Who Stole the Air?

28 01 2015

For those of you who have just flown in from Mars, on January 17 the New England Patriots trounced the Indianapolis Colts, in the AFC championship game, under highly suspicious circumstances. It seems that 11 out of the 12 balls used by the Patriots had been under-inflated, thus making the balls easier to grip, throw and catch during a rain-soaked game. Fingers have been pointing back and forth ever since the discovery was made, but no one seems to want to take responsibility for what happened. Did the coach order it done? Did someone invent an app that allowed quarterback Tom Brady to deflate the balls via his smart phone?

 

There are strict rules that govern how game balls are to be inspected and managed prior to the game. It would be easier to sneak an Abrams tank onto a commercial airliner than it would be to suck a little air out of 11 game balls before kickoff without anyone knowing. For that reason, whoever performed this dastardly deed is to be congratulated for pulling off such a deceptive stunt. He should be proud and stand up and take credit. This was a trick worthy of the great Harry Houdini, himself; or, at least, Penn and Teller. As ESPN might say, using the most overused word on television, this was world-class trickeration.

 

Still, it was wrong. Yes, friends, I say to you there is definitely mischief afoot here. Rules have been broken. Trust has been violated. Air has been stolen! But no one seems to care about the loss of air. Instead, everyone is focusing on the balls being soft and providing an unfair advantage to the Patriots. And while Patriots Coach Bill Belichick has a brilliant football mind, it is unlikely he would be able to contrive such a diabolical scheme, even though it is well-known he is no stranger to cheating.

 

If the NFL really wants to get to the bottom of deflate-gate, and find out who is responsible, then the real question their investigators should be asking is not who would be more likely to win the game with deflated balls, but who wanted the air that was in those balls to begin with? Well, duh!. The answer is obvious. Who needs a lot of air heading into Super Bowl Sunday? Goodyear! That blimp is huge and it takes a great deal of air to fill it up. By my estimates, it would take approximately 450,000 tokens at the gas station air pump to provide enough air to fill the blimp. At a quarter a-piece that’s $112,500.101

 

Oh, you say it wasn’t much air. It was only 2 pounds of air per ball. Well, a little bit here and a little bit there adds up pretty quickly. You siphon off 2 pounds of air from 11 footballs and you got yourself 22 pounds of free air. Pretty soon you have enough air to fill up a blimp and just fly right over the filling station on your way to the Super Bowl.

Fill 'er up!

Fill ‘er up!

 

So, Goodyear, watch out because the NFL is on to you and your shenanigans. So, you may as well come clean.

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It Ain’t Over ‘Till the Fat Lady Sings

25 08 2014

It ain’t over ‘till the fat lady sings. This saying stems from an 18th century Italian tradition. In the days before newspapers, radio, and electricity, communities would appoint a town crier to disseminate information of importance to the local citizenry. When Massimo Mastriano, the famed town crier of Fettuccini, was killed when run over by a manure wagon, the town governing body appointed their first female town crier. A female town crier was unheard of up until that time, but a local mid-wife, Francesca Ore Boccasta, was known throughout the community for her beautiful, yet powerful, voice. Francesca was, to put it politely, quite rotund; or, as they say in Fettuccini, grassa.

 

Marco Carboni, the coach of the Fettuccini Friars soccer team, had grown frustrated because at every home game, win or lose, fans would begin drifting out of the stadium about halfway through the game. By game’s end, there might be a handful of Friar fans in the stands. “Eet ees embarrassing and humeeleeating!”shouted Coach Carboni at a meeting of concerned soccer fans. Something needed to be done. That’s when the mayor’s wife, Annemarie Ragazzi, suggested they have Francesca sing the Italian national anthem at executions, festivals and other public gatherings, including soccer matches. She insisted the anthem be sung at the end of each event. That way, knowing they would have a chance to hear Francesca sing, maybe the fans would be willing to stick around until the end of the hanging, or the game, as the case may be.

 

Luca and Liona Vermicelli and their 5-year-old son, Antonio, went to the citywide soccer championship game shortly after Francesca had agreed to sing at public events. Little Antonio could never remember Francesca’s name, but he loved to hear her sing, so he was very happy and anticipating the chance to hear Francesca’s beautiful voice following the game.

 

The game was never in doubt. The Friars were getting the beating of their lives. The cross-town rival Diavoli Blu (Blue Devils) had a 12 goal lead and complete control of the game. It was clear that all was lost. That’s when Luca, a diehard Friars fan, in a fit of rage, took Liona by the hand to leave. Little Antonio wanted to see the game to the end, but Luca told him it was over. That’s when Antonio uttered… no, shouted, those immortal words, “Aint sopra fino a quando la signora grassa!”

 

And now, as Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story…well, almost.