Sports: pushing the envelope is the norm

People are often encouraged to push the envelope or think outside the box.

That sounds good in theory, but when it comes to sports, you don?t need to tell it to coaches and athletes because it comes naturally to them.

I?ve often said the reason rules continually change in sports is because coaches and players push every rule to the limit or try to find a loophole not covered by a rule. The other factor is that officials/refs don?t enforce all rules consistently, so those making the rules keep amending them in an attempt to frustrate the rule-breakers.

The ongoing Deflategate controversy involving Tom Brady and the New England Patriots is mostly laughable. Consider how much time and energy has been spent dealing with that situation, not to mention the amount of time the media have spent talking about it.

On one level, deflating the football makes some sense. Apparently the Patriots think if letting some air out of a football in cold weather enables a quarterback to throw the ball better, isn?t it worth a try?

What isn?t laughable is the amount of time and money spent in courts trying to resolve the matter when the legal system must surely have more important things to do.

No NFL team seems to push the envelope more than the Patriots. It has been rumored for years that Peyton Man?ning and the Colts feared the Patriots were spying on them in the visitors? locker room.

Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, former coach Tony Dungy essentially confirmed as much.

?I know that is very true, and, you know, as Peyton talked to guys who played for the Patriots, some of the guys who came over?whether it?s true or not he treated it as true,? said Dungy. ?We didn?t have a lot of strategy discussions inside the locker room there.?

Dungy and Manning don?t claim to have actual knowledge about the Patriots doing illegal snooping, but they were obviously concerned. Some might say they were paranoid, but who can blame them?

Pro football is a big business and the bottom line is winning. The crazy thing is that Deflategate was so unnecessary. The Patriots soundly defeated the Colts in the playoffs and a few deflated footballs were nonfactors. It shows the extreme lengths that some teams will go to in order to gain an advantage.

Deflategate may be a nuisance and a little embarrassing to deal with, but the Patriots would say it pales in comparison to winning the Super Bowl.

??

As the regular season for Major League Baseball winds down, consider these oddities.

Thanks to their dynamic bullpen, the Royals won 111 straight games when leading after seven innings, the third-longest such streak in MLB history. That?s an amazing streak.

But all streaks come to an end and this one did in mid-August. In fact, a different kind of streak started. The Royals lost back-to-back games when leading after seven innings. That?s baseball for you.

?

When the Seattle Mari?ners beat Baltimore on Aug. 11, it capped an unpre?ce?dented slate in MLB. For the first time in league history, all 15 home teams won on the same day. Prior to that, the closest the home teams have come was 12 wins more than a century ago, on May 23, 1914, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

The 15 home teams?Blue Jays, Rays, Marlins, Mets, Indians, Cubs, Royals, White Sox, Twins, Cardinals, D-backs, Mariners, Padres, Dodgers and Giants?out?scored their guests by an 80-32 margin. Seven of the wins came after the home team trailed at some point in the game.

Joe Kleinsasser is director of news and media relations at Wichita State University. He can be reached at Joe.Klein?sasser@wichita.edu.