By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The lack of reaction and scrutiny from the NFL over the Steelers’ alleged use of underinflated footballs against the New York Giants has been frustrating for Patriots fans who can see the league’s hypocrisy and double-standards in plain sight. Once commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the matter, he surely wasn’t going to make things any better.
As if there were any doubt, Goodell did his part in the NFL’s concerted effort to ensure that DeflateGate 2 is as much of a non-story as possible when asked about it on Wednesday. He said that the Steelers followed all of the league’s new protocols regarding game balls and that the league was no longer concerned about the matter:
“We went back to look to make sure the protocols were followed properly. They were. … The Giants had asked us about it during the game. We went back, we checked that. They were properly followed. All of the league protocols being properly followed, there’s no further follow-up on that. The teams didn’t follow up, we didn’t follow up any further because we were comfortable that the protocols were followed.”
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A reporter asked Goodell a follow-up on how to explain the Steelers’ footballs falling outside the acceptable PSI range, and the commissioner blamed that on unofficial measurements taken with a different gauge than that of the referees at the game.
Add Goodell’s comments to those of Giants owner John Mara, who called the whole story “much ado about nothing,” and you know where this is going.
The league is doing its best to squash DeflateGate 2 before it explodes into a drawn-out national controversy like it did with Tom Brady and the Patriots. Goodell’s comments only reaffirm that. Certain intrepid media soldiers, including CBS Boston’s own Michael Hurley, will certainly do their best to keep DeflateGate 2 alive, and they should. But they can’t expect anything more to come out of the mouths of Goodell, Art Rooney, or John Mara on the matter.
Anyone who truly realized how unfairly Brady and the Patriots were treated during the first DeflateGate can see the blatant double-standard at play. But sadly, there’s little anyone can do other than accept it as an unfortunate reality. The league, and most other NFL fans, want deflated football talk to go away. Despite everyone’s best efforts, it probably will.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.