It’s come to this. The NFL’s league office is so hard to take seriously, their reputation is so damaged that it’s easier to laugh than be outraged when they get caught slithering.
By the time Tom Brady went into exile, it was understood even by those who revile the Patriots that the real dirty in this deal was done by the NFL in executing a $30M witch hunt designed to stick it to the Patriots by humiliating its flagship player.
They created evidence, dropped dimes, smeared, lied and framed in order to get their desired outcome. Little people with fat pockets and fatter egos smearing Tom Brady’s nose into their twisted concept of integrity while feeding at the teat of an industry that their daddies built.
- Tanguay: Say what you will about Goodell, but he's no idiot
- Curran: No surprise Deflategate 2.0 over before it began
- Brady avoids Deflategate 2.0 talk: 'I dealt with it long enough'
- Kraft on Deflategate 2: I guess the league learned about the Ideal Gas Law
- Brady: I'll let Patriots fans tell the NFL how to handle Deflategate 2
Which is why it’s been a great pleasure to me to see the league’s hypocrisy on Deflategate was brought into the spotlight one more time and that a couple of the league’s "Thanks Dad!" puppetmasters wound up squarely in the middle of it.
John Mara’s team, the Giants, tampered with a football in an effort to prove that Art Rooney Jr.’s team, the Steelers, tampered with the footballs and took air out of them. Ya know, like the Patriots did.
John Mara’s people stuck a pressure gauge into two footballs that wound up on their sideline. Then they tattled on Art Rooney’s team.
At which point, Mr. Mara, Mr. Rooney and their very expensive marionette Roger Goodell, figuratively took all personnel involved into a side room and gently explained,
“YOU [EXPLETIVE] IDIOTS THINK ANYONE GIVES A CRAP ABOUT PSI? NOBODY CARES ABOUT PSI! DEFLATEGATE WASN’T ABOUT AIR PRESSURE IT WAS ABOUT STRINGING THE PATRIOTS UP AND BEATING THEIR SORRY CARCASS UNTIL THEY LEARNED A [EXPLETIVE] LESSON ABOUT RESPECT AND WHO REALLY BUTTERS THE BREAD IN THIS LEAGUE AND FOUND OUT THAT ITS NOT SOME MISERABLE HOODED GNOME, A DIMPLE-CHINNED PRETTY BOY OR A CAMERA-HUMPING OWNER WHO JUST SHOWED UP IN 1994. IT’S US!!!!”
Then they emerged from the side room, smoothed their lapels and said it was all a misunderstanding.
“Much ado about nothing,” Mara said Wednesday in Dallas (that quote is real).
Said Rooney: “I agree with John.” (also a real quote).
Then the $40M marionette took to the mic.
“We went back to look to make sure the protocols were followed properly. They were,” Goodell said. “The Giants had asked us about it during the game. We went back, we checked that. They were properly followed. All of the league protocols being properly followed, there’s no further followup on that. The teams didn’t follow up, we didn’t follow up any further because we were comfortable that the protocols were followed.”
So there was no need to plop any Steelers personnel into a folding metal chair under a single naked lightbulb and grill him for a couple hours? No cell phone confiscations? No email audits? No NFL personnel storming around advising the Steelers they were in “big (bleeping) trouble?”
Of course not. You think the NFL wants to find anything? You think that, even if the Steelers were playing with a NERF ball, John Mara would want the league hijacked by Deflategate 2.0? No and no flippin’ way.
The league never wants to deal with PSI again because it knows that so-called deflated footballs are the norm after November 1 since Welly Mara and Art Rooney Sr. were in kneepants.
That’s why the whole “protocol” dodge was hatched in the first place. Pretty inspired idea, actually and one the NFL started pushing last February at the Super Bowl.
That’s when I asked Goodell what constituted a PSI violation and he said – in essence – there’s no such thing. Just don’t break the “protocols” and maintain the “chain of custody” and nobody gives a damn how flat the balls are.
“It’s not about PSI, it’s about procedure,” I was told by a high-ranking league official after Goodell’s press conference last February in San Francisco. “Were the protocols followed? Did the balls follow the chain of supervision they were supposed to throughout the process from pregame, through halftime to the end of the game? Or were there any detours when they went missing? There were not. This is about procedures being followed.”
They NFL moved the goalposts. Screw the logo gauge and the non-logo gauge and Mona Lisa Vito’s testimony. It wasn’t about air pressure anymore. Everybody knew that.
Everybody except the poor saps on the Giants sideline who thought they’d really cracked the case this time by finding some balls under 12.5 PSI
Like a dog showing up at a dinner party carrying a human hand dug up from the backyard, “Derrrr, hey, look at these balls…they’re flat?!”
“They’re all flat at this time of year, you morons…”