Follow by Email

Saturday, June 13, 2015

It's Time to Get Over Deflategate

So I lied. Sorry. But I don't think they hand you the trophy based on morality. They give it to you if you win. So, sorry about that.
-- Steve Kerr

Everybody is trying to do something different. Our offensive linemen used to spray silicone on their shirts until they got caught. Once you get caught, you get caught. Period.
-- Joe Montana

If you aren't cheating, you aren't trying hard enough.
-- Mark Grace

Sometimes, in the games during all my championship runs, if a ball was too hard, I let air out. I’d have a needle. A friend of mine would have a needle and I would get the game ball… I needed that extra grip, but I wasn’t doing that for cheating purposes. I just needed the extra grip for my hands so I could palm it, a la Michael Jordan, the way he used to palm it.
-- Shaquille O'Neal

Two things used to bother me about the the criticism directed at Barry Bonds and steroids. One was the implication that he was one of the few who used them. We eventually learned that was not true: Jose Canseco estimated that 1/2 of professional baseball players used steroids, and Eric Gagne wrote that 80% of the Los Angeles Dodgers took them when he was on the team. The second was the self-righteousness displayed by some former players and the media who acted as if ballplayers using steroids was the first time anyone had ever cheated in baseball. However, anyone who has been around baseball or any other professional sports for any length of time knows that players and the teams they play for cheat all the time ("What Are the Rules About Breaking the Rules?"). Most of the time, though, they simply don't get caught.

That's why I think the reaction of most people to Deflategate is overinflated (sorry, couldn't resist the pun). It may come as a shock, but the Patriots are not the only professional team that cheats. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that almost every every team does, including (fill in the name of your favorite professional team here ________). This isn't to suggest that the Patriots shouldn't be punished if they did indeed cheat (although an article yesterday in the NY Times called into question -- see "Deflating 'Deflategate'"). That's part of the deal. If you cheat and get caught, you pay the consequences. However, let's not pretend that the Patriots are more morally challenged than are other teams. They're not, including (fill in the name of your favorite professional team here ________). If there is one thing that separates the Patriots from the rest of the league (aside from consistently winning), it may be that they have a knack for getting caught.

No comments:

Post a Comment