If there’s one good thing to come from the New England Patriots’ deflated footballs scandal, it’s that it might just be enough to bring NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s disastrous reign to an end.
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the Patriots are indeed guilty of illegally tampering with footballs during the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. If we concede this, then let’s review what we know based on previous reports:
- Adam Schefter — who is the most reliable NFL reporter on the planet — has said that the Colts first told the NFL that the Patriots were possibly using underinflated balls in a game in mid-November.
- Despite this, the NFL decided to wait until the AFC Title Game — two months after the first alleged offense — to actually try to bust them for it.
- Given the league’s suspicions, it would have made sense for it to test the Patriots’ footballs just before the game started. Instead, they only tested them all at halftime, at which point the game was already halfway over. The refs then just let the game go on like nothing happened.
- Then this week, the NFL said it would take two to three days to complete its investigation. We’re now on Day 5 and still nowhere near knowing what the NFL’s findings were.
- Added to this, as of yesterday afternoon — again, more than three days after the investigation began — the NFL still hadn’t bothered to question Brady, who is one of the most likely culprits in the scandal.
Taken all together, Goodell and the NFL look completely inept again, just as they did during the Ray Rice scandal earlier this year. They had plenty of warning that the Patriots may have been doing something like this but didn’t bother until the AFC Championship Game — the game before the Super Bowl! — to actually look into it.
The league could have instructed the refs to check up on the inflation of the Patriots’ footballs at halftime during the Lions, Packers or any other subsequent game in the regular season after they first played the Colts in November. Instead, they let the entire thing slide until it became a crisis that is now blowing up into a massive public relations disaster.
Meanwhile, the league has plenty of time to harass Marshawn Lynch about the color of his cleats. I really can’t believe the league is this much of an incompetent clown show but if it results in Roger Goodell losing his job, it will at least have a silver lining.