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It seems as though everyone has an opinion about deflate-gate. There is the apathy crowd consisting of Andrew Luck, Rich Gannon and Boomer Esiason who think the situation is overblown. On the opposite end of the spectrum there is Aikman and Jerry Rice who are outraged over the scandal. Throw another log on the fire with current Ravens player Chris Canty.

Perhaps Canty still has the taste of sour grapes in his mouth when asked about the deflation of footballs in the AFC Championship game. While on Pro Football Talk on NBCSN yesterday Canty stated:

The Patriots are habitual line-steppers... If the allegations are true, then you are talking about attacking the integrity of our game and I have an issue with that. . . . [W]hat I’m going to say about the deflating of the balls, to me there is no difference than performance-enhancing drugs. You are cheating at that point. You are getting a competitive advantage outside of the rule book and there has to be some sort of consequences for that.

I concur with Canty that if the allegations are true then there has to be consequences. No rational person would argue that the Patriots should receive a mere warning. However, comparing the intake of performance enhancement drugs to a ball being a little deflated than allowed is absurd.

Players who take performance enhancement drugs have a clear advantage in games due to larger muscle mass among other physical benefits. A deflated football may help a quarterback grip a ball better but there is no definitive proof that there is a clear advantage.

One of the biggest reasons why these two aspects are different are that taking PEDs sets a bad example for young athletes to hurt and abuse their developing bodies. Deflating balls only teaches kids that it can be easier to throw a football if it is deflated (unless you are Aaron Rodgers).

The only aspect that PEDs and deflate-gate have in common is that both lead to smaller balls.

Since everyone and their mother is throwing in their two cents here is my perspective. From what I know now, which seems to constantly change hourly with new reports/rumors disputing old reports/rumors, there definitely seems to be foul play. Yes, it may not be a big deal as Boomer and Rich Gannon have said but at the end of the day having balls under a certain psi is against the rules and considering they measured them accurately before the game and were incredibly deflated by half time it is clear someone tampered with them.

The difference so far is that we don't know who did what, and who knew what. With spy-gate we found out Bill had practices taped and that he was fully responsible. As of now we don't know if it was an equipment manager, a player or a coach and to dole out a harsh punishment without knowing definitively who committed the act would be incredibly irresponsible. The worst way the NFL investigation could end is with more questions than answers because the specter of not knowing the definitive truth would haunt the franchise for an era. I would rather have the Patriots have the hammer come down on them than have an unending conversation in the media of what happened in Gillette Stadium that night.

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Benjamin Dawes 1/22/2015 08:51:00 PM Edit
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