J. Kapp 11 wrote:
No offense, but the "I feel cheated" argument is a very sanctimonious point of view that is also completely irrelevant. How you feel has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual rule. And it's not a technicality of physics. It's a scientific fact. The air pressure in a football will drop if the temperature drops.
I understand that it's a fact. Most people who play with basketballs and footballs outdoors understand this by 12-13 yrs. At least I did. I don't feel that my opinion is at all irrelevant much less completely. I root for the Patriots to win and then find out that through a technicality about the way a specific rule is enforced
knowingly gives them a competitive advantage on the playing field (and I'm not saying that's exactly what happened but following your original example) an advantage that to me is uncertain but it is a rule and other people have said it does create a specific advantage....and is quite possibly an act they've been pulling during winter home games for years now. They are cheating the other team and the fans who are invested with the belief that something as simple as the football is not being doctored/altered in any way for an advantage.
J. Kapp 11 wrote:
For the record, your example is way, way off base. In your scenario, both players broke the rules. One player happened to not realize it, while the other didn't get caught. My whole point is that no one has proven the Patriots broke any rule here. Simply turning in footballs that are inflated to 12.5 psi is not a rules violation. In fact, by the rule's very definition, it's the opposite.
My example was to suggest that even if the Patriots didn't truly understand that by gametime their balls would be under the legal limit they are still gaining a competitive edge as a result and should be corrected.
If the Patriots did as you said: had the balls inspected at a certain temperature knowing the the change in temp would create illegal balls
, then in my opinion they broke the spirit of the rule which is put in place to prevent that from happening. Again like my first comment regarding your original post, "Intention". They intended to cheat and they did if it unfolded the way you suggested.
I think you are blurring the line between what the rule is about and how the league has chosen to enforce it. Enforcement of the rule is flawed as the Patriots have shown and they have shown that they are willing to cheat if they think they can get away with it. In this case they have gotten away with it because no one in their right mind is going to willingly admit that what was done was intentional. It's impossible to prove their intent but it's quite obvious using your example as a case scenario. You applaud that, I don't. I find that at this level of competition with what's at stake in a title game that there is no room for that kind of BS. I find it unsportsmanlike. I'm probably in the minority. I find myself less inclined to root for them as a result...more like hoping they get the $$%^ kicked out of them on sunday. I have never felt that way about the Pats before, unless they are playing the Vikes.
J. Kapp 11 wrote:
And by the way, why are you letting the refs off the hook? It's their job to ensure the balls are legal. That's why teams are required to turn them in 2 hours and 15 minutes before game time. If the balls were under inflated, the officials should have taken them back to the Patriots and made them fix them.
When they were alerted to it they did so.
I think the way they have the rule set up is completely stupid, if there is that much of an advantage involved. Either let teams have what ever pressure they want or pick one universal number and have the officials or some official body be in charge.
I think that it's possible the current regime in NE puts winning above integrity. I don't need the league office or the officials to prove or point that out to me because I don't think they feel it's in their best interest...which is another integrity issue IMO.
As for a golf analogy: any golfer tampering with a ball to gain an advantage would be cheating IMO.
I can't support, although I surely can believe it, when professionals hid behind the language of poorly enforced rule to cheat. To me it's the equivalent of a corporation using an offshore account to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. I might expect something like this out of a lessor team like a Detroit or Cleveland...but the fact that it's the premiere franchise of the league and not the first time they have been cast in this light really sucks to me and for the league.
Again my opinion in this vein is based upon the Patriots knowingly creating an unfair advantage for themselves, which has yet to be proven and most likely can't be.