Here’s what really happened, as compared to what we are being told.
First things first. Are you a dummy? I’m not. Are you?
Bill Belicheck of the New England Patriots isn’t, but he must think the average NFL fan in New England is, and those across the nation must be too.
Ah the explanation, colored full of denials. Belicheck, with 21-career postseason wins, with all those Super Bowl rings, says “I know nothing”, somewhat akin to the old Sgt. Schultz in the Hogan’s Heroes TV comedy of decades ago.
Belicheck, 40-years into his football coaching career, leader of men, mastermind of all things on game day, the superb strategist, stood there straight faced and said he did not really know the protocol of how the NFL handles the use of footballs on game-day.
Come on now dummies. The man, who knows every intricate pieces of offense and defense, the genius at creating mismatches on the field, who controls every facet of football operations in that building in Foxborough, and every tidbit of game day action involving the Patriots, did not know the football rules.
Of course, the longer he talked, the more he got himself tangled up in the ball of twine, like a kitty cat.
First the procedures of the examination of game balls. Then the method of transfers of the game balls. Then what happens during the game. He has no specific knowledge of how it all works. Where is Ed Hochuli when you need him?
Of course later in the opening statement monologue, he admitted, in practice, the Patriots used scuffed up balls, wet balls, semi-frozen balls, heavy balls, to make things as hard as possible on his team, so that if anything happens during the game on Sunday, they may have experienced it in practice the prior week.
But he does not know much about game day ball prep, the pounds per inch in the balls, and the chain of command.
But yes, later on, he admits that Tom Brady likes balls prepared a certain way for game day. And then out of nowhere, from the man who knows nothing about the prep, he admits the Patriots put the bottom line minimum 12.5 pounds of air into the balls Brady will use in the game, and suddenly the know-it-all remembered, that was the legal bottom line limit..
He denied emphatically he ever talked to players, nor his coaches, about preparation of balls for Sundays. Said he learned more about this topic in the last three days, than he had ever heard during his run with the Patriots, Jets, Giants, Navy or anywhere else.
The fact 11-of-12 balls wound up under-inflated; the fact that the Colts turned in one ball that was soft; the info the Ravens passed on they thought the balls had been tampered with the week before, is all laid out before you. But he had no knowledge of how the system works.
And Tom Brady followed Belicheck, with the superstar quarterback indicating much the same, though he admitted he likes balls prepared a certain way, at the lowest air pressure possible.
You might argue that all twelve balls placed by the NFL refs in the game ball bag were at the minimum 12.5 pound bottom limit. And you could probably sell me the idea, that once in play, a few of those balls, scuffed up, landed on, in colder weather, might have lost some of their air. Maybe 1-or-2-or-3. But 11-of-the 12…many of them two pounds below the legal limit. No I don’t buy it at all.
Somebody told someone to do something. And the leader of the team would never allow something to happen unless he signed off on it.
It shall be interesting to see what the NFL does. Discipline Belicheck, because it’s his team, and everything that happens is on his watch. Discipline the Patriots organization again, for another misdeed. Or take the stance, we don’t know, we have not been able to find out.
Dummies-unite. Belicheck says he didn’t know. Most of the ‘State of New England’ will likely buy it. No one outside the 617-area code likely will. And by the time Tom Brady was done after the Belicheck chat, the most commonly used words around town were ‘fair and square, no knowledge, no explanation.’
And by the way, after the coach wrote a check for a $500,000 fine, and forfeited a 1st round draft pick, life went on in New England, because I guess, “Spygate” must not have happened either.