Deflate-gate is a classic example of how a false paradigm confuses people

It's easy to see how nobody noticed the ball pressure.

So which ones are the ones that aren’t properly inflated?

distraction in news man1-27-15  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.

You know it's news when it makes "Coffee talk".

She apparently lost a lot on the Colts and is feeling a bit “verklempt”.

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.

The league is also investigating the allegation that apparently one or more of the officials during the game were naked.

Allegations have now surfaced that one or more of the officials during the game may have been naked. It is unclear what the league may do about this.

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.

Plausible deniability is essential.

Plausible deniability is essential, just ask Bill, “I did not have sex with that woman”  Clinton.

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.

Of course the "Mannings" are a quarterback dynasty in the NFL, but apparently nobody has bothered to look into the ball they prefer.

Of course the “Mannings” are a quarterback dynasty in the NFL, but I don’t hear anyone talking about the kind of ball they prefer.

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.

I learned early how to parse the language. It comes in handy sometimes.

Don’t hate the playa hate the game my friend.  I have been parsing the language for a long time.  I make it look easy.

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.

Injuries are part of the game, but intentionally injuring people in the game is not.  Get it?

Injuries are part of the game, but intentionally injuring people in the game is not. No penalty can resolve this problem.

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 reaction seemed a bit much.  I mean, okay, technically you are not supposed to use any hand gestures, to give a clue, but it was an accident and they didn't even GET the word anyway.

I thought my gf’s reaction was a bit much. I mean, okay, technically you are not supposed to use any hand gestures in “Taboo”, but it was an accident and we didn’t even GET the word anyway.

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.


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.

Sometimes the penalty for cheating is worse than other times.

Sometimes the penalty for cheating is worse than other times.  They call this unintended “blowback”.

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.

Legalman IS the law.

Legalman IS the law.

9 thoughts on “Deflate-gate is a classic example of how a false paradigm confuses people

  1. ken

    You don’t mention the fact that the balls are certified by the officials in the locker rooms just prior to the game. Call it what you want, leaving with the balls and stopping in a restroom to let air out of up to 12 certified game day balls is intentional cheating and that’s not a random act or condition of the ball. Saying that who let the air out or who knew the air was being let out or who masterminded the air being let out is irrelevant is really a weak argument and is just plain stupid. Ask the guys that played by the rules their entire careers if there is such a thing as just a little harmless intentional cheating. Its truly a shame that one of the most important players in the game today is behaving like a child. He got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and crumbs on his face and yet he still claims cookies, what cookies. At the end of the day this is all about hero worship and once again a made to order hero has fallen and shown himself to be nothing more than a human man. He dishonors himself, the game and all those poor schmucks that drank the cool aide. FYI, conspiring to defraud is of itself illegal. Its also dangerous because sooner or later a co conspirator runs their mouth and the whole dam thing crumbles like a house of cards. Stay tuned this story isn’t over.

    1. Profile photo of LegalmanLegalman Post author

      Well I agree the story is not over. But I never said it was random. My point is that even if it was intentional that it is no different than pushing off to get space as a receiver. Holding as a lineman or fake snapping to draw someone offsides. None of of those are considered cheating. Plus the refs handle the ball on every play. It is their job. Not the players. Why is this worse? Further tons of players admitted to using stickum long after it was disallowed. I could go on and on with similar examples. Conduct is conduct. A condition is a condition. Those are the leagues responsibility to control. It isn’t golf. Getting away with things the ref doesn’t catch is not cheating. On top of that the patriots blew them out in the second half with unquestioned inflation numbers. There is no way to claim the balls made any material difference. They are scapegoating the pats because they are polarizing team. Brady is loved and hated. He didn’t make his reputation. The league and press pushed that. It is just a distraction from the fact that the refs didn’t catch it and if the ball pressure is such a big deal then the league should supply the balls and control them. Period. There is nothing illegal about what he did anymore than it is illegal for a player to run a rub route and interfere and not be penalized. Or for a player to bobble a catch, have it called a touchdown and not “confess”. It is not golf. Players are not in charge of calling penalties on the field. — L

      1. ken

        Firstly, your beginning to sound a little like a Patriots fan to me. I thought we were sticking to a logical objective analysis of the facts? intimating that cheating, and not getting caught, isn’t cheating, is quite an interesting albeit immoral statement. Since when is ethically challenged behavior acceptable as long as you don’t get caught, really! And denial is a river in Egypt, right! Prisons all over the world are full of people that rationalize bad behavior and think that way. They think what put them in prison was getting caught, not that they were doing something wrong. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to do business or associate with anyone that thinks that its not cheating until they get caught. Cheating is the most relevant part of this story, it is the story. If you want to be truly objective look at this from the perspective of a guy that didn’t have a dog in the fight. In the context of the story, what could be more irrelevant than which team won the game. How many times others have cheated and gotten away with it is absolutely irrelevant. Most of us learn that lesson at a very early age when caught and facing the consequences of misbehaving, we squeal “Billy did it and didn’t get in trouble”. How does any of your examples of others cheating mitigate this instance of cheating? As for the score, do you think that games score matters to the the two Patriot employees that are now barred from participating in NFL football in any way, forever?
        Secondly, player cheating does matter. When a player gets caught cheating there are consequences. Many a game’s outcome has changed over a pass interference call or even a simple holding call. When the Patriots got busted for Spy Gate it mattered. When former Patriots players began telling league officials that they were provided opposing team’s play books and audibles, just before a game began, it mattered. When the Saints got caught offering players a bounty for game stopping injuries to opposing players, it mattered. It would matter to Mr. Brady and all his fans if he was the recipient of the late hits that Favre & Warner were victims of. The NFL has a longstanding rules prohibiting “non-contract bonuses,” and they violate both the league’s constitution and bylaws and the collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union. All of this was ethically challenged behavior and there were serious consequences to the coaches that set it up, The coaches that knew about it and did nothing, the players that accepted bonuses for intentionally injuring opposing players and injured players that were victims.
        Lastly, like I said, this story is far from over. Just today the owner of the team announced that he won’t appeal the leagues fines and loss of future draft picks. Kraft is a smart guy that is surrounded by other smart guys, he knows their is nothing to be gained by turning this into an adversarial proceeding between his team ownership & franchise, the rest of the team owners & franchise holders and the NFL. This put Brady and the Players Association out there on there own against the NFL. This will all come down to who is actually calling the shots in the NFL, the league or the Players Association? Again, I don’t know about you, but I’m not betting against the league. Players come and go but the league plays on. If I were Brady I’d take my medicine now before he is shown up to be a bold face liar that nobody can trust. Think about all of the professional athletes in the last 4 or 5 years that have publicly professed their innocence, only to be proven guilty all along. This is also irrelevant in this instance of cheating but worth consideration when analyzing the potential negative impacts should this go badly for Mr. Brady.

        1. Profile photo of LegalmanLegalman Post author

          Well Ken I admit I like the Pats, but I like a lot of teams. But my point is simple. Is it cheating to let the air out. YES if any rules violation is cheating! But nobody is up in arms about other types of “cheating”. The league has arbitrarily demonized this type of cheating with this team. That is my point. Look Jerry rice is like a god. But he was a BIG CHEATER as much as Brady is. “I apologize ppl after doing my research about stickum! The NFL banned this in 1981. All players did it! #equalplayingfield
          — Jerry Rice (@JerryRice) February 7, 2015”
          That was his tweet. Get it? Everyone out there is “cheating” because they are all trying to get away with stuff without getting a penalty. But where is the outrage and uproar? NOwhere. Crickets. Why isn’t there a big league investigation to have Jerry Rice banned from the hall of fame? He is an admitted cheater? That is my point. it is political and absurd and not even. I posted on this in my distractions in the news after the “investigation” was made public. A joke of a cover up one way railroad job. the league doesn’t want anyone to think that they don’t take cheating seriously, but it is total hypocrisy. That is my point. They have chosen to hold up this type of cheating as terrible and the other types of exactly the same kind of behavior are ignored or brushed aside.
          Kraft is a businessman. he knows the league “justice” is a rigged event. he sees the writing on the wall. He is wisely choosing to step out of the lime light. Brady has more to lose so he will fight it. I don’t blame him. The report is a joke. It was prepared by the same lawyers who defend every other type of scamming corporation. The same lawyers who cleared the league after their Ray Rice investigation. The one where the police had a tape recording showing they league had received the tape that goddell said he didn’t know about. Yes, that same group. So whatever is in this report is laughable to me. It is just a pr stunt to continue the scam.
          Again my point is that either everyone is a cheater, or it is silly to call this “cheating”. When they kick Jerry Rice out of the hall of fame for cheating I will change my tune. What about Suh? that guy is cheater. What about Conrad Dobler from the 70’s FAMOUS cheater. Plenty of players have a reputation for cheating. Where is the punishment? NO where. And never will be. THAT is my point. It isn’t cheating or everyone is cheating and if everyone is cheating then what does the term mean? nothing. It isn’t golf. The refs call the penalities. The players are heroes for getting away with holds. What about scuffing the ball? That’s cheating too. What about foot wear or anything else. If it is ON the field it is the leagues responsibility to police it. Singling out this event as though it is something unique is the part I object to. The league is hardly consistent it is the height of absurdity to claim the league is consistent. If it was then they should have fired the commissioner himself many times in the past.
          My point is that it is absurd hypocrisy. This behavior is no different than behavior they ignore every day every game. Yet somehow this is a “scandal”. And if the balls made any material difference in the outcome how do you explain the second half blow out? Even the colts acknowledged the ball didn’t make any difference in the outcome. I could go on and on. Why did the league change the rule in the first place to have each team have its own balls? Peyton Manning!! So if the balls are supposed to be this perfectly identical thing then why change the rule? why allow teams to control their own ball at all?? None of this whole thing holds up to any scrutiny. I’m sorry it just doesn’t. It is a witch hunt to distract people from the massive amount of game fixing and hypocrisy in the league and to leave the impression that the league is so concerned about a “fair game”. Okay, I think I have said enough. lol. Glad you are here. — L

  2. Public Servant

    All good Americans recognize that Deflate-gate is not about air pressure in footballs.

    We see with clarity and truth how this incident has established, beyond any question of all reasonable peoples, that singular and shining principle which separates us from the many who have suffered under tyranny- the principle that the integrity of the national governing body is absolute.

    It is an absolute integrity that cannot be tarnished by calumny or other nefarious defamations.

    And it is an absolute integrity that has earned and is deserving of our complete and heartfelt trust.

    In a world where the fixing of sports contests is rampant and official corruption is routine, it is this absolute integrity that sets America apart. The Founding Commissioners of our National League guaranteed the protection our rights to fairness and freedom in all matters of sportsmanship as in our citizenship, and in free agency as in our free markets.

    Let us, therefore, offer our collective and high praise to our national governing bodies for protecting these rights for us and for our children, who stand to inherit our national sports legacy of absolute integrity, fairness, and freedom.

    Let us always be mindful that the representative republic which is the National Football League has as its foundations the pillars of absolute integrity and equal protections, upon which it stands as paragon of fairness in the field of virtue for all mankind.

    And let us now cheer together and celebrate our freedom from bearing witness to the bold contrivances of corrupt coaches and puppet producers, and to their fantasies of tainting of our national elections with staged goal-line interceptions, sodomistic spectacles, and blind-eyed journalism.

  3. Profile photo of LegalmanLegalman Post author

    I like both teams. And frankly if there was something to it I would say so. But alas, the whole thing is much ado about nothing. Just ginned up click bait articles and invented controversy. Oh and we can’t forget the standard false paradigm and limited box from which to choose your position. Lol.

    1. Carey Nottingham

      I’m with you! I totally like both teams. We argued about this controversy tonight and pretty much decided that it’s controversy “simply” to be controversial. *smiling*

  4. Carey Nottingham

    I’d love to just put a cute little *<3* here or a *thumbs-up* and get back to my homework; however, I find that I must comment… So, I lived in Seattle for a long time and enjoy seeing the Seahawks win, but I find it absolutely hilarious that most of my friends who are "currently" die-hard fans seem to be outraged by the deflated balls. Then there is my family here who are Pat's fans to the very end and, of course, find no scandal here. *it's like a tennis match* Thank you for being the shining voice of logic! Much appreciated! *sigh of relief*


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