At least the current NFL balls-up gives sportswriters and TV bloviators something to write and talk about in that hard-to-fill two weeks before the actual ball game. Some of the most tedious sports coverage on the planet takes place in this over-long run-up.
For me the central question is if the footballs were deflated enough to make a difference, how come the officials who handled them all day didn’t notice this and throw them out of the game? And my main fear is that Roger Goodell, hoping to prove that his own balls aren’t soft, will over-discipline in this case.
I don’t have a dog in the Super-Bowl hunt. But I think it would be wildly excessive to bar Pats coach Bill Belichick from the sidelines on Super-Day, as the easily excitable Tampa Tribune sports columnist Martin Fennelly called for this morning. Steady on, Marty. Take a few deep breaths.
I guess we can endure a chorus of “Beli-cheat” until February 2. But let’s not go soft in the head about this. And while we’re all gaining altitude, the better to fall on Bill Belichick, should we also consider some kind of penalty for the officials who didn’t flag the offending footballs while the game was still on? The Colts still wouldn’t have been competitive. But propriety would have been observed.