Friday, May 8, 2015

Wells Report on Deflategate

The Wells Report is out on deflategate, and I am astounded at some of the idiotic responses. Some of the idiotic responses are so thoughtless as to not merit a second thought. However, one, John Canzano, really troubles and surprises me because I have previously thought him to be a thoughtful, intelligent commentator on the sports scene. He has a three-hour radio show every weekday from noon to 3 that I used to listen to.

But yesterday he went clear over the top with his lunacy. First, he hammered the Wells report because of the "more probable than not" language on whether Tom Brady knew about the deflated balls. Canzano makes the same mistake that Brady's dad made, which is to confuse civil and criminal standards of proof. We are not talking about any crime here, we are talking about a civil matter, the violation of NFL rules. Anyone who reads the Wells report can easily see that Brady knew, but the author was being cautious in his characterization of his conclusions. There is no way, given the overwhelming evidence, that Brady did NOT know.

Second, Canzano complains that 11 Patriots balls were tested at halftime, and only 4 Colts balls. He says this difference in sample size is a fatal flaw. How he reaches this idiotic conclusion is anyone's guess, but the fact is that 11 Patriots balls were tested, and every one was below the allowable standards. There is now way this could happen by accident. The only reason Colts balls were tested was to see if there was something about the weather conditions that could have caused the deflation. Four Colts balls were tested and were found to be within allowable limits. No rational person can fail to conclude that someone in the Patriots camp was messing with the balls. And the report identifies the person, that being the person who ducked into a rest room with the balls, locked the door, and spent a minute and 40 seconds there, long enough to deflate the balls. The referee said it was the first time in 19 years that the game balls disappeared like that from the officials' locker room.

Next, we have the ludicrous assertion that the Patriots blew out the Colts in the game, so it doesn't matter if the Patriots cheated. This is like saying that the Watergate break-in to the Democratic headquarters in 1972 doesn't matter, because Nixon won the election in a landslide. It is a ludicrous assertion. At the time of the misdeeds, nobody knew what the final outcome would be, either of the game or of the election. Cheating is cheating, something Mr. Canzano and his fellow idiots seem not to understand.