Nine more days of talk about deflated football before the Super Bowl.
Who knows how much talk about it after?
Looking like the Patriots' bubble has burst.
The Patriots can win another championship Feb. 1 in Glendale, Ariz. Belichick can join Chuck Noll as the only coaches with four Lombardi Trophies, and Tom Brady can join Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only quarterbacks with four rings.
But the most important thing — the Patriot legacy — is lost. The Patriots and their fans will never win the “best ever” argument. Everything is tainted. Footballs (reportedly) have been doctored, headlines have been written, and opinions have been formed.
Locally, the Patriots are revered. Nationally, they are loathed and branded as cheaters, and once again they have handed the hammer to their legion of enemies.