Our Deflated Football Expectations‏

            Yes, I know all the footballs have been flattened and stacked away for the winter … I’m on a monthly schedule now, and you’re seeing this about five weeks after I wrote it. Besides, there’s no bad time to make ball jokes.


Apparently the New England Patriots are being accused of having soft balls.

This came as a shock to me. I mean, they’re tough football players. At the same time I saw the comedic possibilities of such a thing, and made it halfway through a truly hilarious column full of crude puns and various other plays on words, just to prove I’m an athletic supporter.

Then I realized they were talking about their footballs.

Well, that took all the air right out of me. But I suppose it’s for the best, as this is a family paper and that piece was turning decidedly un-family friendly. I suspect there aren’t a lot of kids who read my column. Still, any that did read it would have thrown questions at their parents, who would have to explain the concept of gutter humor, so it’s probably for the best that I dropped the ball.

Speaking of dropping the ball, I actually watched that game. I’m no expert, but it didn’t seem to me the Patriots won it at all; it seemed like the Colts lost it. It’s similar to the way the Republicans did such a bang-up job of losing the last two Presidential elections.

When I say I’m no expert, what I mean is that it was the first football game I’ve watched since 2007. So yeah, no expert. I have nothing against football the way I do against basketball, which is a horror experience straight from hades, but I have to budget my time and there are books to read. Besides, they don’t show the cheerleaders often enough.

Not to mention cheerleaders in pro sports don’t look like cheerleaders anymore; they look like showgirls backing up Wayne Newton in Vegas. Not to mention they could now be my daughters, which takes most of the fun out of it. Not to mention my wife has a sword collection, which takes the rest of the fun out of it.

So we’ve established I’m no expert. However, I do know that a little pressure can make a big difference. We own one of those inflatable beds. I’ve learned a few pounds of pressure can make the difference between sleeping well until our 85 pound dog makes his full bladder known by leaping on my chest, and hardly sleeping at all. Both usually result in blinding back pain, but never mind.

The claim is that the New England Patriots deflated their balls, so they could be gripped better by their players, and no way am I going to point out the obvious joke in that sentence. Each team is responsible to bring twelve balls, plus the home team has to bring a dozen more backup balls. I assume they have to show the officials before the game starts that they have a lot of balls.

What happens after that I’m not sure. I mean, do they switch between the regular and the deflated balls depending on whether they’re on offense of defense? And if it makes that much of a difference, how do the officials never notice? They actually check the balls before the game and then hand them all over to a ball boy, who has the most uncool job title ever. 

The Patriots have a history of cheating. Apparently in 2007 their coach was fined $500,000 for filming the sideline signals of the other team, and his cameraman was fined $250,000 for filming the cheerleaders. I wonder if the New England cheerleaders look like cheerleaders? Be right back …

Nope. Showgirls. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Let’s keep in mind that the team is named after, well, patriots, those people who fought off the British to secure our right to drink coffee. The British were very perturbed, and in fact accused the Patriots of cheating even then:

“They hide behind trees and fences, instead of standing in a straight line across an open field and letting us fire on them! That’s just not cricket. On a related note, we might just have to replace these red uniforms with the white straps forming a cross in the middle of our chests …”

So you see, the patriots of old were accused of deflating the British soldiers.

Some people in football are saying their balls are messed with all the time. In one case, a quarterback admitted he paid ball boys to break in their balls before the Superbowl. I guess they handle better when they’re scuffed (the balls, not the ball boys), which seems to be the way a lot of drivers I’ve encountered feel about their cars.

In this time of war, government overreach, people not buying my books, and other equally important problems, I used to think sports were a good pressure relief. It took our minds off of cheating leaders, violence, commercialism, overspending …

I can’t even finish that sentence, it’s just too silly. Maybe I’ll just throw my support to a sport that’s real and honest, not staged for entertainment, not more personality than competition.

Maybe … pro wrestling.

No balls there.
Nah, it looks fine.

Nah, it looks fine.


  1. Admittedly, I never really understood the point to football. This whole debacle just adds to that.

    1. I suppose everyone has some hobby or favorite entertainment that someone else doesn't see the point of, so I try to keep an open mind. Certainly a sadly large number of people don't understand why I bother to read when I don't have to.

  2. If I were a guy, I'd hate to have to admit my balls were deflated....