The NFL knows all about penalizing athletes over seemingly-minor violations, from fining players who wear non-permissible colors or messages to fines over touchdown celebrations or sideline phone use to suspending those who missed drug tests while playing in different leagues, so it’s perhaps appropriate that they’re now getting run up on a technicality themselves. That would be submitting their Deflategate appeal with the wrong color cover:

The league should be able to refile with the proper yellow cover without too much trouble, so this won’t make too much difference in terms of their actual case (which is arguing that Judge Berman overstepped his authority in September when he overturned Tom Brady’s league-mandated suspension), but it’s still quite funny to see. With all the NFL’s lawyers and paralegals working on this, they couldn’t be bothered to find an intern to go through the submission checklist and make sure the cover was correct? This led to plenty of jokes on Twitter, too, especially about the NFL’s claims that Brady had “general awareness” of a ball-deflation scheme, their consistent “integrity of the game” talk, and their byzantine catch rules:

So, it may not hurt their case at all or cause them much inconvenience, but this is yet another opportunity for people to point and laugh at the NFL. Throughout the Deflategate scandal, those haven’t been few and far between.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.