New England (Storch Report) — It’s been a week now since ‘Deflate-gate’ took place and all we know is what the New England Patriots claim they don’t know and what Commissioner Roger Goodell of the NFL apparently doesn’t want to know before next Sunday’s Super Bowl.
It is difficult to not come to the conclusion that the lack of the NFL’s transparency over a football that is supposed to be inflated to between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch and 11 out of 12 footballs used by the Patriots last Sunday were 2 pounds under the minimum, that the failure to disclose what is obviously known has to do with the money that’s riding on Super Bowl Sunday.
Is the lack of transparency analogous to ‘Benghazi-gate?’ Well it is when it comes to honesty. It is not when it comes to death, four people died in Benghazi.
This is where Tom Brady, quarterback for the Patriots, who was responsible for the selection of the balls for the game, was right when he said he liked the balls at the 12.5 weight that he allegedly approved pregame that were 2 pounds under weight, but then said with a lack of credibility, that the balls used in the second half felt the same, and those balls were at the correct weight.
Brady, in an attempt to put the issue in perspective, said, “this is not ISIS, no one died.” That’s also the way many pundits would like to see it, because it was a blowout for the Patriots 45-7 over the Indianapolis Colts. What difference did an under inflated ball make?
It’s called cheating, not playing by the rules. And the NFL’s job is to enforce the rules, not after the fact — but when the infractions occur. We don’t know if this form of cheating could have made a difference in the outcome of the game.
At the time of the press conferences with coach Bill Belichick, better known as ‘Belicheat’ for his previous NFL penalties for violating the rules, he claimed he didn’t ‘no nothing,’ and then Tom Brady followed-up with a longer diatribe to say the same thing, both claiming no one from the NFL had contacted them, nor interviewed them, but said an investigation was underway.
In fact an investigation was underway at half-time of the game between the Colts and the Patriots last Sunday when the balls in question were swapped-out.
There is no question that the delay in this investigation is nothing but a tactic by the NFL to protect the money riding on the game; advertising, ticket sales, revenues to the league, the teams that made it to the big game, television rights, revenue from souvenirs, clothing apparel, food, booze, future television rights, and the money riding on gambling from Las Vegas to New York.
It does little to protect the integrity of the game, but it sure limits potential liability for not taking any action before the Super Bowl.
No one from the NFL seems to be talking about the integrity of the game, its cheating impact on the youth of America, nor addressing its other issues such as the use of steroids among players, the number of concussions among the players that occur annually and what they are doing to prevent them, nor the number of spousal abuse cases that occur.
This is but the tip of the iceberg for the NFL, and reflects badly on all professional sports, which are also not void of similar allegations.
However, the cover-up we are talking about is at hand and the lack of transparency by the NFL is apparent. What penalties take place we expect will come after the fact and will have no affect on the Super Bowl, which delivers the message that cheating is a risk worth taking for the reward.
The last statement issued by the NFL came last Friday and was classic pap about how they began the investigation last Sunday, who’s involved in conducting it, lawyers, an investigatory firm with ‘sophisticated forensic expertise to assist in reviewing electronic and video information,’ and it said they ‘conducted 40 interviews including Patriots personnel, game officials and third parties with relevant information and expertise.’
But after a week, the NFL , according to two primary suspects in ‘Deflate-gate,’ didn’t interview coach Bill Belichick or quarterback Tom Brady?
The statement concluded by saying, “As we develop more information and are in a position to reach conclusions, we will share them publicly.”
Don’t expect a conclusion before Sunday.