An intense major drama has exploded in the NFL: It's DeflateGate, and yesterday afternoon I inadvertently got sucked into it. The New England Patriots are under fire and there's some 'splainin' to do. So crazy ridiculous.
I had heard some news blips about the New England Patriots and their football deflating shenanigans – but really didn't pay too much attention to it.
It was late afternoon, I was a little hungry and I decided I wanted some lettuce wraps. Walked into the restaurant – pretty empty – so I took a seat at the bar. I placed my order and glanced up at the large flat screen TV above me. The TV was on mute – just some guy talking. I am reading the text and it apparently was the Patriots coach Bill Belichick giving a live – I don’t know what…interview? Explanation? Confession? Apology? Resignation? No audio – couldn’t tell.
So, I asked my Friendly Bartender, Todd, if he knew what was going on.
Side Note: Bartenders of the world, pay attention: When I sat down, my Friendly Bartender introduced himself and asked my name. OK – pretty routine. But THEN he made a little folded “place card” and wrote his name TODD on the front facing me, THEN he wrote my name PEGGY on the backside for him to see. (I peeked when he wasn’t looking.) How ingenious is that? It so happened that I was the only one sitting at the bar, but what if it was crowded? He would be calling everybody by name! Remember the theme song from the TV show Cheers? …”You want to go where everybody knows your name”…Brilliant PR. But, I digress.
So, being friendly and also a Total Sports Guy, he proceeded to update me on the Ball Deflation Drama. Then, in addition, he filled me in on the Patriots previous scandal Spygate. Now, if I ever had heard of the Spygate Scandal, it had completely flown out of my brain. I won’t bore you with the details, but you can read about it here. It also was a cheating scenario. Aha, these are Bad Boys with a prior record.
Now, I am eating my lettuce wraps, listening to Friendly Todd elaborate on sports in general (Sports Guys can’t help themselves once they get started. As you know, I have my own Sports Guy at home, so I’m used to the prolonged dialogue.)
I look up at the TV and the Coach is still silently ranting. I’m observing his body language, his eyebrows were furrowing together – every now and then his shoulders would shrug – his eyes were beady and darting. It would have been hard to read his lips, because he really didn’t have lips. Well he had lips, but they were really thin. Something about people with thin lips – I don’t think they should be trusted. Just my opinion.
Needless to say, this was going on and on. OMG – what could he possibly be saying about the amount of air in a football. Here and there the network would display what probably they considered “key statements” such as…
“I’m ashamed to talk about the amount of time I've put into this...”
“As you should be”, I thought. There are other things happening in the world…ISIS…Ebola…Cyberwars…The Oscars…
And, “We welcome the league’s investigation.”
Where’s Nancy Drew when you need her?
And, ‘I’m as transparent as I can be on this"
I don't know about how "see through" he is but it looked like his ears were getting a little red.
…”No intent on our part…followed the rules”…
Sounded like lawyer talk …INTENT…you know he had to be briefed.
Finally, he was done. Unbelievable. I paid my check and said goodbye to Friendly Bartender Todd.
Later at home my new obsession, The Deflation of the Balls (there were a bunch) got the best of me, as I searched YouTube for more.
Found some sports analyst guys on a video giving their expert and respected opinions in their three piece suits with lapel flowers and hankies.
“What is your take on the deflated balls?” they queried. They were dropping words and phrases like “prepping the ball”, "climatic conditions", “forensics” and “scientists”.
Seriously, what kind of scientists? Are there football scientists, baseball scientists, or sports ball scientists, or all ball scientists?
Mom, Dad, I want to be a Ball Scientist.
The babble included thoughts on “Were the balls ever put in front of a heater?” (I didn't get that connection, but then again, I’m not a Ball Scientist.)
They discussed “Balls being rubbed vigorously” I will not comment on that line.
And, “Could something inside the ball have been stimulated?” What?
My prediction: The powers that be will give the Patriots a slap on the hand – nobody’s going to jail here. They will play their zillion dollar generating Super Bowl Game. And, win or lose by mid-February they’ll all be on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean in their Speedos downing Pina Coladas.
And, a few years from now if you ask me about DeflateGate, I won’t remember what the hell it was or who was deflating what.
So no worries, Coach.
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