This Sunday, don’t be that guy.
Every time the New England Patriots get a first down, someone at your Super Bowl party will make a (dumb) comment that the team must have deflated the balls again. Whenever Tom Brady connects with Rob Gronkowski, someone will say that the three-time Super Bowl champion is a cheater, liar, fraud and so on.
Please, for all that’s good and true in this world, don’t be the one who says those things.
Because if the Patriots manage to knock off Russell Wilson and the formidable-Seattle Seahawks defense, it won’t have anything to do with ball pressure.
Ever since New England beat the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship, pretty much all of the media attention has been zoned in on allegations that the Patriots cheated…again. Eight years after the Spygate scandal, the Patriots had pulled off another shady win-at-all-costs tactic—this time, it was illegally deflating footballs prior to kickoff.
Off with their heads!
Turn on the radio and you’ll hear that Brady should be forced to sit out the Super Bowl. Glance at a newspaper or website and you’ll read that both he and head coach Bill Belichick should be suspended for all of next season.
First of all, the initial ESPN report—the one that stated that 11 of the Patriot’s 12 footballs were two PSI (pounds per square inch) below the legal amount—is now being challenged.
Secondly, the amount of air purportedly taken out would be equivalent to the mass of a dollar bill, according to ESPN Sport Science. Some advantage, huh?
The truth about this whole situation is that the Patriots are being publicly punished because of their past. Fair or unfair, they don’t get the benefit of the doubt.
Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers acknowledged that he prefers to use an over-inflated ball and told CBS Sports “Every game they're taking air out of the footballs I'm throwing, and I think that's a disadvantage for the way that I like them prepped.”
Think about it. If referees are taking air out of the balls Rodgers uses, that means he’s going above the legal limit. Where’s the outcry for that?
Brady and Belichick have adamantly denied any wrongdoing on their part. It’s tough to tell whether they’re lying through their teeth or if they’re genuine. Some evidence supports the notion that the balls could’ve lost pressure thanks to the cold atmosphere of the game, but there is also a wealth of evidence opposing that belief.
The NFL is investigating the matter, and a decision will come after Sunday’s championship game.
It’s a shame that such a great matchup between such a great pair of teams is being overshadowed by some air as heavy as a dollar.
You can bet that the NFL will be all over those footballs on Sunday. There won’t be even the slightest chance for New England, or Seattle, to tamper with anything.
And that’s great. Because all of the people who cry about “cheating” will be silenced when the Patriots defeat the Seahawks by at least a touchdown, 35-28.
Brady is one of the fiercest competitors in all of sports. This past week, he’s taken a beating in the media. His character has been questioned, and so have his accomplishments.
They could play the game with a volleyball, bowling ball or whatever you like—it won’t matter.
Brady and the Pats are going to punch the Seahawks in the gut, and they’ll knock a lot more than two PSI out of ‘em.