Tom Brady should be suspended.
Let’s get that out of the way right off the top.
The Clintonian defense put up by his agent and his father only make him look more guilty and more pathetic.
But Brady should never have felt the need to cheat. We’ll get to that in a minute.
Brady not only knew about the game balls being deflated by Patriots’ equipment guys, he most likely requested it.
And not only for the AFC Championship game last January.
Common sense and several pages of text messages between Brady and the Patriots’ equipment managers tell you that it was an ongoing practice.
Brady pushed hard back in 2006 for the NFL to change the rules and allow each team to provide game balls.
And remember the Tuck Rule Game?
That was way back in January of 2002. The divisional playoff game was played in the snow and Brady’s apparent fumble, that would have given the win to the Oakland Raiders, was overturned by an obscure rule and called an incomplete pass because Brady was pulling the ball back in after attempting a pass and trying to tuck it away.
The rule was abolished in 2013.
But it seemed to have had an effect on Brady. Losing that ball could have cost the Patriots a trip to the Super Bowl. It’s not outrageous to suggest that, because of the Tuck Rule Game, Brady became more concerned than the average NFL quarterback about gripping the football in bad weather.
My guess is that Brady has been keeping his eye on weather forecasts and having the equipment guys adjust the balls accordingly for a long time.
The forecast for the AFC Championship game last January, according to AccuWeather, was for “heavy rain throughout the game as a storm rides up the coastline Sunday into Sunday night. The wind will be a problem throughout the game as Foxborough will see 15 to 20 mile per hour sustained winds.”
If you don’t think that having a softer football helps a quarterback, his receivers and the running backs in weather like that, then I’d be willing to bet you’ve never thrown a 20-yard spiral.
My friends in the media who dismiss that advantage should be required to demonstrate their passing ability.
So, it would be nice if Brady, the Patriots and their cheerleaders in the media would stop insulting our intelligence by suggesting that it was the football equivalent of rolling through a stop sign.
And what should the NFL do after it suspends Brady (4 games has a nice ring to it) and takes a draft pick (2nd or 3rd sounds about right) away from the Patriots?
It should stop testing the game balls.
Why shouldn’t each quarterback decide how the footballs he’ll be using are inflated?
The NFL is all about maximizing offense.
The millions of people, who tuned in to see Brady vs. Andrew Luck last January, wanted to see an air show.
Watching football in the rain used to be fun when it was a battle in the muddy trenches, but that was before running the ball became an afterthought and mud was all but eliminated from the game.
It’s only an advantage to one team if only one quarterback can adjust the grip for bad weather. So let both of them play with a ball they can grip and rip.
Did you know that in the first NFL-AFL Championship Game -before it was known as the Super Bowl – the Green Bay Packers used the official NFL ball and the Kansas City Chiefs used the official AFL ball?
The AFL was a much more pass happy league and used a ball that was, you know, easier to throw.
Brady and the Patriots cheated and should be punished, but if the cheating results in the elimination of a stupid rule, maybe their legacy will be a little less tarnished.