The NFL is no Socrates–the unexamined life treats the nation’s most popular sports league just fine. Send the NFL a tape of Ray Rice assaulting his wife in an elevator and it’ll be slow to conclude bad behavior. Send the NFL an army of former players with brain damage from their playing days and it’ll wring its hands.
But the NFL just faced the music of malfeasance concerning the deflate-gate scandal, where 11 out of the 12 footballs used for the AFC Championship were under-inflated for the game. The balls are supposed to be inflated with between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds of air. The balls were off by as much as 2 pounds–that’s as much as 16%. That’s a lot. The NFL is policing itself on this one–the league could easily have concluded that the balls were fine. That’s the amazing thing: the admission. The league had nothing to gain and lots to lose by being honest. Penalties should be stiff, and the asterisks next to the Patriots legacy will swell again. Commissioner Roger Goodell is going to have admit he regrets this deflation thing happened, sort of the way he regrets all those brain injuries. Even Hall of Famer Jerry Rice thinks the Pats are cheating.
11 of 12 balls under-inflated can anyone spell cheating!!! #Just Saying
— Jerry Rice (@JerryRice) January 21, 2015