Deflated footballs the least of my worries

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I am already sick of the NFL’s latest controversy, which is being referred to by many as “Deflategate”. In fact, the only thing I am more tired of is this fascination people seem to have with putting the “gate” suffix at the end of every so-called scandal.

I understand the implication of an NFL team deliberately breaking the rules to gain a competitive advantage. I understand that if the New England Patriots were found guilty of this infraction, then it would be the second time they’ve ignored the NFL’s rules in the past decade and a half. I just don’t have the energy to care because the NFL has lost my trust when it comes to the matter of imposing fair consequences for breaking the rules.

The NFL’s disciplinary system is broken. The league has been publicly embarrassed this year more times than whoever is guarding Pelicans’ superstar Anthony Davis on any given night. I have no faith that the punishment will fit the crime, and neither should you. There has been an astounding amount of evidence under current NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s tenure that suggests this situation will be handled poorly.

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Fans of the New Orleans Saints need no reminders of Goodell’s reckless disciplinary inconsistency. The glorified witch-hunt that was “Bountygate” included some of the harshest punishments ever handed out by the NFL. Patriots’ Head Coach Bill Belichick received a slap on the wrist for videotaping another team’s defensive signals, and Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice initially received only a two game suspension for knocking his fiancée unconscious in an elevator.

The national media largely excused Goodell in this matter because he claimed to have never seen the footage of Rice’s elevator incident. I find it hard to believe the same man who took the time and effort to gather an alleged 18,000 pages of evidence against the Saints during their bounty scandal did not watch a videotape of Rice’s incident, which was sent directly to the NFL league office.

To put it simply, I don’t care if the Patriots’ footballs were underinflated. I’m more worried that the commissioner is overinflated, with an uncompromising ego and a bunch of hot air.