Basketball playoffs are heating up, baseball season is starting too, and the National Hockey League continues to stretch their season into the summer. When ice melts. What better time to talk about matters in the frozen north, specifically Foxborough, Massachusetts? Yes, the combines and the college draft and all the discussion connected to the National Football League has passed. There is a serious potential for Roger Goodell's ship to sail out of view for a few months. But since this is America, and there is no dark side of the moon, really, we should keep that logo on the tip of everyone's cerebral cortex. Yes, the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl just a few months ago, but that's no reason for them to be old news.
That may explain why the findings of the National Football League's blue ribbon commission on cheating and such came out this week with their findings on Deflate Gate. If you haven't cared about this scandal before, maybe some of the highlights of the report issued this past week will intrigue you. Text messages between a part-time New England Patriots employee and an equipment assistant with talk of cash, free shoes and autographs. The part-time employee, a locker room attendant responsible for twelve footballs before the AFC title game, spending one hundred seconds in a bathroom after game officials had approved the balls for play. The Patriots' star quarterback and the equipment assistant suddenly exchanging phone calls in the days just after news of under-inflated footballs blew up. That's a little Deflate-Gate humor: "blew up." Get it? For me, the most interesting tidbit may be those one hundred seconds in the bathroom. It caused me to consider the number of seconds I spend in the bathroom, especially on game day. It also cause me to reflect on just how carefully statistics are maintained for all aspects of the National Football League. Whether all bathroom trips are monitored and recorded, or do they just count the ones during pre-game and warmups? What about during games? Ultimately, it seems as though there was some sort of shenanigans going on. What sort of penalties will be handed out is still anyone's guess, but when he was asked if any of this would taint the rest of the Patriots' achievements, quarterback and cell phone user Tom Brady insisted, "Absolutely not." Of course not. Just like that video tape hullabaloo from a few years back, the one we felt compelled to attach a "gate" to back then and called it "Spygate." That didn't detract at all from the undefeated regular season they had way back then. No word from the NFL or the Patriots about whether "Murdergate" will cast a shadow on any of the accomplishments the Patriots made with Aaron Hernandez on the field. My guess would be "absolutely not."