I have a confession to make: I'm having a really hard time caring about DeflateGate.
Am I alone here? Are there any other Patriots fans out there who can't really be bothered with any of this?
I know that, as a contributor to a Patriots blog on one of the preeminent sports news sites in the world, I have an obligation to keep my ear to the ground for all things New England and report facts, opinions, and perspectives related to my favorite team. And because of that I have, throughout this whole ordeal, offered up the occasional article about DeflateGate and always responded when someone asked a question or presented an argument. For the most part, though, I haven't had all that much to say about any of this and still stand by my original statement that the real victim in all this is my enjoyment of football in general. My fellow contributors, whom I am more proud than ever to call my friends and colleagues, have been doing an absolutely fantastic job on all things DeflateGate-related over the past several months, and have always been there to defend the wall, offer support, and ensure that everyone who wanted the latest scoop could always get it right here at Pats Pulpit. They have been doing more than their share of heavy lifting while I mostly sit idly by and recap last season's highlights, and for that I'm eternally grateful.
And the main reason why I have been so silent, why I haven't had all that much to say, is because I simply don't care that much. I don't find any of this all that exciting.
I know it doesn't make all that much sense; how could I not care? My quarterback and eternal mancrush is having his name and reputation raked through the mud by the very organization that owes him a large debt of gratitude for it's unbelievable success. The Patriots are getting attacked from all angles, and with the most recent development (we all know what it is, no need to recap again here), the absolute onslaught of negativity that has been relentlessly pounding away since what seems like the beginning of time has reached Stage 5 levels. Brady's legacy is supposedly in tatters. The Patriots have ruined the game of football. I think that Twitter just broke. How could I not care?
I don't know what to tell you. I just don't think this is very interesting.
Maybe I just have my head too deep into the sand, too drunk off the Patriots Kool-Aid to see the forest for the trees and acknowledge what a monumental deal this actually is. Maybe I should start paying more attention to the opinions of the social media warriors. Maybe it's because nobody's opinion about the Patriots and Tom Brady has changed one way or another in the slightest since that very first Tweet came out after the AFC Championship, rendering 100% of the dialogue and debate that has surrounded DeflateGate as useless as arguing religion or politics. Maybe I should be absolutely outraged over all this. Maybe I should be all of those things. But I'm not. I just can't find it in me to care all that much.
There's a chance that, this past February, I witnessed the Patriots win the Super Bowl for the last time. I certainly hope not, and in this sport you never know, but absolutely nothing is certain and I'd be a fool to guarantee that I'll ever see another Lombardi trophy head to Foxboro again. And because of that, there's also a chance that this is the last championship offseason I'll ever experience as well. The Patriots are world champions, whether you like it or not, acknowledge it or not, respect it or not. You can put asterisks next to everything if you want, make sure the world knows that you have "no respect for cheaters," and spend as much time and energy as you want eviscerating Tommy B and the franchise in general - I'm in no position to tell you how to spend your free time. But nothing is going to change what went down just a few short months ago. And I'm still enjoying the hell out of that. It's still taking extreme precedence in my warped, booze-addled head over more probable than not and generally aware and 10,000 text messages and all this other stuff. Paying attention to storylines like that isn't why I watch football, so I'm going to continue not paying all that much attention to it. If that makes me delusional, so be it.
I don't watch football to see drama. I don't watch it to see grown men arguing over this child's game. I don't watch it to rub victory in people's faces. To this day I still can't watch a single Seahawks fan reaction video to the Malcolm Butler pick without cringing and feeling uncomfortable. I don't watch football to get upset (that last one is something I really need to work on; nobody should be as depressed as I get after a loss). I watch it because it
used to be is an incredibly fun spectator sport and a hobby that I greatly enjoy. I try to avoid spending my free time doing things I don't like to do, particularly when I'm under no real obligation to do any of those things. That's just me, and everyone is entitled to think and feel however they want, and my choice to not pay too much attention to this is no better or worse than someone else's choice to pay tons of attention to this, but the bottom line is that life is short, and the only time I'm going to get worked up over air pressure is after I give the all-you-can-eat Mexican buffet a run for its money.
So this is my confession, and my apology, to all of you who have been picking up the slack while I have been off wherever us unrealistic, arrogant Pats fans who are too blind to see reality go. I wish I could be as passionate about this as so many of you clearly are. I wish I could rally the troops and defend my beloved team to the death against the rest of the nation as they revel in every moment of this. But I can't. I'm just not that into this storyline. I just want to watch football and cheer for the Patriots like I always do - hopefully with Tommy B under center Week 1. We only have a handful of Brady games left, and I want to enjoy as many of them as I can. But if he's not going to be able to play until Week 6, then I just want to watch football and cheer for the Patriots like I always do, this time with Jimmy G under center. If there was a way I could do that while simultaneously not supporting the NFL, I would. But I can't, so there's no use in complaining about it.
More probable than not this article is going to ring empty with a lot of folks, and maybe even inspire a little indignation among the regulars. But just in case there are any other fans out there who feel kind of bad because their fellow fans are doing all the work while you sit there and wait for football to start, know that you aren't alone. Football is coming. And when it does, there will be plenty of great things to focus on instead of all this. It isn't going away, and won't for quite some time, but if you didn't care all that much to begin with, it's about to become a lot easier to not care moving forward.