There’s another massive mystery afoot for the NFL, another mystery that’s all about hot air. There’s another case with more questions than answers, the kind of case that demands Ted Wells stare at stadium security footage and audit some QB’s personal cell phone.
Except this mystery isn’t going to be solved this offseason, and we’re never going to get to find out how Ben Roethlisberger would dispose of his private cell phone. Because somehow, Roger Goodell and his stooges are already all done with the strange case of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ underinflated footballs. Somehow, they needed less than two weeks to determine that the Steelers’ footballs were “in compliance” in their Dec. 4 win over the Giants, even though the Giants made the league “aware” of two pigskins that fell below the league’s hallowed air pressure standards.
Somehow, by Tuesday, this was a dead issue, and even Giants corner Eli Apple, the rookie who recovered the pair of turnovers in that game and seemingly discovered the lack of air pressure, was pleading ignorance.
“I wouldn’t say I was surprised,” Apple told the News of the NFL’s swift handling of this “case.” “I don’t really know much about that stuff, though, so I can’t really make a comment.”
Nobody can or will say anything legitimate about Deflategate 2.0, because the whole discussion of ball deflation theory is so 2015, especially when it doesn’t involve the Patriots’ Evil Empire. And at this point, most NFL fans are likely sick of this two-year-long science lesson, too, so the long arm of the misguided NFL law just may get away without another Ted Wells Inquisition.
Roger Goodell has already sealed the sequel to Deflategate.
Everyone — including the NFL — knows what painfully cold weather does to footballs, and this latest case just proves it. The Steelers faced the Giants in frigid temperatures, so is it really any surprise that two footballs, measured by Big Blue, reportedly measured in at 11.4 psi and 11.8 psi, respectively?
Nope, but the league can’t admit that, so it delivered instead a quick comment on Sunday, stating that the Steelers followed “officiating game ball procedures” and “there were no chain of command issues,” and conveniently omitted to explain exactly how two footballs below league-mandated rules didn’t constitute some kind of violation.
The league is happily hiding behind the fact that the Giants never filed a formal complaint, when what it should be doing is investigating the Steeler situation anyway. Because Ben Roethlisberger, like Tom Brady before him, turned things into a joke, saying the Steelers used “nerf balls.” And because, formal complaint or not, procedures followed or not, the footballs weren’t within league-mandated regulations.
And obviously, that’s going to have a huge bearing on the Steelers’ 24-14 win over Big Blue, right? Hey, it did two seasons ago, when the Patriots trounced the Colts, 45-7, in the AFC title game.
Eli Apple (l.).
Except there will be no investigation, as the league tries to plug its ears shut and la-la-la-la! this whole issue away. And that’s because doing anything else would mean admitting that the NFL’s analysis of the Patriots’ underinflated footballs was all wrong two seasons ago. It would mean admitting that Bill Belichick, already a great coach, is also the king of cram when it comes to last-minute science lessons. And it would mean admitting that Tom Brady never deserved this year’s four-game ban.
And Roger Goodell doesn’t admit such mistakes, unless hotel videos and personal diary confessions emerge. And everyone knows that, including the Giants.
“That was just something for people to talk about, because they don’t like the Patriots,” one Giant said of the punishments levied on the Pats. “Because s—, Tom Brady is doing the same thing with regular footballs now.”
The Steelers, whether intentionally or not, weren’t using regular footballs two Sundays ago, and by the league’s own standards, set two seasons ago, that deserves an inquiry.
Good thing nobody cares.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News