by Ryan Skolrud
***Update*** The NFL has suspended Tom Brady 4 games, stripped the Patriots of their 2016 1st round draft pick, 2017 4th round pick, and fined the Patriots $1 million.
***Update*** According to the NY Daily News, Roger Goodell will suspend Tom Brady. As of right now we do not know how long. Estimates range from 2 games to an entire season.
Original Article: Rookie mini camps have started today. Draft picks and undrafted free agents are working out with their new teams and learning what it is to be a professional. Players are trying to make an impression on their new employers. Dreams are being realized. However, that is not what most football fans and sportswriters are talking about.
The results of another New England Patriots’ scandal investigation have come in. Ted Wells’ findings on Deflategate were reported a couple days ago, which confirmed what most people believed anyway:
“Based on the evidence, it also is our view that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of [two New England employees] involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.”
However, as Dan Wetzel of Yahoo pointed out, the report only shows that they are pretty sure Brady is guilty, but cannot prove it.
This has become such a distraction that the University of New Hampshire is creating a four-credit class on the legal implications of Deflategate.
As a disappointed Seahawk fan, I know that this has nothing to do with the Pats winning the Super Bowl, or the AFC Championship for that matter. The ‘Hawks decided to pass on the 2 yard line with the best power back in the league. Then there was Dwayne Allen of the Colts who tweeted out,
“@NFLonFOX not a story. They could have played with soap for balls and beat us. Simply the better team. We have to continue to build! #BTM.”
The deflated footballs had no effect on the outcomes of either game, but it looks like the Patriots still cheated. When a bench player is found to test positive for an illegal substance, they still get suspended even if they have no effect on a game. Therefore, the guilty parties should be punished. The equipment guys in charge of the football inflation should be fired (if the Patriots have not done that already) and Tom Brady (who seemed to be behind wanting the balls inflated or deflated to his liking) should be suspended. Rumors have surfaced that it could be 6-8 games this next season and the punishment could come down as early as today.
Brady is arguably one of the best quarterbacks to have ever played the game. His place in history is pretty much sealed. The yards, the touchdowns, the wins, and the Super Bowl victories place him in Canton. No questions asked. However, with Spygate (which he had no involvement in but reaped the benefits of) and now Deflategate, there will always be a cloud of uncertainty and doubt as to how great he actually was.
In the end, Brady won the Super Bowl. He was voted the MVP of the game. His ticket to Canton is already punched. But as it looks now, he cheated. And even if that has nothing to do with the end results of the games, in my opinion he deserves whatever punishment is dealt to him.