Mainstream Coverage Of The New England Patriots, Deflated Balls Story


I’m not exactly sure how I’m supposed to feel.

I mean, it’s almost the end of January – and the weather isn’t that great in most places throughout the country.

President Obama delivered an O-K State of the Union address and whether you like him or not, he’s halfway through his second term – which means there isn’t a ton he can do. Especially since he’s staring down a Republican majority of historic proportion in Congress.

Gas prices are finally getting down where I remember them being when I was younger – though still above the dreamy-per-gallon prices I saw on family vacations in the 90s. I can still recall the gas station in Georgia called “El Cheapo,” just off I-95 that featured basic unleaded for $0.93 per gallon.

Depending on your political affiliation, unemployment figures are great – or terrible – and the stock market continues to look profitable. All of that is in stark comparison to how things looked economically in this country just 10 years ago.

If you think I’m sugar coating things, we also have the fallen government in Yemen that really should be, and has dominated several news outlets – and rightfully so. Yet, with all of this great – or terrible – news out there, the lead on some news networks the last two days has been “Tom Brady, and the Patriots are CHEATERS.”

Well, not those exact words, but that certainly is the sentiment that’s being shared by those news outlets in question. I am most-certainly not a fan of the New England Patriots. While I don’t hate the team, I certainly don’t have a rooting interesting in the team. I’m a football fan – a fan of the NFL – but I am certainly not prejudice for, or against the Patriots.

The Patriots, or Tom Brady, depending on your view of the scandal deflated footballs on the Patriots sideline during their game with the Indianapolis Colts. It didn’t dictate the outcome of the game, and it would appear as though, according to many of the reports by actual sports reporters – that the balls which were found to be deflated beyond the lower limit which is deemed “legal” by the NFL – were inflated at halftime back to standard before the Patriots went on to furiously extend that lead, and go on to a 45-7 throttling of the Colts.

The punishment that the NFL levies for an offense such a “tampering with game balls after they have been inspected by referees,” is less than a slap on the wrist. While the media is doing a great job of blowing this story up – after all controversy drives ratings – even though it’s still entirely likely that the NFL (according to many reports) won’t even be able to definitively assign blame on the Patriots.

Even then, if they are found to be guilty of tampering with the game balls during play – it would appear as though – if you simply listen to the media, that this is a bigger deal than either the Ray Rice, or Adrian Peterson sagas – both of which have yet to come to a complete, and total end.

Even worse, is listening to fans actually have a harsher reaction to Tom Brady, or Bill Belichick being implicated in any way regarding this “scandal” than most did regarding those other two aforementioned scandals – which were actually crimes.

The media hasn’t really paid any attention to that, though. The stark comparison of reaction between #DeflateGate and real, actual, legitimate – “tried-in-court” crimes. Crimes that both involved real, physical, life-altering abuse – and damage to the “game” of football, as well as damage to the precious league that is the NFL.

Set all of that aside though, and think about the sheer insanity of #DeflateGate leading news coverage – of mainstream news – while all of those other things are going on. It’s not like this was a “slow day in the news cycle.”

There was news. In fact, there was a lot of news. The government in Yemen fell, and the capital is now being controlled by rebels. It’s unclear when, or if Americans are going to be pulled from the country – and the King of Saudi Arabia died, too. King Abdullah, the Saudi Arabian King played an important role in our operation in the Middle East.

Now, we’re left with another question mark in the Middle East. As if we needed any more of them. And that really, is only scratching the surface of “news worthy” topics that could have been covered a lot more thoroughly today by most news organizations.

Yet, we were subjected to news anchors making bad jokes about balls while smirking and laughing like pre-pubescent teenagers. Some news outlets did a great job of covering the days news, but this has probably been one of the more embarrassing showings of American news coverage I’ve seen to this point in my life.

In Tom Brady’s press conference, while stumbling over his own words he compared #DeflateGate to ISIS saying this “isn’t ISIS. No one’s dying,” which naturally drew nothing but harsh criticism.

Yet, Tom’s clearly out-of-touch comparison of his team’s scandal – and one of the most-destructive extremist groups on the planet – isn’t tasteless – it’s actually the media’s coverage of this “scandal” that has been so tasteless and condescending.

In fact, criticizing Tom’s ISIS comment might have some merit – had the media not spent almost the entire day, and week for that matter comparing #DeflateGate to Watergate.
There is so much that still isn’t known about this case, and there are so many bigger issues at play here than #DeflateGate, that it really does seem petty for any news outlet other than Sports Illustrated, ESPN, or the Bleacher Report to be covering this story.
Even if they were guilty, do something about it, or don’t – either way – get it out of the actual news cycle, because the NFL, Tom Brady, and even the Super Bowl doesn’t have an impact on politics, global security, or foreign nightmares that are unfolding as we speak.

The news is supposed to bring impactful, physically meaningful stories to light – instead, they spent another day ranting about something 99% of them have no experience, or knowledge of – while claiming to be doing so to uphold the moral right and to protect the integrity of the NFL.

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize the NFL had any integrity after the way they’ve handled every real scandal that has impacted the league over the last year. My mistake. Just please, get this non-story out of the non-sports news cycle.