Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Posted by el duque at 6:38 AM
"Oh, God, no," Schilling replied. "I think there's a belief that what he did, he did his entire career."
As I read this, I thought, Wow, this is how you do it: Just use the caveat, 'there's a belief that...' and you can say anything about the guy.
I don't mean to hit on Schilling, (though it always is fun.) But Schilling is a pro pundit. That's how he makes his living, and considering his history, he's not going to make it in business. Also, Schilling exemplifies a commonly expressed view about A-Rod: That he is a serial cheat: He cheated in Seattle, he cheated in Texas, and he cheats in NYC. Once a cheat, always a cheat. Cheat, cheat, cheat...
Are they right about A-Rod? Truth be told, I dunno...
Trouble is, neither do they. That doesn't stop them from saying it - as long as they use their caveats.
Which brings me to the mighty New England Patriots, the flagship franchise of modern pro football. The news today says the NFL found that 11 of 12 balls were under-inflated during last weekend's victory over Indianapolis. Everyone is quick to point out that the Pats destroyed the Colts, so this in no way will impinge upon the all-important Katy Perry Pepsi Halftime Show.
But if we apply the A-Rod historical standard of cheating here, the esteemed pundits and patrons of the NFL might want to figure out how the Patriots circumvented league security protocols, and for how long they have been doing it? Because if it was done last weekend, what are the odds they never did it before?
Because somewhere, there is a belief that maybe they have done it before.
Also... if you think about it, tampering with game balls is about as evil as cheating gets. Let's remember that if A-Rod was juicing in Seattle, he was doing it at a time when juicing was NOT banned by the game, and it was a relatively common practice on some teams. (It will take a generation of deathbed confessions to fully know how many players did it.) But tampering with a ball? Wow. Not only does it give your team an advantage, but it negatively impacts the other guys' performance - and thus, their careers. Also, it's not the work of a lone wolf: It's a franchise-level commitment to cheating. It's planned. It's plotted out. It's the gold standard for cheating.
And for that, the NFL might take away a future New England draft pick? Wow.