Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
By now, most friends of the decanter (by which I mean everyone except teh Mothe) will know that the New England Patriots professional football team seems to have been caught out illegally deflating footballs during the course of last weekend’s rout of the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC title game, thereby ensuring the Pats’ advancement to the Sooper Bowel a week from Sunday. (For teh Mothe, a softer ball is easier to catch, especially in the cold.)
For my part, I totally believe the Pats used such subterfuge in order to give themselves any and every advantage they could get. Why?
First, because ol’ Robbo has been a fan of the Miami Dolphins – who share membership in the AFC East with the Pats – since his misspent yoot¹, and has felt nothing but fury in recent years as the Pats have taken up their dominant position in that division (and been complete A**-holes about it²) and the ‘Fins have hovered somewhere between mediocrity and pathos since Marino retired.
Second, because Bill Belichick, the Pats’ coach, is a fellow alum of Robbo’s of the People’s Glorious Soviet of Middletown, CT, a radical prog institution on which I spit these days³ and whose alums, with very limited exceptions (i.e., some of those with whom I rowed crew), I would not trust any farther than I can throw.
Anyhoo, there’s been much debate about all this – and what ought to be the fallout – over the past few days, but I was particularly intrigued by The Head Ewok’s take on it this evening:
I’m not a huge moralist when it comes to cheating. I accept that many athletes cheat, such that a dark bit of wisdom has become popular: If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.
But here’s the thing: If cheating is a part of sports, so is not getting caught.
By getting caught, the Patriots have failed at cheating — even if you want to credit cheating as “clever play” or “aggressive competitiveness.” Even if you want to cynically count cheating as the Winner’s Edge, The Patriots still failed at it, and should therefore suffer the consequences of failure.
Which is disqualification.
See, ol’ Robbo, being the stuffy moralist that he is, thinks the Pats ought to get the ban hammer because they cheated. Ace, on the other hand, thinks they ought to get it because they got caught. In other words, I think he’s applying a Darwin Awards analysis to the situation.
I can’t say that I agree with him completely, but the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
New England delenda est.
¹ When I was in 3rd or 4th grade, I bought and read the book Griese/Csonka: The Miami Dolphins’ One-Two Punch. Good times.
² What the hell is it about Boston sports teams? Back in the day when the Sawx struggled, I had nothing but admiration for the franchise and their die-hard fans. And I cheered heartily when they came back from the brink of destruction to win the ’04 Series. Since then, however, they and their fans have been complete jerks.
³ Even though I stuck it out myself and a) through careful course selection earned a very good English major and, b) seriously honed my debating skills and personal values through my immersion in the moon bat left, I completely refuse to subject teh Gels to the same treatment, especially as the price tag these days is north of $60K per year, all of which would come out of my pocket.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that apparently Tom Brady, the Pats’ QB, held a press conference over the whole biznay yesterday afternoon (I didn’t see it) and managed to suggest that, what with the world going up in flames (and, I myself might add, the collapse of Judeo-Christian morality and Constitutional republicanism here at home), the MSM really ought to find something better to do than worry about deflated balls. Yes, but this is deliberate. Bread, circuses. Some assembly required.