As you surely have heard by now, an NFL investigation concluded that New England Patriots staffers likely deflated footballs to help QB Tom Brady better control the ball on a rainy day in the AFC Championship, and that Brady was likely aware of the rules violations at his fingertips.
The New York and Boston stations, which share a heated sports rivalry between the markets, have quite different takes on so called Deflategate.
WCVB.com has a seemingly defensive headline “Snowplows to Spying: Why America thinks Patriots are Cheaters” on its home page, though a click on the link offers a more measured headline: "Patriots No Strangers to Controversy."
“The New England Patriots are no strangers to on-field controversies and confirmed cheating,” says the story, before listing some examples from over the years.
WBZ’s site has Brady’s agent slamming the investigation, calling it “a terrible disappointment”, and local sports personality Tony Massarotti lists the many national outlets calling out Brady and the Patriots for skulduggery.
“No one is taking away those trophies, Patriots fans. But you’re just going to have to accept the fact that the rest of the world simply doesn’t like the way the Patriots do business, between the lines or, apparently, outside them,” he writes.
WHDH.com features a poll, asking, “Does the NFL Deflategate report change the way you think about Tom Brady?”
At presstime, 85% said no. They still love the guy.
Of course, the Boston Marathon bombing trial is a much, much bigger deal these days in Boston.
Down New York way, Deflategate isn’t much of a story by Thursday afternoon. WPIX’s site says, “Tom Brady knew way more than he claimed, says ‘Deflategate’ report.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, of all people, is quoted on the local CBS site, blasting the public for making too big a deal out of Deflategate. “I think the media and others love — for somebody who’s married to a beautiful model, who’s richer than you can imagine and who’s a future Hall of Famer — to take a couple shots at him,” says Christie, who is, apropos of nothing, a Cowboys fan. “I think it’s way, way overblown.”
If any market has a legit gripe with Brady and the rule-skirting Pats, it’s Indianapolis, who were blown out by the Patriots that day in January. WTHR sports guy Bob Kravitz offers a loooong essay criticizing Brady and the Pats with the headline: Brady Needs to Come Clean on DeflateGate.
“…if I'm him, this is what I do: I call a press conference and throw myself on the sword. I fess up,” says Kravitz who, not surprisingly, calls on the NFL to severely punish the Patriots.
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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