By Kevin Flanagan
BSD Senior Staff Writer
Down goes Brady.
Early Friday afternoon New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced via his Facebook page that he “made the difficult decision not to proceed with the legal process.” In doing so, he brought to an end the most idiotic episode in NFL’s history – the debacle known as Deflategate – and will now serve the four game suspension handed down from the league’s commissioner Roger Goodell.
To that I give a hearty and heartfelt, Hallelujah!
Sure, there will be some Patriots fans that will be pissed off by his decision, but Brady is a smart guy. He knew the probability of him winning was less than the probability of another team winning the AFC East this year, even with Jimmy Garoppolo behind center for the first month of the season.
Before this is finally put to bed, let’s call this what is has been from the start, a witch hunt to punish the Patriots for “getting away with” Spygate in 2007. Goodell had to make good to the other 29 owners around the league for destroying the evidence and giving the Pats and his then pal Robert Kraft a light sentence for a silly offense.
Since then owners and executives around the league have been looking for a way get their pound of flesh from the most successful team in the salary cap era, and they found it by way of a bungled investigation into the air pressure in footballs during an absolute ass-kicking in the 2014 AFC Championship game.
The ad nauseam arguing over PSI in a football was moot once the courts got involved, and it became strictly about a weak NFL Players Association and the poor negotiating skills of its leadership. Ultimately it came down to the power the players gave to the Ginger Hammer in the first place, and regardless of lack of evidence and the support of science in Brady’s favor, the court decided that the CBA was the CBA, case closed.
However, that didn’t stop the Patriots sycophants from “defending the wall” during the process, and it won’t stop the chest pounding that will be taking place around the league until Brady returns for game five against the Cleveland Browns. Fans of the other 29 teams around the league now have a suspension to point to in order lower the Pats standing as the only dynastic team since the salary cap was introduced in 1994.
Brady stepping down does nothing but give his team certainty about how the first month of the season will play out, and who Bill Belichick will have at his disposal to coach up for the first four games. It also gives him something he probably has secretly been hoping for, a chance to see how Jimmy G plays when the games really matter.
No matter what you read on Twitter, this is not admission of guilt by Brady, only a realistic decision to stop the insanity. And while he most certainly will not enjoy his time away from his team, a pissed off, well rested, focused Tom Brady is not what any of the 29 other teams in the league want to see when the calendar flips to January.
So get ready Patriots fans, the wall has been torn down by Brady himself. Your boy will be labeled a cheater with a suspension on his record to prove it. Save your breath on the Ideal Gas Law debates and the fact that the NFL never released the data it collected on air pressure in footballs last season, because it probably would have worked against their case.
The greatest of all time has been branded an outlaw by the man who should be making him the face of his league. And while players who drive over 100 miles an hour while running from the police with marijuana, a loaded gun, and a child in the car get only a one game suspension, the Ginger Hammer demanded Brady’s pelt be put up on his wall for 1 or 2 PSI in a football.
Football season is fast approaching, and with Brady’s decision, maybe the focus will begin to shift back to the field. Deflategate is over, at least legally. For TB12 and the Patriots though, it will likely be a loss they can never quite forget. Surely, no one around the rest of the NFL will ever let them.