Bob Kraft Will Not Appeal. How Do I Lie To Myself This Time?

Patiots conspiracy theories run amock during gamecast

Throughout this entire Deflategate saga, I’ve had the Patriots back. I grew up near Foxboro. They’re my grandfather’s team. They’re my father’s team. They’re my team. With every twist and turn I’ve theorized along with the rest of “Patriots Nation” about what would come next. When the original report dropped of 11 under-inflated footballs after the AFC title game, I laughed it off like Tom Brady did. When Goodell announced there would be a formal investigation involving the now-infamous Ted Wells, I texted his picture to my friends so we could laugh at his ridiculous mustache:

Ted Wells and his crazy mustache

Every Patriots setback presented a new pro-New England theory. The Wells Report was released and it found the Patriots guilty? I focused on “more probable than not” and “generally aware.” Those two phrases didn’t sound too condemning to me. The team walks and Brady gets a small fine, at worst. There’s just no way they can penalize the team or player over what amounts to an “I think he did it.”

And then the hammer drops from Troy Vincent and the NFL: Brady suspended four games and the Pats fined 1 million dollars and, most importantly, docked a first and fourth round pick in upcoming drafts. I was outraged and, if you’re from New England, you sure were outraged, too. No way we can take this lying down, right?

Of course we wouldn’t. Our faith was quickly rewarded with a sharply worded response from Bob Kraft challenging the findings of the Wells Report and the general misbehavior of NFL management. Here we go, I thought. The Patriots are digging in their heels, just like I was. I wasn’t involved in countless comment section arguments against some of the most devious trolls on the planet for nothing. I wasn’t banned from certain NFL websites–a Troll Slayer and a troll are often misidentified by moderators–for nothing. There would be vindication in the end for Patriots supporters everywhere.

And then yesterday happened. Bob Kraft showed up to the owner’s meetings and played kissy face with Roger Goodell. Certain members of the media believed Kraft was Michael Corleone and Roger Goodell was Fredo. And I believed them. I bought into the Bleacher Report hype that “negotiations are taking place.” I allowed myself to believe Goodell was just hours or days away from retracting the penalties against the Patriots, in part or in full.

But what a difference a day makes.

Today, the exact opposite thing the Pats Nation hype machine wanted and knew would happen, happened. No, Roger Goodell would not turtle. Instead, Bob Kraft came up to a podium to address the country and he took the opportunity not to carry the flag further up the hill, but to instead bleach it white and raise it up the nearest pole. There would be no appeals of the harsh DeflateGate penalties. The million dollar fine and the loss of draft picks would stick.

And with that action, I think I’m finally ready to surrender, too. I’ve seen the stories floating out there. The Patriots did this to ensure Brady’s suspension gets repealed. Kraft orchestrated the whole thing. Just watch. Brady will be on the field opening night against the Steelers…

And maybe that’s all true. But I just don’t buy it. And I won’t buy it until it’s fact. I won’t allow myself to advance a Positive Patriot’s Narrative regarding this story until a Positive Patriots Narrative actually exists. I’m sorry, but I’m just tired of spinning stories out of biased inference. I can no longer draw conclusions with my heart.

And my head is finally aware of it, too.*

Check ProFootballTalk tomorrow. If you see a commenter named “FlorioIsTheWorst-2” then I fell back off the wagon.