GRIP IT AND RIP IT

Tom Brady should be suspended.

Let’s get that out of the way right off the top.

He cheated.

The Clintonian defense put up by his agent and his father only make him look more guilty and more pathetic.

But Brady should never have felt the need to cheat. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Brady not only knew about the game balls being deflated by Patriots’ equipment guys, he most likely requested it.

And not only for the AFC Championship game last January.

Common sense and several pages of text messages between Brady and the Patriots’ equipment managers tell you that it was an ongoing practice.

Brady pushed hard back in 2006 for the NFL to change the rules and allow each team to provide game balls.

And remember the Tuck Rule Game?

That was way back in January of 2002. The divisional playoff game was played in the snow and Brady’s apparent fumble, that would have given the win to the Oakland Raiders, was overturned by an obscure rule and called an incomplete pass because Brady was pulling the ball back in after attempting a pass and trying to tuck it away.

The rule was abolished in 2013.

But it seemed to have had an effect on Brady. Losing that ball could have cost the Patriots a trip to the Super Bowl. It’s not outrageous to suggest that, because of the Tuck Rule Game, Brady became more concerned than the average NFL quarterback about gripping the football in bad weather.

My guess is that Brady has been keeping his eye on weather forecasts and having the equipment guys adjust the balls accordingly for a long time.

The forecast for the AFC Championship game last January, according to AccuWeather, was for “heavy rain throughout the game as a storm rides up the coastline Sunday into Sunday night. The wind will be a problem throughout the game as Foxborough will see 15 to 20 mile per hour sustained winds.”

If you don’t think that having a softer football helps a quarterback, his receivers and the running backs in weather like that, then I’d be willing to bet you’ve never thrown a 20-yard spiral.

My friends in the media who dismiss that advantage should be required to demonstrate their passing ability.

So, it would be nice if Brady, the Patriots and their cheerleaders in the media would stop insulting our intelligence by suggesting that it was the football equivalent of rolling through a stop sign.

And what should the NFL do after it suspends Brady (4 games has a nice ring to it) and takes a draft pick (2nd or 3rd sounds about right) away from the Patriots?

It should stop testing the game balls.

Why shouldn’t each quarterback decide how the footballs he’ll be using are inflated?

The NFL is all about maximizing offense.

The millions of people, who tuned in to see Brady vs. Andrew Luck last January, wanted to see an air show.

Watching football in the rain used to be fun when it was a battle in the muddy trenches, but that was before running the ball became an afterthought and mud was all but eliminated from the game.

It’s only an advantage to one team if only one quarterback can adjust the grip for bad weather. So let both of them play with a ball they can grip and rip.

Did you know that in the first NFL-AFL Championship Game -before it was known as the Super Bowl – the Green Bay Packers used the official NFL ball and the Kansas City Chiefs used the official AFL ball?

The AFL was a much more pass happy league and used a ball that was, you know, easier to throw.

Brady and the Patriots cheated and should be punished, but if the cheating results in the elimination of a stupid rule, maybe their legacy will be a little less tarnished.

SteigerWorld Podcast Ep. 12

Welcome to the world of John Steigerwald

John Steigerwald brings his 40 years of sports and worldly knowledge to the online podcast world with “SteigerWorld.” The show is a weekly no-holds barred format full of hot takes on sports, pop culture, entertainment, trending topics, politics and interviews with forty years of friends.

TALKING POINTS:

SEGMENT 1: “SPORTS” Starts at 0:00
– Penguins Season
– Rutherford and Johnston
– Steelers and the NFL Draft
– Best Donut Available
– Pirates struggle with the Cubs
– Chris Rock on Baseball

SEGMENT 2: “NEWS THAT MATTERS” Starts at 19:13
– Baltimore Riots
– Discrimination
– Clinton Cash

SEGMENT 3: “WHY WE MAY BE DOOMED” Starts at 33:47
– Fitness ad displays fit woman
– Miss Piggy gets feminist award

SEGMENT 4: “STAG AT THE MOVIES” Starts at 41:13
– The Age of Adaline

** ALWAYS FREE TO LISTEN:
The show is free to listen on the Pittsburgh Podcast Network for Apple, Android and Windows users on desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone on the iTunes and SoundCloud platforms.
** SEARCH: Pittsburgh Podcast Network

* Produced at talent network, inc. in Pittsburgh, Pa. by Frank Murgia and Wayne Weil.

Pittsburgh Podcast Network
http://PittsburghPodcastNetwork.com

RINGSIDE SEAT TO HYPOCRISY

Manny Pacquaio’s shorts were worth $2.3 million.

That’s how much advertisers paid to have their names on them for his fight with Floyd Mayweather.

By the time you read this, Mayweather may or may not have upped his boxing record to 48-0. It’s the richest fight in history and, for people who are old enough to remember when boxing still mattered, it brings back memories of previous Fights of the Century like Ali-Frazier, Ali-Foreman, Leonard-Duran and Leonard-Hagler.

I’ve covered World Series, Super Bowls, College Football National Championships and Stanley Cup Finals and not one of those events created any more excitement for me than the closed circuit telecasts of those fights.

If you don’t remember closed circuit fights, those were the big fights that were shown on large screens in theaters around the country.

They weren’t available on cable and, even though it was just a screen in a theater, they had the electric feel of a live event.

I stopped caring about boxing a long time ago and paid as little attention to Mayweather-Pacquiao as possible.
What’s more interesting to me than the fight is the hypocrisy surrounding it.

Do you think Mayweather would have a $140 million payday if America had seen a Ray Rice-like video of him slamming a woman with a car door, throwing her into the car and repeatedly punching her?

That’s what Mayweather eventually pled guilty to in October of 2001. It’s one of seven assaults against five women that got him either arrested or cited.

Showtime (owned by CBS) has no second thoughts about selling the milloons pay-per-view subscriptions at $89 a pop and the MGM Grand casino is happy to collect the $74 million live gate.

Because of the Ray Rice video that surfaced late last summer, domestic violence has been discussed almost as much as anything that has happened on a field, court or rink in the last several months.

I’m not sure if anybody really knows what or where boxing’s governing body is, but it’s obvious that whoever is in charge was never going to do the boxing equivalent of what the NFL did to Rice and punish Mayweather with a suspension.

Did I mention that advertisers are paying $2.3 million to get their names on Manny Pacquiao’s shorts?

Why Mayweather is on the street and has only spent a few months in prison is another story.

Tickets were going for as much as $140,000 apiece.

Some of those seats were bound to be filled with women, many of whom may be celebrities who have taken an opportunity to show how concerned they are, by self-righteously coming out publicly against domestic abuse.

What about the pretty ring girls who will parade around carrying signs in between the rounds?

Would a video of Mayweather’s biggest out-of-the ring hits have made them ashamed to contribute to the show?

Mayweather likes to tell people to back off on the women battering because nobody has produced a video of his abuse.

What about the ESPN female reporters who have been covering the buildup to the fight? How would they have felt about helping to enrich Ray Rice nine months ago?

If you pay $140,000 for a seat, you’re probably not going to have a problem with buying an $88 dollar leather cap with the letters TMT (The Money Team) on it. That’s one of Mayweather’s 16 trademarks. He has 129 more pending.

I seem to remember the people lining up for hours to get full refunds from the Ravens for their Ray Rice jerseys last year.

And that was because of one punch.

Mayweather’s reputation for not having a lot of patience with his women didn’t scare Nicole Craig. She’s in charge of marketing his merchandise, including the white T-shirt with “Future Mrs. Mayweather” scripted in pink on the front for only $20.95.

I looked but couldn’t find any pink protective head gear.