Thursday, January 29, 2015

Deflate-gate, Audi rules and Association Standards

Approaching Super Bowl Sunday, the media has been focused on “deflate-gate” ... the unfolding story about how 11 of 12 New England Patriot footballs had air pressure below the league rules.

The Patriots quickly held news conferences from their head coach and then from their future Hall of Fame quarterback.  Both claimed no knowledge of the deflated balls or how it might have happened. [Note: NFL rules provide for each team to provide 12-24 balls (each with the team logo) for the game. When on offense, the game is played with that team’s ball.]

Patriot defenders argue that the deflated balls did not impact the outcome of the game in which the Patriots routed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7.

One commentator responded saying, “I cheated at ping pong with my 5-year old, but it’s okay because I would have beaten her anyway.”

Interestingly, as this debate rages in the media, Audi launched a “pool boy” television commercial suggesting it is okay to stretch the rules. Ignoring the “wait an hour before swimming rule” and “gets in trouble” for jumping in the pool early. The spot closes with the boy’s mom saying, “You did it again, didn’t you?” as she lovingly pats his head. 

The theme of the commercial is: “The world is full of rules. Be the exception.”

The juxtaposition of deflate gate and the Audi commercial strike me as odd.

Both basically suggest it is okay to break the rules “a little bit.”

Really? So, it’s okay if ...

  • members “stretch the rules” for your certification program?
  • a lawyer “almost” passed the bar exam?
  • a member joins but doesn’t quite pay the full dues payment?
Is today’s culture saying rules are rules ... just some of the time?

What does your organization do if someone tries to “stretch the rules?”

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