The lesson from all of this DeflateGate nonsense is that the Serious Football Men take football very seriously. How else can you explain the breathless emails between Colts staff members, and then the Colts staff and the league that set this entire thing in motion. The first email we have is from an Indianapolis equipment manager—Sean Sullivan—to Colts GM Ryan Grigson where Sullivan reveals that his counterpart with the Baltimore Ravens called coach Chuck Pagano (formerly of the Ravens) to let him know about some funny business with balls at New England.
Apparently, Baltimore gave Pagano a heads up that the Ravens had been given new kicking balls to use instead of the ones they broke in. Pagano apparently passed this information along to the equipment manager, who then emailed the GM to make sure the Colts were on ready alert for balls that had "been tampered with." Then comes the bomb:
"it is well known around the league that after the Patriots gameballs are checked by the officials and brought out for game usage the ballboys for the patriots will let out some air with a ball needle because their quarterback likes a smaller ball…it would be great if someone would be able to check the air in the game balls as the game goes on so that they don't get an illegal advantage."
And now we're off to the races. Grigson evidently agreed that it would be great if someone check the air in the game balls, and sent an email to Dave Gardi, senior vice president of football operations for the NFL that included this preposterous sentence: "Thank you for being vigilant stewards of that not only for us but for the shield and overall integrity of our game."
Anytime someone uses the term "shield" to refer to the NFL, I want to puke an entire month's worth of food. Honestly? These guys honestly talk like this? Vigilant stewards. Are you guys a lowly band of do-gooders on Middle Earth, preparing for battle with the bloodthirsty army of Mordor?
Fuck me, man. The more that comes out about this, the more it seems the Colts are just salty-ass losers. If it was so well known around the league that the Pats were deflating balls after the balls were taken out for game usage, how is it this only became a thing after the Patriots mopped the floor with them in the AFC Championship? I just continue to fail to see how we go from a quarterback who likes his footballs a certain way to a ball being "tampered" with, to the Patriots having an "illegal advantage," and then wind up at questioning the integrity of the game.
And while we are talking about integrity, here's Ravens coach John Harbaugh in February flatly denying the Ravens had anything to do with tipping off a former employee currently working for a different organization:
"I don't know who believed what or why," Harbaugh said. "You'd have to ask them why they would believe something like that or whoever put that out there, why they'd put that out there. There's not one shred of any kind of fact that would in any way lead to any reason to believe that's true. That's been a long time since that report was put out, so there was nothing there. Didn't happen. I don't know why it hasn't been recanted to be honest with you. I really don't care about it. It means nothing to us. It's a non-issue for us."
This is why it probably wasn't recanted, John, to be honest with you.