Do you remember that magical, halcyon, bygone era when the Ted Wells Report came out? When we all dreamed of a world where the footballs would conform to the allowable air pressure parameters? When they would be inspected with exacting standards and guarded like the mattress in a Tom Brady commercial? When Walt Anderson was being described in an unbiased, dispassionate, fact-based multi-million dollar report as “widely recognized as exceedingly meticulous, diligent and careful”? Whatever happened to that future utopia we all allowed ourselves to imagine?
Well, among other things, like the officials leaving the kicking balls at their hotel in Boston for a game in Foxboro, Monday Night Football happened. The Seahawks at Bills happened. Walt Anderson, that bastion of integrity, who’s judgment could never be called into question (that it, until he insisted he used one particular needle to measure those AFC championship game balls and Wells insisted ol’ Walt’s “best recollection” had to be wrong), let Seattle use a ball so blatantly under-inflated that a damn punter could squeeze it like a Nerf ball. Then completely lost control of the game to the point where even Dean Blandino, the NFL’s Minister of Truth, couldn’t make enough excuses to polish that turd.
Make no mistake about it. The Bills got screwed. Not that I have a milligram of sympathy for them. But they got screwed. By the referee the league wanted us to believe was above reproach. And we are right back to where we were before the supposedly biggest scandal in the history of sports happened. With lax rules, no oversight and footballs so squishy that the puny, childlike hands of a punter can squeeze them like Memory Foam. That utopia they promised us never happened.
But hey, there’s one good thing to come out of it. Like the Bills themselves when Tom Brady’s suspension was upheld, my mood is good.