And now a few other things the NFL would likely consider "probable," based on its judgment yesterday in the Deflategate probe:
1. The Earth is round and revolves around the sun.
2. The sun will rise in the east tomorrow morning and on an indeterminate number of mornings after that.
3. Subsisting entirely on bacon cheeseburgers is not the way to a heart-healthy diet.
Or to put it another way: We really didn't need the NFL to tell us the New England Patriots (Motto: Cheating Even Though We Don't Really Need To Since, Oh, About 2004, At Least As Far As You Know) were up to their usual shadiness against the Colts in the playoffs. It was always a "Well, duh" assumption that a locker-room attendant and an assistant equipment manager didn't decide to monkey with a bunch of game balls on their own hook. These are the Patriots, not the West Canaan Coyotes. The underlings weren't gonna go rogue the way Billy Bob and Jon Moxon did on Bud Kilmer.
(The Blob apologizes for this possibly obscure reference to "Varsity Blues." A cult classic resplendent in its awfulness, if you haven't seen it).
And so, duh, it looks as if Tom Brady his ownself might have had a hand in the proceedings. Which strongly suggests more than just Brady knew what was going on, because, again, it's the Patriots. It's not their Way for players to do anything without a hall pass from Darth Hoodie, or a member of Darth Hoodie's cabinet.
The problem is, the NFL can't prove any of it. There are some vaguely incriminating texts, but no smoking gun. After so much practice, the Patriots are far too skilled in the underhanded arts to do something so amateurish as leave their fingerprints unwiped.
And so, no text from Brady that says this: "Deflate those puppies, boys. I want 'em nice and squishy."
This puts the NFL in a hell of a corner. The Patriots are the reigning Super Bowl champions. How do you punish your reigning champs without definitive proof? Then again, if you don't punish them, every other league city will scream for your head, and rightfully so. So the pressure will be on for Roger Goodell and the boys to do something.
The Blob's best guess is the league will punish them either by taking draft picks away or suspending Brady or Belichick, or both, for a prescribed number of games. This is, after all, a repeat offense. That means the league can pretty much justify any punitive action -- and if the Patriots and their apologists howl about it, they'd do well to remember that due process isn't really a thing in Roger the Hammer's NFL.
In any case, it's another black eye for a league that's fast running out of un-blackened eyes.
Welcome to the NFL, boys and girls. Where the jury is still out on that whole "cheaters never prosper" deal.