Rules Rant And ‘Gate’ Ban

I have three upcoming posts that are almost done. One is a report on why the offensive line will magically be better this season than last year. Another is a review of the new running back commit, as well as one covering some thoughts on recruiting in general.

Unfortunately, recent events have brought up huge pet peeves of mine, so I felt the need to bore you all with them.

1. Rules are rules, and if you break them, you break them.
Right now, we are witnessing an asinine controversy over football deflating — en route to the biggest game of the year. In fact, the Pro Bowl, a game intended to celebrate the best performers of the past season has become so watered down and lame that it cannot supplant a story about letting air out of footballs.

I think the rule is dumb. I have thrown an NFL football and they are ridiculously huge and have this crazy film on them that can turn your hands orange and makes the ball slick. A ball at the end of the game is a much better ball and easier to throw and handle. Also, with the way that modern receiver gloves are now, I am not sure the amount of air in the ball is going to affect catching since the gloves are basically glue-covered ball magnets.

The thing is, none of that matters.  

The NFL decided that in an effort to level the playing field that all footballs would be inflated to a certain level. It is a rule, it is in the rule books, and the NFL now has to establish a punishment for the infraction.That is it, end of story. How big the penalty is up to them, but a rule was broken so a punishment should be handed down. That is the story, in its entirety.

It doesn’t matter if the rule is dumb, just like it doesn’t matter if a coach offers a player’s Dad $300,000 to come and play or, say, pay a recruiting service $25,000 to influence players to come to his school. They are both violations of the rules and both should be punishable.

This is where I get so frustrated with today’s sports world. We get so caught up in subjective morality on rules, that we foster the kind of environment that enables professional athletes, coaches, politicians, or movie stars to get away with things that they shouldn’t. This has nothing to do with whether the Patriots would have won the game, most likely they would have. It has everything to do with making your rules matter. Otherwise, why the heck have them? If the rule is dumb and this controversy before the biggest game of the year shines a light on it, then change the rule. But just like in Oregon, where certain uses of marijuana will be legalized this summer, it doesn’t mean people should get away with those uses in the past when they weren’t legal.

This is not about being ‘Holier than Thou.’ I break rules all the time and when I get caught, I get punished. It is all about here is “rule A”, if you break it, you get punished. The rest is just fans and talking heads expressing opinions about people, and being subjective. Just like the tuck rule, this will probably bring about a change in the rules. But for now, New England cheated, and the NFL SHOULD decide what to do about it. The rest of the conversation is just for ratings.

2. Lets cool it with the ‘Gate’ thing.
The origination of the term was not from the “Water Gate” scandal, but from the “Watergate Scandal.” If you want to add a word to the end, try something like “Deflation Scandal”.  Calling something “Spy Gate” or “Deflate Gate” just perpetuates the reduction of the severity of an event. And, lets be honest, it is used now like a parent in the 80s saying something is “rad.” The “Gate” suffix is just a sign that someone who is not clever and cool is trying to be clever and cool. If you don’t believe me, look at this partial list of all the ridiculous uses of the term “gate.” Do you want to be using the same clever term that was coined by those covering “Toiletgate” or “Napgate”?

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