As intelligent Barnard and Columbia students, I assume you’re all aware of the 1972 political scandal in which operatives of the White House broke into the Democratic headquarters at the D.C. Watergate office complex. President Nixon then attempted to cover up his involvement. I assume you’re also aware that this scandal led to Nixon’s resignation. The scandal was termed “Watergate.”
Well, as brainy young urbanites, you might be less aware that this history is now manifesting itself in the world of American football. In case you’ve missed the recent commotion, an allegation has been made that the New England Patriots used 11 underinflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts on January 18. Similarly to the Nixon scandal, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Patriots coach Bill Belichick may or may not be covering up their involvement in the deflation of these footballs. This controversial issue has been dubbed “Deflategate.”
As a committed fan of both the Patriots and Brady’s rugged handsomeness, it is difficult for me to admit the imperfections of my team and my crush. I guess you could say I’m feeling a bit deflated by it all. However, I am still wondering if these allegations reveal a little white lie on behalf of the Patriots, which would of course be forgivable after some slight groveling, or a full-blown scandal that the team simply can’t bounce back from.
But alas, there is still hope of the team’s innocence! Our very own geeky Ivy is stepping up to save the day. The Columbia University physics department has been called upon to investigate whether the harsh weather conditions of the AFC Championship Game could have affected the pressure of the footballs. Ted Wells, co-chair of the litigation department for the law firm investigating the issue, joined partner Lorin L. Resiner and NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash in reaching out to Columbia’s physics department to conduct this investigation.
I have to wonder if these investigators intentionally contacted Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s Alma to help with this investigation. While Columbia may not be the die-hard Big Ten football school we see in “I’m Shmacked” videos, our football field is named after Robert Kraft, and thus we clearly feel some slight allegiance to him. Regardless of what Columbia physicists discover, lets just hope for all of our sakes that Brady doesn’t follow in Nixon’s footsteps and that our beloved quarterback is here to stay.