Here’s the bottom line on Ballghazi, as it has come to be known: The Patriots got caught doing something underhanded, which in the NFL is known by the phrase “game preparation.”
They have been found guilty-ish by an investigator paid by the league of which the Patriots owner is a 1/32nd stakeholder and much more important in terms of raw power. He has said his team got screwed and has had its integrity impugned, but will accept the punishment it gets because the ring matters much more than the integrity.
Quarterback Tom Brady has been defended by his dad and his agent in the most NFL way possible -– by ignoring the issue and calling everyone else jackals who hate America and its constitution. And now the media is demanding swift, comprehensive and punitive action from the guy who is paid by the guy who owns the Patriots.
In other words, everyone is in pants-at-the-ankles position.
So here’s the solution: New England subjects itself to three years of unlimited and unrestricted access by film crews. Bill Belichick is required to do daily press conferences that last a minimum of a half-hour each day. Brady must spend a year wearing nothing but non-designer burlap clothes and rubbing gravel in his hair, and the two ball-deflaters get jobs with the league inspecting the equipment of the other 31 teams, since their crime seems to have been doing what they were told.
Oh, and the media bleaters who believe there is an integrity in the NFL that requires defending must spend a year typing their stories with a Flair pen clenched between their teeth, one character at a time. There may not be any other way to pound sense into them.
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And can everyone with fingers, a keyboard and/or a microphone please shut the hell up about Brady’s legacy taking a hit because he is now an convicted-esque oxygen tamperer? The NFL myth machine decides what legacies are and are not, and they’re called “A Football Life.” It’ll be considered a charming quirk of his otherwise-pristine personality, a brief moment of gamesmanship in a gloriously competitive life in the service of a greater glory -– Bob Kraft.
And all the people moaning about his legacy will bite it hook line and, might we add, stinker. Because that’s how it works.
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Kevin Love won’t take Kelly Olynyk’s attempts to apologize for the incident that took Love out of the NBA Playoffs because . . . oh stop with this sixth-grade schoolyard pouting. Either sue the guy for trying to ruin your career or take the call, and it doesn’t matter which.
In the meantime, please accept this souvenir sling from the Cavs’ marketing department as a token of our respect.
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In other injury news, John Wall’s hand is crunched -– five non-displaced fractures, which means he could play if he wears a bowling ball for protection. Of course it is. It is the way of the NBA, or as it is known, the New MMA. Next up -– Paul Millsap dislocates his head, Jamal Crawford gets Type Two ricketts and Tony Allen accidentally eats his own foot.
Frankly, if I’m Stephen Curry, I’m playing the rest of the postseason in a motorized iron lung with gun turrets.
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The Boston Red Sox have done the only sensible thing they could do with their crap pitching staff. They fired pitching coach Juan Nieves, who apparently turned stupid after the Red Sox won the 2013 World Series with the second best pitching staff in the game.
Why, of course.
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In other coaching news, Toronto hitting coach Brook Jacoby, who was suspended 14 games for allegedly manhandling umpire Doug Eddings, has been defended by Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who described the interaction as “heated” but not physical.
Finally, a reason for video replay, and we don’t have it.
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And finally, there remains no news on the whereabouts of defender Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munich, who was undressed, cratered and then apparently vaporized by Lionel Messi in Wednesday’s Champions League semifinal.
We predict he will turn up for the second leg, and will have the presence of mind to kick at least one Barcelona player very hard. Maybe during the hideous Champions League anthem.