Am I Embarrassed?
My unabashed love for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots organization is well documented. My family, friends, and acquaintances can’t stand the fact that they won another Super Bowl. They most certainly can’t stand either entity, and whenever either Tom Brady sucks it up on a particular Sunday or the New England Patriots lose a game, I am the first to hear about it. Better yet, I hear about it to a level of rubbing a dogs nose in its own crap level. This is only further amplified by my disdain for the accomplishments of Peyton Manning and his lack of killer instinct on a field and that I live in Denver, CO.
With this in mind, one might be able to imagine my trepidation over the release of the Ted Wells investigation into the “Deflategate” “scandal”. A “scandal” so ridiculous that it is made even more ridiculous by the fact that it took more than three months (3 months and 18 days, or 108 days, or 2592 hours, or 155520 minutes, or 9331200 seconds, whichever you prefer) to come to any sort of conclusion. I, for one, am impressed that Mr. Wells was able to gather 243 pages of information out of this investigation.
Now, by all means, I am not trying to justify that Touchdown Tommy was trying to skirt the rules to gain a competitive advantage over his peers, nor will I continue to point out the transgressions of other NFL teams and the circumventing of the rules, salary cap, and uniform standards that have occurred. No. I will instead attempt to point out something entirely different all together that shows just how important we as a society, country, and population “think” sports are in our lives; when in reality there are many more menacing things occurring and that have occurred in the world of sports that fans should be upset about. I’m not trying to claim that taking advantage of the rules is ok, and children should be taught fair play and to be honest always; but how about a little perspective?
Sports News Worse than Deflategate #1
The American public paid Floyd Mayweather millions of dollars to continue to be a perpetuator of domestic violence outside of the boxing ring.
Did you pay to watch the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio fight? Are you irate about the findings of “Deflategate”? You might be misguided.
You paid to watch a habitual domestic violence offender dance around for 36 minutes on his way to victory over a fighter who had to lie about the severity of an injury that ultimately would have impacted his ability to perform in a fight that millions of people have waited years to see. If you paid to see this fight, you have just funded Floyd Mayweather’s continued use of force and violence with women. But you’re too furious about someone deflating a football.
Sports News Worse than Deflategate #2
Speaking of football and a case that holds as much circumstancial evidence as “Deflategate”, did you know that in November, 2014, Lis Babson and Kristie Colie, were staying at a hotel in Sandusky, OH when they heard banging, yelling, and screaming coming from the hotel room next door? Upon feeling imminent danger Babson immediately ran to the next door room and banged on the door until Frank Clark opened the door. Who is Frank Clark you ask? Well, with your plethora of football knowledge about who does wrong things in the NFL and just how egregious they are, I didn’t think I would have to explain this to you. Frank Clark is a former Michigan college football player who was just made the 63rd overall pick in the draft by the Seattle Seahawks. After this incident at this hotel that resulted in his then-girlfriend being beat up and knocked unconscious, he was kicked off the team at Michigan following his arrest. The Seahawks claim to have conducted an investigation into the matter, but did not call any witnesses associated with the case. They just went by what was “found” in the police report.
Tom Brady will “more probably than not” be punished for breaking or skirting a rule, and he should be; but he wasn’t even in the room when the footballs were deflated. Frank Clark was in the room when Diamond Hurt was on the ground knocked unconscious and physically beaten, so he only “probably” had nothing to do it.
Sports News Worse than Deflategate #3
Did you know Greg Hardy was recently signed by the Dallas Cowboys in the offseason? You did? Did you also know that just last July Greg Hardy was found guilty of assaulting a former girlfriend and threatening to kill her? He received a suspended jail sentence 18-months’ probation on misdemeanor charges. He will be serving a 10-game suspension this upcoming season. I’m not sure I see Tom Brady knocking on Ted Wells’ door right now threatening his life.
Sports News Worse than Deflategate #4
Lance Armstrong spent years denying any wrongdoing when accusations arose about his possible role in blood doping and performance enhancing drugs. He convinced an entire country that he was innocent of such claims, only to come back years later and say that every single claim was true?
Lance Armstrong had an entire country behind him, cheering for him, and wanting to
show that America was the best at some obscure sport because soccer was out of the question. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have been hated since I was in high school, nobody cares what they say or do, because they haven’t read the actual “Spygate” report and what the rules in NFL actually are. They lost the benefit of the doubt because of public opinion, but Lance Armstrong is still an American hero with a cancer awareness campaign despite the deception that we were all forced to believe for years.
Sports News Worse than Deflategate #5
Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky is a convicted serial child molester and abuser, resulting in the mental strain and torture for multiple athletes and students at Penn State that is enough to make parents hesitate and afraid to even send their children to college. However, you are still more obsessed with Tom Brady’s possible decision to request the pressure in some game balls, that not once have you thought about whether or not athletic departments across the nation have done anything to ensure this behavior isn’t repeated in a college athletic program.
Sports News Worse than Deflate Gate #6
Don’t worry Broncos' fans, I saved one for you. In late May of 2014, Jack Elway, son of Hall of Famer John Elway, the savior of Denver, you know the one who was also involved in the whole salary cap circumvention from 1996-1998 (I knew I couldn’t go the whole article without mentioning this, but I tried), was arrested for brutally dragging his then-girlfriend by her hair from a vehicle, ripping her hair out in the process. He also got in a few left hooks as well (she provided plenty of photos of her injuries with the help of the Denver Police Department). So instead of keeping the attention on your own team and being upset that John Elway only has institutional control over his football team and not his household, oh wait, Tom Brady might have cheated, we are still on that, huh?
Being a Patriots fan has never been easy in the Mile High City, and I don’t expect it will get any easier after these findings or whatever they are. However, I implore you, before you judge a professional athlete for cheating, beating a woman, beating a child, sexually assaulting someone, or gambling, ask yourself, “Should I be surprised by this?”
Sports is a way for people to rally behind something they want to believe in. It is a bonding experience. It is thrilling and entertaining, but we might be elevating it, and its employees a little too much. It’s ok to have passion for a sports team, its ok to cheer them on and believe that they won for all the right reasons, but when your “heroes” and “role models” let you down because they tampered with a football or because they don’t have the moral ground that the rest of us try to live on, maybe you should be re-evaluating your heroes.
Maybe the people we all love to cheer for should be seen as faulty, conniving, and guilty of anything to get ahead. Maybe instead of elevating our athletes we focus on elevating the real heroes: Soldiers who sacrifice their lives so we can all believe in something and enjoy our silly little games; teachers who better the minds and lives of students across the nation; volunteers who spend their time doing for others what they may not be able to do themselves; single parents working multiple jobs in order to ensure their children have every advantage they can give them; doctors who try every day to save lives and make the right call for the health of those that they treat; and maybe even your neighbor for helping you change that flat tire on your way to work. It is possible for heroes to make millions of dollars for playing a game, because maybe Tom Coughlin helped change a tire for his neighbor once, but more often than not, the people we should be elevating are the ones we see daily and not just on Sundays.
The next time an athlete does something wrong, ask yourself, “Should I be surprised?”