I am a football fanatic, and cheer for the Patriots. I also firmly agree that professional athletes do have a role and responsibility to those who look up to them, which is oh so many.

Yet I ask: Why can’t these professionals all play with the same ball, on the same day, in the same weather conditions?

When we compare this to, say, basketball, the NBA doesn’t allow each shooter to select their own favorite ball before game time. Put that into perspective: Everyone is a shooter with the same ball throughout the same game.

And when it comes to playing on playgrounds as kids in school, or in other organized activities, there are specific balls for use during the time of play for each individual involved. And I know that the kids – in my time as a young athlete, anyway – who tantrum because they feel that the ball being used does not line up to their personal liking would be the last ones picked by a team, if even picked at all.

I guess that I am one fan who believes that this ball concern is clearly a National Football League issue, not just the Patriots, which in this case is simply helping the non-Pats fans rationalize why they must be so successful.

Greg R. Stacy