Super Bowl Sunday Bullets From Across the Sports World

Serena
Serena
Serena Williams captured another grand slam and moved closer to Steffi Graf's career record.

Super Bowl Sunday is upon us and I’m tackling a number of stories that have developed in recent days.

-If you haven’t placed a wager yet on Super Bowl XLIX, then you may want to add a bit of research before doing so. So much action has been coming the Seahawks’ way that most Vegas sports books have moved the game to a “pick’em” selection.

-Congrats to Serena Williams for her victory in the Australian Open. She is now three grand slam titles away from tying the great Steffi Graff.

-If you ever needed further proof about just what kind of person NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is then I give you his “State of the Game” Presser on Friday. CNN’s Rachel Nichols asked a very direct question related to the conflicts of interest regarding investigators the NFL has chosen to run its’ investigations. Goodell was clearly annoyed and couldn’t even look Nichols in the eye as he gave a condescending answer. He even badgered her at the end of the his diatribe.

-My dreams of an unbeaten NCAA Championship Game in college basketball went out the window last night. Duke went into Charlottesville and knocked off second-ranked Virginia 69-63. Now I can only hope that Kentucky gets there unbeaten to give the game just a little more added flavor.

Bus
Jerome Bettis was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame last night along with seven other worthy candidates.

-Congratulations to the eight men selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame yesterday. Junior Seau, Will Shields, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown and Charles Haley were the modern-era selections. All in my opinion are worthy and should come with no debate whatsoever. Also elected were Mick Tingelhoff who was elected by the Seniors’ Committee and team executives Bill Polian and Ron Wolf.

-This is one of the rare Hall of Fame classes that should come with no debate across the board.

-UFC 183 saw Anderson Silva return from a 399-day layoff to defeat Nick Diaz in a unanimous decision. The bout was an odd one with Diaz taunting Silva throughout and even faking a knockdown at one point. Last we saw Silva, he suffered that horrible broken leg against Chris Weidman. At 39 years old, Silva is considering retirement but has announced nothing at this time.

-Tiger Woods shot a career-worst 82 Friday and finished dead-last and missed the cut at the Phoenix Waste Management Open. Heading into the tournament, Woods was very excited about his newly crafted swing and added length off the tee. To his credit, Woods didn’t give the typical excuses we’ve become used to after his poor rounds. He instead went with humor and even resorted to Marshawn Lynch’s “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” comment.

-Speaking of golf, how can you not love the atmosphere around the 16th hole? Golf purists of course find it to be a disgrace to the game, but the arena style par three is fantastic for fans and makes great television. Are there people a bit out of control at the 16th? Of course, but then again this isn’t a major so let’s just take a deep breath and enjoy it.

-Aaron Rodgers won his second Most Valuable Player Award last night and J.J. Watt became the first-ever defender to unanimously win the Defensive Player of the Year Award. I can’t argue too much with the selection of Rodgers but if Watt can’t win the MVP with the year he had then I don’t see a defender ever winning the award again. Watt wasn’t just a great defender though, he was a great player who probably deserved better.

Sports in America Twenty Years From Now

Soccer
Soccer
Twenty years from now I see soccer becoming the dominant sport in America like it or not.

Welcome to 2035! Jump on board the time machine with me as I give you my thoughts on what sports in America will look like 20 years from now.

The biggest change overall will be the rise of soccer. If you read my column regularly then you know this just destroys me but it’s what I see happening. The world is a smaller place now because of technology and social media and the most recent World Cup proved just how crazy Americans are getting over soccer.

The vast majority of the fan base right now is kids, teens and twenty-somethings with smatterings of older adults thrown in here and there. If you advance things 20 years, that means the current fan base will be a prime mixture of fans in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.

Soccer has long been treated as a red-headed step-child in America but with the fear police assaulting football, I see it growing by leaps and bounds.

Speaking of football, I have a gut feeling participation nationally will continue to drop as parents keep their kids from playing for health reasons. Far be it from me to tell any parent how to rule over their child but I believe much of what has happened to “make the game safer” has largely been blown out of proportion.

I also believe that college football will actually become bigger than the National Football League. I feel this way because the NFL will continue to lose viewers. Recent polls have shown that men over 50 is the largest demographic that is no longer watching pro football.

That speaks volumes because if they stop watching then their kids will become less interested as well. The pro game in general has become a shell of its’ former self with the violence of the game all but removed and defense becoming an after-thought as everything favors offenses today.

If the NFL moves teams to Europe I also predict that will quicken the pace of its’ demise.

LeBron
The NBA will need to have more personalities twenty years from now as LeBron will be long gone from the court.

My crystal ball sees the National Basketball Association staying popular but it faces some challenges. First and foremost the game must have personable stars that provide the face of the league. LeBron James is clearly that face today but Michael Jordan set the bar so high I wonder if it is unreachable. I have yet to see a player with Jordan’s ability to be an assassin on the court and be friendly off it has been unmatched.

I also think the NBA will shorten its’ season. We are seeing a rise in star players spending more time on the bench for rest and for minor injuries. Fans will demand this going forward.

Major League Baseball will continue to see Latin players flood the rosters. This is not a bad thing in any way. MLB’s biggest issues will be keeping the games as short as possible as well how to deal with pitching injuries that are on the rise. Don’t be surprised if MLB contracts a few teams in an effort to keep competitive balance high.

I also see contraction in the National Hockey League where some teams just aren’t filling seats. The NHL will finally have some personalities and players that will draw fans in that haven’t normally been there in the past. The game itself is in good shape, but it will need to do more to draw in those fringe fans and I think it will once Gary Bettman is no longer the commissioner.

Al in all, sports will continue to dominate our lives but I see changes coming and for me personally I’m not real crazy about them.

Strong Argument for the OVER in Super Bowl XLIX

For Sunday’s Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks odds maker opened the total points at 49 but that has been bet down to 48, with a few going as well as 47.5.

Even though the Seahawks are known for having an outstanding defense, No. 1 in the league against the score, there are strong arguments for both the OVER and UNDER in Super Bowl XLIX.

However, the OVER will be discussed here with the UNDER to follow tomorrow.

In the regular season, New England averaged 30.3 points a game, which gave them a 9-7 OVER and 1-1 during the postseason.

New England has lost just four games all season and if you throw out its meaningless lost to Buffalo 17-9, to end the regular season they lost 33-20 to Miami, 41-14 to Kansas City and 26-21 to Green Bay.

If you look into all those road losses, you will find that the Patriots allowed 10 touchdowns and 10 field goals and if the opposing offensives had been more productive in the red zone, the scores could have been much higher.

Seattle’s defense is No. 1 in scoring, but is it due to how good they are or how poor the quarterbacks have been that have played them. In the postseason, Cam Newton led Carolina to three scores on the Seahawks and he was intercepted once as well in the end zone.

Green Bay, led by Aaron Rodgers had six scores but just one touchdown. Was it great defense or poor offensive execution?

Other talented quarterbacks have also had success this season against Seattle, Tony Romo and Philip Rivers both helped their teams score 30 points against Seattle.

The key to shutting the offense for Seattle down is stopping the ground game and putting pressure on Russell Wilson the quarterback.

Of course easier said than accomplished and the defense for New England has no sacks in two playoff games this season.

In its past 9 games versus AFC opponents, Seattle has scored an average of 28.5 points and the OVER in those games was 7-2.

In its four games versus NFC North teams this season, the Patriots scored 21, 30, 34 and 51 points.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick is praised often for defensive schemes but the team has not been super when playing outside Gillette Stadium during the postseason. The defense has allowed an average of 26 point a game in road playoff games and 21 per game in its five Super Bowls.

In seven games in the postseason with Wilson as quarterback, the OVER is 4-3 for Seattle, of which three straight have cashed OVER.

At 48 points, the total could easily cash OVER with New England winning 28-24.

More Super Bowl Stats to Consider Before Placing A Bet

Leading up to the Super Bowl there is a vast amount of data and information to review when deciding on what team to choose to win or cover in the big game. More information is available if trying to determine whether the game will be high scoring or a defensive struggle.

Sportsbooks such as Bovada and betonline, amongst others have trends, head-to-head stats and other information for the bettors to review prior to making his or her pick. Other sites such as topbet and sportsbook.com provide the most up to date stats, injuries reports and in-depth analysis for the bettors.

Below are even more Stats to Ponder

  • This season when Seattle and New England are winners of the coin flip to start the game, the two are a combined 18-2, when the two lose the flip, the results are just 10-6 in the win column.
  • Seattle and New England opened the season 8-5, but since are 20-3.
  • Seattle and New England have allowed just three touchdowns in the second half in their last 16 games combined.
  • Both entrants in Super Bowl XLIX have touchdown passes by players who are not quarterbacks.
  • Seattle is the first team to make consecutive appearance in the Super Bowl since 2003-2004 when New England did it.
  • Seattle is the first team since the Chicago Bears, in 1985 and 1986, to lead the NFL in defense two straight seasons.
  • New England, back in 2007, scored almost 37 points a game during the 16-game regular season, but only 14 during the Super Bowl. New England, in 2011 averaged 32 points a game in the regular season, but scored just 17 during the Super Bowl.
  • The Kansas City Chiefs were not able to make the postseason, but defeated both entrants in this year’s Super Bowl.
  • Both of the starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl XLIX have been victorious in a Super Bowl. In his short career, Russell Wilson has a record of 10-0 against quarterback who won Super Bowls. In that same comparison, Tom Brady has a record of 15-8.
  • In 12 of the past 14 Super Bowls at least one of the starters was named, Brady, Manning or Roethlisberger.

How these stats help a bettor to make a more educated decision is up to the individual bettor, but numbers do not lie.

With just four days remaining until the Super Bowl kicks off, bettors will be inundated with data and information about the teams, the offense and defense and individual players. The hope is everyone will be able to digest it prior to the kickoff in order to make most educated bet available.

Things Take an Interesting Turn in “Deflate-Gate”

Goodell
Goodell
Robert Kraft entertained Roger Goodell at his home the night before the AFC Title Game.

I can’t help but laugh at all of this but at the same time the issue surrounding deflated balls is much more serious than perhaps we really believe. Regardless, here’s the latest news and more importantly, here is my take on what’s about to go down.

The National Football League has zeroed it’s investigation on a Patriots’ locker room attendant. According to several sources, the NFL has spoken with the attendant and also claims to have video of him as well. At some point, he took the balls from the officials’ locker room and on to another location.

Ted Wells, the man hired by the NFL to investigate this, claims even with this new development the investigation is likely to take several weeks. I’m all for being thorough but if this alleged video is a smoking gun of sorts then why wait?

So now that we know this, where is this headed? Here’s my take.

Goodell
While all 32 owners are Roger Goodell's bosses, it's become clear that no one has more control over him than Bob Kraft.

First of all, Head Coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady will both come through this as clean as a whistle. I say this because it’s clear that of the 32 NFL owners, no one has the ear of Roger Goodell more than Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft. Don’t think so? Take a look at this article from GQ Magazine.

Should they really skate on this issue though? Of course not, but you know as well as I do how this thing will unfold. The attendant in question will be pressured to give up the golden goose. Investigators will do their darn-best to make this guy tell them who ordered him to release air from those balls.

Common sense will tell all of us that Tom Brady is the man who asks this attendant to manipulate the game balls and has likely done so for several years. Whether or not this is something that Brady requests each week or just when there is precipitation is unclear, but ask yourself this question?

Do you really believe a New England Patriots’ locker room attendant would, on his own accord, decide to deflate 11 of 12 game balls for the AFC Championship Game?

What would his motivation be? Would he even know that releasing air from the ball would make it easier to throw, catch and hang on to? Tell me, what would this guy possibly have to gain?

The only explanation for what went on is the simplest one out there. Tom Brady told his teammates in a meeting last week that he “likes the ball a certain way.” Why would he tell them this after spending 30 minutes in front of the press denying having anything to do with the issue?

I believe it highly unlikely that his attendant will give Brady up. My guess is that he will fall on his sword and has already been provided with an excuse for tampering with the balls as well a nice financial settlement as he gets “fired” for his illegal behavior.

What about Belichick you ask? Belichick will do just as he did during his impromptu presser the other day. He’ll deny any knowledge of the arrangement the attendant and Brady allegedly had and he’ll ride off into the sunset with his three or perhaps four Super Bowl titles.

I guarantee you that Roger Goodell and Robert Kraft have already spoken about how to proceed now that the attendant has been discovered. Kraft and the majority of other owners know Goodell makes them money and that’s all that matters.

Time of Possession and Rushing Yardage Key to Winning Super Bowls

The curtain will close on another NFL season on Sunday night in Arizona when the final whistle sounds to end Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.

The Patriots routed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 to win the AFC Conference Championship, while Seattle needed a rally and overtime to win the NFC Conference Championship over Green Bay 28-22.

The Patriots have not played Seattle since October of 2012 when Seattle rallied from a deficit of 13 points to win 24-23 as a home dog of 4 points.

Both teams have gone to the ground attack over the last few weeks, and both will attempt to control the game’s tempo and clock.

Teams that win the battle of time of possession in Super Bowls have an outstanding record of 35-13 straight up and 34-11-3 against the spread. Teams that are able to rush for the most yards in the game are 37-11 straight up and 34-11-3 against the spread.

New England is 10-1 ATS versus offenses that gain 375 or more yards per game over the last three seasons. The Patriots are also 26-9 ATS when gaining 175 or more yards rushing in the previous game since 1993.

Seattle is 9-1 ATS after they have gained 6 yards or more per play in two straight games over the last three seasons. Seattle is also 13-4 ATS following a home win the last two seasons. The Seahawks are 14-3 ATS against defenses that allow 235 or more passing yards a game during the second half of a season, under Pete Carroll.

Bryan Stork the starting center for New England could miss the game due to a knee, while Justin Britt at OT and Jeron Johnson at safety are questionable.

Seattle’s Earl Thomas at safety and Richard Sherman at cornerback are probable.

The offense for New England is averaging 40 points per game in its two postseason games. Tom Brady has 6 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions in the two games for New England.

Russell Wilson guided Seattle to an amazing win in the postseason against Green Bay. He had four picks on that game, but rushed for a touchdown and threw the game winning pass for a touchdown during overtime.

Marshawn Lynch will be featured as much or more rushing for Seattle against the Patriots defense.

On defense, the secondary for Seattle has a number of injuries, but are tough, with speed and size, which will make it tough for Brady.

The game should be close, high scoring with a late score determining the winner of this year’s Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Sunday Bullets Because There is Just So Much to Discuss

Calipari
Calipari
Love him or hate him, seeing John Calipari's unbeaten Wildcats play unbeaten Virginia in the NCAA Final would be amazing.

I’m not doing it…. Nope. I’m not stating off this late January Sunday with yet another take on that issue I’ve spent so much time talking about this week. “What issue? you ask? You know? That one coming from that place in the Northeast where there has been a never-ending flow of information about “balls….”

Ya, I’ll get to “Deflate-Gate” shortly but there’s other things to touch on first.

-I realize this is probably nothing more than a pipe dream, but can you imagine if Kentucky and Virginia were to meet in the National Championship Game and both were unbeaten? It would be Defcon Five for the folks at ESPN. I’m not sure it’s going to come to that because there’s a long way to go but I can’t help but think of the spectacle it would be.

Manny
We can only hope that Manny Pacquiao gets his wish to fight Floyd Mayweather this spring.

-I miss boxing. I find mixed martial arts to be entertaining but to me, nothing will ever beat two men squaring off in a back and forth duel in the squared circle. That said, I really hope they find a way to get Floyd Mayweather, Jr and Manny Pacquiao in the ring this spring. Granted, it won’t be the match we should have had a few years back, but it would still be great for the sport. What would be even better is if they could find a way to get it on mainstream television. (cough, cough)

-Here’s my only comments on the Patriots. First, I think it’s great the Pats have completed their own internal investigation and have concluded they did nothing wrong. This is laughable. It’s like Chewbacca launching his own investigation to see where all the hair in his seat on the Millennium Falcon came from. Lastly, why did Bill Belichick feel it necessary to even call the presser yesterday? We learned nothing other than he likes “My Cousin Vinny.”

-A quick 180 from Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge who decided yesterday to put off surgery on his hand. Aldridge was looking at six to eight weeks of in-action had he gone through the surgery. For right now though, he has decided to keep playing. This will be interesting from the standpoint of just how much can he tolerate in terms of pain and discomfort.

-R.I.P Ernie Banks. The most famous and greatest Chicago Cub of them all died yesterday. Not only was he the very first African-American player for the North siders, but he was a two-time MVP, hit over 500 home runs and is in the Hall of Fame. Perhaps the best thing that can be said about him though is nothing about it his playing. But rather, it was about him as a person.

-Tonight of course is the Pro Bowl. It’s what I like to call the “hold your breath so your team’s players don’t get hurt” bowl. Every time this game rolls around I can’t help but think of the Patriots’ running back Robert Edwards. He was playing in a rookie, beach football game and blew his knee out. After an amazing first year, he was never the same.

-If you don’t have a dog in the fight tonight, the Pro Bowl is a great way to have some fun with prop bets. Things like who scores the first touchdown, the most touchdowns or who the first player on the sidelines is to use the word “deflate.”

-Easy for me to say, but I think Father Time is trying to tell Kobe Bryant something. I also think it’s something that LeBron James should pay attention too as well. Both of these players entered the NBA out of high school and those extra miles on their bodies are far more grueling than if they had gone to college. With his rotator cuff injury, I think the end is near.

Brady Presser Goes From Odd to Bizarre as He Denies Knowledge of Ball Deflation

BB
BB
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady both denied any knowledge of the deflated balls but this isn't over yet.

Tom Brady has never looked so uncomfortable. The pressure was on and Brady had no one open to throw it to and he was being attacked from all angles. This wasn’t a game though, this was a press conference and the topic had nothing to do with the Patriots’ Super Bowl opponent or Brady’s personal travel plans to Arizona.

This was about pressure of a different sort; air pressure and it couldn’t have been stranger.

Hours after New England Head Coach Bill Belichick denied any knowledge of how 11 of 12 balls for Sunday’s game were well below the legal limit, Brady took his turn. Much like Belichick, Brady denied any knowledge of how or why the balls were under-inflated.

I took a few things from this extremely awkward presser that I fully expect to be lampooned on Saturday Night Live.

Goodell
Roger Goodell made many statements in past situations that he has to live up to now with the Patriots.

1. When asked if he had been interviewed by the NFL, Brady said “No he hadn’t.” Yesterday was Thursday if I have my days of the week correct which is three full days or more since the story broke. How in the wide world of sports does Tom Brady not get interviewed by the NFL over that time span?

2. Brady said on more than one occasion that he doesn’t pay attention to the air pressure in the ball but contradicted himself by saying he “liked it at 12.5 psi.” So if he doesn’t pay attention to the air pressure then how does he know he likes it at 12.5 psi?

3. The most interesting part of the pressers by both Belichick and Brady was the total contradiction from recent days about other issues. Belichick is known to be a stickler for knowing everything there is to know about the game. He studies the rule book and tries to find any advantage he can. Look no further than his use of eligible and ineligible receivers in recent weeks.

Brady, when asked about John Harbaugh’s assertion of illegal formations, said “They need to read the rule book.”

The fact that both men suddenly went from being experts on the NFL rule book to 100% oblivious strikes me as odd, but let’s also remember one more thing about this. The Patriots denied every, single thing that was thrown their way before evidence was finally produced in the SpyGate scandal.

Someone knows the truth and someone will eventually be called out. I expect it to be someone who is nothing more than a pawn in the game of life as Mongo once said. For all I know, maybe Brady and Belichick are telling the truth but someone tampered with the balls and that someone isn’t going to do that on their own.

Seattle Sits Back and Watches

If you’re looking for a winner in this whole “deflate-gate” controversy, I give you the Seattle Seahawks. For a team going for a rare repeat, there has been little to no discussion about them so far this week. Marshawn Lynch was fined for his rude gesture on Sunday and Richard Sherman made a few comments but there’s little if any attention being paid to them. I have to think Pete Carroll and his staff love it.

The Seahawks will arrive in Phoenix soon and they couldn’t be happier if this issue with the Patriots continues. Of course the Green Bay Packers also have reason to be happy about New England’s situation because no one is talking about their epic collapse.

Funny how things work huh?

Bookmakers NFL Conference Championship Sunday Hurt by Seattle

For the second consecutive season, both No. 1 seeds from the AFC and NFC conferences advanced to play in the Super Bowl.

Each of the teams however took different routes to arrive at Super Bowl XLIX.

While the New England Patriots routed the Colts, the Seattle Seahawks pulled off a shocking comeback to win in overtime.

Bookmakers did not enjoy their NFL Conference Championship Sunday. New England winning big hurt many of them, as not much money came in over the weekend on the Colts.

Most of the sharp money arrived early on the Colts +7, which happened after the announcement of the injury to Bryan Stork the rookie center for Patriots.

However, on a number of levels, the big surprise was in Seattle.

Green Bay could have won at +325 on the moneyline for Bovada and sportsbook.com, leading 19-7 with under three minutes to play.

The UNDER sitting on 45 also seemed quite safe at that point, even after a touchdown by Seattle cut the Packers lead to 19-14.

However, after the Seahawks scored an improbable touchdown to lead 22-19 with just 90 seconds remaining, the UNDER died on a field goal of 48 yards by Green Bay to force overtime.

The moneyline bets for Green Bay were then killed when Seattle scored a touchdown only 4 minutes into the OT period.

However, the Packers were able to cash in as dogs by 8.5 points, which for sportsbooks such as topbet and betonline was much worse. Seattle winning the game outright late and the OVER cashing at the end of regulation, was not good for most books.

The Seattle win also triggered a number of moneyline bets as well as teasers.

The Patriots are now -1 on most books for Super Bowl XLIX to be played in Arizona. Seattle opened as 2.5-point chalk, but before the AFC Championship Game was even over, support on New England came in to bet it down to the current New England -1.

This is the third time a Super Bowl has been played in Arizona. It will be the second played at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX in 1995 27-17 to claim their third Super Bowl in four years.

However, Pittsburgh was able to cover as a 13.5-point dog, while the UNDER cashed on 51 with a point total for the game of 44.

In 2007, New England lost its opportunity to go 19-0 when the New York Giants beat them 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII. The Giants were 12-point dogs in the game. The UNDER, at 55, easily cashed on a point total of just 31.

Where There is Smoke, There are the Patriots

Belichick
Belichick
Bill Belichick is being questioned again about his ethics but this is nothing compared to SpyGate.

You know what the biggest shame in this latest assertion against the New England Patriots is? It’s that the team doesn’t need to do this type of stuff. It’s well-coached and has more than enough talent to be winning without spying on other teams and deflating footballs.

Let’s be completely honest here first; the New England Patriots did not win on Sunday night because the footballs Tom Brady was allegedly throwing were softer than they should have been. Brady could have been throwing and handing off marshmallows and the outcome would have still been in their favor. That’s just how dominant they were over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Title Game.

Therefore, this isn’t anything like SpyGate where the Patriots were clearly gaining an advantage over their opponents. There is no doubt in my mind that a portion of their success prior to being caught was due to the illegal taping and observing of their opposition.

My assertion is usually countered by Patriots’ fans who claim the great Pittsburgh Steelers’ teams of the 1970’s were “all on steroids.” They, and many other teams of the 70’s were indeed dabbling with roids and here’s the key part; they weren’t illegal then. What the Pats were doing in SpyGate was illegal and that’s an overwhelming distinction.

Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers said yesterday he actually likes to "over-inflate" the ball due to his large hands.

So here we are again with more allegations of a Bill Belichick-led team doing something against the rules. My honest opinion here, and it was kind of backed up by Aaron Rodgers yesterday, is that most teams mess around with the game balls to a certain extent. In case you missed it, Rodgers said he liked balls to be “over-inflated” because he has larger hands.

In case you aren’t aware of the rules, an official NFL game ball must be between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds of air per square inch. If you take air out of the ball, it becomes easier to grip and to catch. Brand new NFL footballs are not as “new” as you might think when they actually hit the field. Teams are given game balls a few days in advance so that quarterbacks can smooth out the leather.

Some QBs will do this themselves while others rely on ball boys to do it. Essentially, it involves rubbing the balls over and over. This gets perspiration into the leather and takes away that hard, coarse feel to them. Now assume these balls are going to be wet. Taking some air out helps quite a bit in terms of grip.

The irony of the current situation is that D’Qwell Jackson of the Colts was the one who brought it to the attention of his team and Head Coach Chuck Pagano. He did this following an interception in the first half. For a linebacker, a guy who rarely touches a ball, to notice an obvious difference tells me that there is something to this.

The problem is Rodgers’ statement though. You have the league investigating a situation where two of the most high-profile quarterbacks in the league are now involved. What will come of this in my opinion is nothing other than a serious “talking to” by NFL officials.

Honestly? That’s really all it should be because “deflate-gate” is not anywhere on par with SpyGate. But why do these things keep following New England? Perhaps that’s the bigger question in all of this. I can’t recall one team being a part of so many odd things as this one has.

Keep an eye on the smoke because there is likely to be a Patriot nearby.