Media, pundits and the populace pump up Deflategate

Everybody has been squeezing the Patriots’ deflated balls all week.

Never has a shrinkage issue gone this viral.

It’s all people are talking about. The issue has paralyzed America like a continental-wide tsunami of a killer snowstorm.

It was amazing that when Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were proclaiming that they, much like Sgt. Schultz, know nussink about how Deflategate went down, they didn’t do so with high-pitched, squeaky voices.

With their balls on the line, did anybody actually expect either to fess up? C’mon, get real.

In a country where almost everybody could give a damn less about the PSI level of their tires, everybody suddenly is an expert on deflation and inflation.

Did they all take a quickie online graduate course in voodoo economics?

Personally, if it weren’t the Patriots involved, this story would not have swelled bigger than a blowfish.

But New England’s Evil Empire/KGB-villain persona has, pardon the pun, overinflated this narrative to absurd proportions.

Still, we all are deliriously curious about who screwed with the balls and who told them to do so.

Two things to keep in mind that actually make this story – matters of integrity and fair play aside – much ado about nothing: Underinflated footballs can be thrown more accurately, which obviously is a good thing, but they also lose velocity, which obviously is a bad thing when a quarterback is trying to rifle the ball into a tight and closing window.

Nevertheless, teams always are looking for a competitive advantage and messing with ball inflation has been commonplace in football and basketball over the years.

During the heyday of their hot-as-blacktop-under-a-summer-sun NBA rivalry, the fastbreak Lakers overinflated balls and the plodding Celtics underinflated balls.

Ever since Ty Cobb was sliding his spikes into second basemen’s faces, baseball teams have been stealing signs and growing infield grass giraffe-high against certain opponents.

Perhaps there is something to that old adage that if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.

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