BOSTON (CBS) – The negative views still surrounding the Patriots are just getting ridiculous.
Coming off arguably the greatest Super Bowl of all time, and certainly the greatest head coach/quarterback combination to ever grace an NFL sideline, here’s what Don Banks of Sports Illustrated had to say…
“Well this couldn’t have been the scenario the NFL was really rooting for. The New England Patriots won big Sunday night, but I’m not sure the league did. Let’s face it: Another Seattle Super Bowl victory would have greatly lessened the intensity and impact of the Deflategate story that surrounds the New England Patriots, and would have helped nudge it off the radar screen to a degree. But now, the ongoing investigation into the alleged practice of football under-inflation in Foxboro is going to get a fresh supply of oxygen. It’s the Super Bowl champions — not just the AFC champs — who are under the microscope, and the NFL can’t afford any appearance of down-playing the issue while still looking credible.”
Super Bowl 49 had the most television viewers of all time and one of the most dramatic endings in the history of sports, and Don Banks’ takeaway is that the Patriots winning it all was bad for the league.
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Fred Toucher thinks that’s outrageous.
“How in the hell could you walk away from that Super Bowl thinking that was anything but a positive for the NFL? Do you think people are going to give a rat’s ass about an under-inflated ball? What, they’re going to blame Pete Carroll and the offensive coordinator’s stupidity, and say it was because of deflated balls?” said Fred. “What’s the negative for the NFL? You just had the highest rated television program of all time! What’s the negative?”
It’s sort of convenient how all the national writers are ignoring Rapsheet and still going by ESPN’s initial report, which we’re learning is completely baseless and faulty, don’t you think?
“Pretty easy to see what will be one of Monday’s hottest stories coming out of the Patriots’ Super Bowl comeback victory, after the shock of the game’s unbelievable ending starts to wear off: Did New England receiver Julian Edelman play through some obvious concussion symptoms in the second half, with the NFL’s concussion protocol being all but ignored? Edelman certainly looked plenty woozy after absorbing a helmet-to-helmet hit from Seattle safety Kam Chancellor in the fourth quarter.”
Again, the biggest game in the history of the NFL will somehow be overshadowed in Banks’ mind. Fred doesn’t understand the reasoning.
“How could you come out of that game where it was 2nd-and-1, and Seattle gets picked off by [Malcolm] Butler … this is a story of all the time that has passed between Tom Brady’s Super Bowls. How is that a controversy? Even if Julian Edelman didn’t pass the concussion protocol, how is that going to become this big story?” asked Fred.
“It’s because it’s the Patriots,” Jon Wallach responded.
“I’m saying that! And I never believe that, because I always think it’s homerism. Even being on the radio here in Boston for nine years, I thought there was a lot of homer crap that people talked about…”
Wallach interrupted, “This DeflateGate stuff kicked up what is kind of an underlying theme among the nation’s media. The Patriots win a ton, there was that Spygate thing that brought them into harsh focus, and now people are looking for reasons to jump on this team because they win a ton,” said Wallach. “Nobody else has won like the Patriots have the last 15 years.”
“I did two radio stations yesterday, and not one person brought up Julian Edelman. Not one. And the discussion of the deflated balls was more dismissive than anything else. Why is Don Banks looking for things? Your job is to cover the NFL. The idea, the notion that this somehow puts the NFL in a position where they have to do more, it makes no logical sense. None!” shouted Fred.
The NFL had without a doubt one of its worst years on record, between Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Ray McDonald and the list goes on and on.
Finally a good story worth remembering comes along, and Don Banks is more concerned about besmirching New England’s accomplishments.
“Roger Goodell had his worst year as a commissioner and the NFL apparently was falling apart. The ratings for Sunday Night Football was getting beat by The Walking Dead. You had all these things happen, and at the end you have arguably the greatest Super Bowl of all time and the highest rated TV program of all time,” said Fred. “I don’t understand why the NFL is under any pressure to do anything. They’re under no pressure to do anything! If it’s a Seahawks fan, or someone on the radio trying to be entertaining by saying the Patriots cheated, all this is fine. You’re Don Banks covering the NFL for Sports Illustrated. You’re supposed to come up with actual talking points.”
“In reality, the narrative surrounding this team is perfect for the NFL if they leave it alone, because every league needs a New York Yankees. There has to be a franchise in the NFL who everybody hates,” Wallach added.
Are Fred and Wallach on point here? Or is it Don Banks that’s making sense?
Listen below for the full discussion: