PHOENIX (CBS) — It has been a wild ride to get to Super Bowl XLIX for the New England Patriots.

But now that Media Day is over, and the Deflategate story is slowly… deflating… we can move on to some real football. As we continue the countdown to the big game here in Arizona, here are just a few brief observations:

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–Deflategate was embarrassing for all the parties involved. The NFL didn’t do itself any favors and made itself come across as if this was a witch hunt of two of its greatest figures of all-time. The league waited way too long to acknowledge an investigation was taking place, and is also making this out to be a criminal offense. NFL rules say if a player gets caught using PED’s, he is suspended for four games. Tough sentence. NFL rules also say that if a team gets caught using under-inflated footballs it could face a $25-thousand dollar or possibly forfeit a draft pick. Is this worth leading our nation’s nightly news?

— If the Patriots are found guilty they should be subject to the penalties — and that’s it. We could spend hours upon hours discussing “the game within the game” of professional sports. Curved sticks in hockey, doctored baseballs, etc. It happens. Winning and finding ways to win (and make money) are what it’s all about. Boundaries and rules will be tested and sometimes broken. It’s part of professional sports. Should you look differently at the Patriots if they are found guilty in any way? Your call. Agree with the great Bob Ryan on this one: it was an overblown story simply because it was the New England Patriots.

— I can’t wait for the actual game, which features some very intriguing story lines. Pete Carroll vs. Bill Belichick, Tom Brady vs. Seattle’s vaunted defense, the Patriots defense vs. Marshawn Lynch, Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman — great stuff all around. I’m hoping for an all-time great Super Bowl, although some are forecasting a repeat of last year when Peyton Manning was destroyed by the Seahawks D.

— Media Day was fun for a lot of reasons. Moving on from Deflategate was a part if it, but the players on both sides really seemed to embrace the day, as did the head coaches. I didn’t find the media to be outrageous this year, minus a costume or two. The questions weren’t all that bad either and there were no wedding proposals, shock jock stuff, etc. Just a few puppets… and a guy in a barrel.

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Media members from TV Azteca hold up puppets at Super Bowl XLIX Media Day inside U.S. Airways Center on January 27, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Media members from TV Azteca hold up puppets at Super Bowl XLIX Media Day inside U.S. Airways Center on January 27, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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— Jimmy Garoppolo was making a lot if his teammates jealous at Media Day, carrying around a brand new Xbox system he won it by simply finishing a Katy Perry song lyric. It still amazes me how players react when a teammate gets something like that and for free. Most, if not all, could go out tomorrow and buy 10 Xbox systems and their bank accounts wouldn’t budge.

— A nice moment for me yesterday was watching Brian Tyms get emotional when reflecting on the fact that he was homeless and living out of his car a few years ago. Now here he is at the world’s biggest one day sporting event. Incredible.

— Enjoy the hype Pats fans. This run (six Super Bowl trips under Belichick and Brady) is as special as it gets. And please, stop the “if they don’t win this season will be a disappointment” talk. Think of Patriot Nation from 1960-2000.

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Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Twitter @RochieWBZ.