The New England Patriots’ “deflate-gate” — the scandal in which the team’s footballs were discovered to be under-inflated after the game against the Colts — has made the team the center of more than a few jokes. Most recently, both a Goodyear store and Sesame Street have joined the game, making mockery of “deflate-gate.”
This week, people in several viewing markets noticed that Sesame Street followed the Patriots’ game with an episode in which the word of the day was “inflate.” Of course, Sesame Street often plays episodes that are relevant to current events, and while the show has demonstrated a quirky sense of humor in these at times, the central purpose is clearly to help kids understand the things they’re overhearing in their own world. Still, airing the “inflate” episode, which includes a segment on inflating a sports ball, seemed to many viewers like a sharp jab at the Patriots and deflate-gate.
— theKman (@thekman77) January 23, 2015
It’s not just Sesame Street. Redditor TheWakened spotted this sign at a Goodyear tire store in Maryland, offering free air pressure checks to Patriots fans.
Of course, the joke is getting laughs on two levels — aside from being a poke at the Patriots for deflate-gate, it’s also being read as a jab at customers who don’t know that air pressure checks are usually free.
Who else has taken advantage of deflate-gate to get a laugh, draw an eye, or make a point?
Well, Sarah Palin has already used it in a speech to call out Republicans for stepping back from an anti-abortion bill.
“It’s not just the New England Patriots who are dealing with deflated balls right now.”
According to CBS News, a White House Press Secretary has also had a public laugh at the Patriots’ quarterback over his talks to news media, saying that while it’s long been clear he’d never take Tom Brady’s job, it’s now also clear that Brady isn’t qualified for his.
Then there’s Congressman Todd Young of Indiana. However, his mention of deflate-gate was clearly more of a smear on President Obama than on the Patriots. Comparing the Patriots interviews, in which officials claimed to know nothing about the deflated balls, to incidents of White House officials not being aware of an incident until it hit the news, Young presented a “Who said it?” quiz, focusing on statements that could be summed up as, “I didn’t know about it until I heard the news this morning” and leaving readers to guess whether each came from the current presidential administration or the Patriots.
The Patriots’ deflate-gate may not have any effect on the fans’ affections, but it’s certainly buying some attention for a few companies and politicians. What’s your favorite deflate-gate joke?