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Deflategate Is All About Jealousy and an Outlaw League Commissioner
“Hey Jealousy” was the name of a very popular, still at times overplayed, pop rock melody by the Gin Blossoms from 1993. It would also seem a popular theme song for the New England Patriots to play as they take the field on Thursday night, September 4 against the far more morally upstanding likes of Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. After being tortured with the exponentially disproportionate amount of attention the NFL and all its associated media outlets have provided to this issue, I and many other less than clinically insane football fans of America, have come to the only conclusion that makes any sense concerning the reason for the NFL and Roger “Jesse James” Goodell’s punishment of the villainous, puppy-hating, candy-from-baby stealing New England Patriots. It’s all about that ugly, green-headed monster that oozes contempt, has no pride, and is responsible for so much dysfunctional behavior (No, not the New York Jets and their fans). It’s all about "Jealousy."
Yes, jealousy has once again reared its ugly head, and this time it is out to make the perennially competitive, four-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots pay the price for their long-running and consistent successes. This is the only logical conclusion one can draw from the absurdly over-the-top punishment given by the NFL. Relax, all you fans of all the other upstanding NFL organizations who have never done anything wrong; like try to brush a clear-cut videotaped case of domestic violence under the rug, had a head coach step onto an NFL playing field to impede a runner’s progress, piped in fake crowd noise, purposely tanked an NFL season to gain rights to the #1 draft pick, had numerous players that used steroids… the list goes on. The reason I say relax, however, is because I have no problem with the punishment of Tom Brady for four weeks. In fact, as a Patriots fan, I look forward to watching Jimmy Garoppolo dismantle the first four teams the Patriots face next year on their way to a 4-0 or 3-1 at worst start, even without the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. It seems only fair that if deflating footballs gives you some sort of competitive edge (really?), then the punishment should be equivalent to that for using steroids, which also gives a competitive edge (definitely).
So, I have no problem with the four-game suspension of Tom Brady if, in fact, they have determined that it is more probable than not that he was aware of the incident and was most likely involved in providing some sort of directive for it, which is still unclear by the way. The problem I have is with Jesse James in the commissioners office fining the organization a first round draft pick and $1,000,000. Here’s a list of reasons why this makes no sense!
- $1,000,000 is twice the amount the New Orleans Saints were fined for issuing bounties on opposing players! In a day when the NFL were defendants in a massive lawsuit involving players suffering life-altering concussions as a result of playing in their league, Jesse James decided that taking the air out of footballs was twice as wrong as members of the New Orleans Saints purposefully and literally trying to impose brain-damaging hits on opposing players!
- The Wells Report stated that Bill Belichick and Bob Kraft had no awareness of the situation, but refused to comply 100% with the investigation. Therefore, even though the NFL could find no guilt with them, they are punishing them exponentially worse for not cooperating with the investigation. Thank God that the NFL isn’t in charge of our criminal justice system because if they were, people who were accused of crimes they didn’t commit, but didn’t have their defense lawyers offer up every piece of possible evidence to get them convicted anyway, would be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
- Ted Wells looks like Snidely Whiplash from the old Hanna Barbara cartoons. We’re supposed to trust that guy? I keep waiting for the "Breaking News" graphic to appear on my television with video footage of him tying Tom Brady to some railroad tracks while he twirls his mustache, cackles menacingly, and an oncoming locomotive steadily approaches.
- Troy Vincent… wait a second, who the bleep is Troy Vincent?! Why didn’t Jesse James deliver the press conference himself if he thought this matter was so important and so detrimental to the game? Who’s the commissioner of this league anyway? If you’re going to “lay the hammer down,” at least have the man cubes to tell everybody yourself.
- Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy has been taken to task for saying something like, she wished the NFL would dedicate half as much time to domestic violence issues as they have to deflated footballs. Her critics argue that just because they didn’t come down hard on one thing doesn’t mean they shouldn’t come down hard on another. A “two wrongs don’t make a right” sort of argument. Unfortunately, it doesn’t hold up. As a league commissioner collecting a $40 million salary, you are expected to conduct business in a manner of consistency and rationality, so that your league members know what to expect and rulings are made with some resemblance of precedent and reason. Right now it wouldn’t surprise me if Adrian Petersen is publicly lauded as Comeback Player of the Year this season and Bill Belichick gets fined and suspended for wearing his hoodie too tightly.
- “The Patriots are being fined harshly because they are repeat offenders.” Bullcrap! They already paid the penalty for “Spygate,” and they weren’t found guilty of doing anything wrong this time around. They simply didn’t provide the NFL with every single voice, text, and every other message they wanted, which is absolutely 100% consistent with the way they have always and should smartly conduct their business. It’s also the way every advocate of privacy in America would respond. Today’s society doesn’t want Google tracking their online habits. We don’t want the government interfering with private corporations, and God forbid we get stricter gun laws. But the Patriots are supposed to virtually strip naked and let the NFL conduct a full body cavity search to find whatever they want?!
I would like to say that if the Patriots got punished like this for something so minor, the rest of the NFL better watch themselves. But, that would make too much sense. In the grand scheme of things, it’s all about the rest of the league’s jealousy over the best franchise in the game and Roger Goodell trying to regain some lost credibility with the public after looking more like Howdy Doody than Jesse James with the other recent and much more serious issues that he completely botched.