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Feeling deflated: On the controversy before the Super Bowl calm

Photo from The Wall Street Journal

When I first heard and read about the deflated footballs post Indianapolis and New England, my first reaction was, “What? New England again?”

My second was, “On this on the eve of Super Bowl XLIX?”

Now there are Deflategate cookies, memes, Saturday Night Live parodies, and countless editorial cartoons (not to mention the barbs in social media).

Hey, we’ve got the big game coming up!

In case you don’t follow the NFL, Super Bowl Sunday is between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks on February 1 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, USA.

Now like any self-respecting sports writer, I wanted to see what evidence came of it. Now fingers are pointing towards the ballboy. You mean the ballboy had the chutzpah to think of something like this and carry it out by his lonesome?

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Some will defend the integrity of the Patriots and point out that after they were docked a first round draft pick and heavily-fined for Spygate, they’d be fools to try anything stupid.

It sounds logical, right?

Wrong.

When you hear reactions to criminals or serial killers, the common reaction is, “he was such a nice guy” or “he was quiet” blah blah blah. While it seems such a bizarre comparison, let me just say that New England has killed opponents on the field of play as they dashed many a Super Bowl hope.

I think it is also erroneous to say that people with an impeccable record cannot do any wrong.

Some people cheat because they want to keep their winning run going. Some people will cheat because they want to win at all costs. Some will even cheat because they are sick and tired of losing.

Sadly, I don’t think New England Quarterback Tom Brady didn’t do anyone favors with his answers during the press conference regarding Deflategate. He not only didn’t sound convincing but he also sure didn’t seem upset with people questioning his integrity. If I were put in front of a media horde that is looking to tear the Patriots and mark them as serial cheaters, I would be upset!

While I have no love for New England or any of its sports teams (sorry, I’m a New Yorker here), I respect what they have accomplished. I can accept Red Auerbach fleecing opponents their top players or draft picks for lemons and forcing opposing players to dribble over the old parquet floor’s dead spots. I can accept – gulp – the Boston Red Sox reversing a curse that one of their own labeled as such. But “spying” or even deflating footballs is low.

In case you do not understand the rules of the game, each team uses its own balls.

And perhaps like Spygate, the crux of the matter is integrity. And maybe that’s what is everyone is upset or quibbling about. The sad thing is it takes away from what should be a great Super Bowl. Hopefully, this goes away quick because we’d all might be deflated even before the opening kick-off.

***

Rick Olivares is a contributing writer and columnist for Philstar.com. The views expressed in this article are purely his own and do not reflect those of Philstar.com

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