Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Deathless deflation

So NFL training camps have officially opened across the land, and you know what that means, America. It means more Deflategate!

Sure, we're all heartily sick of the villainy/non-villainy that won't die, because we'd much rather get on with the important stuff, like which NFL player is next going to get into one of those WWE fights in practice. (Thanks, Dez Bryant!). But we can't let Deflategate go, because the Patriots and the NFL won't let Deflagegate go. And most of that is because Roger Goodell and the boys couldn't find their hindparts with a flashlight, two hands and trained guides.

If Goodell and the boys were in any way unlike a vaudeville act, Deflategate would have long, um, deflated. But they've so compromised their own investigation with their bumbling there is actually a segment of America out there (a thinking segment, not the segment that thinks Donald Trump, another vaudeville act, is the next Churchill) who believe Tom Brady didn't know nuttin' about them footballs.  Who think the Patriots didn't do anything wrong, even though they fired that equipment guy for not, um, doing it.  Who think it was just one of those coincidence deals that Brady chose the day before he was to testify to destroy a cellphone with possibly incriminating text traffic on it.

Lots of people are willing to gloss over that now because it's come out that the head of the investigation, Mike Wells, never told Brady he would be punished for not turning over certain information, including the contents of his cellphone. (Of course, he didn't really have to, because it's sort of a given if you're not forthcoming with an investigation, the investigators will likely hold that against you).

  Lots of people are also willing to gloss over it because it's become apparent that some league functionary deliberately fed ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen bad intel about how many footballs were deflated and by how much. Which Mortensen went on to post because the functionary was apparently a trusted league source.

So, now it looks as if the league was deliberately trying to smear Brady and the Patriots, even though A) Brady is one of its brightest stars, and B) the Patriots are the league's model franchise, except when they're running over the rulebook with a 4x4.

No one's yet come up with a rationale for why the NFL would want to do that. But rationale went out the window for a long time with Deflategate, which has driven everyone connected to it completely insane because the damn thing just won't die.

Now it's headed where it's always been headed, the courts. And here's what I think: I think the NFL kinda-sorta framed a guilty man. No, I don't know why. I don't know why Goodell and the other occupants of his clown car do half the stuff they do. But I think the presiding judge is going to make hash of the NFL's case, and Brady will get his suspension overturned, and he and the Patriots will skate even though they got caught redhanded messing with the balls for the AFC title game. It's simply absurd to think otherwise.

 The lesson: Apparently you just can't beat the Patriots. Anywhere.

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