The NFL has been on a hunt, the New England Patriots are the prey, and hyperbole is the only apparent weapon for both parties.
There is still very little that is known at this juncture in the DeflateGate saga. The Patriots footballs were at a pressure that aligns with atmospheric expectations, yet they had an employee call himself the "Deflator." Barring further investigation, no one will ever know the truth or context behind this information. All that's left is mystery and the unknown.
Sources around the league have made it perfectly clear that there is no one crying for the Patriots. They were the leviathan for many teams, the Moby Dick to Ryan Grigson's Captain Ahab. Teams were always on the hunt for New England. They were always in their sights. And everyone could always point to that time in 2007 when the Patriots bit off the league's leg.
Grigson's been chasing after the Patriots since his Rams team lost to New England in the 2001 Super Bowl. He's had encounters in 2004 (Patriots vs Eagles Super Bowl), and then multiple times since he took over as general manager of the Colts in 2012. He's always on the hunt.
Bill Belichick and the Patriots mythos have permeated through the very fabric of the league, where fact and fiction often intertwine, and where reason can be thrown over the side of the ship. Belichick is deep inside the heads of these franchises that are celebrating the inevitable downfall- they've been after this for years. Their combined spears have drawn blood and now Tom Brady will be sitting for the first four games of the 2015 NFL season.
The Patriots are fighting with a different leviathan of their own, and they are considered an extremity. In this leviathan, New England joins the Colts, and the Ravens, and the Jets, and every other team under the sovereign head of Roger Goodell. Goodell's role is to protect each member from the other; fail in this role and the whole body would collapse in conflict.
This leviathan does not exist without the Patriots support, which makes it all the more difficult to fight. This leviathan exists to hold those who break the social contract responsible for their actions, and the sovereign is expected to uphold the laws. Goodell exists because the Patriots allow him to exist- and by allowing him to exist, the Patriots must suffer his blade.
New England doesn't seem willing to let this stand and they're fighting back. Robert Kraft and Don Yee have launched volleys at Goodell and Wells, who returned a salvo of their own. The whole DeflateGate nonsense is just the decades-long manifestation of displeasure with one of the league's limbs. The body wants to cut it off. The limb is fighting back.
The league and the Patriots, both leviathans in their own rights, are together trying to protect their own integrity. They are one body, yet both are hunters. Both are hunted.
So pick up your shield. Join the hunt.