Bob Kravitz, the former Indy Star columnist now working for Indy TV station WTHR, broke the news that the Patriots may have used deflated balls during the AFC title game.

Deflated balls can be easier to grip, throw, catch and control in rainy conditions, and it rained and sleeted during the game.

Kravitz is a pro, and the NFL has confirmed it is investigating, so I wouldn't dismiss this as a provincial reaction to getting blown out. The Colts can't make the case they would have won under any conditions. If proved true, this will further mark Bill Belichick as the kind of coach who will do anything to win, and with two weeks before his latest Super Bowl appearance, will give everyone time to reflect on SpyGate.

The simplistic will paint Belichick as someone who wins because he cheats. He doesn't win because he cheats, but his willingness to bend rules is part of the mentaility that makes him a great and yet thoroughly unlikeable coach.

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I've forgotten most of what I ``learned'' in college, which for most people is just a transitional boarding school, but I remember taking a class called ``African American Literature.'' I read Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, James Baldwin, Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison.

On Martin Luther King Day, this is a good time to remember what is spelled out so beautifully and achingly in their works: That America treated black people as slaves, then as subhumans, not long ago and for a very long time.

One of the things I always loved about sport was that it can be a pure meritocracy blind to skin color. But it wasn't long ago in the history of our nation that black men were not allowed to play sports alongside white men.And a shockingly short time ago NFL teams didn't feel comfortable with black head coaches and quarterbacks.

Let's honor today by continuing to chop down the stereotypes that enable racism. Next time you hear an announcer talk about a white player who ``works hard'' or has a lot of `grit,'' turn the channel.

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When the Seahawks were getting whipped yesterday, and before Russell Wilson had completed a pass, I Tweeted that ``I still think Russell Wilson is great.'' I meant it.

He's never going to set passing records, but he has produced more fourth-quarter comebacks in his first three seasons than any quarterback in NFL history - 10. He is the first NFL quarterback to start in two Super Bowls in his first three seasons. He is winning despite a shocking lack of help from his receivers.

Wilson should wni the I-Just-Made-It-Up Herm Edwards Award. You play to win the game. Wilson finds so many ways to win so many games.

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It was heartening to see the photo on the back page of the Strib sports page today, of Lindsey Vonn surrounded by her entire family.

I first met her before the Turin Olympics, and when I asked about her family, she said she no longer spoke with her father. Her father woultn't return my calls while I researched a long story about his daughter. I did get to visit her mother at her home in Apple Valley.

The photo shows both parents and Vonn's sister all smiling i nthe same photo.

This morning, Vonn broke the record for the most women's World Cup victories, an amazing achievement for anyone, but especially for someone who started at Buck Hill in Burnsville.

My impression of Vonn, having covered her at two Olympics: She's a powerful person, physically and emotionally.. Her ability to persevere without a relationship with her father and while traveling the globe to compete says something about her resolve.

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Latest podcasts at SouhanUnfiltered.com: Michael Russo, Leo Lewis, Terry Ryan, Jeff Munneke. The Alive and Social Network, the podcast company owned by Sean Barnard, now has a studio in Minneapolis, which will enable us to do more frequent podcasts, and to bring in guests via phone from around the country. Thanks for listening.

@Souhanstrib

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