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'Deflate-Gate' Scandal Has An Air Of Opportunity03:17
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According to an ESPN report, the NFL has determined 11 of the 12 balls used by the New England Patriots during the AFC Championship were underinflated. (Elsa/Getty Images)
According to an ESPN report, the NFL has determined 11 of the 12 balls used by the New England Patriots during the AFC Championship were underinflated. (Elsa/Getty Images)
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The NFL’s so-called "deflate-gate" scandal is dominating sports headlines this week. It’s probably not exactly the kind of attention the league was hoping for in the run-up to the Super Bowl, but a crisis can often create opportunity … or as Only A Game's Doug Tribou sees it, several of them.

The atmosphere surrounding the NFL playoffs can be intense, so it’s no surprise that the NFL is under a lot of pressure, if you will, to resolve "deflate-gate" as quickly as possible.

If headline writers had just taken a deep breath and thought it over for a minute, deflate-gate could have been the Air Affair or even the Pumpsucker Proxy.

Unfortunately, the media didn’t feel any pressure to come up with a better name for the scandal. We’re lucky the Watergate hotel wasn’t a DoubleTree or we’d be talking about "deflate-tree" and the New England Patriots’ past transgressions in the Spytree scandal. If headline writers had just taken a deep breath and thought it over for a minute, deflate-gate could have been the Air Affair or even the Pumpsucker Proxy.

But regardless of the name, the cold, hard fact is that this controversy is about soft balls. Not softballs, which are pretty hard, but soft footballs. The official NFL football is made by Wilson. (And on a side note, am I the only one who would like to see Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson start an endorsement deal bidding war between sporting goods companies Russell and Wilson?) Maybe the NFL and Wilson could welcome in a third party. What if every ball had Breathe Right strips around the hole for the needle to regulate air flow? Or maybe one of those pumps from the tongues of Reebok basketball sneakers. That way quarterbacks could add a little extra air as they scrambled away from the 300-pound linemen chasing them.

That’s a feature Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers would appreciate — because while just about everyone agrees that deflating the balls makes them easier to grip, throw, and catch — Rodgers is on the record as saying he likes balls over-inflated. Coincidentally — or perhaps not so coincidentally — Rodgers appears in an ad campaign with Hans and Franz, the old Saturday Night Live characters who are here to "pump you up."

And of course, there’s always entertainment to pump up the halftime show at the Super Bowl. This year it’s pop superstar Katy Perry, who will probably wear at least one pair of pumps during her performance. Perry can certainly carry a show by herself, but is it too late to add Air Supply to the bill?

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Doug Tribou Twitter Reporter/Producer
Doug Tribou was formerly a reporter and producer at WBUR and for WBUR's Only A Game.

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