1-27-15 I want to do something a bit on the lighter side. Rule are rules. My job is to look at rules. One of my main desires is to open your eyes to the importance of critical analysis and of thinking outside the box. There is no difference between analyzing NFL “scandals” and rules and “violations” or looking at some bogus Federal statute. You use the same tools.
Deflate-gate is silly. Of course it is silly. But because it is Super bowl week, and because I like the Super bowl, and because this story just doesn’t die, I want to finally put it to rest. So that anyone who cares, can see it for what it is.
The game is always the same. Create a paradigm, and then have everyone pick a side WITHIN that paradigm. It reminds me of Mike Myers’ character on Saturday night live who would provide a topic and then entreat his guests to “Discuss amongst yourselves” over coffee.
We know the basic facts, the Patriots footballs were under on the req’d air pressure for the first half. Whoopdedo. Lol. With the properly inflated balls they crushed them 28-0 second half, so the whole thing is silly anyway. No way the ball inflation played a material part in the outcome.
Still, everybody keeps talking about how there needs to be a severe penalty for this “cheating”. That Belichik has been “caught before”. What everybody is talking about is absurd. It is WAY off point.
Now I don’t think there is jack sh** EVIDENCE that Belichick or Brady did this. If you put a gun to my cat’s head and said yes or no, I would say, yes, one of them was involved. But so, that isn’t proof. lol It could have easily just been a ball boy who wanted them to get an advantage. It could have been associated with a gambling ring trying to create an advantage. It could have been a lot of things. But put those aside. For my purposes today I will assume it was someone on the Patriots “trying to cheat”.
What is the “punishment” and what is the “crime”?
For me it is simple. There is a stipulated punishment of up to 25K in the rules assessed against the team for ball inflation violations. A fine that doesn’t require proof of bad intent or who did it. So that’s what they get. The rules are the rules. End of story.
This is nothing like “Bounty-gate” where Sean Peyton was suspended etc. because his defensive coordinator was, without Peyton’s knowledge, offering bounties to try and injure the other teams’ players. Paying bounties for injuring players is not comparable to deflating balls. It is a difference in KIND not in degree.
This is nothing like “spy-gate” where the Patriots were caught “spying” on another teams practice. Again NOT COMPARABLE. A difference in KIND not in degree.
A deflated football is not an ACT, it is a condition of the game that the referees are responsible to control. And if the ball does not meet the standards, it comes out of the game and a fine can be assessed by the league. Period. How is it any different than trying to scuff the ball some extra without getting caught? It isn’t.
There is no need to look into why or how the ball was deflated. The referee can completely and totally remedy the “violation” during the game. Pull the ball. It doesn’t matter how or why the ball is deflated or OVER inflated, it only matters that it is.
The ball is handled on EVERY PLAY by an official. It is the OFFICIALS job to catch the problem. Not the Patriots job to tell the official. There is a world of difference between an ACT that is a “violation” that occurs OFF THE FIELD, like spygate and bountygate, which then results in an ACT on the field that has an effect you cannot stop ON THE FIELD and a condition of the game that OCCURS ON THE FIELD that is open and obvious, regardless of how or why the condition got there.
You cannot equate conduct and conditions. They are not the same. There is NO HARM in letting air out of a ball. There is only harm in having an under inflated ball IN THE GAME. Do you see the difference?
Think about it. What if Brady liked to use an OVER inflated ball ON THE SIDELINE to warm up with and to practice with so the regular ball seemed less inflated? That’s fine right? So what if one of those got in the game unintentionally and the refs caught it? The ball gets pulled, and there is a possible fine. But the “error” would have been a disadvantage. Could the Colts have complained and insisted that the incorrect ball STAY IN THE GAME? Of course not. And remember, Aaron Rodgers likes an OVER inflated ball. So you see, intent is IRRELEVANT. It is a condition my friend. Nothing else.
Really there is nothing else that needs to be said. That shows you why the “violation” cannot be equated to the ‘conduct violations” they are equating it with like bountygate and spygate, and it shows you that “intention” is IRRELEVANT in this case, because it is a CONDITION, not an ACT.
But lets assume that Intention matters here and look at that issue as well since so many automatons are discussing this issue as though it does apply.
There can be no question that “Intentionally violating the rules” on the field is not a SCANDAL. It is part of the game and there are penalties available to deal with such a violation, it’s called a personal foul, and an ejection if necessary. Got it? But those don’t really work well for a “condition” during the game. Who would you penalize, the ball boy who threw the ball into the game? The center who snapped it? You can’t punish a player for a “condition”. The rules COULD call for a “unsportsmanlike” conduct penalty against the team. But that’s it. Nothing else makes any sense.
And even if you want to claim that the violation is “letting the air out”, which it clearly isn’t as I just showed you with the practice on the sideline example, there is still not a penalty beyond pulling the ball and whatever fine the rules call for if the ball gets into the game.
So let’s look at “intentionally trying to get away with conduct penalties” in general. If I am a coach and I watch film and I notice that a certain set of referees has a tendency to not call or to miss a certain kind of penalty, is it “cheating” to tell my team about this and encourage them to try and get a away with it? Of course not. THAT’S GOOD COACHING! What if while playing I notice that a referee is not calling a penalty for a certain formation? Is it “cheating” to tell the other players in the huddle or on the sideline that we are going to start using it because it isn’t being called? Of course not.
What if I’m a player and I am doing my best to hold a guy when I block him without getting caught? How about a hands to the face without getting caught? How about if I bobble a ball when I catch it but the ref doesn’t see it? How about a fumble? And on and on. Players AND coaches are welcome to try and get away with whatever they can.
Do you SEE? Do you understand yet?
The game is officiated. It is the officials SOLE responsibility, not the players or the teams, to catch violations ON THE FIELD. Period. THIS IS NOT GOLF WHERE YOU MUST CALL YOUR OWN FOULS.
So the Patriots tried to get away with a little something and did for a while. So? Putting aside the condition/act/ argument I just went through above that is AIR tight in my opinion, so to speak, playing with an INTENTIONALLY deflated or overly inflated ball is no different than trying to get away with any other conduct that is a “penalty” on the field. That is for the officials to catch and penalize.
The violations in both spy-gate and bounty-gate were issues that occurred OFF THE FIELD. One at a practice, the other, by paying people to try and injure players. A referee can’t “remedy” those violations. Once the player is hurt, there is no “remedy” available to that player or that team. Once you have the information gained by spying there is no way to penalize the possession of that information during the game. Do you see the difference?
Every single play the ball is touched by the referee. All they had to do was do their job and pull the ball. It doesn’t matter if the ball is “defective” and losing air naturally or if it was deflated intentionally, the advantage/disadvantage/violation is the same. Remember, Aaron Rodgers likes an over inflated ball. The issue is what do the rules allow. Period. Once the ball is pulled the harm is remedied. The referee can’t remedy an injury, and he can’t remedy and unfair advantage gained by spying in practice.
The league does not investigate whether a player “tried to get away with holding” during a game. That is absurd. All they do is review whether the referees did a good job of catching the penalties. Do you see the difference?
The violation was noticed by the defender who intercepted it. He immediately KNEW. What does that tell you about how obvious it SHOULD HAVE BEEN to the refs handling the ball on EVERY PLAY? But the refs didn’t catch the violation and that is ultimately THE LEAGUES responsibility.
THE LEAGUE IS DEFLECTING BLAME FOR THEIR OWN FAILURE BY CONTINUING THIS VERY PUBLIC INVESTIGATION AND CHARADE.
Is the real problem here that maybe the refs were paid off? I mean if it was that stinking obvious to a defender who caught the ball, shouldn’t the refs have caught it? Hmmm? Could that be the real reason the league wants to keep this all within the box it is in now with all eyes on the Pats? No no no, of course not. There is never any issue with a crooked referee. So move along, nothing to see.
A long time friend sent me this video after reading this post. I have now added it about a week later. I didn’t know about this book and this book tour from 25 YEARS AGO, but is anyone surprised? I hope not. Well worth the 10 minutes to see what was going on in the NFL back then. Are we to believe it has become MORE HONEST?? lol
Did you see the size of the book? Did you assess his credibility? Do you believe him? I know what I think. And I know I am not surprised. And why haven’t you ever heard of this? Why wasn’t this brought up after the other scandals? Well I think we know why.
The same good friend who brought this to my attention made a great additional point when we were laughing about the whole scam. He said, another reason the NFL may be making such a big deal about this whole NON event, is to GIVE THE IMPRESSION THAT THEY TAKE CHEATING AND RULES VIOLATIONS SO SERIOUSLY. I thought that was brilliance. See how that turns the whole perspective away from the dirty little secret? It’s good to have smart friends. lol
So I am even more convinced now that my original thought was dead on. As I normally am, lol.
And if there was nothing nefarious about the refs missing the violation, then there is NO scandal. Refs blow calls EVERY GAME. They miss stuff. Trying to get away with stuff ON THE FIELD is PART of the GAME it is not cheating. If you want to be sure it never happens again, just do what they do with the “kicking balls” and make them the responsibility of the LEAGUE at the game instead of the TEAMS at the game. Poof, problem solved. But we aren’t hearing about that are we? hmmm.
All these reporters running around talking about how the Patriots are “cheaters” etc. don’t see how absurd their position is because NOBODY IS POINTING OUT THE FUNDAMENTAL ERROR IN THEIR ANALOGY. This is always the way it is. Run a certain paradigm and stay within it. Are you a liberal or a conservative? Lol
“Bad calls” and “Missed calls” are NOT CHEATING by the team that gets the break. Even if they are TRYING TO GET AWAY WITH IT. That is absurd.
I hope I have at least opened your eyes to the box that “Deflate-gate” has been discussed inside. Sports are entertainment, nothing more. But the lessons learned here in HOW to analyze something apply just the same. And the confused logic of the paradigms used in the media to distract in issues like this, are no different than those used in politics, the law, religion, medicine or on and on. The rules are always the same.
Always look for the parameters of the box they want everyone in my friend.
That’s all for now my brainwashed Brethren. Take care and tell someone about the truth about the law.