Aaron Hernandez’s Lawyer Proves Deflategate Jokes Have Jumped the Shark

His gag didn't quite land.

You know Deflategate jokes have probably jumped the shark when they start going over as badly as did the one made by Aaron Hernandez’s lawyer in court on Thursday. Sure it became very à la mode to make light of the controversy over the air pressure of the Patriots footballs in the weeks preceding the Super Bowl. So you can almost understand why defense lawyer James Sultan went for the low-hanging fruit while questioning a state trooper about tire deflation devices:



“And one of the things you received special training in is … tire deflation devices, right?”

“A certain kind of tire deflation device, yes,” the trooper replied.

“Did you ever receive training in football deflation devices?”

*Moment of soul-crushing silence.*


As if it weren’t enough that his joke fell that flat, on Friday morning, Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh chastised Sultan, telling him she expects no more jokes. “We are here on very serious business,” she said. “I mean, maybe if your jokes were funnier,” she could have added (though she did not).

“In hindsight, that was a mistake,” Sultan reportedly said, apologizing to the court.

But was it just a lawyer reaching for an easy, timely joke? Sports Illustrated‘s Michael McCann wonders if it went deeper. Jurors probably followed the Deflategate drama, after all, and “there’s a good chance they regard the NFL’s investigation as factually unfounded and as slanderous to the Patriots.” Maybe the defense lawyer wanted to subtly remind jurors that official investigations are sometimes flawed.

Or maybe he’s just really lucky he got into law school and didn’t go into standup comedy.