DeflateGate has been well documented over the past few months and just this week the penalties came down and came down hard on the New England Patriots and Tom Brady. After the results and findings of the Wells Report were released last week, the NFL acted fairly quickly on its punishment for the newly crowned World Champions.
Tom Brady was suspended four games while the Patriots were fined $1 million while also losing their 2016 first round draft pick and 2017 fourth round draft pick. The Wells Report found that it was “more probable than not” that Tom Brady and some ball boys intentionally deflated footballs causing a competitive advantage.
The Patriots have a history of “cheating,” or however you want to define cheating, as it goes back to their 2007 SpyGate scandal. Coach Bill Bellichick was fined the maximum amount, $500,000, while the team was fined and lost draft picks in the 2007 and 2008 drafts.
Because the Patriots have a history of this type of shenanigans, commissioner Roger Goodell had no other choice but to lay the lumber and put his metaphoric iron fist down on Tom Brady and the Patriots this time around.
There is no room for this in the game today and it is sad that one of the best quarterbacks in the game had to go to this measure to win a football game; a game in which they won by 38 points, may I add. The NFL takes competitive advantages very serious, as they should, and this was a case in which Brady felt the need to get an advantage to win a very important playoff game vs. the Colts.
There were a lot of people asking why Tom Brady got more games than Ray Rice when Rice’s situation was caught on tape while Brady wasn’t 100% positive.
I answer it by saying this: Brady’s situation was something that was on the field and the goal was to give him an advantage, which should be the NFL’s number one priority to crack down on. Rice’s situation was terrible and totally immoral, don’t get me wrong, but his situation was off the field and had nothing to do with football.
Now I’m not saying that what Brady did was worse than what Rice did because that is not the case at all. What I am saying is that Brady’s was a football issue while Rice’s was off the field, but very wrong of him at the same time. This could be the reasoning for the NFL’s suspensions of these players.
In regards to the NFL’s punishment for DeflateGate, they got it right. If the Patriots didn’t have a history of practices like this, they might have gotten a fine and maybe lost a draft pick or two. Because this is their second time caught going against the rules, they need to pay the price this time around and know that the NFL and commissioner Goodell aren’t messing around any longer.
The did end up beating the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX which just puts another asterisk next to Brady’s name and without a doubt will taint his legacy. When it comes to the Hall of Fame however, there is no doubt that he will eventually get his name in Canton.
At the end of the day, the only thing really hurt here are the leagacies of some pretty important people. Robert Kraft, Bill Bellichick, and Tom Brady are all going to have to have this asterisk next to their names even though they accomplished some incredible feats. When people now refer to the “Patriot Way,” that won’t carry the same meaning as it did even earlier in 2014.
Brady’s career is definitely nearing its end and with his suspension, Jimmy Garoppolo is the next man in line for the starting QB spot in New England. We’ll see if he is ready for the big stage and can handle the pressure of taking over for a Patriots legend in Tom Brady.
When it comes down to it, it is unfortunate that someone of Brady’s caliber feels obliged to cheat whether he did it or not. Through the Wells Report, Brady did hold back some text messages that could have really gotten the complete truth out to the public. Until that happens, Brady will have to live with the consequences. He can go through an appeal process, which could decrease his suspension and there is a very good chance that his suspension is reduced or totally rescinded.
Seattle sports fan and MLB writer for International Sports Hub