Thursday, January 22, 2015

Why Deflategate Matters

And undermine the game's integrity
On some level, it's farce. The dominant team of their age, trying to get back to the SB and banish the demons of multiple failures to inferior teams at the final bell... and instead, we're talking about how they might have intentionally cheated in a blowout win at home, in a way that does not seem like it would make a big difference, but, um, well, still.

No, seriously.

Because, well, this *is* the Patriots brand now, and has been for a very long time. Patriot Fan does not want to hear this, but the plain and simple fact of the matter is that this is just part of a long-standing pattern of jaw-dropping arrogance. From the tainted Spygate wins to the employment of a likely mass murderer, to the constant gaming of the injured list, and the rife officiating benefits dating back to the Tuck Game. This is a rogue franchise that competes against the rule book as if it were wearing the other team's laundry.

And, well, for what? They were already hosting both games to get to the SB. They were already working against a Ravens team that didn't have a bye, and a Colts club that they had trucked over and over again., with an extra game on their legs. They were at home, touchdown favorites in both games, the clear class of the conference. As the blowout in the conference game showed, they didn't need any extra advantage.

But, well, they did it anyway. It's who they are. It's what they do. Regardless of how it's been caught and punished before, regardless of how it makes them look to the world outside of their protective cocoon, regardless of the message that it sends -- which is, well, if your franchise isn't willing to go to the septic tank, they just aren't as tough / smart / dedicated / whatevs enough to really want to win.

There's a word for that; actually, many words, none of them suitable for a family-friendly blog. But I know this: what's been done in Beliland is far more corrosive and destructive to the long-term health and well-being of the NFL than, well, anything done with Bountygate in New Orleans, by cheap shotters in Detroit, or how Johnny Manziel is said to be Bad Bad Bad for things other than not being, well, good at football.

In another couple of days, no one is going to care or remember about DeflateGate. It's going to go into the rear-view as the media tries to manufacture something out of the steamy turd that is the Pro Bowl, or someone in the sports world does something regrettable. Maybe the NFL burns them for a draft pick, docks them some money, whatevs. It won't matter.

But, well, it should. Because dirty is as dirty does, and the longer you allow it, the more you condone it. Or even tacitly encourage it. For a league that's just been covered in filth for the entire damn year.

And when every team is this bad?

Well, we get that much closer to every game being Sports Entertainment, rather than just DET-DAL and DAL-GB...

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