I’ve been so busy charting the farce that is Deflate-gate – a narrative that keeps on giving – that I forgot all about Rafa’s and Feddy’s balls, or lack thereof, at the Australian Open. They’re both out, with Rafa falling most recently in the quarterfinals to Tomas Berdych in straight sets.
Is it all over for Fedal? Possibly but Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer singly will go on, injuries notwithstanding.
Meanwhile, it was Media Day, which brings out the loonies during Super Bowl Week. (Think sporting event plus Mardi Gras/Halloween/Comic Con.) The arrogance just dripped as Bill Belicheck refused to answer any more questions about squishy balls, and Seattle Seahawks’ running back Marshawn Lynch, who refuses to talk with the press, simply repeated, “I’m here so I won’t get fined.”
One person who’s been happy to talk is New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft, who’s demanding an apology from the NFL if its investigation finds the Pats had nothing to do with the 11 deflated balls they played with in the first half of their victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the A.F.C. Championship game. This as the investigation zeroes in on a “person of interest,” a Pats’ locker room attendant who was alone with the balls in a locked room for 90 seconds after they were certified by officials. (Maybe he just wanted a quiet moment with them.)
Here’s the thing, though: Shouldn’t you wait until the investigation is over before getting on your high horse to demand an apology?
Also, responsibility isn’t an admission of guilt. If something happens in your house, you’re accountable, even if you didn’t have anything to do with it. It’s your house.
No one disputes that the Pats had 11 deflated balls. Who, how and why are the questions. Regardless, it’s the Pats’ responsibility. It would behoove them to act responsibly instead of defensively by cooperating with the investigation – which they apparently are – and answering questions, however tedious and painful, graciously.
The quarterback at the heart of my upcoming novel “The Penalty for Holding” has his share of problems. And he’s a smart cookie who understands that some members of the media play “gotcha” journalism. But he also knows the press has a job to do and that cooperation goes both ways.
He also remembers he has a responsibility to others that is in the end a reflection of himself.