Tom Brady Has Been Suspended For The First Four Games Of The 2015 Regular Season #DeflateGate
By now, you’ve heard the news: Tom Brady, four time Super Bowl winner and one of the most noticed athletes on the planet, has been suspended four games for maybe, possibly, probably cheating. Like most things that happen in the Internet age, the reactions have been far and wide. Anti-Patriot fans (for which there are many) either love the punishment or think more should’ve been done, like stripping Brady of his Super Bowl title last year and banishing his first born child to Siberia. Patriot fans and Brady defenders have either quietly chastised the NFL and Goodell or called for the commissioner to be hung from Copley Square while Bill Belichick throws lit cigarettes at him. As a non Patriots fan, my thoughts are somewhere in the middle. I think Brady cheated, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how missing 25% of your team’s games is a fair punishment for deflating footballs. Here’s the real problem: the NFL and Roger Goodell have royally fucked up so many of these investigations that they backed themselves into a corner. Instead of doing the right thing with guys like Ray Rice and Greg Hardy, the NFL refused to act and let the general public dictate what should be done. The more hands in the pot, the worse it got, and by the time the NFL finally acted, no punishment was going to be good enough. The same thing happened here. If Tom Brady didn’t get suspended, everyone besides Patriot fans would have been in an uproar because the official NFL investigation supposedly said he cheated. It would’ve most definitely been turned into a race issue (because what ISN’T turned into a race issue in 2015?) and Goodell would have been forced to act eventually. If Brady got suspended one game, Patriots fans would have been in an uproar and compared it to the two games Ray Rice received for assaulting his wife. “Tom Brady deflates footballs and gets a one game suspension but Ray Rice beats his wife and gets two games. That’s fair.” Does that sentence look familiar? It should, because if you have a social media account you’ve seen that exact statement, except of course, Brady got four games, which is double the initial Ray Rice punishment. Roger Goodell is like Dr. Evil or a Bond villain, except much worse; when the movie ends, the bad guy disappears. Unfortunately for football fans, Roger Goodell is very real, and very bad at his job. He claims suspending Brady for four games is protecting the integrity of the game, but the integrity of football has been gone for a long time. Brady’s cheating might have directly affected the outcome of a game, but is that really worse than some of the things Goodell has let his players get away with over the years? Here’s an excerpt from the arrest report on Greg Hardy:
In the protective order request, the woman said Hardy picked her up and threw her into the tiled tub area of a bathroom. He then dragged her into the bedroom, choked her, picked her up again and “threw [her] onto a couch covered in assault rifles and/or shotguns.”
“Hardy bragged that all of those assault rifles were loaded,” the motion stated.
She said that Hardy threatened to shoot her if she went to the media or reported the assault to anyone.
Hardy was suspended 10 games, and just signed a one year incentive laden deal that could pay him $13 million this year. So if a guy like this can just serve his 10 games and get paid, what exactly is stopping other players from being a complete pile of garbage? Hell, the 10 game suspension probably prolonged Hardy’s career. The NFL allows this stuff to happen then tries to save face by suspending, of all people, Tom Brady. A 4 time Super Bowl winner, a top 2 or 3 quarterback of all time and by all accounts a good husband and father. You may say the latter part has nothing to do with deflate gate, but you’re wrong. The NFL and Roger Goodell are tainting a guy’s legacy to make up for all the bullshit they messed up in the past, and it isn’t right. At the same time, they let guys like Hardy and Ray Rice continue to make money and enable their deplorable off season behavior. It’s a sad day for the NFL and professional sports, and as long as Roger Goodell is at the helm, it won’t get better.