We’re looking at one of the best Super Bowl matchups in years, and yet for the past two weeks everyone has been consumed by the ridiculous scandal now know as “deflategate.” The NFL discovered that footballs used by the New England Patriots were deflated in the first half of their blowout of the Indianapolis Colts, and then all hell broke lose when this was leaked to the media.
There are legitimate arguments on both sides as to the severity of this so-called “scandal” and I frankly don’t have a strong opinion either way. I don’t know what happened, and I don’t care much either. Of course Patriot haters are going crazy, while Patriot fans are stuck defending Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the entire Patriot dynasty.
To me, this is more about the incompetence of Roger Goodell and the NFL. We’ve seen this year that money seems to drive everything with the NFL, and that leads to so many poor decisions about how to run the league and protect the integrity of the game. This is a situation where the NFL let teams control the footballs, but then had very loose controls to enforce the rule. Then, the league didn’t put in place clear penalties for any failure to comply.
This is why we have such a ridiculous controversy and endless debate as to how the Patriots should be punished. You have some fools suggesting Brady and/or Belichick should be suspended for the Super Bowl. You have great players like Kurt Warner expressing sour grapes and implying his Super Bowl loss to the Patriots was somehow tainted.
The NFL could have avoided much of this silliness with clear penalties for teams that didn’t keep footballs inflated properly. They could have had regular testing of the footballs during the game. Instead we have this mess, and the game itself is getting lost in the shuffle.
For those of you who are interested in football as opposed to controversy fueled by social media and 24-hour cable news channels, we have one the best matchups in recent memory with the defending champion Seattle Seahawks taking on Tom Brady and the Patriots dynasty.
We’ll put aside for now the historic implications of this game that could leave Seattle as repeat champions or Brady and the Patriots as four-time champions. What we have are two excellent and balanced football teams in a pickem’ game for all of you who care about 2015 Super Bowl betting. The Seahawks opened as a favorite but then money quickly came in on the Patriots to even things up.
With Seattle, we saw last year what their defense can do to a great quarterback if he has a one-dimensional attack. But with the Patriots, there’s a real running game as well, and that has posed a problem for the Seattle defense this season. With Blount at running back the Patriots can play a physical game as well, and Brady isn’t as limited like last year’s Peyton manning in terms of stretching the field with his arm. I suspect the Patriots will provide a much better showing than the Broncos.
Meanwhile, Seattle is lucky to be here as the Green Bay Packers gift-wrapped this Super Bowl trip with an epic collapse in the NFC championship game. Yet the Seahawks are still a team to be reckoned with with their defense and with Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch providing a balanced attack. We’ll see if Belichick can find a way to keep Wilson in the pocket.
Overall, real football fans should love this game. Let’s hope the teams live up to the billing unlike last year when Peyton and the Broncos paid that egg.