Indianapolis columnist Bob Kravitz has delivered a mea culpa for his role in "Deflategate."
Well, kind of.
The member of the media who ignited last month’s overhyped controversy involving the New England Patriots offered up both a defense and an apology on WTHR.com on Tuesday. He maintained that he was “100 percent” certain that the NFL was investigating the possibility of the Patriots using deflated footballs during the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts when he initially reported it. But he also admitted that he botched subsequent tweets and columns calling for the removal of Bill Belichick as head coach.
“I thought it was implied, quite strongly, that penalties should only be levied if the Patriots were found guilty of toying with the integrity of the game,” Kravitz wrote, “but I failed to establish that clearly in those tweets and in my columns. Thus, it appeared I was calling for Belichick's head and other penalties before any investigation was completed. Clearly (or maybe not so clearly), I would never call for Aaron Hernandez to get a life sentence before he got his day in court, and I did not mean to suggest that Belichick and the Patriots should be penalized before an investigation was complete. But that's the way it came out, and for that, I apologize.
“I am a professional communicator, and as a professional communicator, I failed miserably there. I'm not one who blames the reader for a misunderstanding; it's incumbent upon me, as a writer or broadcaster, to use my words wisely, whether in a column or a tweet. I have to wear that one. I own that one.”
This is after Kravitz writes, “No problem there. That's my opinion. I'm entitled to it, just as you're entitled to rip me.”
Fine. But which is it? Are we saying sorry for something or just running around in circles again here?
Kravitz offers no apologies for breaking the story in the wee hours after the win over the Colts that sent the Patriots to the Super Bowl. “I wrote there was an investigation. There WAS, and IS, an investigation. It's my job to get it right, and I got it right.”
But then Kravitz, who sparked and promoted one of the most ludicrous periods leading up to a Super Bowl that we’ve witnessed in quite some time, goes on to scoff at the notion that the Colts may have been the perpetrators in all this. His incredulity comes after ESPN’s Adam Schefter told WEEI that he knows there are people who believe that theory.
“I don't doubt that he's telling the truth – I'm sure there are conspiracy theorists out there – but I'm not buying it that it was a massive set-up, not for a second," Kravitz wrote in reference to Schefter's comments.
“Let's put it this way: If the Colts are found guilty of having tampered with the footballs in an effort to undermine the Pats, I'll be vicious in my criticism of the Colts and call for the heads of the offending parties – whether that's Jim Irsay, Ryan Grigson or Chuck Pagano…whoever. That would be even more egregious than anything the Patriots might have done.
“I'll also be shocked beyond words.”
No, how could there ever have been a “massive set-up?” That would be about as crazy as quoting Bill Nye the Science Guy -- a Seattle Seahawks fan, by the way -- for his input on what happened to the balls in question. Or asking the folks at MIT or Columbia for a definitive explanation.
None of that would ever happen. I’d be shocked.
The apology isn’t one that Patriots fans are looking for, particularly since Kravitz reveled in breaking the story, and gleefully posited taking down Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady in the process. If there were a ringleader of the absurd, it was indeed Kravitz. Remember “the Patriots should vacate the Super Bowl,” as another columnist opined? Remember that one?
Thought on @bkravitz (2) You can't claim "don't shoot the messenger" if you are also the leader of the lynch mob.— Aaron Schatz (@FO_ASchatz) February 10, 2015
And just like that, Kravitz keeps himself relevant in a story that just won’t mercifully run out of hot air.
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