Brady suspended for NFL’s troubles
We have all heard by now that Tom Brady has been suspended for four games this season for what has become known as “Deflategate”. The New England Patriots were also fined $1 million and will have two upcoming draft picks taken from them as well. But is the NFL to blame for this ridiculous controversy because they implemented a rule in 2006 that allowed teams to bring and use their own balls during games?
Photo: Elise Amendola/AP
The NFL rule implemented in 2006 was ironically lobbied for by Tom Brady and Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts. The rule allowed for each team to bring their own balls to use during the game. This allowed doctoring of the ball to get it to a comfortable level and feel for the quarterback. So why is air pressure outside of those parameters? If there is some sort of atmospheric benefit than both teams could take advantage. But it’s not about any kind of scientific advantage or disadvantage, it’s about each quarterbacks comfort level of the ball. The NFL opened this Pandora’s box now they are stumbling all over themselves, again, trying to appease the masses.
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Before I move on and talk about the hypocrisy of the NFL, let me first address the notion of cheating. This was not cheating folks. Was it bending a ridiculous rule? Yes, but it was not cheating. This is not using steroids, this is not throwing a spit ball, this is not even using a corked or excessive pine tar bat. We are talking about the slightest difference in air pressure that the league has arbitrarily set limits on. We’re talking about a difference in pressure that no one would ever notice. How do I know this, because the officials inspected the game balls before that game and OK’d them. The officials picked the ball up after every play and never thought the balls being used by Brady that day were suspicious or abnormal. Just because I like to take my shower in 102 degree water and you take yours in 105 degree water, does that mean you’re getting cleaner than I am? No, we’re both getting clean but you are more comfortable with a slightly warmer temperature than I am. And it’s not enough of a difference that anyone else would even notice. That’s about how ridiculous I think this whole controversy is.
The game in question was a 45-7 blowout. Something tells me air pressure wasn’t the Colts only issue that day. Brady’s receivers still had to get open, they still had to catch the ball, his offensive linemen still had to block and the defenders were not at any disadvantage to be in the right place at the right time. You will never be able to convince me that every team in the NFL wasn’t doing something very similar with manipulation of the ball. Every quarterback has their preferences and they were using this rule to their advantage. I feel like the Colts became poor sports and whistleblowers after losing so badly in the AFC Championship. And keep in mind that LeGarrette Blount scored three rushing TD’s and the Colts only scored seven points in the game. I’m sorry, the cheating rationale doesn’t fly with me on this one.
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I absolutely agree with KBAK & KBFX news anchor Rob Finnerty. Hear his take on “Deflategate” below…
Now for the hypocrisy of the NFL. Tom Brady is being suspended for four games after an independent investigation says he “probably” had knowledge of the ball tampering. Ray Rice was initially suspended 2 games after video evidence was released of him knocking out his fiance. How do you justify this? First off, we are talking about a possible rule infraction as opposed to video proof of a crime being committed. Secondly, we are talking about a slight difference in air pressure of a ball as opposed to domestic battery. So obviously I find it absurd that people actually want Brady to be suspended for eight games to a year. That sounds like sour grapes and a bunch of Tom Brady and Patriot hating going on. And to infer that somehow his image or legacy is now tainted because of this…c’mon man! The bottom line is ball pressure had nothing to do with the outcome of this game so I laugh at the suggestion that this is cheating. And to say or think that Brady and the Patriots won the championship because they were cheating is foolish.
The biggest issue in this whole thing should be the politics of the NFL. Roger Goodell has been going out of his way to be politically correct as of late and he is making an absolute mess of things. Caving when he shouldn’t and taking a hard stand where he shouldn’t. The punishment does not fit the “supposed” crime in this case. The NFL created this situation by allowing this rule in the first place. If Goodell really wants to come down hard and make a stand then abolish this ridiculous rule so that you never have to deal with this again. It is one of the most insane little known rules in sports. Your allowing each team to bring their own game balls and use them in the game? That sounds like a good idea? Could you imagine if every batter in the major leagues hands the pitcher the ball that he wants to hit. That’s insane but pretty close to what the NFL is allowing here. Goodell has only responded this harshly because all eyes are watching to see if he treats Brady like some of these guys with real issues. Domestic violence and using a slightly under inflated ball are not even on the same page. They’re not even in the same book. You do not put people with unpaid parking tickets in the same jail cell with murderers.
I would have liked Goodell to come out and said the New England Patriots will be fined $500k and we are no longer allowing teams to use their own game balls. No further punishment is warranted. Let’s not kid ourselves, a lot of this is people finally wanting to have some dirt on Tom Brady since he has the appearance of a squeaky clean image. Well you picked a pretty lame time to jump on the man considering this “controversy” is much ado about nothing and oh yeah…he just won the Superbowl. Roger Goodell has once again mishandled this whole issue. And why did this take four months? And why did we waste four months of our lives even thinking about this ridiculous topic? While many will be happy that the NFL’s “golden boy” finally got nailed too, this punishment is absurdly unjust. Goodell has many more serious issues going on in his league involving real criminal activity. I only hope he has a plan to address these issues and stops giving attention to what amounts to just a bunch of hot air.
Do you think the punishment handed down on Brady and the Patriots by Roger Goodell fits the crime? We want to hear what you think, leave your comments below.
Brandon covers the NFL for MyFantasySportsTalk.com, you can follow him on Twitter @New_Breid
He is from Memphis and graduated from Arkansas State University with a degree in broadcast journalism. He loves the Memphis Tigers, Grizzlies, Titans, and Arkansas State Red Wolves.
“I promise to bring information, insight, and strong opinion. Let the debate begin.”
You can follow Brandon on Twitter @New_Breid