In light of the firestorm of controversy over The New England Patriots use of deflated footballs in their playoff game last weekend (“Deflategate”), Republican House Speaker John Boehner has spoken out publicly to defend deflated balls.
What struck many as odd was that Boehner did not say that he was offering support for The Patriots, their head coach Bill Belichick, or their star quarterback Tom Brady, he simply chided those who would criticize anyone for having deflated balls.
“I keep hearing on the news one negative comment after another about how wrong deflated balls are. Well let me say to all of those attacking deflated balls, there is nothing wrong about them! They aren’t inferior to balls that haven’t been deflated, trust me,” Boehner stated. “Deflated balls shouldn’t be stigmatized, they didn’t deflate themselves, it happens when those who actually have control of those balls, use their power to diminish them. At least, that’s what a friend of mine told me.”
Boehner went on to explain his perspective.
“There can be downsides to deflated balls, I’ll acknowledge that. They may not carry as much weight, they may not perform as well, they may not allow the one using them to do everything he wants to do with them but there are upsides too. There’s less pressure on them, it’s easier to get a grip on them and carrying them takes less effort,” Boehner noted.
Asked why he was speaking out about this, Boehner shared that he had a soft spot for deflated balls.
“Back when I was a child, when all of the other kids had pumps to keep their balls inflated, I didn’t. I was ridiculed even then for having deflated balls, the other kids would push me around and make me do things I didn’t want to do. My father told me, ‘John, you have to maintain yourself as a Boehner and be proud of yourself no matter the reason others may disrespect you.’ That stuck with me and I live by that today. But back then? It took a lot of support from my mom and dad to get through that period. You have no idea how hard it was to maintain a Boehner when you’ve got deflated balls.”