Distractions? What distractions?
During the build-up to the Super Bowl, the media-consuming public is usually subject to non-stop minutiae of the most tedious sort about all the possible storylines, players, coaches, quirks, proposition bets, Xs and Os, and other minutiae in the most agonizing detail.
The New England Deflatriots have seen to that. This year, virtually the only story has been the one about Deflated Footballs, splashed all over the mainstream news channels in addition to the usual sports outlets (except for the NFL Network, and even they can't totally ignore it).
Good. Coaches hate distractions during game week, and this is the grand-daddy of them all.
Bill Belichick, the ultimate mastermind control freak, can deny and declaim all he wants, but he looks foolish in all his sheepish "Don't know" statements. Tom Brady, in all his wide-eyed "candor," cannot bask in all the wonderfulness that usually accrues to him.
Best of all, the New England Patriots once again are tainted and tarnished by the label of Cheats. They embody what former Carolina Patriots GM Marty Hurney called "a culture of cheating." Even Don Shula has been heard describing Bellichick as "Bill Bellicheat."
And the NFL itself looks foolish because of how colossally stupid it's been for the league to have ever allowed footballs used in a game to be managed by anybody but league officials. Why?
This is supposed to be the NFL's undisputed week in the spotlight. It is, but for the wrong reasons. It's not been a good year for Roger Goodell.