Under the Black Flag

Competitive Advantage

It was, in Edward de Vere’s words, much ado about nothing.  The media didn’t think so, called it Deflategate, and one of America’s great sporting heroes, Tom Brady, was pilloried as if he had inflated the beautiful model Gisele Bundchen, his wife, against her wishes.  In case any of you Chronicles readers missed it while on holiday in Albania, Brady and the New England Patriots supposedly deflated the footballs used in the championship game against the Indianapolis Colts so Tom could better find his receivers.  The NFL, needless to say, was horrified that anyone playing professional football in America might bend the rules in his favor and suspended Brady for four games, fined the Patriots one million big ones, and took away some draft picks.  If Captain Renault were around, he’d be winking at Rick and telling him that these NFL people make us look like hicks.

Everyone in college and pro sports in America cheats, starting with the fact that after four years college athletes are graduated as illiterates.  Back in 1951, during the good old days of baseball, they even made a wonderful movie called It Happens Every Spring that celebrated cheating, the hero being an absentminded professor who accidentally discovers a potion that, once applied to a baseball, makes it avoid wood.  He takes a leave of absence and wins 30 major-league games.  That very same year,...

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