When you’re the biggest sports fan in a particular setting, the ice-breaking topic people choose when initiating conversation with you is usually sports -related, and that’s not a problem.
Since Jan. 21, that sports-related topic of choice has been “Deflategate,” and that’s when it became painstaking and problematic. “Deflategate” is the name of the scandal related to the 2014 Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and their preference on the amount of air put into each football used during games, allegedly making it easier for their players to grip the balls.
Yes, the amount of air in footballs has been a headline in lead news outlets such as CNN, at times overpowering the Republican GOP debate, among other things. Nevertheless, the Patriots were accused of the aforementioned “wrongdoing” after a 45-7 beatdown they laid upon the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game Jan. 18. Several sources came forward to say that deflating footballs based on preference was common, but the NFL remained closed-minded.
On May 11, the league dropped the hammer on its most controversial franchise of the 21st century. The Patriots were stripped of draft picks and $1 million, and what became most prominent was the four-game ban handed to two-time MVP quarterback Tom Brady. Brady’s appeal was upheld, so he took the ruling to court.
Fast forward to Thursday, and it now appears that all of the discussion surrounding Brady was for nothing. A federal judge erased the four-game ban, thus allowing Brady to take the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL’s opening game Thursday.
Just when you thought the NFL had put its foot down, the federal court system stepped in and lifted it up. Now, the topic that headlined ESPN daily and CNN weekly appears to be something that could have been a sidebar.
While the NFL will appeal the court ruling, it’s unlikely that it will be overturned. It’s time to rejoice, because our major news outlets can now turn their attention toward topics affecting everyday citizens – and not those that garner attention from sports fans.
Sports fans can turn their attention toward who’s winning these highly anticipated games as opposed to who’s taking the air out of footballs before they begin.