Ballghazi, Deflategate: Which is it?

footballstock2The media, sports and otherwise, continues to be focused on the, ahem, controversy swirling around the footballs used by the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.

The focus itself is suspicious, given how little anybody, including people who actually play pro football, had ever given any appreciable attention to the level that the footballs are to be inflated for use in a live game.

Hearing cable-news talking heads pontificate on the topic has been hilarious, as has how we’ve seen their world of made-up words has seeped into the discussion.

We have two competing funny coined words to go by at this point: Ballghazi and DeflateGate. The terms are being used interchangeably, and on first glance, inaccurately so.

Because, come on, Ballghazi would refer to something that actually happened in real life with real victims that was then blown entirely out of proportion and any sense of reality by a group bent on using the shards of the facts involved to perpetuate a witch hunt against a mortal enemy. Whereas DeflateGate would harken to a criminal conspiracy to ensure the outcome of an event bumbled by peripherals put in charge of the dirty details entrusted to do work that turned out to be well above their pay grade.

Let’s break it down:

Ballghazi: The inflated footballs did actually happen in real life. Were there real victims, though? Eh. The Indianapolis Colts were going to lose and lose spectacularly no matter the psi. That hasn’t stopped a group bent on using the shards of evidence regarding the footballs used in the first half of the game to perpetuate a witch hunt against a mortal enemy. Bill Belichick is a mortal enemy of the tribe called media, for his obvious disdain for having to engage with members of the media in press conferences, and unwillingness to provide anything quotable for their stories. It’s not enough to win games; you have to be entertaining in doing so. Benghazi has resulted in eight and counting investigations by congressional Republicans bent on using what happened there to try to kneecap President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. No matter what the NFL’s investigation into Ballghazi ultimately finds, don’t expect the media to shut up about it anytime soon.

DeflateGate: Criminal conspiracy? Criminal may be strong, but conspiracy seems on target. The footballs didn’t deflate themselves, did they? Hmmm. Who would be in charge of seeing a plot like that through? The NFL’s equivalent of Nixon’s plumbers, aka ballboys. To say that this was bumbled is to understate things by a good bit; they did their job too well, making it obvious to the Colts and the game officials that something was off. Like Nixon’s plumbers, their bumbling is threatening to bring down an administration.

Final verdict: Yeah, OK, we can use Ballghazi and DeflateGate as one and the same.

After this review, I might even suggest an even newer coined term: BallghaziGate.

– Column by Chris Graham


AFP

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