It was recently announced that Brady’s four game suspension for the 2015 season for his supposed tampering with footballs will be upheld. Not too long after, all hell broke loose in New England, with not only Brady, fans and players getting involved but this time with the big man Robert Kraft himself getting up on the podium and complaining to the commissioner as well. “I was wrong to put my faith in the league”, chided Kraft as he whined about how unfair and unjust this punishment was in a dissent only rivaled in its level of butthurt by Justice Scalia after the nationwide legalization of gay marriage. Brady would also not go down, as he went on facebook and posted a seven paragraph long rant about the decision. (And hey, look at that, Gisele Bundchen, aka Ms. “My husband cannot fucking throw and catch the ball at the same time” gave it a like!) Honestly, it’s looking really childish and pathetic and the longer the Pats drag this on, the worse they look.
When all this news first broke I was both amused and annoyed at all the press it was getting. Deflated footballs? Seriously? In a league where domestic abuse and rape go almost entirely ignored, the talking heads–many of which included former football players–were ranting about how wrong what Brady did was, saying that he should be suspended, the rings should be taken away, that this was a violation of the “integrity of the game” (as if there is such a thing), and more garbage like that. Some said that what Tom did was worse than when the Saints were putting bounties on opposing Quarterbacks, as players were motivated to try to injure them for extra pay. Again, all this over the fact that the Patriots were deflating footballs.
I also, despite my disdain for the Patriots, can’t stand when people say that scandals like spygate and deflategate have tainted the Patriots’ Super Bowl Rings. Do you know how hard it is to win the Superbowl in the NFL? There are some teams that can’t even win ten games, let alone the superbowl. A superbowl win comes from tons of hard work, great coaching, and players coming together to make the big time plays when they matter most. So what if the Patriots had some extra tape, or had some footballs that were slightly lighter? As much as we may hate it, they won those rings fair and square and deserve each and every one of them wholeheartedly. Besides, if the deflated balls were really that noticeably lighter, the refs should have noticed it far sooner.
So my problem is not a belief that what Brady did was morally wrong, or that the Patriots are cheaters, or anything like that. Furthermore, I don’t know if Brady is guilty or innocent. I believe, like Ted Wells does, that it is “more probable than not” that Brady was “at least generally aware” of the deflation situation. And why wouldn’t he be? The Pats are a cutthroat organization that does whatever it takes to win. It would be very strange if the Colts player had made this up and that the findings of the deflated footballs turned out to be somehow incorrect. Also, why did the Patriots fire the assistants involved? Why were there texts referring to one of the guys as “the deflator”? And why did Brady destroy his phone before the league could reach any of his texts? The league made that clear, that a big reason for the punishment was the lack of cooperation from Brady. So no, I’m not positive that Brady did it, but the evidence seems to point towards it. And I highly doubt all the Patriots fans that claim that there is no evidence have read the entire Wells report. There is a reason there was a full fledged investigation.
But even if Brady didn’t do it, which seems very unlikely, the Pats still can and should be blamed for dragging this out in the manner that they are. Essentially what’s happening is that Brady and Kraft are saying “we don’t like that you’re punishing us so we’re just gonna cry about it”. It’s like, dude, you broke a rule! Fucking take the heat and get over it! It doesn’t have to be this big a deal! And again, even if Brady is innocent (which again, seems highly unlikely), the punishment’s already been given! And the pats didn’t cooperate! It’s over! Just accept it! The involvement of Robert Kraft and his comments are really what irks me. Robert Kraft had this to say regarding the situation:
“Back in May, I had to make a difficult decision that I now regret. I tried to do what I thought was right. I chose not to take legal action. I wanted to return the focus to football. […] I truly believe what I did in May, given the actual evidence of this situation and the league’s history on discipline matters, would make it much easier for the league to exonerate Tom Brady. Unfortunately, I was wrong […] I was wrong to put my faith in the league.”
Just incase you didn’t get that, I’ll translate it for you: “Back in May, I decided to cooperate with the league and submit to their investigation process, having faith in the league and respect for the way they handle things. I decided that whatever they decided, I would be okay with. However, now that these results have come out, it is clear that that was all bullshit. I only cooperated with the league because I thought they would do what I wanted. Now that I haven’t gotten what I wanted, I’m going to get angry and say that this is the league’s fault.” It’s funny how much resemblance this bears to republicans in the supreme court. When gay marriage was legalized and the republicans didn’t get what they wanted, then they started to criticize the system they held so true and dear.
The pats have also stated that they believe the league is trying to “destroy Brady’s reputation”, but the crazy thing is that it’s not the league that’s doing this, it’s Brady and the Patriots themselves. If they would just accept the punishment and let this go, we’d all forget about it and let it go and it wouldn’t be that big a deal. It’d only be a big deal for those who continue to say that events like these taint the Patriots rings, but those people don’t know what they’re talking about, so who cares what they think anyway?
What do Brady and the Pats expect to gain from this ordeal? Do they really think that the decision is going to be reversed and that Brady is going to be deemed innocent? The league’s told us multiple times what they think about this and everyone else has already made up their mind on this. The only thing the Patriots and Brady are doing is making themselves look more pathetic for each second that they continue to draw this out.
Wanna know the part that’s really funny, ironic, and if it weren’t about something so trivial as deflated footballs, would be a little bit sad? Robert Kraft had this to say to the media regarding the scandal:
“For reasons that I cannot comprehend, there are those in the league office who are more determined to prove that they were right rather than admit any culpability of their own or take any responsibility [for their actions]”
Yes there are Robert, yes there are.
During his recent press conference, Belichick had this to say regarding the scandal (paraphrased):
“It’s already been addressed. We’re gonna try to get the team ready for training camp and prepare for the 2015 season the same way we always do.”
The way the Pats and Brady have chosen to address the situation is sure making it awfully hard to do that.