Finally, someone says what we're all thinking - DeflateGate is a waste of time
|Photo from WEEI|
On Thursday the NFL's vice president of officiating, Dean Blandino, told us something most of us probably already knew -- the NFL investigation into Deflategate is a colossal waste of time.
OK, so he didn't say that or anything remotely close to it. What he did say is the PSI levels of the Patriots' and Colts' footballs were not logged either prior to the game, when they all supposedly checked out fine, or at halftime, when the New England footballs were anywhere from one to two PSI below the NFL's allowed minimum.
So the entire crux of the investigation that is supposed to either condemn or exonerate the Pats may come down to taking referee Walt Anderson at his word.
So, basically, the NFL can keep investigating, but it'll come down to someone's word, which is subjective. Plus, referees take a lot of flack, especially this postseason. Lost amidst this Deflate-Gate stuff are 2 very controversial calls in the NFC Wild Card and Divisional rounds that significatly altered the course of the playoffs. So, either way, their credibility will be question because they're viewed as incompetent.
Then you have the NFL itself, who in my mind is covering for the failures of the Ray Rice/Adrian Peterson stuff in the beginning of the year. And it's not just that, according Chris Villani. The league dragging their feet on this "scandal," which is a non-issue in my opinion, isn't helping their credibility. Not to mention lack of hard evidence that the league's investigation has turned up.
And at the center of it all is the NFL, which has less credibility than any other party involved, especially when it comes to investigations. This is a league that came off looking worse than a guy who knocked his fiancée out cold in an elevator. Here the NFL was presented with a test into how well it could handle looking into accused wrongdoing. It's a small test, comparatively. Obviously to compare the crime of domestic violence to deflating a football is a stunning lack of perspective akin to comparing the Bill Belichick to Whitey Bulger. (No one did that, did they?) But still, this was a test for the NFL -- and it's already failed in spectacular fashion.
Aside from the fact that the probe is moving along at a glacial pace, giving plenty of time for people to arrive at their own conclusions, the lack of any kind of documentation means no matter what the league finds, it's not going to change anyone's preconceived notions of what did or did not occur.
And, finally, the team itself. People outside the organization will always question the Patriots going back to Spygate, so there will always be those guys (cough ESPN cough) who don't believe a word the organization says no matter what. For right or wrong, there are a lot of fans, media members, etc, who will have that "They're guilty no matter what" instead of the "Innocent until proven guilty" mindset that most sensible people have. There are those that have already judged the Patriots guilty and won't change their mind.
At this point, the credibility of the investigation will be questioned no matter what, so maybe the best thing for Roger Goodell to do is to call off the investigation and save face. This is one fight the league won't win.