The verdict came down for Tom Brady today: a four game suspension commencing with the start of the 2015 season. The New England Patriots were fined $1,000,000 and will forfeit two draft picks in the next two NFL drafts.
It left me furious and conflicted, for reasons I laid out last week, and it left me with the impression that no one will come out looking great after all of this. Not Tom Brady, not Roger Goodell, not the NFL, not sports in general.
Mr. Brady’s legacy was secure before he got caught in this scheme to deflate footballs, which he wasn’t alone in the history of the NFL in ever doing. But because he refused to answer questions, or to cooperate in an investigation into his actions that OTHERS have also done, he got punished, much like Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints did a few years back.
I’m not saying Tom Brady is innocent in this, far from it. Like I said last week, the NFL, instead of looking at the core issues of why teams put bounties out to injure players (to win games, duh!) or deflate footballs insure that these villains have one face.
Roger Goodell, after all, has a tidiness urge.
Number 12 of the New England Patriots gave up his integrity and possibly a road paved in gold to Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame to get an unneeded edge in an effort to get into his sixth Super Bowl. That’s tragic and laughable at the same time. He has stained his game, just like the juiced up home run hitting baseball players did the past two decades.
Pete Rose was a pariah to baseball for over a quarter century because he bet on his baseball team and used his knowledge of the game to make bets, a “crime” for which he’s finally getting back on his feet for, landing a FOX analyst gig. Tom Brady gets four games for deflating a football. He should have gotten more games, and he should have been suspended for the Super Bowl which he wound up winning in a fluke of a finish.
Sometimes (and only sometimes) there is no justice in the world, and as long as Roger Goodell is the NFL commissioner, those injustices will outweigh the justice.