Consider Ravens defensive end Chris Canty upset with the recent allegations that the Patriots purposefully deflated footballs to give their offense an advantage in the AFC Championship against the Colts.
It possibly hits closer to home knowing that the Patriots narrowly edged the Ravens, with thoughts of them doing the same against Baltimore in that game. (More on this in a moment.)
Appearing on NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk television show, Canty expressed his displeasure at a team that he believes will win at all costs.
"The Patriots are habitual line-steppers," Canty said, via the website Pro Football Talk. "If the allegations are true, then you are talking about attacking the integrity of our game and I have an issue with that. . . . [W]hat I’m going to say about the deflating of the balls, to me there is no difference than performance-enhancing drugs. You are cheating at that point. You are getting a competitive advantage outside of the rule book and there has to be some sort of consequences for that."
(If the phrase "habitual line-steppers" sounds familiar, you probably remember it from Dave Chappelle's Rick James sketch. Fast forward to the 1:00 mark to hear Charlie Murphy say it, in reference to the "Superfreak" singer.)
I'm in Canty's camp on this. Plenty of folks will say, "Oh, whatever. Big deal." I disagree. It doesn't take anything more than a competitive flag football player to know that there is a considerable advantage to throwing a slightly deflated football compared to one filled to capacity. You can get a stronger grip which leads to not only farther throws but better accuracy. Catching the ball is much easier too as the impact on the hands isn't as hard. If one team has an easier ball to throw at its disposal, it's 100 percent a competitive advantage.
The only thing the Patriots have going for them, at the moment, is that the Colts game was a blowout. If that game was close, folks in Indianapolis would be really irate.
But then there's this, from Atlanta Journal Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter, who relayed a quote from FOX Sports' Jay Glazer:
Fox commentator Jay Glazer: "Colts Were Tipped Off By Baltimore Ravens." #DeflateGate— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) January 22, 2015
If that's true, then it's apparent the Ravens were suspicious of this activity during the AFC Divisional Round game between the two teams. And with that being a close 35-31 victory for New England, with the Patriots' offense storming back from two 14-point deficits, you really begin to wonder: How much did a potential deflated football advantage play in that game?
Things to wonder and be distracted with as the NFL gears up for what is supposed to be the highlight of the sports year.