NFL Deflategate: Punishment Too Harsh, But Support For Patriots QB Tom Brady In New England Grows More Sickening

People are crying. Screaming. Cursing. Calling in sick from work. Well, I’m not sure about the last one. Yet, it is safe to say that sports fans in New England are devastated following the news that their idol, hero and overall Golden Boy, Tom Brady, will be suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the 2015 season for his involvement in Deflategate.

Looks like their perfect little Golden Boy is now looking a bit tarnished.

I should probably start by admitting a few things by being open, honest and willing to tell you the truth. You know, things that Brady clearly does not believe in when dealing with scandals or investigations.

Sorry. Had to be said.

I am not a Brady fan. Yes, I live in New England but, I really don’t root for many teams in the area. Barely any, if I’m completely honest. I follow the Patriots, obviously, but they are not my team. I actually probably root against them far more often than I pull for them.

Patriots fans – like most Boston sports fans – are spoiled. They have¬†suddenly become used to winning after suffering for decades. They have that elitist swagger to them, and feel that their team is not only better than everyone else’s, but also that they can do no wrong.

Looks like the NFL has struck once again, in an attempt to clearly dispel that myth.

Alright. I’m starting to rant. I apologize. On to my point.

No, I don’t like Brady. I think he’s a phony. Clear and simple. I will, however, say that the punishment handed down by the NFL does not appear to fit the crime. After seeing what the NFL has initially done with players such as Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, I believe that four games seems a bit harsh.

But, Brady has no one to blame but himself.

Had he cooperated fully with the NFL from the beginning, the suspension would have likely been much less. He may have only been fined. The Patriots may not have lost another first-round draft pick and Jimmy Garroppolo may still be seen on television wearing a baseball cap and holding a clipboard instead of probably being thrust into a starting role in Brady’s absence.

But, Brady did not cooperate. While the proof – or, lackthereof – is weak, at best, Brady did not do himself any favors throughout this investigation. Should he be suspended for four games? I don’t know. Hey, the NFL is a messed up business. What do you want me to say?

Nobody knows what goes through the mind of league commissioner Roger Goodell. He seems to be completely lost when it comes to disciplining his players. Assault your fiance, drag her unconscious body out of an elevator and show little to no remorse? A two game suspension, until the public outcry becomes too much for him to handle. Letting a little bit of air out of a football to give a slight advantage that was probably not at all obvious when it came to the final outcome of a single game? You’re out for four games without pay.

It is ridiculous. I admit that. But, not nearly as ridiculous as the support for Brady from New England sports fans. These people are actually sickening. Brady is a football player. He plays a game. He is not like all of you. He does not care about you. You may think that he is one of your closest friends, since you see him on television and he wins your team championships but, that could not be further from the truth.

Yes, he is a great quarterback. But that is all. He plays a sport. Football is a game. The level of support and admiration and idolization of this man is absolutely crazy.

With that being said, I caution you all to settle down a bit. Don’t feel bad for Brady. Don’t feel bad for Robert Kraft. Don’t feel bad for Bill Belichick, the Patriots organization or anyone else involved in this matter.

Because, when something happens that affects your life, none of them will feel bad for you. They just won’t tell you that to your face.

I will.

Let this serve as a life lesson that nobody is perfect.

Not even Tom Brady.



About the author

Rob Kelley is a sports reporter for various newspapers in Florida, and is trying to break back into the sports writing game after a brief hiatus following the publishing of his first book, I'm Not a Quitter. He recently resigned as Editor-in-Chief and lead writer for The South Shore Magazine to pursue better opportunities. You can follow him on Twitter @RobKelley24.