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Delated Balls, Inflated Profits

Tom Brady Deflategate

This has been by far the most scandal-ridden year in the history of the National Football League.

And it has also been its most profitable year ever.

  • People who couldn’t care less about football games got caught up in discussions about star running backs Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson physically abusing their fiance and son, respectively.
  • A study reported that one in three pro football players will suffer brain damage due to the violent nature of the game.
  • Former Pro Bowl tight end Aaron Hernandez remains in prison, awaiting his trial for the murder of another athlete.
  • Controversy continues over whether the Washington Redskins should be forced to change their “racist” name.
  • And now, suspicion has arisen around the New England Patriots’ doctoring of footballs.

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This last one, the most recent NFL controversy that has become an American obsession, has provided a tremendous amount of ammunition for the media and comedians to comment, argue, pontificate and joke about.

And the Patriots’ suspected systematic softening of their footballs over the years, which makes them easier to throw, catch, and carry without fumbling, suggests an explanation for how…

  1. A next-to-last-round draft pick could somehow become “one of the all-time great quarterbacks;”
  2. The Patriots could drastically lower their fumble rate to one of the lowest in NFL history, “coincidentally” starting with the season immediately after their quarterback Tom Brady successfully lobbied the league to allow each team to play with their own footballs, especially inflated and prepared (softened, in the Patriots’ case) to their own liking; and
  3. The Patriots could win consistently, year after year, despite a roster filled with considerably less talent than almost any other team in the league (Head Coach Bill “Belicheat” is well-known for dumping star players in their prime and winning despite fielding teams made up of a collection of undrafted free agents and cast-offs from other teams).

However, no “proof” has been found to support the claims that the Patriots like to tamper with their footballs, placing this controversy firmly in the same category as the alleged cheating by other top achievers in sports, such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

All in all, in just the past ten days, this “Deflategate” scandal has gone from “Shocking allegations of cheating by the New England Patriots” to “Every NFL Quarterback tampers with the game balls, so it’s no big deal” to “There’s no proof of any wrongdoing by Tom Brady or Bill Belichick” (despite their awkward and completely unbelievable public explanations of their alleged shenanigans).

So…

With just a few days to go before this week’s Super Bowl XLIX, here are a few things we can be sure about all of this, that relate to small business…

  1. Controversy is still by far the most sure-fire way to capture and keep the attention of the media.
  2. The more successful you are, the more people will attack you (no one accuses my beloved-but-embarassingly-horrible New York Jets of cheating, for example, even though it’s a well-accepted fact that all NFL teams tamper with their own game balls – although Tom Brady still insists that he’s never done it himself)
  3. Every negative news story contains money-making opportunities to be capitalized on. Here’s one example of a small business owner who took FAST ACTION in this situation:
  4. One week from now, you can return here to read my annual post about how much of a waste of money the overall majority of this year’s Super Bowl ads were, and how you, as a small business owner, should NEVER think that the goal of your advertising is merely to amuse and entertain the general public.

In the meantime, dear reader, enjoy Sunday’s big game, where about the only the only thing you can be certain of is that the NFL will make sure that neither team cheats this week regarding the inflation of their team’s set of footballs.

One Response to Delated Balls, Inflated Profits

  1. Jim Reply

    January 28, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Steve, I am beginning to think that maybe you had something to do with deflating the balls will all the blog and facebook mileage you are getting. lol

    Have a SUPER day.

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