It was like watching Master Sergeant Hans Georg Schultz suddenly appear in back-to-back performances in the New England Patriots headquarters. Coach Bill Belichick insisted that he not only had no idea how the balls in the game with the Colts were deflated, he claimed utter ignorance about virtually anything to do with the subject of air pressure and footballs. He was followed by quarterback Tom Brady who, despite previously saying that he preferred underinflated balls, said that he could not tell that the balls were deflated (even when a Colts employee could immediately feel the difference and report it). It is the immaculate deflation. It just happened by some cosmic coincidence over(1) and over(2) and over(3) and over(4) and over(5) and over(6) and over(7) and over(8) and over(9) and over(10) and over(11) again.
For many NFL fans, the Patriots are like the “Cobra Kai” team from Karate Kid and coach Bill Belichick could well be sensei, John Kreese, screaming “sweep the leg” at NFL games to Tom Brady. That image was reaffirmed this week with the reported finding that the Patriots, again, cheated in the game against the Indianapolis Colts to secure a position in the Superbowl. The NFL has reportedly claimed that the Patriots under inflated 11 out of 12 balls in clear violation of NFL rules to give Brady and his receivers an edge. If there was intentional deflation, it warrants punishment since the team is responsible under the rules. However, there is an even more serious question of intentional deception, particularly after the deflation was noticed in the course of the game. The question is whether Belichick and Brady were aware of the violations, particularly after Brady called the accusations “ridiculous.” If the Colts and the refs immediately could tell the difference, it is hard to believe that Brady could not. After all, it was Brady who once said that he preferred under-inflated balls.