By Amanda Wright
Let me begin by telling you that I am a Yankee, even worse, a damn Yankee from Massachusetts. New England is the scandal capital of the United States and the NFL is full of scandals. Instead of looking at the “facts” of the case, let’s talk about why “Deflategate” is a media fiasco.
Let me quickly mention that New England is also the capital of conspiracy theories. It has been conjectured that the head of the NFL, Roger Goodell, and Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots, are good friends. As a good Yankee does, we don’t question this relationship, but question the involvement of both parties in this “scandal.” In reflection, Bobby Goodell has not had a very good year. But one tactic a CEO can always employ is subterfuge. Imagine this conversation, if you will:
Goodell: Hey, Bob, we’ve had a rough year up here at the home office. Our numbers are slipping and we need to get on the ratings train, if you know what I mean.
Kraft: Whatcha got in mind?
Goodell: Let’s say something were to happen during the play-offs. Do you think your boys can handle the fallout from a scandal?
Kraft: My boys can handle anything you throw at them. Brady’s a pretty boy and the women love him. Belichick is one the smartest coaches in the NFL. And New England fans? They won’t jump off the bandwagon. They’re hard-core, more than Seattle fans. Sure, hit me with your best shot.
What we have found out from the “investigation” is that one person handled the pigskins for both teams, had 90 seconds in the bathroom with a sack of Patriots balls, and deflated them. For all we know, the equipment handler was hard-up for money, had bet heavily on the game, or a former con. A former con? Why not? The Patriots employed Aaron Hernandez until he was arraigned.
The point is, no one noticed until after the game. If you go back and watch the game again, the Colts had difficulty in their defensive line all day. It didn’t matter how under-inflated the balls were, the Patriots brought their A-game and the Colts did not. I am sure that after this scandal, the balls will be checked often for both teams during the Superbowl. Which, by the way, has drummed up enough media attention for this Sunday to be the biggest media night ever. Will the cheating Patriots win? Or will the Seadderall Seahawks, who were caught using performance-enhancing drugs, claim the prize?
While this conspiracy theory has been fun, there are real issues plaguing the NFL that don’t have anything to do with drugs and cheating scandals. Youth football numbers have decreased due to increasing number of scientific studies that have linked concussions to long-term, detrimental brain injury. Engineers are working to design better equipment that could be more effective. With this new technology still in the works, the NFL has begun employing new rules designed to improve player safety. Unfortunately, these new rules, have been largely unsupported by NFL players and fans. If you’re a football fan, check out the Bleacher Report’s “7 Biggest Problems Facing the NFL.”
I also need to mention that fun elevator ride that Ray Rice and his wife took a few months back. Does this bring into question that testosterone-inducing sports create a set of players that are abusive off-field? Should we not be paying attention to the real issues such as domestic abuse and anger management? Honestly, I find the personal lives of some of the top football players more disturbing than a cheating scandal and far more serious. However, we will not take those charges seriously if we continue to allow ourselves to be distracted by the social media antics of the NFL executives. That is the true plague of the NFL.
Taunting, 15 yards!