Friday, July 31, 2015

Inflated Balls

Boy, did Tom Brady put the 'douche' back in 'douchebag' or what?. Whether or not he's actually the Death Spawn of Satan is still under investigation. What we know definitively - I mean beyond the fact that he's a douchebag - is that he is a cheater. He is a liar. And he's not going to the Hall of Fame. Sorry Pats' fans, it just ain't happening now. There are plenty of scumbags in the Pro Football Hall of Fame but most of them became known low-lifes after they'd already been enshrined. A known liar, cheater, self-important pompous rude asshole married to a super model just isn't going to the Hall of Fame.

Ok, I'm lying. I don't really believe he's not going to the Hall of Fame. I'm just hoping. I've heard many apologists for Brady argue that no one in his right mind could argue that all of Brady's 'success' is due to cheating. That really isn't the point.  The point is that the fact that there is a question about the legitimacy of even one of his Super Bowls negates all of his Super Bowls.  All of his records.  All of his 'greatness'. While football has never had the kind of unwritten morals clause that baseball does regarding it's shrine of immortality [and it's a good thing because otherwise there'd be about 11 members of the Hall of Fame], I'd put Brady's odds of making the Hall at about 80% right now. That's if nothing else comes to light between now and the time when he mercifully retires. But - and here's where hope resides - I'd put the odds of nothing else coming to light at about 10%. After cheating and lying for 15 years, you don't just suddenly stop. Ask Pete Rose.

Keep in mind, I'm not impartial. I don't even pretend to be. With me, it's personal. In my lifetime, I've seen my Eagles make it into two Super Bowls. They never stood a chance in the first one [January 1981]. In the other one [February 2005], however, they had a solid chance. Man-for-man, the Eagles and Patriots were well-matched. Then, once the game began, not so much. At halftime, more than one Eagles player was heard to say, "It's like they [the Patriots] know the fucking play [we've called] before we even get off [hike] the ball." An interesting quote. It was repeated to media-types after the game by more than a few Birds. No one thought much of that until two years later when it was discovered that the Patriots' Fuhrer, Bill Belichick, had been filming other teams' practices for years in order to learn his opponents' signals. Two years after the fact, we finally learned that the Patriots did, indeed, 'know the fucking play' the Eagles were calling.

This discovery should have been the biggest scandal in NFL history. Instead, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell - who might as well marry Patriots' owner Robert Kraft for all of the time he's spent lying down next to him the past nine, years - incredibly destroyed the evidence "in the interest of the game" and slapped some fines and lost draft picks against the Pats and claimed that justice had been served.

That's why, when this deflated balls scandal hit, I was stunned that Goodell didn't just destroy the balls. That he actually investigated it and - I'm serious about this - suspended Brady for four games is something that still shocks me. Then the other day he did the unthinkable and sustained the decision.  I was sure he'd vacate it or at least cut 2-3 games off the suspension. Now, Brady is going to take this all the way to the Supreme Court. Because no one has ever told Tom he was wrong. Tom has never not gotten his way. Tom thinks the world is all about him and that the rest of us are just hanging on hooks waiting around until he walks into the room, when we jump down to perform our roles in the play that is his life.

Athletes are mostly sociopaths. Well, maybe that's a broad brush. Nonetheless, I'd argue that  - other than the Mafia - there is no profession with a higher percentage of sociopaths in it than professional athletes. O.J. Simpson, Aaron Hernandez, Rae Carruth...and that's just the NFL. And just off the top of my head. We know this. It's when they are publicly identified as sociopaths that we tend to get annoyed - unless the athlete plays for our team. As a Yankees' fan, I deal with this with Alex Rodriguez. Like most Patriots fans, as a die hard Yankees fan I choose to ignore my team's star sociopath's transgressions as the homeruns and wins [although only one championship so far] pile up.

So, kudos to Roger Goodell. With his sustaining Brady's suspension, the Commissioner's balls are finally properly inflated.

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