PATRIOTS’ QUARTERBACK WILL SIT FOR FOUR GAMES
|| By FITSNEWS || National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld the four-game suspension leveled against New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady for his role in “Deflate-gate.”
“Brady’s deliberate destruction of potentially relevant evidence went beyond a mere failure to cooperate in the investigation and supported a finding that he had sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs,” Goodell’s office said in announcing its ruling.
In addition to having knowledge of the deflated balls, Brady is accused of destroying his cell phone prior to his meeting with Ted Wells – the investigator hired by the league to determine whether the Patriots broke the rules (again).
Goodell added that Brady had “engaged in conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of professional football.”
Unless Brady can get a court to overturn the ruling, he will be forced to sit out the first four games of the 2015 season – meaning he would return to the Patriots’ lineup in time for the team’s October 18 game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
In the aftermath of the Patriots’ 45-7 win over the Colts six months ago, eleven of the team’s twelve footballs were determined to have been at least two pounds per square inch below league specifications – which call for all balls to be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch (and weigh between 14 and 15 ounces).
Why does this matter? Under-inflated balls are easier for players to grip – especially in slick, rainy conditions like those that prevailed at Gillette Stadium during the AFC championship game. They are also easier for wide receivers and running backs to catch. In fact, Brady has made his preference for under-inflated footballs well known, telling a New England radio station in 2011 “I like the deflated ball.”
The scandal – known as “Deflate-gate” – dominated headlines in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLIX, which the Patriots narrowly won over the Seattle Seahawks.
As much as this website detests Brady (our founding editor is a longtime Colts fan), we have previously argued against the punishment handed down by the league …
These punishments would be entirely appropriate – perhaps even a bit lenient – in the event the league had been provided with ironclad evidence of cheating. But they weren’t presented with such evidence, they were presented with conclusions based on the standard “more likely than not.”
Now … did the Patriots cheat? Clearly. Did their cheating impact the outcome of the game in question? Yes … although it’s unlikely this impact would have changed the outcome of the game.
But were these allegations conclusively proven? No.
Absent concrete proof, Brady shouldn’t have been suspended.
The saddest part of all this? Brady is the best quarterback in NFL history (certainly the best post-season passer of all-time), and the Patriots are one of its most dominating dynasties. In other words they don’t have to cheat.
Oh well, look for the Patriots-Colts matchup in October to break all sorts of regular season television records …
And finally, if you’re looking for a laugh check out this hilarious video of Brady “responding” to the allegations.