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How "Deflate-Gate" Is All About Money

By now we all know the story, but just so we’re on the same page, here it is in a nutshell. After Tom Brady threw a pick late in the first half, the Colts felt as though the ball was not quite up to snuff. They checked it out on the sideline and determined that the balls were under inflated. They passed this up a ridiculously long chain (from the player to the equipment manager to the head coach to the GM to the NFL to the officials at the game) and at the start of the second half, the refs confiscated one of the balls and now the NFL is “looking into it.”

This is a colossal waste of time for everyone involved. But not for the reasons people (mostly Patriots’ fans) think.

I understand why the Colts reported their concern to the NFL. After all, if we thought the Ravens were cheating the week before, I’d be livid if the Pats didn’t bring it to the attention of the refs. I also don’t buy the argument that it was a meaningless complaint in a blowout game. At halftime when it all came to light, it was a very manageable 17-7 score. No foul against the Colts for their actions.

I’m upset with the NFL.

Let’s face it, this investigation should have taken like ten minutes. Are the balls under-inflated? If yes, were the conditions possibly a factor? Test the Colts’ footballs, test the kicking balls, test the Patriot’s balls again and see how they stack up. If there is an offense, say so. If not, say so. There is no reason for this to last two days.

Or is there? The fastest way to get someone to like you is to create a common enemy. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Let’s face it, everyone hates the Patriots. Patriot haters have the longest memories in the world and never seem to notice that tons of time has passed. Ever see an ESPN comment section on any story involving the Patriots? The complaints are endless; the snowplow game, the tuck rule, spy-gate, Aaron Hernandez, the disloyalty to players, deceptive eligibilities, and now deflate-gate. Any time a Pats player gets popped for PED’s, the hate starts rolling. “Just like Belicheat and the Cheatriots.” I swear to you, that was an actual comment someone made to me. And sure enough, the media is soaking it up, and all the Pats haters have crawled back out of the woodwork. It’s a joke. Let it go.

First off, D’Qwell Jackson (yes that’s how you spell it) has caught 8 picks in his career. 8 times has he touched another team’s ball. Indy plays in a dome. That means what, exactly? He never handles the ball in less than ideal conditions. I find it hysterical that a man who plays in a dome and has 8 career picks could detect that on a freezing cold, rainy, windy night that the ball didn’t feel quite right. I also refuse to believe that the refs missed it. They handle the ball after every single play. No one else noticed this? Come on.

There’s a simple reason why this is an issue and it’s the same reason why the investigation is now 48 hours old: It’s the Patriots. The Patriot haters want to complain. No one wants to see this team win the way we were all rooting for the Yankees to lose one in the 90s. After humiliating the next up-and-coming star, people were pissed that the Pats were back. The way for the NFL to save face? Create a common enemy. Everyone will watch the Superbowl now if for no other reason than to watch the Pats lose. It’s all about ratings. Ratings equal money, and NFL can never have enough money. And by taking this long, people become more enraptured in the story. “Why would it be taking so long if they didn’t find something?”, people reason. It’s all crap that’s designed to make the league hate New England more than they already do.

No one likes the smartest kid in class, but there’s no way the teacher should be instigating the teasing. The NFL is a power-hungry model of bureaucracy that’s running amok now that it’s realized it doesn’t actually answer to anyone. Don’t feed the beast people. Let the story die.

Follow my personal blog at http://daneriker.sportsblog.com/ and follow me on twitter @DaneRiker

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