Sunday, January 25, 2015

Deflategate: Good for QBs/WRs but not for punters/kickers

Let’s face it. The New England Patriots are blatant cheaters when it comes to trying to win football games. They were caught several years ago video-taping the opponents sideline signals calling plays on offense and alignments on defense. Most recently, someone on the team deflated 11 of the 12 footballs supplied by the Patriots in their game against Indianapolis. It was a wide-margin win and cheating probably was not necessary. But the Pats did. In all likelihood, they’ve probably done it other times, just not been caught.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick supposedly is one of the all time great mentors of any sport. Dick Vitale has him his third best among active coaches behind Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (gag me!) and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Actually, gag me about such a list at all, especially by Vitale who thinks the best all-time college basketball commentator is probably…uh…Dick Vitale. If you don’t believe me, just ask Dick Vitale. Anyway, Belichick has been successful but the most recent cheating casts long shadows of doubt on his abilities to win without cheating. Maybe he’s cheated in every game he’s coached.

Belichick and his “American idol” quarterback Tom Brady claim to know nothing about the deflated footballs. Wink, nod, wink, nod. What do you expect them to say? “We cheated.” Heck no. That will never happen. The evidence is 11 of the 12 footballs used on that rainy day only when the Patriots were on offense were found to be deflated from the legal 12.5 to 13.5 pounds per square inch to something just lower to allow for better grip on the ball by Brady and for easier holding onto the ball by the receivers.

In all likelihood, that 12th ball probably was used only when punting and kicking. Except for this: the Patriots kicked one FG that traveled 21 yards, a chip shot for a deflated ball, and averaged only 32 yards on punt from a punter who averages 39 yards a punt this season. In the Super Bowl, let’s allow the Patriots to deflate all 12 balls to 10.5 pounds per square inch instead of the regulation 12.5 to 13.5. When the game is over and the Pats lose because of missed field goals, ask their placekicker if deflated footballs are good or bad.
-------------------- word of the day
fiddlestick (noun) [fid-l-stik]: anything; a bit; something unimportant or worthless

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