Sunday, February 1, 2015
Tom Brady: What Choice Did He Face?
He did not need to do this himself, because the team knew precisely where he liked this football. Tom Brady can likely recite to you, backwards and forwards, the exact pounds per square inch of the football, the relative humidity, the temperature, the wind, the wind chill, and the geometric precision of how far over the head of the receiver, given the above conditions, that he must throw a football, using both miles per hour, and degree of arc.
He hasn't made it to the Superbowl as he has by not knowing every and any detail that would impact the game.
The press conference was goofy, as oft-described by others, including the comment about ISIS, and much has been made of how "everyone" cheats on everything they can, from painting the visiting team's locker room pink (remember, "drunk tank pink"?) to the fictional hockey team from "Mystery, Alaska" who had the long singing of the National Anthem in order to cause the "New York Rangers" to be discomforted by the cold temperatures which they, themselves, were accustomed to.
I wish it were not so, but it is what it is. The press had a field day with Lance Armstrong, who finally, even after his less than mea mea culpa, told the truth when he said that if he had to do it all over again, he would use PEDS. The press left out that he said, "if it was in the 90's because everyone was using it. If I was competing today, no, I would not use."
After citing Lance with "deception indicated" for years, I finally get to say "He told the truth!"
(yes, he was still deceptive on Oprah...see the analysis).
Back to Tom Brady. Did he know? Yes. Was he deceptive? Yes.
Yet think of what choice Mr. Brady faced:
A. If he denies knowing the inflation pressure per square inch of the football, he looks stupid. Here is a multi-million dollar successful football quarterback, in a profession known for its smarts.
B. If he admits it, he is a cheater.
He was left with a choice:
Be viewed as ignorant, or be viewed as a cheater.
So, what did he do?
He split the difference. He said he doesn't "think" he is a cheater, with a weak assertion.
Next, one gets to push the blame off to the referees who's job it is to make sure the balls are properly inflated.
Should they be held accountable?
Who is responsible for the doctored baseball:
a. the pitcher who scuffed it because he likes how, at 100 mph, it sinks when scuffed?
b. the catcher who scuffed it for the pitcher who he knows that the pitcher likes how it sinks?
c. the umpire who looked at the ball and threw it to the pitcher?
d. the local cameraman who did a wide screen distance shot deliberately when the ball was being scuffed?
e. the pitching coach who originally learned and then taught the pitcher that if he scuffed it just so, it would, upon spinning at 100 mph, dip just before reaching home plate...?
On we go.
Living in New England, but growing up a Broadway Joe fan, I met one man today who was visibly angry with me for even hinting that Tom Brady knew and orchestrated with authority, the precise pressure of the ball. (Did you notice I couldn't even bring myself to say "Jets fan"? Today, "Jets fan" is equaled with "so, how many years of therapy have you been in?")
But when I added, "well, everyone does it", he quickly deescalated.
Yeah, I live in New England and am just counting the days until pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie, Florida, circa February 20th, and the 2' of snow, with its 3' drifts (which should increase by another foot this time tomorrow) begin to melt away, so dreams of scuffed baseballs floating like sugar plums....wrong season.
"Let's go Mets! " Uh, no, wait. I'm in Boston Redsox country.
I mean, "I love Bill Buckner!"
That always gets me in trouble.
I was asked today, "Well, what would you have done if you were in Tom Brady's shoes?"
That's an easy one.
Had I been in Tom Brady's shoes, I would have paid someone else to answer the questions for me.
While going through the airport, Heather wore her New York Rangers hockey backpack carry-thingy. She was met with angry stares and one of the TSA agents said, "New York Rangers?" to her.
Next, she was pulled aside for the "random" search.
Yeah, it was just random.
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