Wednesday, January 21, 2015

News You Can't Use: NFL Finds That Patriots Used Underinflated Footballs

We've reach the point in the calendar year where more people are tired of some football than ready for it, yet a story of massive importance and endless chances for innuendo has just broken, a few weeks before the big Katy Perry concert with accompanying sportives. Apparently a league that generates more annual revenue than the GNP of most eastern European nations has issues with inflating their balls. Instead of the expected big balls, we got shriveled up little soft ones. It's a story AC/DC would love, assuming they were into sports instead of old age dementia and murder-for-hire plots.

The Patriots used underinflated footballs on Sunday night.

We blew most of the $20 equipment budget on pizza for after the game and Katy Perry, so you can see why this happened.

The next question is how did it happen?

Please leave the bee-keeping, Sherlock Holmes. We need you to make one more big score.

The league inspected each of the Patriots’ 12 game balls twice at halftime, using different pressure gauges, and found footballs that were not properly inflated.

No, this does not mean a corrupt testicular cancer charity will be ruining an entire month of football next year. Also, I like how they noted the problem and then did nothing to correct it. Yup, gone flat. Oh well, it's not like this is a huge billion dollar event or something.

According to ESPN, 11 of the 12 game balls were found to be underinflated by about 2 pounds each. The NFL specifications say they must be inflated to 12½ to 13½ pounds.

This rule is right under the one that forbids robot players and right before the one that explains in about 10,000 words how to determine if it's a "catch."

If the Patriots are found to have deliberately doctored footballs, the organization can be fined a minimum of $25,000, and if the NFL finds the incident egregious, the Patriots could potentially lose a draft pick.

It would be like fining me two cents and then telling me I have to skip a Wednesday blog post sometime this year.

In 2007, commissioner Roger Goodell took away a first-round draft pick and fined Patriots coach Bill Belichick after determining the team had spied on an opponent.

"Sneak in and get their plays. If anyone asks why you're there, claim to be Peyton Manning."

The Patriots defeated the Colts, 45-7, on Sunday night to earn their eighth Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. The next day, the NFL confirmed it was investigating whether the team used underinflated footballs.

Much like the time my Dungeon Master cheated and forgot I had Mordenkainen's Faithful Watchdog cast, this should lead to fantasy football do-overs. My 13th level Half-Dragon Fighter/Magic User/Colt's Starting Quarterback never really died, because of soft balls.

The Colts reportedly grew suspicious after linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted Tom Brady late in the second quarter. A softer football is easier to throw and catch, especially in rainy conditions, as was the case Sunday night.

It's so easy to throw I was intercepted!

According to Newsday, Jackson gave the ball to a member of the Colts’ equipment staff, who notified coach Chuck Pagano, who then relayed a message to general manager Ryan Grigson in the press box. He contacted Mike Kensil, NFL director of football operations, who then told the on-field officials at halftime.

The NFL, it's the tattling league! "That guy ran into me, I'm telling Mr. Kensil!"

The game is a corrupt mess, but we still have classy and family friendly halftime entertainment.

Mike Carey, working the broadcast booth for CBS, surmised that “It looks like they still spotted the ball for a kicking ball, waiting for one of the ball guys to come down and give them a regular ball.”

Imagine the glory of being one of the "ball guys" and providing "regular balls" to interested parties.

It’s possible that cold temperatures affected the pressure of the footballs, but it was an unusually warm 51 degrees at kickoff.

Cold weather changes pressure? Sounds like witch talk to me.

The Patriots led, 17-7, at intermission, and outscored the Colts, 28-0, after the officials seemingly corrected the ball issue.

Great job kids, go and get your tokens.

Komment Korner  

Aaron Rodgers says he deliberately over-inflates the balls 

Tom Brady must be getting youth enhancing drug treatments as well.

Soooo, they scored more in the second half with the "correct" balls

The dude doth protested too loudly.

So why does each team get their own balls?

I'm dick to my stomach right now.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

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