NFL and its over-inflated balls

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the pre Super Bowl XLIX press conference.

Let’s hear it for Roger Goodell. No one can say he was not thorough in this year’s NFL crime of the century investigation. No sir. Not after you read all 243 pages of the league’s $5 million dollar investigation over who let the air out of some footballs. This was money well spent. After all, it’s not like the league could use that money to build a center for abused women or provide actual security and inspection of game balls.

Now before you jump the gun and accuse me of being a Patriots fan, let me go on record and announce the only NFL team I have a shred of allegiance to anymore is the San Francisco 49ers, and even this is being put to the test.

Tom Brady
Tom Brady

The New England Patriots are to the NFL what the Oakland Raiders were in the 1970s. In both cases, they are either loved or hated. Tom Brady is a right-handed version of Kenny Stabler and will go to any length to win a game or gain an edge on an opponent. Coach Bill Belichick may have spied on the St. Louis Rams before winning his first Super Bowl, but Al Davis was known to bug the visitors locker room and listen in on their pregame and half time strategy sessions. How’s that for gaining and edge?

Before we cast aspersions on Brady or the Patriots organization, let’s not forget a number of NFL crimes that the league is happy to see get swept under the rug while we demand Tom Brady’s head on a platter. Remember, the game in question was the AFC championship game in which the Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts 45 to 7 thanks to a second half blow out that happened after all the footballs were properly re-inflated.

The NFL offices, which makes enough money to pay Roger Goodell over $40 million dollars in salary, has finally agreed to give up its tax exempt status and pay taxes just like its fan base has to. Why the NFL was ever granted tax exempt status is something only our Congress can justify, but be assured this: the NFL is only agreeing to pay taxes because they know they will still report record profits in the coming year, and profits are all they care about.

How does Roger Goodell explain a league that continually claims they missed the mark on players who turn out to be well paid domestic abusers, drug dealers or smugglers, hit and run offenders, gang members, rapists, and yes, murderers? What’s a few criminals just as long as footballs are properly inflated?

Where was the league penalty when Jerry Jones deliberately sold more Super Bowl tickets than his shiny new stadium could hold? Why does the league allow teams to charge season ticket holders a “luxury tax” on top of their season tickets they purchase? Doesn’t the NFL rake in enough money by requiring these fans to also pay full price for meaningless preseason games, $15.00 warm beers, or $20.00 to park their cars?

Does Roger Goodell really think he is fooling anyone? How is it each year players get bigger, faster, and stronger while he claims to be cracking down on the use of performance enhancing drugs (PED)? Besides PEDs, players are consuming mass quantities of alcohol, pain killers, and pot before getting in line for pregame shots of Toradol so they won’t feel the hits they take during games.

Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick

I suppose it is OK for the Seattle Seahawks to draft a player who got kicked out of college for using his girlfriend as a punching bag even though the organization is on record as saying they won’t keep a player who lays a hand on a woman. Technically, they only selected him, but will pay him millions of dollars because the organization is satisfied with their own investigation, in which they claim to have interviewed everyone involved in the matter.

I guess technically, the Seahawks do not see the victim as someone who was involved in her own beating since they failed to interview her. I am sure she rests well knowing the NFL game balls will be better protected than she ever was.

So go ahead and be outraged at the Patriots and Tom Brady. Maybe they pulled a fast one over the league. For that, I applaud them and anyone else who does the same because the NFL and Roger Goodell are pulling a fast one over on their fans. There is no integrity in the NFL and all the special investigations, fines, or suspensions will not change this. And if Roger Goodell sees himself as a man of integrity then he is guilty of having the most over-inflated balls on the planet.

 (Photos by Claudia Gestro)