With a decision looming for Tom Terrific, the NFL is seemingly in a no win situation. All of the fans (especially in Buffalo) want to see Brady gone the whole year, if not then at least 8 games. Everyone in New England will be pissed off anyway no matter what happens unless no punishment is handed down (very unlikely).
But lets face it, if the NFL suspends Brady for the whole year, that is the “face” of the league they are keeping away from the game. The one thing the NFL loves more than the Patriots is money. And the Patriots, love them or hate them, MAKE MONEY! Now if they throw down some half-assed suspension that should “teach him a lesson” and he appeals and it gets reduced to 1 or 2 games, or just a hefty fine. That puts out the precedent that everyone else is held to a much higher standard than Tom Brady because Brady wins more and you don’t. And winning makes us money.
Now I don’t feel that the deflated balls would have had an impact on the AFC Championship game because the Patriots would have beat the hell out of the Colts anyway. But to me it’s the principle of the matter. The rule is there for a reason, and the Patriots are a team that have broken rules before, so why is it so surprising that they are doing it again? Hell after Spygate the Patriots went undefeated that regular season. That was their middle finger to the league. But that display of douche-baggery gets morphed into the Patriots being a great team, and Tom Brady being a great quarterback. Let me stop right here for a second. I have not, nor will ever think Tom Brady is a great quarterback. To me being a great quarterback is commanding an offense and being a leader of a team. Having good mechanics and just being a level headed competitor that puts his players in a position to make plays and win. Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees are great quarterbacks to me. Tom Brady making wild throws only to get bailed out by his receivers because if they drop those passes the fear of getting benched by a prick head coach means their careers are over. Or pissing and moaning to the refs after a legal hit, or stomping up and down the sidelines like an entitled little shit. That is not what a leader of a team does. Tom Brady is a good player, and he wins games, but I will never think he’s a great quarterback.
Ok, back to my original point. The Patriots as a team have seen so much success it’s almost laughable the kind of exposure they’ve had over the years. Hell the commissioner of the league sits in the owner’s box! I understand he does that with other teams too, but I don’t remember seeing Ole Rodge in Shad Kahn’s box down in Jacksonville very much last season. The unique “friendship” between Goodell and Bob Kraft is one that raises many questions. My thinking is that Kraft stuck his nose so far up Mr. Commish’s ass that if Kraft’s Pats were to have done something wrong, the commissioner would take it easy on them. I think the lines are blurred now because of the Patriots winning the Superbowl. I mean Goodell had to stand there, hand the trophy to Kraft, and say that the Patriots were the best team, and a great franchise. What wasn’t said was that there will be an investigation conducted in the coming months. So now Kraft is going to bitch about this being unfair, and it being a witch hunt because of all the times Kraft has stood by the commissioner with the Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, and Adrian Peterson cases he must be thinking that this Deflate Gate fiasco should be dropped because they’re “friends”.
Roger Goodell is living and dying by the phrase “integrity of the game”. The Saints violated the integrity of the game for the bounty scandal. Sean Payton suspended the whole year. Joe Vitt half the year. The GM was suspended! So you have to at least assume Tom Brady, who is involved in this, will see some significant punishment for violating the integrity of the game. What is more puzzling to me is that how is it that on a team like the Patriots where everything that happens goes through the head coach, the head coach has no clue about this? Perhaps we’ll never know.
I thought it was also intelligent of ESPN to bring on the totally unbiased, and fair analysis of former Patriot and holier-than-though prognosticator Tedy Bruschi to debate with Damien Woody about Deflate Gate. Of course Woody made a good argument and when he dared to question Tom Terrific, Tedy came back with “He got you 2 Superbowls”. But what I think Tedy meant to say was “no matter what happens in Foxboro, you don’t speak ill of the man that gave you the most coveted prize in sports! And we don’t talk about it outside the locker room!”. It’s harder to take ESPN seriously with their Boston bias but that moment should be frozen in the history of television in my opinion. It’s clear to see Tedy is still brainwashed to think the Patriots are just an innocent team trying to play this game the best they can. Can only imagine what Rodney Harrison must be thinking.
We will know soon what the punishment is and knowing how the Patriots are, just like the hype and anticipation before the Mayweather/Pacquio fight, our hopes of the Patriots and Tom Brady getting what’s coming to them will hopefully not end up being deflated.