Integrity. The word has been thrown around a lot the past five days. The irony in all this is that the ones who speak of justice and integrity while throwing stones at the Patriots, are the ones who could probably care less about the integrity of their own profession.
I will not say all media journalists have jumped on the media lynch mob bandwagon. Some actually do have an objective voice of reason while taking in all aspects of the situation at hand. Unfortunately, these voices are drowned out by the screaming of typed words through a keyboard like hands holding a book of matches as they rally around Belichick and Brady tied to a stake.
A simple google search defines the word integrity as follows: “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”
If the journalists currently fanning the flames of this so called “deflategate” care so much about the integrity of NFL or any sport for that matter, then there is a lot of work to be done. Instead of lynching one team, I say lynch them all. Demand set ups and stings in all football operations. Catch them in the act. Come down with the hammer. Time to clean out all the bad blood, as Clemenza would say.
And what would be the end result? Well, between PEDs, domestic violence, bountygate, spying, ball over inflation and deflation, and probably many other infractions if we went right down the list of every rule the NFL has set….there would probably be very few left standing in each and every team. A sad fact that would come into play if we really stood for the “integrity of the game”.
How about I introduce another word, reasonable. Which can be defined as follows: “(of a person) having sound judgment; fair and sensible.”
So let us be “reasonable” in this situation at hand. A rule, it seems, was broken and a punishment must be put in place.
But what should the punishment be?
Okay, let’s all ignore the fact that the investigation is still going and all the evidence has yet to be fully presented and assume that Belichick and/or Brady are responsible. According to journalists spouting about integrity, this punishment ranges from Belichick being fired and thrown out of the NFL all together down to a hefty fine and loss of draft picks. Now remember, this is a rule that currently imposes a $25,000 fine…which for some NFL players is a night out on the town.
BUT, they CHEATED! It doesn’t matter how small the infraction, the fact is they cheated! They are screwing with the integrity of the game.
Okay. Let’s pretend this statement is reasonable.
Let’s make an analogy. There are laws governing this county. Each law imposes a certain degree of punishment, depending on the severity of the law in which was broken. So if you run a red light, should you get the same punishment as someone who robbed a bank?
Why not? Laws are in place to keep a society balanced and protected. You broke the law and should be punished to the fullest extent! What if you killed someone running that red light? What if a child was crossing the street? You’re a menace to society and screwed with the integrity of man’s right to live in a free and just society. You should have your license suspended or revoked. That’s it! Respect the law! They are in place for a reason. It doesn’t matter how large or small your law break is, you BROKE IT AND NOW MUST FACE PUNISHMENT.
Say it in so many ways and you can make anything sound convincing. But that doesn’t make it reasonable. Or just. Or fair. The truth is, no one was hurt by running this red light. Brady proved he could do his job even better with regulation footballs. A fact that only rubs more salt into wounded egos of those who lost big games against the Patriots in the past.
The only fact in the case anyone really knows is 11 of 12 footballs were under inflated according to the regulation of 12.5-13.5 PSI. The statements on the how, who, and why has changed from day to day by these so called credible sources. The latest being that the Ravens tipped off the Colts, who then said something to the NFL. The NFL in turn set up a sting operation to see if they could catch them in the act of playing with non-regulation standard footballs.
If that is the case (which is still speculation of course), then the NFL better have enough evidence to back up the media frenzy they created for themselves in less than two weeks before the biggest football game of the year. We’ve all watched enough crime shows to know that if the DA wants to bring down an entire crime organization, they better have more evidence than petty theft and small drug deals. Even those who enforce the law understand this fact. Or else it will be thrown out of court as absurd and the DA would become the laughing stock of the justice system.
But to the journalists with pitch forks in hand demanding justice for the “integrity of the game”, they will not rest until the most powerful NFL franchise is brought down regardless of evidence presented…or lack of evidence.
Justice? Integrity? Reasonable?
And finally, to those media journalists who seem to think NFL players are heroes and by cheating they are teaching our children that it is okay to cheat. My answer is this:
Maybe if we teach our children the true meaning of words like “hero” and “integrity” instead of throwing them around like dollar bills at a strip club, that wouldn’t be an issue.
Defaltegate is not even in the same league as the journalistic integrity of the Watergate scandal. These NFL sources that leak information is not Deep Throat. Bob Kravitz and Chris Mortensen are not the Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the sports world. And Belichick is not Richard Nixon.
Which brings me to another word, ridiculous, meaning: “deserving or inviting derision or mockery; absurd.”-this may be the only valid word to sum up the integrity of “defaltegaters” in sports journalism.