Writing is something I have always enjoyed, but it’s something you have to get into a routine with. I see it relatable to the gym, or in my case, running. Once you do it for a week, you realize how therapeutic the exercise can be. If you ever find yourself taking a few days off from it, those days accumulate to weeks, sometimes into month, and the next thing you know you are 20 pounds overweight sitting on your couch watching television in the afternoon.
It’s only fitting that what has brought me to end my streak of non-published blog posts is something I absolutely hate giving my opinion on. Over the past couple of months, friends and family would always ask me, “so are you still blogging, Ryan?”
“Nope, I’ve been watching Skip Bayless and Steven A. Smith religiously during my afternoons, developing obnoxious hot sports takes to rip off once you ask me about them” (The reality isn’t any better, as my Xbox remains my #1 friend).
The next comment seemed to always be something to the lines of, “you should write about Deflatgate”.
So here I am. About to go on my first run in months, looking to get back into shape to hopefully impress the people around me with my results. The first run is always the most painful. How poetic can this get?
As far as I know to date, Tom Brady and Roger Goodell have left their first court hearing without a settlement to something involving this mess. I remember hearing that Brady’s legal team is not fighting Brady’s actual involvement in the deflated footballs, yet he’s fighting against the actions the NFL took in investigating and coming to their discipline over the whole matter. I could be wrong on this, and typically I would go do some research on this before writing about it, but I honestly do not care.
People, we have made the weight of footballs one of the hottest topics in sports since late January. It’s August now, making that eight months of on and off headline material over a ruling on a pre-determined PSI min/max that literally no casual fan had any understanding over before the whole nonsense came about. In a world where sports topics come and go so rapidly, we have indulged ourselves into legal matters over things we forget about faster like assault on children and females.
What drives this craze? It’s a mix of things. For New England, it’s our love for the Pats. For everyone else pledging allegiance to other teams, its the hatred for the Patriots organization. What we all share as Americans is our obsession for the NFL. The offseason is long, and we pretty much will talk about anything involving the league if we can.
Perhaps living where I do makes this whole topic even more nauseating than it actually is. Perhaps Tom Brady actually is a “cheater” as everyone wants to label him. But, perhaps we all (all only including any person that actually wants to talk about this ‘issue’ past two or three sentences) need to take a deep breath and re-evaluate what the **** we are actually talking about.
When I heard a couple of opinions from current and former quarterbacks discussing their preferences on how the ball was pumped up, I had enough information to realize how irrelevant this topic is. Yes, just a few years ago the NFLPA and the NFL put in a rule letting each and every team know the legal weight their footballs must be. So yes, former quarterbacks’ opinions would become irrelevant, legally speaking. What it did tell me is that this rule, a rule that anyone reading this couldn’t have referenced before Deflategate, had almost zero relevance as to how I view any of my athletes in the sport who would potentially break the rule.
During this time, the Atlanta Falcons admitted to pumping fake crowd noise into their stadiums for the past couple of years during their home game. I bet almost everyone reading this would understand that these actions were illegal. To stay on topic, I will avoid addressing this entirely, but only point out that nobody is talking about this now. We are still talking about deflated footballs.
Look. I have rambled too much already about the whole topic. A blog post I would have loved to write about this topic would have been one sentence long reading: “Week 1 starts in about a month, why the **** do you still want to talk about deflated balls?” This would have made for a lazy first blog post in over 6 months, so I found the mental energy to ramble instead.
The point is that the media’s coverage of the NFL is starting to turn into a mess of legal issues, politics, and hot sports takes that makes for the ideal male soap opera that every overly-masculine male is afraid to admit. Look, I care about Tom Brady just as much as any Pats fan. He will be that quarterback I tell my children about as they begin to love the NFL as much as I. But if my children ever come to me and ask, “dad, why did Brady deflate those footballs? Did he actually do it on purpose?”
I will calmly reply to them, “children, you are talking about deflated footballs. Don’t be that fan. Now go to your room and think about what you just asked me, and don’t come out until you realize what a stupid topic that really was”.