The biggest #Deflategate questions: Answered



By DJ GALLO

The biggest sports story of the young year is the New England Patriots and their deflated balls. But what do we really know? Here, thankfully, is the definitive list of answers to the biggest* DeflateGate questions.

(*inflated plus-2 PSI above the standard)

Wait. Are we really calling it "DeflateGate"?

Apparently. That's what it's being called so far, anyway. I'm just following everyone else. But rest assured that there will be no usages of "Belicheat" or "Cheatriots" or "Deflatetriots" in this column.

Well, other than just then. Dammit.

So are the Patriots cheaters?

Yes.

Do other teams cheat?

No doubt.

Why do the Patriots get caught so much?

There are three possible reasons for this:

They are a team of morons, lead by head ignoramus Bill Belichick, who have been busted the two - and only two times !- they have ever attempted to cheat. What terrible luck!

They cheat with such frequency that they're bound to get caught sometimes. And they have now. Twice.

The Patriots don't cheat more than any other team, but their rivals keep snitching on them because they are jealous of the Patriots and want to bring them down.

Jealous of the Patriots? Hasn't it been since, like, 2004, since a Patriots team last won a Super Bowl? Wasn't it a tainted Super Bowl? Isn't "18–1" one of the greatest punchlines in sports history? What's to be jealous of?

You sound like a HATER.

Will broadcasters still refer to the Patriots as the NFL's model franchise after this?

Yes. If eight years of illegally filming opponents while winning three Super Bowl titles, and a star player being charged with three murders didn't stop them, a couple of PSI in a 45–7 game isn't going to do it.

Would the Patriots still have won the AFC title game without cheating?

Yes. Easily. (Assuming, of course, that the ball deflation thing we know about is the only cheating they did last week.) That's why it's all so stupid and pointless and needlessly risky: the Patriots are fully capable of winning games without breaking the rules, just as they're apparently fully incapable of not cutting corners to try to get an edge.

And therefore, anything and everything they've achieved in the past 14 years will forever be held in question by most people who live outside the New England states. (AKA: The JEALOUS STATES. They're really called that. Check any Hater Atlas.)

Is Brady the greatest quarterback ever?

No. Because you can't know how much of his success was due to cheating.

Is Belichick the greatest coach ever?

Nope. Because you can't know how much of his success was due to cheating. (Also, Google "Belichick + Browns.")

Do New England's Super Bowls count?

Officially they do, but they'll forever be thought of as fraudulent. Okay, that's not fair. The Patriots' blowout defeats in the 1986 and 1997 Super Bowls were completely legit. Give them that, at least.

If the Patriots were playing with deflated footballs, why didn't the game officials notice?

Did you watch the first two rounds of the playoffs, friend? NFL officials are not what anyone would call observant.

How will the NFL punish the Patriots?

If Goodell's track record is any indication, he'll destroy the under-inflated balls, slap Belichick and the Patriots with a fine and hope everyone forgets about this quickly - Hey! Look at the shiny thing over there! - and moves on. It's how the NFL does PR. And it's proven to work before.

We'll also probably get some new procedures on how to inspect and handle footballs for next year.

We may even get a heavy-handed ad campaign with actors staring into a camera and tearing up while trying to talk about deflated balls. "I'm sorry ... [sniffle] ... the integrity of the NFL Shield just means ... [dabs tears] ... so much to me."

Why does Belichick get all the heat for this stuff and not Brady?

Yeah, it stands to reason that if the footballs were noticeably deflated, the guy who handles the football on every play for the Patriots would have noticed. No equipment manager or intern is just going to take it on himself to change the feel of the football without asking the team's franchise quarterback first.

It also stands to reason that Brady would have known how his coaches were getting the opposing defense's signals back during SpyGate ... or at least would have been curious.

But it has been generally agreed that Brady is wholesome and handsome and good and nice, so it will probably stay that way. Just because a guy would leave his pregnant girlfriend for a model does not mean he'd try to play a big football game with a ball that's easier for him to grip and throw, okay?

Why do we care so much about football PSI but not at all about PEDs in football or the fact that Russell Wilson was cleared for a concussion in "two seconds"?

I mean, have you ever tried to throw a catch a softer ball? It's way easier.

How do we explain #DeflateGate to our children?

Don't worry about it. No child will care about this, no matter how many sportswriters say the Patriots are setting a bad example for America's youth.

Sure, it's possible that a few young Patriots fans will care, but that's on their parents, who should have known the moral and ethical quandaries that come along with rooting for liars and cheaters. If we must worry about the youth, worry about Robert Kraft's girlfriend. If this latest scandal doesn't kill him, he could last forever. Poor girl. That couldn't have been the plan.

Where does this leave the Super Bowl?

The game is already ruined. If the Patriots win, people will just say they didn't deserve to be there and that the victory is just another tainted title on their resume. The NFL can't have them win. It will invalidate the entire season.

Wait. Wait just one minute. The Patriots winning the Super Bowl would invalidate the entire season? The season of Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Roger Goodell, the NFC South and no-catch playoff catches? The worst NFL season ever?

Go Patriots! Win the Super Bowl! Wipe the 2014 NFL season from history forever!

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