Burnt Bridges and Deflated Balls: How to Lose 1,000,000 Fans in One Day

BY CHRIS FRYMAN

First things first: it isn’t “Deflategate.” That is incredibly stupid. Sure, it was the “Watergate Scandal,” but that’s because the name of the hotel that the event took place in was actually named the Watergate Hotel. Let’s stop all this maddening naming nonsense right now.

Anyway, as it may be somewhat well known, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the rest of the NFL’s New England Patriots are now under some severe public scrutiny for having their game footballs severely under-pressurized. This is very much against NFL rules and regulations and, despite the overwhelming evidence against the franchise, they will not be punished. Owner Robert Kraft and NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, have too close of a relationship for any sort of punishment to be levied against the NFL’s premier franchise. But this isn’t about that.

For me, there isn’t much else that one would need to do to make me lose any sort of respect for them than cheat. Is there a quicker way to fall out of the good graces of the public? I’m not completely sure, but I wouldn’t bet on it. If you break the rules, you and your cow, will be dishonored. This seems to be the mantra of a very judgmental and, at times, perfectly just society.

The NFL has been full of cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eaters this year, with the scandals of Greg Hardy (domestic violence), Ray Rice (video-documented domestic violence) and Adrian Peterson (again, domestic violence). And yet, there was more public outcry for when Tom Brady deflated his balls for the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. I’m not saying that’s messed up, but that’s messed up.

Of course, with any sort of rule violation, no matter how guilty someone is, they will always have their defenders. If Aaron Rodgers were caught on video smacking the soul out of Olivia Munn, millions of Packer-Backers would jump to their feet, head down to the Brown County courthouse and wait for weeks in queue to testify on behalf of him at his trial. It’s only natural to not want your idols to fall off of their pedestals and, as much as we’d all like to believe that our heroes are also saints, it turns out that they’re just human and walk around here on the ground like the rest of us.

This is not an excuse. There’s no reason to hit anyone, man or woman. In fact, I’d say that a good rule to live by is “Don’t hit,” but I digress. I guess I just find it a bit odd, if not more than disappointing, that the American public is more outraged that Tom Brady said “balls” a few too many times in a press conference than they are at the fact that many of their and their kids’ idols are making absolute fools of themselves and their fans.

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