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Of inflation – over and under – in the NFL

  Have Tom Brady’s Pats unleashed their cheatin’ hearts? Photograph by Jeffrey Beall.

Have Tom Brady’s Pats unleashed their cheatin’ hearts? Photograph by Jeffrey Beall.

Well, it looks like we’re all set for a Super Duper Bowl between the deflated (literally) New England Patriots and the inflated (metaphorically) Seattle Seahawks.

First, the crafty – or should that be Kraft-y, after their owner Robert Kraft? – Pats, are apparently up to their old tricks, using deflated footballs in their blowout A.F. C. Championship win against the hapless Indianapolis Colts, who, let’s face it, don’t require cheating.

It was in 2007, that the Patriots – led by head coach Bill Belichick, alias the Emperor from “Star Wars,” it’s the hoodie – and quarterback Tom Brady, aka Darth Vader, were caught spying on, yes, the hapless New York Jets in an incident that has become known as Spygate. Nothing like stacking the deck. So they’re always suspect.

But wait, the NFL – which is so anal-retentive that it cares about Colin Kaepernick wearing his outlaw Beats headset on the podium – allows each team to play with its own footballs? Everybody gets to play with his own toys in the sandbox?

Speaking of kindergarten, we’ve learned that Aaron Rodgers likes to overinflate his balls, so to speak, though not in the collapse of his Green Bay Packers against the Hawks in the N.F.C. Championship. This is the Ooh-Ooh-teacher, So-and-So-was-also-chewing-gum-in-homeroom approach to deflecting blame. But understand this: Rodgers isn’t on “trial” here. The Pats are.

While the Patriots were busy deflating footballs, the Hawks – never known for their modesty, what with blowhard Richard Sherman and their loudmouth fans – were busy overinflating their egos. How about their tweet after the stunning comeback against the Packs, which showed QB Russell Wilson, who is black, and the words “We Shall Overcome,” because, yeah, that win and the Civil Rights Movement and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination are all the same thing.

Needless to say, the Hawks had to take down the tweet and apologize.

The irony, of course, is that Wilson does in a sense owe the opportunity to play quarterback to the Civil Rights Movement. But his play is a testament to that and King’s dream of opportunity for all.

As with a football, our remarks can’t be over or underinflated either.