12 Things That Took Less Time Than NFL’s DeflateGate Investigation

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Good grief.

The New England Patriots hosted the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 18 — more than three full months ago — under some shady circumstances. The Colts alerted the NFL before the game that they thought the Patriots used underinflated footballs. Or maybe they didn’t. And then an NFL employee on the field stole footballs so that he could sell them for profit. He got some unknowing Patriots employee in trouble for a day. A different employee took footballs into a bathroom, which became national news in real life. Somewhere in all of that, the Patriots beat the Colts by about 100 points.

Dr. William Stephen Belichick eventually conducted some physics experiments, concluded it was all a bunch of hogwash, and then went ahead and won the Super Bowl. Tom Brady was asked “What’s up with our hero?” and then won his fourth title and third Super Bowl MVP.

And this is all about the air pressure in footballs that was never even recorded before the game. No, really. Never was.

So, again, to reiterate: Good grief.

(And that was only about half of the silly stories that filled the media landscape in late January and early February.)

Now, we are still waiting for Ted Wells to conclude his investigation. The game took place on Jan. 18. Wells was officially appointed to head the investigation on Jan. 23. That was 90 days ago.

Ninety. Days.

That is absurd.

For some perspective on just how long this dog-and-pony show has gone on, here’s a list of 12 things that took less time to complete than Ted Wells’ DeflateGate investigation.

The Aaron Hernandez Murder Trial: Jan. 29-April 15, 2015 (77 days)

Aaron Hernandez is placed in handcuffs on April 15 after being found guilty of first degree murder. (WBZ-TV)

Aaron Hernandez is placed in handcuffs on April 15 after being found guilty of first degree murder. (WBZ-TV)

Yes, an entire murder trial — one in which 139 witnesses took the stand and 439 pieces of evidence were submitted — took place in less time than this investigation. It took a jury less time to decide the fate of a man’s life than it did for a lawyer to figure out what went on with the footballs. That’s incredible, when you think about it.

2000 Presidential Election Recount: Nov. 8-Dec. 13, 2000 (36 days)

Judge Robert Rosenberg uses a magnifying glass to examine a dimpled chad on a punch card ballot November 24, 2000 during a vote recount in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Robert King/Newsmakers)

Judge Robert Rosenberg uses a magnifying glass to examine a dimpled chad on a punch card ballot November 24, 2000 during a vote recount in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Robert King/Newsmakers)

There’s little in this country that means more than the presidential election. The winner becomes the leader of the free world. The loser goes home to reevaluate life and/or return to Congress and/or mostly disappear from the public eye. And back in November 2000, you’ll remember that we didn’t know our next president for what felt like an eternity. But even though the recount of Florida’s votes had to be done by hand (hanging chads and all) and even though the Florida Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court had to get involved, the whole thing took just 36 days to iron out. Doesn’t seem so long now, does it?

Apollo 11: July 16-July 24, 1969 (8 days)

Buzz Aldrin on the moon on July 20, 1969. (Photo by NASA/Liaison/Getty Images)

Buzz Aldrin on the moon on July 20, 1969. (Photo by NASA/Liaison/Getty Images)

Yes, you can put a crew of men onto a ship, send it to the moon, have them hop around for a bit, and then have them splash down back on Earth in just eight days. And you can do all of this in 1969. But it takes 90 days to figure out football inflation protocol in 2015. We have come a long way as a society in terms of our technological advances, for sure.

Christopher Columbus’ First Voyage: Aug. 3-Oct. 12, 1492 (70 days)

Christopher Columbus, looking rather spiffy after a trans-Atlantic voyage, arrives on a Caribbean island in 1492.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Christopher Columbus, looking rather spiffy after a trans-Atlantic voyage, arrives on a Caribbean island in 1492. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

What can you do in less time than it takes Ted Wells to figure out football inflation? Not much — you can just discover an entire new world. OK, fine, you can “discover” a “new world.” Look, I know that Columbus was, umm, not the best fellow, to put things mildly. And I know that we’ve all grown smart enough to discover some appalling things about the man who was regarded as a saint in our textbooks as children. But hey, listen, what have you ever done, huh? That’s what I thought. Anyway, Columbus left Spain on Aug. 3, arrived in the Canary Islands on Aug. 10 and hung out there until Sept. 6, and then he set sail and found the “New World” on Oct. 12. Really puts the whole PSI investigation thing in perspective, doesn’t it?

Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel” Run At No. 1: 11 Weeks (77 days)

Elvis Presley sings "Hound Dog" in 1956 on the set of The Steve Allen Show. (Photo by NBC Television/Getty Images)

Elvis Presley sings “Hound Dog” in 1956 on the set of The Steve Allen Show. (Photo by NBC Television/Getty Images)

It’s one of the most famous songs ever recorded in America, and the single’s time atop the Billboard charts in 1956 is one of the longest in history. Even still, the country’s Hound Dog-Mania came and went faster than it’s taken Ted Wells to figure out the whole needle/inflation thing in Foxboro. Ted Wells has never caught a cheater and he ain’t no friend of mine. (Aggressive snare roll!)

Kim Kardashian-Kris Humphries Marriage: Aug. 20-Oct. 31, 2011 (72 days)

Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Divorce is hardly a rarity these days in America, but typically it takes years (or at least months) for young love to turn sour. Yet in the case of Ms. Kim Kardashian and NBA player Kris Humphries, their relationship went through all the stages of disintegration in less than half the time it’s taken to figure out how people put air into footballs. Poor kids. I thought they were going to make it. I hope they’re doing OK.

Tim Tebow’s Patriots Career: June 11-Aug. 31, 2013 (81 days)

Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Media flocked to him by the dozen. Fans flooded the practice field to see him. The team sold his jersey in the pro shop. And people bought them! Tebowmania was in full effect. And then it was over. Tim Tebow signed with the Patriots, generated mass hysteria and then poof. He was gone.

“True Detective” Season 1: Jan. 12-March 9, 2014 (56 days)

Matthew McConaughey, Michelle Monaghan and Woody Harrelson speak onstage.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Matthew McConaughey, Michelle Monaghan and Woody Harrelson speak onstage. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Some people say this was the greatest accomplishment in TV history. The drama, the intrigue, the acting — everything. It all resulted in getting some people to say it was the best TV show of all time. And it only took 56 days to start, develop and conclude. I’ve never seen it, but I bet I could watch it start to finish 10 times before Teddy Wells comes through with some information for me.

A Mount Everest Climb: Six To Nine Weeks (42-63 days)

Mountaineers climb Mount Everest. (Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Mountaineers climb Mount Everest. (Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Look, I don’t know why people like to spend thousands of dollars and months of their lives just to climb up a big rock. There’s plenty of exciting stuff down here on terra firma to keep me entertained every day. But hey, mountain climbers, whatever melts your butter. And this one mountain climber says it takes six to nine weeks to climb Everest, which may be as big of a waste of time as this whole DeflateGate investigation.

William Henry Harrison’s U.S. Presidency: March 4-April 4, 1841 (31 days)

William Henry Harrison (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

William Henry Harrison (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Old Billy Hank Harry did more than just sit on cool wooden chairs and show off his fancy hats. Oh, no. Billy was president! Of the United States! But, sadly, not for very long, as a terrible cold turned into pneumonia. Doctors could not find a cure, and Harrison became the first president to die in office — just one month after taking the oath of office.

Bill Clinton’s Impeachment Trial: Dec. 19, 1998-Feb. 12, 1999 (56 days)

President Bill Clinton addresses the nation on Dec. 19, 1998. (Photo by George Bridges/AFP/Getty Images)

President Bill Clinton addresses the nation on Dec. 19, 1998. (Photo by George Bridges/AFP/Getty Images)

In keeping with the presidential theme, how about this one? President Bill Clinton was impeached on two charges — one for perjury, one for obstruction of justice — after his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. It was a pretty tricky case but even our government, a group notoriously known for taking for-ev-er to get anything done, managed to run through the whole trial in relatively short order. Ted Wells: Slower than Congress.

Beatles’ Recording Of Debut Album “Please Please Me”: Feb. 11, 1963 (13 hours)

The Beatles (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Beatles (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

I’m not sure if you’re a music fan or not, but just in case you’re unfamiliar with the Beatles, they are pretty big. Their career was one of the best in music history, and it all started with “Please Please Me” in 1963, a 14-track debut album that took a whopping 13 hours to record. Thirteen hours! Imagine what they could have come up with if they had 90 days to get comfortable in the studio. Regardless, it worked out pretty well for them. I’m not a gambling man, but I’m willing to bet that Wells’ final report is not quite as entertaining as the Beatles’ record.

As punishment, the owners should force Roger Goodell to perform “Twist And Shout” on the opening night of the 2015 NFL season. (Did I just turn this whole annoying DeflateGate saga into the greatest idea of all time? I think I did. You’re welcome, America.)

Read more from Michael Hurley by clicking here. You can email him or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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