Why #DeflateGate Is Just Not A Thing

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So there’s no possible way that what I’m going to say is going to come off as anything but pure, ignorant Patriots homerism to someone who isn’t a Patriots fan or to someone who hates the Patriots, but try to stay with me. Here’s my instant analysis of this situation.

So it leaked tonight that 11 of the 12 Patriots game balls the NFL confiscated and examined were up to two pounds below the legal weight. First of all, how did it take two days to weigh a football? Why didn’t we have this result Sunday night or Monday morning? The NFL referees do this weighing process between two and three hours before game time. Several days is ridiculous. How were those balls transported? Were they flown in a plane? Where did they go? We don’t think any natural (or unnatural) manipulation could have occurred due to differences in air pressure (especially in an air plane)?

Speaking of atmospheric pressure, um…hello?! It was POURING rain. Like a monsoon at Gillette. A huge storm went through that the national weather service sent out a warning about. What happens during rain? Low atmospheric pressure. Look, I’m not a scientist, but I know that there’s a thing called equilibrium to which all things scientifically like to maintain. When there’s a drastic change like that in atmospheric pressure, a ball naturally deflates faster in order to restore equilibrium. Doesn’t anyone remember leaving a basketball or kickball or football in the yard and overnight as you ran inside when it started to rain, only to go outside the next day and find it to be flat (or at least flatter and somewhat deflated)?! This is basic observational science.

Furthermore, an NFL spokesperson came out publicly Monday and said this wasn’t out of the ordinary. Balls regularly get taken out of play and examined, especially during stormy or outdoor conditions. This isn’t new or a surprise. In the NFL rule book, the league even goes so far acknowledging this as to require both home and away teams provide an additional 12 footballs each (so 24 each, total) for outdoor games. This happens ALL THE TIME.

Sixth year Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano even chimed in to these exact points and suggested that there is a problem with the NFL protocol.

For the NFL to allow this information – the report that 11 of the 12 balls were deflated – to leak without scope or context is utterly irresponsible, and to conduct the investigation with such limited facts is also irresponsible. Where are the Colts’ balls? Have they been inspected? Where are the other 24 backup footballs? What was their condition?

And by all means, does ANYONE on God’s green Earth outside of Indiana really believe Indy had a chance in this game? Andrew Luck has been blown out every time he’s faced the Patriots, his team had a mess of distractions heading into the game, and this happens to be the best Patriots team Andrew Luck has ever faced. They got hot, faced a banged up and injured Bengals team who has a QB who chokes in big moments, and a banged up Denver team without a run game (apologies to Mr. Anderson), receivers who didn’t finish routes and gave up, and a 38-year-old quarterback with a torn quadriceps who’s also had his neck repaired three times (and I’ve torn my quadriceps muscles before. It’s the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. I actually felt a little bad for Peyton Manning). The Colts were a good team, but they weren’t THAT good, and their opponents didn’t hurt their chances of reaching that game. The Patriots didn’t need to cheat in this game. The thought that they could lose never even crossed their minds. Even if you somehow threw out the science, logically this doesn’t add up.

Finally, the fact that the balls are deflated doesn’t mean the Patriots did it. OR, it could mean an idiot kid (or an adult) who works for the team and thought he was being clever screwed with the ball, which doesn’t place the onus of blame on Brady, Belichick, or anyone else on that field who worked their butts off to win. I’ve yet to see facts that prove that Brady, Belichick, or the Patriots had any involvement. Prove to me they did it. Prove to me it wasn’t the weather. Give me proof.

Even former supervisor of NFL referees Jim Daopoulis chimed in and said this is a non-issue.

For God’s sake, one to two referees handle those same footballs before and after every single play. If they didn’t even notice, why would anyone else? This is a regular occurrence the league prepares for. Give me a break.

People see what they want to see. They believe what they want to believe. Roger Goodell “didn’t see” the Ray Rice videos because it looked bad if he had seen them and then subsequently acted in the manner in which he did. Then the NFL’s investigation of that issue, conducted by someone on their payroll, said the same thing Goodell did. Strange?

You see what you want to see; you believe what you want to believe.

I saw the Patriots play a damn good football game, and I believe they didn’t cheat by deflating footballs. Show me proof otherwise.

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The Jagr Effect

Jagr Bomb

Jagr Bomb

Okay, so when the Bruins acquired Jaromir Jagr at the trade deadline from the Dallas Stars, Boston faithful probably expected a bit more from the first ballot future hall of famer. Ya, the guy is 41, but no goals in the entire Stanley Cup playoffs is a bit of a stretch. However, despite his lack of goals, he may be the key to this team’s success purely because of what he does in the locker room.

It’s been well documented that Jagr has private midnight skate sessions, working through his frustrations and trying to re-perfect his craft. His work ethic has undoubtedly bled down through the dressing room. But it seems his fun antics are keeping the team loose and focused when the pressure is one. Just the other night following the Bruins’ Game 2 victory in Chicago, Jagr admitted he isn’t even scoring in practice much, and then joked with reporters that the reason he goes and skates at midnight is so he make a goal without worrying about a goalie.

This might be the best gem of the bunch, though – check out this video below where Jagr names himself as his favorite player growing up right after David Krejci does the same.

“Hi, I’m Jaromir Jagr from Kladno Czech Republic. My favorite player growing up was Jaromir Jagr.”

 

 

Last Hurrah for Pierce?

Pierce trophy

 

After a thrilling Game 4 overtime victory in Boston Sunday afternoon, the Celtics survived to push their first round playoff series at least an extra game. Tonight at 7 pm, the Celtics take on the Knicks in what could very well be the final game in a Celtics uniform for Boston lifer Paul Pierce.

“The Truth” was drafted 10th overall by the Celtics in 1998 and after surviving trade requests amidst one of the worst seasons and losing streaks in NBA History, Pierce won a championship in 2008 with the Celtics and, truth is, every one thought he would retire here.

He still might, but tonight may be the last time we see his name on the back of a Boston uniform until it’s inevitably raised to the rafters.

Pierce has lost a few steps in recent years, most notably this year in his age 35 season – especially once point guard Rajon Rondo was lost for the season and Pierce was needed to shoulder the offensive loud. We love Pierce. He’s an All-Time Great Celtic. Every 20-something in New England grew up idolizing not Jordan, but Pierce. He’s the reason I even have half a fade-away in my own retired arsenal on the court, and why I’d rather tip toe through defenders than take spot up threes until the game is on the line. He says he’s not retiring yet, but it doesn’t matter. He may not be a Celtic when camp breaks in the fall.

Celtics GM Danny Ainge said last year he thought the biggest mistake the Celtics made when their original Big 3 of Larry Bird, Robert Parish, and Kevin McHale got old and their careers were winding down was not trading them while the team could still get some sort of value for them, in order to stay competitive going forward. The Celtics went from historic to laughable in a matter of months, and Ainge already has one of the worst teams in NBA history on his resume. He’s claimed he doesn’t want to do it again.

So is this the end? Experts claim Pierce has the most trade value between he and Kevin Garnett. No one really knows what KG is going to do, but he still has two years left on the contract he signed last offseason to return to Boston. Both Players wanted another shot at a title after they took the eventual champion Miami Heat to 7 games in the Eastern Conference Finals. They got it this year, but injuries and age have finally completely caught up to them.

Pierce had this to say earlier today to reporters on whether or not he might get traded this offseason:

“Truthfully, I haven’t put too much thought into it. The organization is going to do what they’re going to do. It’s nothing that’s stressing me out. That’s what it is. Every year they’ve got decision to make. Those are their decisions. I leave it to them.”

When asked about retiring, Pierce assured the media he wasn’t planning on hanging up his Nike’s just yet.

“Right now it’s year-by-year. I expect to play another year next year and then evaluate after that. I always said I wanted to end my career as a Celtic. But they are the ones (with the decision). I have a year contract for next year but it’s not guaranteed so the decision’s in their hands. But whatever decision they make, maybe, if they trade me somewhere or I end up somewhere else maybe it could be a situation where I come back for a one-day deal and retire a Celtic.”

Tonight could very well be the last time we ever see Paul Pierce in a Celtics uniform. Relish it. You’re watching the best Celtic in the last 20 years, and one of the best Celtics of all time, slowly end an incredible career in Boston. You’re watching a Hall of Famer, an NBA Champion, The Truth.

Yes, the Bruins open their playoff series tonight. The Red Sox are playing the Blue Jays on NESN +. But that can wait. Pay your respects, say a prayer, and appreciate one of the best players in NBA History and one of the better Celtics on a list of historic icons before it’s too late.

Paul Pierce is The Truth.

And truth is, we’re gonna miss him.

Bruins Playoff Gear

Dont Puck With Us Banner

Playoffs Start Wednesday

The Bruins begin their Quest for the Cup Wednesday night at the Garden, as they host the fifth-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs. What better way to celebrate another hockey post season in Boston than by getting some awesome new playoff gear? All shirts are $18.99 or less (plus shipping).

Chara Spin O Rama 1899

Teach Me How 2 Dougie

On the left, the famous line exclaimed by NESN’s own Jack Edwards when captain Zdeno had the goal of the year against the Panthers dons an awesome new t shirt. Featuring the familiar Black and Gold colors and the Tazmanian Devil doing what he does best, this shirt is a collectible for all Bruins fans.

On the right, a T shirt commemorating Boston’s exciting rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton, referencing the popular song.  Wouldn’t it be great to be wearing this T shirt and impress all your friends when the 19-year-old phenom scores a goal from the point on the power play (okay, we can dream) or makes a savvy defensive play?

Fuck The Habs 1899 299 shipping

Because we all hate Montreal

Dont Puck With Us Tshirt 1899

A cool design featuring Bruins Black and Gold. The “T” in Boston is symbolic in the city, and represents the MBTA, or “the T” where you can catch a train, the subway, or a bus.

And last but not least, The Jaromir Jagr selection. The newest member of the Bruins, hailing from Czech Republic, also happens to have a kick-ass last name that has Bruins fans everywhere tipping back a glass every time he scores. Check them out below.

Keep Calm And Jagr Bomb 1799

<—- For the ladies, featuring the classic “Keep Calm” motto. Dudes can wear it too because, frankly, it’s pretty sweet.

Jagr Bomb Mullet 1899

For the Bros, because we all know mullets are still cool even if the collective female population writhes in horror at the thought of it. Bring back some Jagr nostalgia and support the newest Bruin during their playoff run!

Moves Like Jagr T 1899

Because this is clever, and we’ve all got an over-excited hoser in our group of friends who has proclaimed that Jagr is their favorite Bruin, even though they couldn’t tell you anything else about him.

Montreal Turtles 18.99

Because those squids in Montreal ruin the game we love and retract into their stupid little shells when real confrontation begins, let em know what you think of them with this Montreal Turtles shirt.

Dear Celtics

Kevin Garnett

Dear Celtics,

in less than two hours, you play the New York Knicks in Game 4 of the First Round of the NBA Playoffs, at home, down 3 games to none.

You lost Friday night in Boston, the first game in Beantown since that punky kid from Cambridge decided he’d try and knock us down. What a fool. You can huff, you can puff, but you can’t knock Boston down.

Or can you?

Until Game 2 of this series, do you know how many times the Knicks had won consecutive playoff games since the turn of the century? Zero.

Until Game 2 of this series, do you know how many teams had scored 25 or less points in a half in consecutive  games EVER? Zero.

And do you know how many teams in NBA History have ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in any round of the Playoffs to win a series? You guessed it: Zero.

It’s time to make history, or be history. The choice is yours.

So before we begin, let’s take a stroll down memory lane to October 2004 and our friends over at Fenway Park. Specifically, move about 50 seconds in.

 

Dont. Let. Us. Win. Tonight.

No, you don’t have Pedey going in game 5 or Big Schill going in Game 6. You also don’t have your super-hustling rookie Jared Sullinger because of a season-ending back injury, or your superstar leader of the team in Rajon Rondo, who tore his ACL back in January. But you do have Kevin Garnett, maybe the Greatest Power Forward of All Time (with no apologies to Tim Duncan or Karl Malone – I mean it). You do have Paul Pierce, slowly cementing his legacy that will hang forever in the rafters with his number 34 jersey, already more or less retired and waiting for its owner to do the same. And, remember, anything can still happen in Game 7, should you get there.

Sure, you’re hurt. Paul is a shadow of his former self. Kevin, too. Bone spurs and ankle sprains and bad backs and years and years and miles and miles up and down a basketball court eventually catch up to you. Father Time never loses.

But the biggest injury of them all is mental; A hit to your Pride hurts the most, and that’s what you’re about to take.

Remember you’re playing for the name on the front of your jersey, and not the one on the back. Remember you’re playing the game because you love it and have since you could walk. Remember you’re playing the games for the fans, who pour out in droves to support you even on the brink of elimination in embarrassing fashion. Remember you play for this city, that needs you now more than ever. Remember you want to make history, and that this team knows more about history than any other team in the league.

Remember you are Paul Pierce. You are Kevin Garnett. You are Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Jason Terry, Jordan Crawford, Chris Wilcox, Shavlik Randolph, Fab Melo, DJ White, and Terrence Williams.

You are the Boston Celtics.

Now get out there and play like it.

Second Chance for Durant

Kevin Durant SI Cover. Prediction

Kevin Durant on the latest Cover of Sports Illustrated. Is it a prediction?

There was a point a few years ago where I would’ve argued that Kevin Durant, not LeBron James, is the best player on the planet. Then LeBron went absolutely batshit insane, told every around him to f*** off, and became the Greatest Player Since Jordan, and officially threw his hat into the ring for Best Of All Time accolades. In that process, he played every single position, dominated every statistical category, became one of the most efficient shooters we’ve ever seen, most accurate passers on the planet, most driven rebounder in the league, and a deadly assassin – a word commonly associated with Kevin Durant. LeBron also happened to beat Durant in the NBA Finals, then took over Team USA as the best player in the world with Kevin Durant serving as merely the Robin to LeBron’s figurative Batman.

Look – I LOVE Kevin Durant. He’s my favorite player, period. I’ve never seen anyone make the game look as easy as he does. It’s cliche, but it’s true. He’s one of the nicest guys in the NBA, but also one of the baddest dudes on the hardwood. I want Kevin Durant to be the best player in the NBA. I do. But he’s not…yet.

Nike ran an ad campaign this year with the slogan “KD is Not Nice” after Durant started getting more technical fouls than he ever had before, largely due to his more fiery nature. The guy can take over any game, at any time, but thus far in his NBA career, it hasn’t been good enough.

LeBron James needed to snap and go a little crazy before he settled down, won a ring, and cemented his legacy as maybe-the-best-ever-someday’s leading candidate. Does Durant need to do the same? Maybe he has.

Check out this quote KD gave SI’s Lee Jenkins, now gracing the Cover of this week’s edition of the magazine:

“I’ve been second my whole life. I was the second-best player in high school. I was the second pick in the draft. I’ve been second in the MVP voting three times. I came in second in the Finals. I’m tired of being second. I’m not going to settle for that. I’m done with it.”

Is this the beginning of Bird vs Magic 2.0? I think so. Is LeBron still the best player on the planet? I think so. Is Kevin Durant about to swipe that title right from under his noise and add some shiny new bling to his finger along with a “2013 NBA Champions” Banner hanging from the Chesapeake Energy Arena rafters? I don’t know.

This season could mark the second time Durant has led his Thunder to the NBA Finals, and the Playoffs he finally proves he’s second to none.

It could also be the second time he loses to LeBron James, the second ring he loses to his idol, the second banner that isn’t hanging from his home rafters, and the second time in as many years LeBron proves that Durant is simply second-best.

We’ll see.

Celtics/Pacers Canceled

Celtics Canceled

The NBA Public Relations Department announced via a private Twitter account that tomorrow’s (4/16) game between the Boston Celtics and the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden has been canceled with no make up date due to the events that occurred in Boston at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Both teams have clinched playoff births, and the Celtics are locked into the seventh seed, where they will play the New York Knicks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs starting this weekend. The game would have no impact on the standings.

The NBA Playoff Schedule has not yet been announced, but Boston plays its final regular season game Wednesday night in Toronto against the Raptors. Celtics coach Doc Rivers has speculated that the teams will play their first game Saturday in New York, as the Rangers play at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. Because the Knicks own the higher seed, the first two games of this playoff series will be played in New York, meaning at least a week will have likely passed before the Celtic take the court again at TD Garden.

Good for the NBA for getting people out of a distressed city. Remember these athletes have families as well, many of which are very far away. There’s no need to worry or burden even more people.

Celtics Recall Melo from Maine

About two hours before the bombings in Boston, the Celtics announced that they recalled rookie center Fab Melo from the Maine Red Claws, their D-League affiliate. It is unclear whether or not Melo will remain on the active playoff roster, or if he will solely serve as depth for the remainder of the regular season while Boston rests its regular players. Over his final 10 games with Maine, Melo averaged 8.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in just under 21 minutes per game.

Once again, If you’re still searching for people and victims, call: 617-635-4500. For any info on incidents, suspicious activity: 1-800-494-TIPS.

Stay home, stay safe, and pray. Tell those you love that you love them.

God Bless Boston and the messed up world we live in.