by Sheilla Dingus
December 13, 2016
Why all the sad and angry faces my fellow Patriots fan friends? While Roger Goodell won the legal battle in Deflategate and forced Tom Brady to serve a four-game suspension, he lost the war! “Public confidence in the integrity of the game of professional football” is at an all-time low, and this is in large part due to Deflategate, and now the short-lived nontroversy of Deflategate 2.0. What an irony. The “crime” of undermining confidence in the integrity of the game which he tried to pin on Tom Brady backfired and Goodell is now the poster child for that brand of “integrity.”.
Tom Brady has shown he’s a better man than Roger Goodell by taking the high road and simply going out and playing the best football of his career at age 39. He’s scorching the record books. His actions are not those of a loser, but a winner!
Prior to Deflategate, and in its early stages, the national media was extremely quick on the draw to bash the NFL’s longest running Dynasty. Deflategate changed all that when reporters gained access to and started looking at the facts. Redskins writer Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post has continually come to bat for the Patriots in some of the most stinging indictments of Roger Goodell and his NFL imaginable. She has called him “a political bungler and and dunce,” among other choice words. Houston Texans writer and attorney Stephanie Stradley debunked the commissioner time and time again. So did many others. The longer the Deflategate saga wore on the more prominent writers from outside of Patriots nation began to speak up, calling out the league for its absurdity and its clumsy attempts to use Deflategate to hide the serious issues of domestic violence and concussions.
Meanwhile a new league developed; one that was composed of some of the most respected scientific minds from the nation’s most prestigious universities. Paper after paper was published explaining the ideal gas law, and debunking the manipulated claims of the NFL’s expert, junk science firm, Exponent. Some scientists went so far as to submit amicus briefs to the court explaining the physics behind the naturally deflated footballs. I’m sure they were incredulous that a multi-billion dollar corporation wasn’t capable of comprehending basic science that a seventh-grader was able to demonstrate for a middle-school science-fair project. People noticed.
While the NFL spent millions to convince the courts of their correctness, the most prominent sports attorneys in the country – people like UNH law professor and Sports Illustrated legal analyst, Michael McCann, top-rated sports law gaming and appellate attorney Daniel Wallach of Becker and Poliakoff, and Dan Werly, managing editor of ABA Journal’s top-ranked sports law blog, the White Bronco – defended Tom Brady – free of charge in the court of public opinion, and in doing so, put a flashlight on the inequities of the league’s collective bargaining agreement for all to see.
Media coverage of the quick open and shut of Deflategate II confirms what I’m saying. I challenge anyone to find a writer that suggests wrong doing was done on the part of the Steelers. And we’re mad about this? It means we won, folks! Think about it. Every neutral media outlet that reported on the open and shut Deflategate 2.0 recognized the ideal gas law as the reason for the lowered PSI. In doing so, they vindicated Tom Brady and showed that his balls were no less compliant than those of the Steelers. More than a few have said that Roger Goodell owes Tom Brady an apology. All journalists drew attention to how quickly and quietly the NFL tried to silence this. Sally Jenkins (how I love this woman’s style) said, regarding the NFL’s silence, “Just listen to those crickets.” She continued, “It’s a guilty silence, and it leaves NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell beached and exposed. Goodell has always struggled with the demands of speech, but his wordlessness in this instance has nothing to do with competence but rather dishonesty.”
“Oh, what a wicked web we weave when once we practice to deceive.” It’s seems the dear commissioner has spun quite the gossamer tangle for himself. So as I said at the beginning of this piece, why all the sad, angry faces, my friends? Cheer up!
Here’s what Tom Brady had to say about Deflategate 2.0:
“It’s really inconsequential to me,” Brady told Jim Gray of Westwood One, via Pro Football Talk. “I really had put my situation behind me a long time ago and they’ll decide whatever they want to do. That’s their prerogative as a league, but for me I got plenty of things that I have moved on from and I got to worry about. My job is football and playing well and that’s what my focus is especially just before one of the biggest games of our season.”
So does Brady have any advice for the league after its investigation concluded that Brady deserved a four-game suspension? “I’ll leave that to all the Patriots fans, I’m sure they have pretty strong opinions, too,” Brady said.