Why does it take a major sport – the most popular sport in America – four and half months to investigate circumstances surrounding a few allegedly deflated balls? An investigation that comes to an uncertain conclusion, to boot (if you’ll pardon the pun). I have one question for the NFL, specifically the commissioner: Why are official game balls in the possession of the teams before games instead of officials?
Let me state that I’m no longer much of a pro sports fan – football, basketball or baseball. For me, college football is the game to watch. Oh, I will watch the Super Bowl and a playoff game or two every season, but after all the strikes in the various professional sports in the late ‘80s and ‘90s and the lack of owner/player loyalty and outrageous taxpayer funding of overpriced venues that are outside the affordability of most young families, I don’t have much patience for the pros any more.
Now I’m not a particular fan of Tom Brady. I mean, after all, he went to Michigan (and was 1-1 versus the Buckeyes, to cite an important statistic). But this situation isn’t his fault. Brady has been one of the game’s top stars for more than a decade and he’s a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. He's sold a lot of tickets. So don’t start dissing Brady. The problem sits in the office of the NFL commissioner, who is responsible for the integrity of the game. So why has he done little more than distance himself from this (using an investigation to duck responsibility) for the last few months?
The solution for Deflategate isn’t complicated. In baseball, the umpire provides game balls for the pitchers. Yes, the bullpens will have balls that teams provide their pitchers to warm up. But the umpire has sole authority over the balls that get put into play. Why can’t the NFL emulate this?
C’mon. This is a kids’ game, played by grownups. Show a little common sense leadership, Mr. Commissioner.