Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 6:12 AM

NFL Sacks Brady as Court Reinstates Deflategate Suspension

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

481277_1280x720Last July, the NFL handed New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady a four-game suspension for his role in the infamous Deflategate caper.

The facts were so universally debated back then, I see no point in rehashing them now. Instead, here is how I commented on his suspension in “NFL on Brady’s Appeal: He Cheated, then Lied, and then Obstructed Justice,” July 29, 2015.


In “NFL Investigation: Brady’s a Liar and a Cheat,” May 7, 2015, I not only declared my belief that Tom Brady is as guilty as sin, but urged [NFL commissioner Roger Goodell] to make an example of him to protect the integrity of the game.

571e394d1900002d0056c1e7But I had no idea Brady’s consciousness of guilt was such that he obstructed the Deflategate investigation the way Richard Nixon obstructed the Watergate investigation. In fact, given reports that he destroyed critical cellphone evidence “on or shortly before” the day he met with the special investigator, he really left Goodell no choice…

This guy just strikes me as an arrogant cheater and a pathological liar. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of legal hacks and PR flacks willing to enable and defend his pathologies for a handsome fee.

Which brings me to the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). It should leave Brady to his own devices … to protect its own integrity. That Patriots owner Robert Kraft accepted the team’s punishment without appeal is instructive in this regard. Many pundits accused him of throwing Brady under the bus. But Kraft did what was clearly in the best interest of his team and the league, honoring the unqualified maxim that no player is bigger than the game.

goodellBy the same token, it behooves the NFLPA to act in the interest of the association and the league. The evidence of Brady’s guilt is beyond any reasonable doubt. And Goodell’s power to discipline him is beyond reproach.

Therefore, standing by Brady – in his self-indulgent and futile efforts to salvage his reputation – will create an untenable and unsustainable expectation among other players; namely that the NFLPA will stand by them too, no matter how egregiously they cheat or what crimes they commit.

Trust me folks, in a legal fight between Brady and Goodell … on this issue, Brady is bound to suffer a humiliating and costly defeat. Unfortunately, he’s too full of himself to realize it, and his hacks and flacks are raking in too much of his money to deflate his ego. But he would be well advised to cut his losses, accept the suspension, and let his supermodel wife help him lick his wounds behind closed doors….

That said, I think it’s fair to assert that Tom Brady’s reputation in Football is (or should be) every bit as tarnished as Barry Bonds’ reputation in Baseball is (and should be).


This is why I was more gratified than surprised when the court affirmed the NFL’s decision earlier this week:

A U.S. appeals court on Monday restored the four-game “Deflategate” suspension of New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady over allegations footballs were under inflated before an NFL playoff game last year.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reversed a federal judge’s ruling from September. The appeals court ruled that in imposing the suspension, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell properly exercised his discretion under a collective bargaining agreement.

(Reuters, April 25, 2016)

Unfortunately, the drawn-out legal process enabled Brady to play last season with the presumption of vindication, which that federal judge’s erroneous ruling conferred upon him. And his lawyers could prevail upon him to draw it out even more by appealing this latest sack all the way to the Supreme Court.

Tom BradyAfter all, they have already played him for a rich fool – whose willingness to part ways with his money, in vain attempts to preserve his “All-American” reputation, knows no bounds.

Thankfully, there’s plenty of time for Brady, his legal hacks, and PR flacks to play out all kinds of futile maneuvers. Whatever the case, I expect him to be sidelined for the first four games when the NFL kicks off its next season on September 8.

In the meantime, the players should fire the head of their NFLPA. I’m just sayin’.

Related commentaries:
NFL on Brady

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