With the NFL regular season steadily approaching the Tom Brady ‘Deflategate’ saga has seemingly come to an end. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals denied a petition by Brady to rehear his 4 game suspension handed down by the league’s commissioner Roger Goodell. Finally, after 18 months of deliberation the United States justice system (which most definitely have bigger concerns) has satisfied the conscience of New England Patriot haters across the globe over whether Tom Brady cheated by letting air out of a handful of footballs.
My question now is does the punishment fit the crime? Let us not forget that the Patriots did go on to win Super Bowl 49 over the Seattle Seahawks and that will not be taken away from them. But now after a year and a half, Brady is suspended the first 4 games of the upcoming NFL season for cheating in a playoff game? In my opinion the NFL should have suspended Brady for the final 4 games of the regular season when the Patriots may need him the most. That would be justice. Having to play the entire regular season knowing that your best player was going to sit out the final quarter of the season could really rattle a team’s chances of making the playoffs.
Though it does upset me to a certain extent that the Patriots have time and time again cheated, I have to give credit where credit is due. The age old phrase “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t trying” rings true here. Bill Belichick and his slimeball crew of coaches have found grey areas in the NFL rules and exploited them to their advantage numerous times and it would not surprise me in the least if they are pulling the wool over the NFL’s eyes again right now. They are trying to win in every aspect of the game and frankly do not care whether they are doing it legally or not. The NFL will again drag out the process of punishing a team or a player allowing them to continue to play even after cheating. If the NFL is going to slap a four game suspension on a player or take a draft pick away from a team or player that cheats, you can bet that the Patriots will have no problem accepting their punishment if it means them advancing further into the season.
The NFL brass has gone flaccid as they understand that if a high profile team or player is not on the field they are going to lose money. It is a sad reality that we are not only seeing in professional sports but in the American justice system and politics as well. There have been too many instances where money and fame has been able to influence the judicial process in America. The ‘Deflategate’ saga may only be a small blip on the radar but the underlying factors are a bigger issue. If the NFL doesn’t punish its teams and players in a sensible way, teams and players will continue breaking the rules and biting the bullet to succeed.