Deflate-gate…a Case Study
So today the penalties came out in the New England Patriots’ Deflate-gate case. Tom Brady gets a 4-game suspension and the Patriots are fined $1 million and lose 2 draft picks.
So what’s wrong with that?
Justice done. The league can go back to business as usual, right?
The deal is that is just going to be something to continue the conversation around football. Not in a good way either. Brady is going to appeal. So the drama will continue to unfold.
Now you say, “Any publicity is good publicity,” right?
Well this year football got hit hard with a lot of scandals and PR problems. Ray Rice, earlier retirements to avoid concussions, etc.
And Deflate-gate was such a non-issue anyway.
Just look at it. Each team gets to inflate the balls within a range to match their quarterback’s needs. Each team uses their own balls on offense. So by definition the understanding is the quarterback is setting the balls up for his needs.
If someone has a problem with the inflation level, call a spot check during the game during the next TV timeout. You can make that problem go away instantly. No muss, no fuss. The TV audience doesn’t even have to see it happening.
If it is good for the league to have properly inflated footballs, they could address it when there is a concern. They could even have penalties involved if that was necessary.
Or they could change the rules to have a central keeper of the balls that isn’t part of either team (like a ball keeping ref).
But owners want payback
But that isn’t what happened. There was a big investigation instead. That’s what happens when everyone’s a lawyer. You’re trying to assign blame rather than solve the problem (i.e. deal immediately with the underinflated ball situation during the game).
And so now the public is involved. Tom Brady’s name and the Patriots name is maligned in the press and everyone will say the Brady/Patriot Superbowl win should have an asterisk next to it.
This is football not tiddly winks
That’s what it has come to? Doesn’t everyone realize that everyone is taking a competitive edge? Whether it is steroids or blood doping. People are kidding themselves if they think professional sports…and in particular pro football is immune from that. Players and teams are just playing the game (and not the game of football but working the system to get their team the biggest competitive edge).
And Deflate-gate was just a really bad example of a witch-hunt that was so unnecessary.
My opinion is it was some disgruntled owners who were pissed off at Brady and the Patriots because they worked the system better than they did and sought revenge.
And what happens?
They all lose. Now the NFL (which supports these NFL owners and players) is on the ropes. How is that going to damage their brand? How is it going to impact future revenues?
That remains to be seen but there was certainly an opportunity to do things differently.
And so I want you to take that to heart. And back to your business situations.
A blame culture kills morale
How often do we focus on placing blame instead of solving the problems.
It is so easy to demonize someone else. To assume guilt or bad intent.
And how often is that really the case. And when it is, isn’t that created by the culture of the organization?
Are you contributing to the problem?
And isn’t that driven from the top? From you the business owner?
Well what are you going to do to take the reins of your business culture? How are you going to make yourself and your team accountable?
Think about that and look inside. And take action today.