Controversy, Patriots, Sports

#Deflategaters: The Heroes of Sports Journalism

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.

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16 thoughts on “#Deflategaters: The Heroes of Sports Journalism

  1. Louise Cosato says:

    Well said Leila and so very true. I am not as articulate as you but have watched this incident, that has not even been proven, slander two of the finest men in football(in my opinion). When others have beaten, wives and girlfriends,and are standing trial for murder! It seems to many people this incident (if it even happened) has been made into a circus. It is as if we have descended into a land where the mad hatter is shouting off with their heads!
    Thanks for your level headed comments! I truly feel this will turn out to be nothing more than a crazed media frenzy! “Much ado about nothing”!

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  2. media without facts is fiction…. only evidence in this is underinflated balls which can be verified with a simple gauge but there are other ways that under inflation can occur such as weather conditions which we can see in our vehicle tires. Did you know that a few years ago our lawmakers passed a bill making government propaganda legal to use at taxpayers expense? We are living in a Nazi era rule now and it will affect every aspect of life including sports….. look for a lot more of this guilty until proven innocent mentality to come…. and its all our own fault for allowing it to take place….
    Otherwise a good blog that lays out the media culprits of untruth. When I studied law the first rule is “JUST THE FACTS”…. media does too much speculation which is ok in uncovering more facts but not for reporting purposes…

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  3. LORRAINE says:

    GREAT ARTICLE, I REALLY LIKED THE “GATE” REFERENCE. MOST OF US ARE SO TIRED OF THESE CUTESY MEDIA TERMS, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY USE SOMETHING SO LIFE/GOVT ALTERING AND CONSEQUENTIAL AS WATERGATE TO REFERENCE AN UNDERINFLATED FOOTBALL. MAYBE SOMEONE SHOULD LOOK INTO CONCUSSIONS IN THE MEDIA PROFESSION!

    AND TO REFERENCE “UNCLE BOB” IT SEEMS, IN THIS ERA, YOU HAVE TO RESEARCH JUST WHO IS A JOURNALIST AND WHO IS A REPORTER! WE ALL KNOW THAT A JOURNALIST IS OBLIGATED TO STATE THE FACTS WITHOUR BIAS, BUT A REPORTER CAN DO?????????

    JUST WATCH FOX NEWS AND SWITCH TO CNN AND YOU WILL SEE WHAT I AM SAYING, TOO MANY ARE DUPED INTO BELIEVING THAT THEY ARE WATCHING THE NEWS OBJECTIVELY WHEN WHAT THEY ARE REALLY DOING IS HAVING NEWS POUNDED INTO THEIR HEADS BY ONE SIDES’ VIEW, ie PROPAGANDA. EVEN THE SUPPOSED OPPOSING GUEST HELPS THE STATION GET ITS AGENDA OUT.

    THE REST ARE JUST AS BAD, PEOPLE ARE TRIED IN THE MEDIA DAILY. THE DARKER THE CRIME, OR THE MORE SENSATIONAL THE QUICKER PEOPLE ARE TO JUDGE DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE MEDIA PUTS THE STORY OUT IN A SENSATIONAL MANNER TO DRAW ATTENTION TO THEIR STATION OR PAPER, ECT TO MAKE MONEY. DONT JUST REPORT WHAT YOU KNOW IN A STAID MANNER, HAVE EVERYONE JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS AND THINKING EVERYONE IS GUILTY BEFORE HALF THE FACTS ARE IN!

    IT SEEMS THAT THE PAT’S HAVE BEEN TRIED AND FOUND GUILTY WITHOUT ANY PROOF: I, FOR ONE, FIND IT INCREDIBLY SAD.

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    • Are you talking about in week 4 when the Pats lost to the Chiefs or a comment made when “deflategate” started?

      I know Trent Dilfer went off on the Pats and Brady after loss to the Chiefs, I watched it. It was awful to hear, although Steve Young did come to Brady’s defense (but ripped the team a bit). Even some of our local media people were voicing the same that maybe it was time to trade Brady and this era could be over. Especially Felger and Mazz. Boston sports media is brutal, that’s for sure! They don’t let anyone get away with anything.

      I do have to hand it to Trent Dilfer now. He apologized for what he said and has been defending Patriots legacy and challenging deflategaters. Not easy for an ESPN guy to do 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 1st. sorry for the dup comment.
    2nd Yes, i meant early in the season, thanks for the rundown on that. that’s cool about TD. and so true about ESPN (or any news hack!) The Ivory towers are all caving in while the fiddles play. I wonder if any of the local voices will change their tune? In any case, great write up. Thank you.

    I have a few Boston friends and if Pitt doesn’t make it (NE seems to have their number) i root for the Pats. I always enjoy how TB has dis-proven the way draft picks are decided.

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    • Oh yes, the local voices changed their tune a few weeks later after that Chiefs game, and of course when they made first seed. Brady provd he wasn’t “too old” and the Patriots as a team came back to prove that “let’s face it, they’re just not good any more” (quote from Dilfer) was completely unfounded and untrue. Perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for the interaction, BTG I really appreciate it. I was telling my friends that Brady does not look like he’s 37 (8?). Hes playing young. solid arm, fired up. having a good time. No reason to stop now.

    I think the NFL is in an era where the first 4 games are more “figure your sh-t out” and then the teams that are ready shift into high gear and get moving. The problem with “analysts” is that they are really guessing most of the time, or over reacting emotionally (as you so eloquently stated). So it doesn’t matter until you’re 8 games in and if you’re about .500 your sitting pretty, if not, time to take stock. As we saw the Pats kicked it in the ass and road it all the way to the Championship. “#BetterTeamWon”.

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    • The Arizona Cardinals are a prime example. a surprise threat during the regular season this year, but come playoffs they lose to Detroit. It’s amazing how teams that aren’t that great during regular season can skim by, then come playoffs, they become Super Bowl contenders. The Baltimore Ravens are a prime example of this. NY Giants have done this too. Look at Manning. Awesome in regular season, but come playoffs, he isn’t the same quarter back. Playoffs is where it counts, otherwise, why are you playing at all and for what? Brady is hands down the best playoffs QB in history. No disrespect to Joe Montana. I acknowledge him and always will. Two different eras, and even without that, Brady still has better stats. I think a fifth is the only way to seal the deal to those who can’t yet say that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • PS. I have no ill will towards the Steelers. People tend to dismiss the Terry Bradshaw days for some silly change of rules in sports. I don’t care. Back then Bradshaw was playing the same way the rest of the teams had to play. I can see their argument, but not totally fair. Dude has four rings too and I will acknowledge that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Do you think he would stop at 5? I feel like 6 is not out of the question for Brady/Pats as long as nothing catastrophic happens. I know that is sorta bold to say, but i don’t see him slowing down, and the team has a lot of young talent, with a god mix of vets. And they always act as if they are going to win it all. Although as a Steelers fan, i need him to go so my team can have a shot!

    It’ll be an interesting story to watch unfold.

    Manning: One of the expressions i hate hearing is “he’s the greatest regular season QB”…. i hear the “but he can’t win championships”….you have to insert that caveat in there. The 30 for 30 on the ’83 draft is on ESPN right now as i sip my first “cupa”….even post Bradshaw, each QB must be taken in his time and given due props against the backdrop of his era.

    Terry Bradshaw was my hero. He’s now a quirky old dude, but he got it done. Montana as well…he was fun to watch….and i think he fit his era…or the era fit him and he flourished. Each is worthy of getting his props.

    I look at it as guys like Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana paved the way for Tom Brady, who has certainly expanded the game. Someone, someday will come along and take what Brady has done and expand it further (even though it looks unlikely).

    If i were a GM or an owner today, i’d be looking past the current crop of “No. 1s” and doing some real scouting deeper into the rankings…the No 1’s are proving that they can’t really transition….

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    • You’re right about going deep. Brady was a 6th round draft pick. Honestly, I don’t think Brady would’ve done it without Belichick. I’m not sure others would have given him the chance. Brady had a fire in him that Belichick sensed and when Bledsoe was injured, Brady was in. It was fate. There’s this story that Kraft has told about Brady that I love. Instead of telling you, watch this Tom Brady tribute video. They dub that story into it (you’ll hear Kraft speak in the middle of the video and at the very end)….

      I’m not sure about a sixth Super Bowl win, but a fifth is possible. Brady will be 38 next year. He takes very good care of his body and health, but there will be a time he won’t be able to do what he has. What he did this playoff season was like looking back at the younger Tom Brady. He has a lot of heart and that counts for something too. You gotta love the game.

      And you never know about someone else coming along and doing something even better. Just as Brady idolized Montana growing up, there may be a kid out there dreaming of becoming the next Brady and has the heart and talent to do it. But man, I think you also have to have another Belichick to pull that off. It was a perfect combination.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So true on the Brady-Belichick combination. The league is littered with QB’s who didn’t have the right coach or blocking or whatever…so many factors have to gel for sure and will be hard to recreate.

    If anyone can do it, these two and rest of the Pats can for sure.

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