Another chapter of this ridiculous Deflategate saga has now been written by Roger Goodell and the NFL.
On Sunday, Mike Pereira with Fox Sports reported that the NFL was informing its officials about new procedures that they would have to take when handling game balls.
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Some of the changes mentioned in the report include: 1)each team must send the officials 24 game balls (last year the home team sent in 24, and the away team sent in 12) 2) the officials will number the balls 1-12 this season, they didn’t do that last year, 3) the officials will measure and record the PSI of each ball, and 4) any balls that are under inflated or over inflated will be inflated or deflated down to 13.0 PSI.
The report also stated that officials would check and record the PSI of game balls at the end of randomly selected games. Due to the Patriots history with deflated footballs, I have a feeling that the Pats will be getting “randomly selected” a lot this season.
This is just another classic example of the league overreacting to the whole Deflategate situation. Is it really necessary for game balls to be guarded like precious jewels or government secrets?
Aug 7, 2014; Landover, MD, USA; Footballs rest on the field prior to the game between the Washington Redskins and the New England Patriots at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 23-6. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Not only are these rules totally unnecessary, but they will also put more responsibility on the officials’ shoulders. Now the refs will have to worry about calls they make on the field, as well as what’s happening to the footballs before the game, during halftime, and sometimes after the game.
These new procedures implemented by the NFL are now taking the attention of the officials off of the game, and onto the PSI of the game balls. Wouldn’t it be better for the refs to talk about calls they missed or things they need to work on for the second half during halftime instead of having to keep records on the PSI of footballs?
It seems to me as though these procedures are just another way for the league to seem in control, and maybe please a few owners who are reportedly upset with the Patriots and want Brady’s suspension to be upheld by Goodell.
Whether we like it or not, these are the new rules that officials will have to follow next season. Let’s just hope this new procedure doesn’t affect their actual officiating.