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Falcons noise scandal: The NFL merrily sits on its hands

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The NFL's investigation into the Falcons piping crowd noise into the Georgia Dome has been dragged out into farce.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Whether you call it Noisegate, Decibacle or just mutter curses under your breath, the team's admitted habit of piping in crowd noise during the 2013 and 2014 seasons at the Georgia Dome is probably sticking in your craw.

The reasons for that are obvious: There have been rumors that the Falcons could forfeit a significant draft pick for the scandal, the team has confirmed (via Arthur Blank) that it happened but hasn't made it clear who is to blame, and the Falcons would very much like to have this whole thing over and done with so they can move through free agency and the draft with Dan "Fired Up" Quinn being fired up. Thanks to the NFL, that's just not a realistic possibility.

You'll recall that news of this scandal broke around the first day of February, when it became clear the league had been investigating the Falcons for a while. Blank said he was "angry" and "embarrassed" back on February 3rd, which seemed like preemptive contriteness aimed at winning the public relations battle and perhaps convincing the NFL to be lenient on the team. We heard a bunch of whispers about a 2nd or 3rd round pick being the penalty back during the combine. Since then, we have heard...nothing.

Kangaroo courts are carried out with more dignity than your average NFL investigation

That means the NFL has been investigating this for months, the team came out and talked about it openly in early February, and we're now a full month and a half into the future with no word on the penalty. There's not a day that goes by that I don't field a few questions about when we're going to learn the results of the NFL investigation, and it's impossible not to wonder what the hold-up is.

It's entirely possible the Falcons have already been informed about the draft pick they'll forfeit in 2015, but there's also a good (better?) chance the NFL simply hasn't delivered its punishments for decibacle, the Browns' texting scandal and (most famously) the Deflategate controversy that was a big deal way back in late January. Kangaroo courts are carried out with more dignity than your average NFL investigation, is what I'm trying to say, and the teams who could be effected by this are currently working their way through free agency and the draft with potentially no idea what kind of draft picks they'll have to go without. That sucks.

None of this argues that the Falcons, Browns and Patriots shouldn't be penalized for bad behavior. I'm just arguing that the NFL should hurry up and deliver the results of its investigations, rather than artificially drag them out to give them a heft they don't deserve in the first place.