Enough with Deflategate

This New England Patriots scandal is irrelevant:

It’s that shiny object that shows up to distract us from things that matter. And in the whole cosmic scheme of things, everything matters more than this does.

OK, so the Patriots deflated their balls and it’s illegal.

So why does the NFL let teams supply their own balls? If it’s such a big deal, shouldn’t the league be in charge of the balls?

OK, so the Patriots have cheated in the past.

So why did the NFL punishment for those incidents have all the impact of a mosquito biting a sperm whale? The Pats still make the playoffs and still end up in the Super Bowl.

OK, so the cheating in a playoff game allowed them to get into the most recent Super Bowl.

So if that’s the case, strip the Patriots of their Super Bowl title. If the NFL isn’t going to do that, shut up already! As far as the league is concerned, it pays to be a cheat (and a wife beater, and a.

And Deflategate is a stupid name. The -gate suffix is now a cliche. Call it something daring, like “Ballbusting.”


At least the New York tabloids know what to call it.

Airborne on the race track

Three-time Indianapolis 500 champ Helio Castroneves lost control of his car during practice for this year’s Indy. As you see in the above clip, the car spun around, went up in the air, landed upside down, then flipped over to what was left of its wheels.

There was a time when a crash like this would have been fatal. Castroneves walked away.

Just for context (from a 2011 piece on the 100th anniversary of the race in Car and Driver):

Few—if any—venues have made a higher sacrifice to the deities of speed. In the 100 years of the Indy 500, 60 event-related fatalities have occurred at IMS, including 38 drivers, 12 riding mechanics, five spectators, two pit-crew members, two firemen, and one young boy who wasn’t even within the Speedway grounds.
Wilbur Brink, age 12, was in his front yard on Georgetown Street during the 1932 race, when Billy Arnold’s Miller crashed on lap 162. A detached wheel bounced out of the track and across Georgetown, where it struck young Brink, killing him instantly.
The breakdown of driver fatalities in the 500 includes 14 in the race, five in qualifying, 17 in practice, one in testing, and one during his driver’s test.
The foregoing omits the five deaths during various 1909 races that led IMS owners to pave the track with bricks, as well as a single test-session death in 1910. It also omits 31-year-old Stephen White, whose alcohol intake reduced his judgment to “Darwin Award” levels three nights after the 1991 race. White snuck his truck onto the track late at night and was laying down a hot lap when he managed to hit a van. He died in the crash.

If I ever get into an accident, I want to be in a car like the Indy drivers are using today.