Tag Archives: Indianapolis Colts

What are the Issues with “Deflate-Gate?”

This piece is another in our ongoing series of posts written by those in academia. This piece comes from Dr. Nancy E. Spencer, a Professor of Sport Management at Bowling Green State University and the faculty advisor for The Maxwell Media Watch. 

By Dr. Nancy E. Spencer

January 25, 2015

Since there is just a week leading up to the Super Bowl, many issues have been raised related to Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. It doesn’t take much imagination to guess that “Deflate-Gate” will be one of the main discussions. So what are the issues related to Deflate-gate? Since last week’s playoff games, both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have held (multiple) press conferences in which they were asked to comment on what happened.

Bill Belichick held the first press conference, in which many felt that he threw Tom Brady under the bus. In Tom Brady’s press conference he was “peppered with questions for 45 minutes” (Kim, 2015), as seen in this clip. Brady surprised many by saying that he had not yet been questioned by the NFL. He was asked directly if he was a cheater, to which he replied, “I don’t think so,” adding that this wasn’t about ISIS. What do you think? Were Tom Brady and/or Bill Belichick telling the truth? Whether or not they were telling the truth, someone must have known about the footballs being deflated. So who bears responsibility? And what should be the consequences? And why didn’t someone (like D’Qwell Jackson) say something during the game?

Earlier reports suggested that D’ Qwell Jackson noticed that the football that he intercepted seemed to have less pressure than usual, so why didn’t he (or someone else) report it? Jeff Darlington spoke to Jackson, who said that since that was his first interception in a playoff game, and the pass was thrown by Tom Brady, he wanted to keep the football as a souvenir. Time will tell whether Jackson eventually receives the football as a keepsake. For now, the NFL has confiscated all the footballs in order to examine whether they were purposely deflated.

On Saturday, Bill Belichick held another press conference, saying at the outset that in the past few days, he had dedicated himself to learning more about “bladders, air gauges, stitching, pressure, game day ball preparations,” and so forth (Stone, 2015). He provided this explanation to account for the difference in air pressure: “We all know that air pressure is a function of the atmospheric conditions. It’s a function of that. So if there’s activity in the ball relative to the rubbing process, I think that explains why when we gave it to the officials and the officials put it at say [12.5 psi], if that’s in fact what they did, that once the ball reached its equilibrium state it probably was closer to [11.5] psi” (Stone, 2015, para. 5). Since I am not schooled in how ‘rubbing a football’ might affect the air pressure, I turned to the “Science Guy” (Bill Nye), who basically said that Belichick “didn’t make any sense” (Schwartz, 2015). I must say that I am more inclined to believe Bill Nye’s assessment than the other Bill guy.

Given that the science of air pressure may not fully explain what happened to produce under-inflated footballs, how do you think this issue should be settled? Should players, teams, and/or coaches be punished? If so, what should be the penalties? Should penalties be applied before the Super Bowl? Will this controversy ultimately put a damper on the Super Bowl? And/or will it affect the outcome?

 

Media Weighs in on Cleveland Browns Starting Quarterback Position

By Nick Muhl

Late in the fourth quarter of the Cleveland Browns game Sunday versus the Buffalo Bills, starting Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer was benched for the rookie Johnny Manziel. The highly awaited move by Browns head coach Mike Pettine was loudly cheered for as Mr. “Money” Manziel stepped on the field. Manziel did lead the Browns on their single touchdown-scoring drive of the day, capped off by a Johnny Manziel rushing touchdown. Following the 26-10 loss, the Browns coach did not make a decision on who the starting quarterback would be the next week for the Browns versus the Indianapolis Colts.

In his past three games, Hoyer has thrown one touchdown and six interceptions. The Browns have lost two of their   last three games. Despite his slow streak in the past three games, Hoyer still has the Browns at a 7-5 record and facing their best chance to win the AFC North and capture a playoff spot in many seasons. However Hoyer still faces losing his starting position to the former Texas A&M heisman trophy winner.

Hoyer had this to say about his starting position on Monday in a post-practice interview, “You don’t get to 7-5 in the NFL just lucking into it,” Hoyer said. “It’s been a lot of hard work, and I think I’ve proven that I’ve gotten us to this point. I feel like I can carry us through the next four games.”

The Cleveland Browns traded up in the first round of this past year’s draft to select Johnny Manziel with the intention of him one day being the starting quarterback for the franchise. However, is the time now? Up until this point Pettine has remained firm in his position that the veteran Hoyer gives the Browns the best chance to win.

There is no denying Johnny Manziel’s popularity, following the NFL draft Manziel remained the number one NFL selling jersey for many months. His level of popularity has already put pressure by the media on the Browns franchise to answer the question, when will Johnny become the starting quarterback for the Browns?

After benching Hoyer this past Sunday, the media pressure has reached an all-time high. According to Washington Post writer Mark Maske, there is no turning back now for the Cleveland Browns franchise,

“The Browns invested plenty of hope in Manziel when they drafted him, and now it should be time to find out whether he can deliver. It’s the way of the NFL. Once a team turns to its young, would-be franchise quarterback, it generally stays with him until he demonstrates whether or not he can play. It would be extremely difficult to go back to Hoyer now.”

The Washington Post wasn’t the only paper to publish articles urging that now is the time for Johnny Manziel to be given the job. The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Chicago Tribune, ESPN blog writers and many more all weighed in this week on the largest new story in the NFL at the moment. An overwhelming majority appealing to Pettine to give the headline grabbing rookie a chance this week against Andrew Luck.

The Browns franchise has faced many obstacles in its search for its first Super Bowl and a franchise quarterback. Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, and Colt McCoy are just a few high draft picks the Browns have used over the past 15 seasons in hopes of finding a franchise quarterback who could lead them to victory and capture an AFC North title. It remains to be seen if Manziel will be given the chance this week against Indianapolis.