Maestro, a little music to help us shake off the layoff:
This is Free Form Friday, that thing we do around here when it's a Friday afternoon and there's no college football to look forward to. We find ourselves at the beginning of a very long offseason. Sure, the Bulldog mens and womens basketball teams are both playing some darn good basketball right now. There's National Signing Day and G-Day and baseball season to look forward to. But college football will always be my first love, and this time is one of acute mental fragility for me. Even though it does represent a serious uptick in my productivity as a human being. Life's full of tradeoffs, ya know?
And in lieu of college football it's important for you to know there's nothing I look forward to more than talking about the NFL. Which, by the way, is the sort of altered, paranoid teapot in which tempests like "DeflateGate" happen. For starters, why does it even matter if balls were underinflated? My understanding as a guy who keeps his balls properly inflated is that it would (theoretically) allow a quarterback to get a better grip on the ball. Also, again in theory, an underinflated ball would have a higher pigskin/air ratio, making it throw more like a baseball and less like an air-filled balloon.
In reality, I have a hard timing believing that 2 psi make any difference in the grand scheme of things. For one thing, being able to zip the ball in a sliver faster doesn't guarantee it gets caught by the right guy, or not tipped in the air. As one who has been thrown a severely underinflated football I can tell you it feels like trying to stop a catchers mitt with your bare hands and kind of hurts. I also imagine that unless you're consistent in your underinflation that uncertainty about how a given ball will travel probably creates more of a hindrance than a benefit. Just ask anyone who's ever tried to catch a severely scuffed baseball. Predictability of movement is huge when you have large balls flying toward your face.
I do however know that NFL-types are easily the most paranoid people on Earth who do not simultaneously hate Seth Rogen for making a high budget stylized snuff film (though some likely hate Seth Rogen for other reasons, and I fully support that). They will latch onto insane theories, like that you can't pass on a QB in the first round. Or that left handed left tackles are better, or that Andy Dalton can't win big games because he has red hair. Actually, that last one may be accurate. Forget I said that.
The point is that this whole debacle tells us a couple of things. One, there are folks in the NFL so desperate to stay there/win that they'll systematically underinflate a prearranged number of footballs. These people are likely morons. Two, there are other NFL folks who believe that the morons' deflated footballs rather than piss poor pass protection is their team's problem. These people are idiots. Sometimes in life it's hard to tell the idiots from the morons without a scorecard. And that's the real lesson of DeflateGate. Until later...