Are you "outraged" about deflate-gate?

Submitted by wolverine1987 on January 22nd, 2015 at 7:28 AM

I just watched a report on the Today Show where 81% of viewers in a snap twitter poll said yes to the question "if guilty should the Patriots be banned from the Super Bowl?" Leaving aside the silliness of the question, which isn't on the table as a possibility, the rest of the discussion was about how there is "growing outrage" over this. Is there? I'm probably in the minority, but this is nothing but a yawner to me as a scandal. I'm shocked, shocked, that there is gambling in this establishment. Scuffing balls happens in baseball, as does stealing signs, as does trying to get any edge possible. You catch a guy or a team, you punish them under the rules, you move on.

But I could be wrong, what do you think?



January 22nd, 2015 at 8:28 AM ^

The referees touch the ball that is being used on every single play of the game.  If there was something significantly different about the balls that the Patriots used versus the balls that the Colts used (or the balls every other NFL team use) it seems like the referees would have noticed and done something about it right then and there.      


January 22nd, 2015 at 10:51 AM ^

Hell, the Colts said the reason they raised the issue was that it was noticed after Brady was intercepted. OK, that was in the second quarter. Why not say something to the officials then? Are you instead telling me that Jackson didn't realize the ball was underinflated at the time, but then suddenly had a revelation after his team had lost by 38 points? Or that he did in fact realize it, but it didn't seem worth informing his coaches until the conclusion of the 38-point loss? Or that he informed them immediately, but they didn't consider it relevant until after the rout was complete? I can't decide which is most plausible, since they all make so much sense.

EDIT: I hadn't read anything about this since what I read when the story first broke, which didn't go in depth. I didn't know the Colts went to the League about it in November. In that case, why weren't the Patriots being monitored? And, why wasn't anything said about it during the game?

January 22nd, 2015 at 7:32 AM ^

Let them play with whatever weight and inflation of balls they want.

The NFL should send each team a predetermined number of balls, and say "Play with your balls as you will".


January 22nd, 2015 at 11:55 AM ^

It's science if Michael Bay could do it. YELL NUMBERS OUT OF CONTEXT.

"Devin Gardner runs down the field at a speed of over 16 BILLION micrometers per hour!!!11"

"When he throws the ball, his arm rotates at NINETY TRILLION RADIANS PER SECOOONNDDD!!!!!11"

No science necessary. Just people doing things in slow motion and saying big numbers without any reference point.

MI Expat NY

January 22nd, 2015 at 9:45 AM ^

Exactly.  The balls are all manufactured the same, there's really a limit of what you can do to the ball.  It's not like someone is going to gain a huge technological advantage.  Since they let them do basically anything they want to the ball to make it to the QBs liking, I don't understand what's so sacrosanct about the pressure reading.  


January 22nd, 2015 at 7:32 AM ^

God I am so sick of this.  There is so much misinformation out there.  The general public with no knowledge believes that the balls were used all game to some tremendous advantage.  The questionable balls were removed at halftime.  You know, about the point where the Brady/Blount train ran the fuck over the Colts?  Maybe they should have left the deflated balls in, it was a better game then.


January 22nd, 2015 at 9:02 AM ^

Or how about the other 2 times they pimp slapped them?  Can't beatem, hell can't even get within 2 TDs of them, THEY MUST BE CHEATING.

Toss Belichek into the lake and see if he floats.  My bet is that he'll absorb all the water since he is so crusty and dry.


January 22nd, 2015 at 9:36 AM ^

Sir Bedevere: Does wood sink in water?

Peasant 1: No, no, it floats!... It floats! Throw her into the pond!

Sir Bedevere: No, no. What else floats in water?

Peasant 1: Bread.

Peasant 2: Apples.

Peasant 3: Very small rocks.

Peasant 1: Cider.

Peasant 2: Gravy.

Peasant 3: Cherries.

Peasant 1: Mud.

Peasant 2: Churches.

Peasant 3: Lead! Lead!

King Arthur: A Duck.

Sir Bedevere: ...Exactly. So, logically...

Peasant 1: If she weighed the same as a duck... she's made of wood.

Sir Bedevere: And therefore...

Peasant 2: ...A witch!

Wolverine 73

January 22nd, 2015 at 9:42 AM ^

a couple of the Colts have been quoted the last few days as saying the balls made no difference, they would have lost the game regardless.  I give them credit for stating the obvious instead of getting on the media train of making a huge deal out of this.


January 22nd, 2015 at 8:01 AM ^

Agreed.  As a random sample, all of the men and women in my office do a hard eye roll when this is brought up.  There just isn't any animosity and the most common thing I hear people say is pretty much what you just said -

The balls were replaced.

The Colts got wrecked anyways (one person even commented that the Patriots could have been playing with a taco and they still would have destroyed the Colts)

This says more to me about the people who watch the Today Show than it does about the deflated balls used in a playoff game.


January 22nd, 2015 at 9:37 AM ^

But is it a soft shell or a hard shell taco? Maybe sports science can do a comparison of the two.

Random sample of my football-following friends has delivered a similar response of apathy. Like everyone else has said, the half time fix pretty much throws out the complaint against the Pats.


January 22nd, 2015 at 8:32 AM ^

That's really not the point.  I'm not pissed off that they deflated some footballs.  The Colts would've lost regardless.  The actual infraction is on the level of a corked bat.  It's the fact that Belicheck and the Patriots have been explicitly told to stop cheating and they keep trying to find ways to cheat.  The practice-spying punishment was pretty severe and it didn't seem to faze them.  Whether or not they would've won anyway is beside the point.  They don't have a shred of ethics in them.


January 22nd, 2015 at 8:42 AM ^

I agree with you.  I'm surprised so many people are willing to say "well, they dominated the game anyway" and think that excuses violating the rules.  It's a pretty bad idea to say that the rules are only enforced when violations actually affect the outcome.

Whether or not the rule is silly, I think it makes sense to have predetermined punishments for violations, and for difficult-to-detect rule violations, the punishment should be disproportionately harsh--it's the only way to deter future misconduct (the same way penalties for paying NCAA players should be very harsh--it's hard for the NCAA to detect and so you need to scare teams away from it with big penalties).  I don't know if the appropriate punishment is forfeiting a game, but you can't change the reality that the Patriots violated a rule to gain what they perceived to be an advantage.  That always warrants some punishment.


January 22nd, 2015 at 8:50 AM ^

I think you're missing the point.  The point is that the Pats are quarterbacked by Tom Brady.  Anything good that happens to Tom Brady is good for UM, and vice versa.  So in this case, this is just people who are jealous that Tom Brady, and thus UM, is so good.  The Pats should receive no punishment that will jepordize Brady's ability to win more Super Bowls and cement his legacy as the greatest ever. 

However, if the team's headline player was, say, an OSU grad, then that changes all the facts of the case.  The fact that they cheated would be inexcusable, they should be banned from the Super Bowl, said headline OSU player banned from the NFL, and OSU shut down, because OSU doesn't have a shred of ethics in them.


January 22nd, 2015 at 9:00 AM ^

So what is the punishment for the refs?  Since, you know, they handle all the balls during the game.  Is this something where once inspected are turned back over to the team?  Frankly I find the whole thing ludicrous since the offcials should have all the balls anyways..

But as we all know, the officials have no balls.


January 22nd, 2015 at 9:25 AM ^

Not the same thing.  As I noted below, on every play there's a foul or a holding call, there's a penalty.  The Patriots used a deflated ball on every play and got a penalty on none of them.  If their center were found on tape to have blatantly ripped the facemask of his defender and it was never, ever called, wouldn't that be cause for outrage?

And this isn't just "rubbin' is racin'."  There's a difference between something you do in the heat of the moment and something you plan to do to try and gain an advantage that you know is against the rules and you hope nobody notices.  If you want the NASCAR analogy, you do realize they take away points in the standings, sometimes even wins, for cars that fail to meet the standards.  This isn't at all analogous to a little rubbin', this is like to a team changing the car with parts that don't meet specifications.  And NASCAR beats the shit out of you for it.

Matt Kenseth's race team was hit with a severe penalty from NASCAR on Wednesday, one the Joe Gibbs Racing driver will feel the sting of all the way into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Kenseth was docked 50 points, and lost the three Chase bonus points he would have received for winning last weekend’s event at Kansas Speedway, after a connecting rod in the engine of his No. 20 car failed to meet minimum weight.

The violation was discovered Tuesday in post-race engine inspection at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. In addition, crew chief Jason Ratcliff has been fined $200,000, suspended for the next six Sprint Cup events, including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race.

Car owner Joe Gibbs was docked 50 owners’ points and had his license suspended for six races, during which he will be ineligible to receive owners’ points. Kenseth’s pole at Kansas will not be allowed for eligibility into the 2014 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, and in a rare step Toyota was docked five points in the manufacturer standings.

NASCAR came with fire and blood for a connecting rod that was too light.  If they didn't, they'd have these problems all the time.


January 22nd, 2015 at 10:48 AM ^

Pitchers who are caught scuffing the baseball are chucked from the game and suspended - even if it's the World Series.  Same goes for hockey.  It's not like that's a radical thing.  In 1988, a Dodgers pitcher was tossed from Game 4 of the NLCS and suspended for three days for pine tar on his glove.

IMO Belichick should be suspended from the game, simple as that.  And the Pats should lose draft picks, more than they lost for spying on practices, because they don't seem to get the "don't cheat" message.

Hardware Sushi

January 22nd, 2015 at 12:16 PM ^

First of all, wrong - a hockey stick with too much curve or too long is typically a 2-minute minor penalty and you have to use a different stick. Page 16.

Second, wrong and not what I said - Scuffing balls is not pine tar and until 2007 resulted in a called ball. It is still at the discretion of the umpire if he deems there was no intention to change the characteristics of a pitch

Don't be sanctimonious and wrong.

Third, have you read the applicable part of the rulebook? I've already cited it in this thread - page 96 of the NFL rulebook. Ejection is not an applicable penalty. While Goodell can overturn the outcome of the game afterward, the rule clearly states it only applies to the portion of the game where the unfair act happened, and since the balls were replaced at halftime and the Patriots won the second half 28-0, I doubt that's a rational penalty. And if it's ejection you want, they were still killing the Colts at half when Brady/Belichek would've been ejected. Doesn't make sense to me as far as punishment fitting the crime but if that's how you feel...

I won't tell people they're wrong for thinking this should result in a suspension (and that is within the commissioner's power) but you're just being obnoxious about not getting a lot of these facts correct.


January 22nd, 2015 at 4:54 PM ^

Do you honestly think there's a functional difference between pine tar and scuffing the ball?  MLB doesn't seem to think so, because rule 8.02 lists a whole litany of things the pitcher can't do to the ball, scuffing and pine tar included, and they all result in ejection.  You asked if scraping up a baseball should get you banned from the World Series.  I told you it already does.  Just because the example I gave is from 1988, what difference does that make?  How the fuck is that being both sanctimonious and wrong?  You're the one being pedantic and obnoxious - and yes, making a huge fuss over the difference between scuffing a ball and pine tarring it is extremely pedantic.


January 22nd, 2015 at 10:37 AM ^

more in line with this ESPN Commentary: Sadly, cheating is nothing new

I forgot the America's Cup cheating scandal as well.

So, I guess to answer the original OP's question: I am sadly not outraged by common place cheating - especially for so petty an advantage if any. I don't even think this infraction is a big deal, and do think New England is being excessively singled out (albeit of their own making).


January 22nd, 2015 at 10:39 AM ^

This whole thing is so ridiculous that I'm afraid that my eyes might get stuck in a permanent rolled position. However, your comparisons are just about as ridiculous as "deflategate".

There are two types of rules. The ones that basically say

"This action is illegal and here is the penalty for doing so."


"This is necessary for the game to be played properly."

The penalties that you described have designated penalties within the game. The one we're dealing with has no penalty within the game. Cheating, to me, means breaking a rule, de jure or de facto, that is outside the scope of the game itself in order to gain an advantage in the game.