This has been one of the more ridiculous NFL seasons in recent memory. As 49ers fans, we've dealt with all sorts of drama, but the league as a whole has been put through the wringer thanks to the fine leadership of Roger Goodell. It is only fitting then that the NFL approaches the Super Bowl amidst one more controversy: Ballghazi!
#DeflateGate appears to be the hashtag of choice, but I think this "controversy" is a chance to really push forward with adding -ghazi to any controversy.
The fact that I'm even discussing that should show just how ridiculous this whole thing is. It peaked today with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick talking to the media about the situation. Both denied any knowledge, and Brady's repeated references to balls had plenty of people snickering:
We even got an ISIS mention from Brady!
After Brady spoke to the media, former quarterback and current ESPN analyst Mark Brunell was actually brought to tears.
I do think the New England Patriots pushed the bounds of the rules to get an edge. I think every team does that, and to think otherwise is a little ridiculous. I mean we see players playing with the spot of the ball at stoppages in play, so would it really surprise anybody that teams are pushing the rules in other ways?
But the handling of this and the reactions have been amazing, with people going to some pretty extreme lengths in detailing the punishment. I get that people are pissed the Patriots have this history of cheating, but it's just hard for me to get that worked up about it. The NFL lost its credibility long ago as far as integrity is concerned. This is a league that wants players bigger, faster and stronger, with a win at all cost mentality. Only after a stream of lawsuits did they decide they need to pay lip service to the concussion issue. The league claims ignorance to a certain extent in much of the Ray Rice situation. I would even argue the fines of Marshawn Lynch are less about making him speak, and more about showing how much power they have.
At this point, the whole thing just cracks me up. It is not 49ers-related, but I couldn't help but share this. Some of you might take it more seriously than me, and I respect that. But I'm laughing a lot over here.