty. (It maybe just helped here and there.)
New England wouldn’t have lost this game, regardless.
The Patriots completely thrashed the over-matched Colts. Had league rules permitted Colts QB Andrew Luck to throw two balls at once for the entire second half of the game, I still don’t think Indy wins this. The Patriots—balls be damned—were just too good.
If everyone does it, do away with the rule saying you CAN’T.
Allow more variance to the inflation guidelines. Before their week 13 matchup with these very same Bostonian Super Villains, Green Bay Packers QB and Handsome Man Aaron Rodgers told CBS broadcasters Jim Nantz and Breathing Tree Branch that he likes to overinflate his balls. Other professional QBs have also talked about how they like their balls as well. Some prefer them rugged, scuffed and saggy; others still prefer large, smooth balls. Why don’t we just let them do what they want with their balls? Are minor differences in uniformity THAT big of a deal?
Teams handling their own balls is dumb.
Novel idea: LET’S NOT LET TEAMS HANDLE THEIR OWN FUCKING BALLS.
How silly is this? By allowing each team to present 12 balls of their choosing, the league is practically BEGGING for shit to be tampered with. How about all of this nonsense is taken out of their hands? If they can’t legally doctor the balls to their own preference, what’s the point of even delegating ball duties to them?
Have an impartial league ball boy handle all of the balls and tell him to use a rape whistle if Belichick approaches him on the sideline.
In the end, none of this matters.
The Colts were beaten soundly and I’m willing to bet the Patriots will only use properly inflated balls in the Super Bowl and going forward… they’ll just find new ways to cheat and we’ll all find something new that causes us to shit our collective pants in anger.