The End of Deflate-Gate: Who Should We Hate Next?

In case you were out living a life of leisure yesterday, you may have missed the fact that “The Case of the Deflated Balls” has been solved: solved by Bill Belichick, solved by HeadSmart Labs, and solved by hundreds of high school science classes across the country. (In all seriousness, it’s impressive how many people have already done this experiment at home or in school and posted the videos. I’ve watched about a dozen of them, all concluding that the temperature and wet weather would have some effect on the PSI, how much effect appears to vary from video to video.) Bill Nye is holding out, but apparently he is a Seahawks fan. The NFL will probably get back to us on their investigation in July, because . . . you know.

My guess is that some of you are hesitant to let go of Deflate-Gate, because you loved having someone(s) to hate this last week, so I present to you two candidates to hold responsible for the ridiculousness of this controversy.

The first is fairly obvious: ESPN. The well-intentioned folks from Bristol, CT blew this story out of proportion very quickly, and then clearly rode it for as long as they could. It started with taking a potential crime that is only worthy of a minor fine from the commissioner’s office, and turning it into a potential Super Bowl canceling event. But then there’s this evidence that they pulled their own sports science video because it had the audacity to put things in perspective. I will confess that I hit refresh on the old ESPN website a few more times than I usually do this past week precisely because I expected some news from the NFL, so I’m sure this scandal has been good for business.

The second candidate is the organization infamous for being the sorest losers in the NFL: The Indianapolis Colts. We’ve been down this road before with the Colts: they were so sore over losing the 2004 AFC championship game to the Patriots who played a physical football game within the rules to win, the Colts actually got the league to change the rules about contact between defensive backs and receivers downfield. Have you ever complained about the plethora of new NFL rules making it harder and harder on defenses? Blame the Colts. But their latest trip to sore-loser-ville is to accuse the opposition of cheating. They could have done this professionally with the league office, but instead they immediately leaked the information to their favorite Indy-based sports media personality.

Now that we know an innocent organization’s name has been dragged through the mud, it’s time to hold accountable the group responsible. That’s why I hate the Colts, and you should too.

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