Shortly before 6 p.m. on Monday the league suspended Tom Brady for four games, docked the Patriots two draft picks and fined the team $1 million. The Patriots deserved to be punished. I even had some fun with idea as Patriots as cheaters with a recent idea that they needed to cheat better. But the NFL has embarrassed itself with this complete over-the-top we here bear the Iron Fist punishment of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
It’s a joke for this reason: The NFL released the Wells Report and then waited to hear how the public wanted them — The NFL — to react. Hey NFL, grow a pair. Why not release the Wells report and punishment at the same time? I’d say it’s because Roger Goodell wanted to please the public and the other owners in the NFL … not necessarily make a real decision based on any facts.
The NFL has now created a second part to this storm. Get ready for Brady to battle the NFL Gladiator-style with appeals.
In a statement by Don Yee, Brady’s agent, (per Adam Schefter):
“The discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis. In my opinion, this outcome was pre-determined; there was no fairness in the Wells investigation whatsoever. There is no evidence that Tom directed footballs be set at pressures below the allowable limits. In fact, the evidence shows Tom clearly emphasized that footballs be set at pressures within the rules. Tom also cooperated with the investigation and answered every question presented to him. The Wells Report presents significant evidence, however, that the NFL lacks standards or protocols with respect to its handling of footballs prior to games; this is not the fault of Tom or the Patriots. The report also presents significant evidence the NFL participated with the Colts in some type of pre-AFC Championship Game planning regarding the footballs. This fact may raise serious questions about the integrity of the games we view on Sundays. We will appeal, and if the hearing officer is completely independent and neutral, I am very confident the Wells Report will be exposed as an incredibly frail exercise in fact-finding and logic. The NFL has a well-documented history of making poor disciplinary decisions that often are overturned when truly independent and neutral judges or arbitrators preside, and a former federal judge has found the commissioner has abused his discretion in the past, so this outcome does not surprise me. Sadly, today’s decision diminishes the NFL as it tells its fans, players and coaches that the games on the field don’t count as much as the games played on Park Avenue.”
Shalise Manza Young tweeted the following letter from Troy Vincent:
Did the league really suspend Brady for not handing over his cell phone? It sure reads that way. I don’t really care what those “safeguards” were. Why would Brady be compelled to turn over his personal cell phone? This wasn’t a Federal investigation.
The Wells report only has circumstantial evidence. It certainly does not contain “substantial and credible evidence.”
Oh, and the whole “integrity of the game” thing. Give me a break. Hey Troy, didn’t Indy tip you off that the Pats might be using under inflated balls? Why the hell would you allow an entire half of an AFC playoff game go on with this knowledge? Let’s just be honest, the Patriots probably cheated and it felt so good to catch them red-handed. Can we please stop with the word “integrity.”
Did Spygate influence this decision? I don’t see why it would … but the Patriots do have a pattern of behavior now and people get so ButtHurt over the Patriots — Can you say John Harbaugh. So sorry you didn’t know the rules Johnny-boy. And Pats fans get super ButtHurt over the perceived persecution of their team. That’s why this is going to blow up into a storm of epic ButtHurtedness. A storm I can’t wait to witness.
Tom Brady does not have a pattern of bad behavior. Did Brady know the balls were deflated? Maybe. Did Brady order the balls to be deflated? Who knows. Probably. Maybe not. I don’t know. That’s pretty much the sum of the Wells Report.
A big fat squishy “more probable than not” has cost the Patriots two draft picks and four games lost of their starting QB.
One thing we should take from this: The utter weakness of the AFC East. There’s a good chance that even if the full suspension is upheld the team still goes 3-1 over those four games. Do you remember what happened after Spygate? The Patriots recovered and won 18 straight games.
I’m galvanized. Give me Super Bowl number 5. Let the hate rain down. Embrace the evil. Ride this beautiful and disgusting wave to Levi’s Stadium.