The outrage over the DeflateGate punishment has been comical. We’re talking more comical than sports fans arguing for months over the impact of air pressure in footballs.
Tom Brady is among the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Bill Belichick has one of the brightest football minds the game has ever seen. Both men will also go to great lengths to give themselves an edge over their competition, which at times means breaking league rules.
These qualities aren’t mutually exclusive, although you wouldn’t know it listening to those on opposite sides of the DeflateGate spectrum.
There can be good people who make poor decisions from time to time. There can be honest people who’ve told a white lie or two.
Brady and Belichick can be brilliant performers that have also cheated.
As individuals we like to live in the gray area of life. But when it comes to the judgments of other people, we tend to see in black and white.
It seems those defending Brady are doing so in order to protect the legitimacy of his career and the four Super Bowls the Patriots won with him under center.
Then there are those coupling DeflateGate with SpyGate as reasons to place an asterisk by every game or title won by Brady and Belichick.
This is where common sense should prevail.
For starters, Brady absolutely played a role in taking air out of those game balls. He may have not held the needle, but those two Patriots employees didn’t risk their jobs and reputations without reason. Circumstantial or not, the evidence against Brady is damning and I wouldn’t be surprised if he received two games for his role in all of this, as well as an additional two games for not cooperating with the NFL’s investigation.
Defend Brady if you must, but thinking he was oblivious to what was going on is just foolish.
It’s also naive to believe Brady and the Patriots have won for 15 years only because they’ve cheated.
Yes, they’ve broken rules, for which they’ve been punished (harshly in the latest case). But the air pressure of the ball that Brady was slinging in the Super Bowl in February didn’t stop him from putting together a fourth quarter for the ages.
The radicals in this latest scandal will read articles like this and blast the authors for defending Brady or criticize them for not turning a blind eye to what their golden boy did. The reality is, there’s both greatness and arrogance with Tom Brady. The same guy that has the nuggets to rally his team in the fourth quarter of multiple Super Bowls clearly has it within himself to pat you on the back with his right hand and steal your wallet with his left.
To ignore Tom Brady’s role in DeflateGate would be to disregard his immense competitiveness. In this instance, perhaps the two are mutually exclusive.
But there’s a gray area that exists. One that paints Brady as both a tremendous player, and a deceiver.