Sep. 3, 2015

About That ‘Deflate-Gate’ Ruling

By Marc Platt

I have been called a New England Patriot “apologist” before.

They ARE my favorite team, but I have insisted since the beginning of this “Deflate-Gate” episode that everybody is guilty of something here.

The Patriots have had a culture of stretching the limits of “gamesmanship” for more than a decade, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has consistently overstepped his duties as the $40 million stooge for the owners and the media has rightly or wrongly perpetuated the myth that New England did something illegal.

Judge Berman correctly made Goodell’s farce of a witch hunt a reality, pointing out all the deficiencies in their case. The NFL had “no proof” of wrongdoing, but rather “must have known” that something was going on.

My friends, there is ALWAYS something going on when it comes to “the footballs.” Why do you think all the other teams and their quarterbacks have kept their mouths shut for nine months? Hall of famer Jerry Rice even walked back his statements of condemnation, citing his use of stickum as “gamesmanship’ back in his glory days.

This was a BS witch hunt that the NFL could have skated through with a token one-game suspension that I feel reasonably confident Brady would have accepted. Everyone could have then moved on.

Tom Brady is “The Face” of the NFL. He is their golden poster boy of good looks, a bitchin’ babe of a wife and FOUR Super Bowl rings.

Yes New England’s equipment managers know how Brady likes his game balls. Yes the coach, owner and organization were probably aware (after the fact) that these guys messed around with the balls. Yes…EVERY TEAM does stuff to give their ball slinger an edge (if necessary). Ask Aaron Rogers…He likes his balls OVER INFLATED.

NFL…You need to take some advice from someone about how to deal with your teams. How about a 3-person commission who can take a recommendation from the commissioner’s office for ALL punishment? Goodell can recommend punishment for wife beating, cheating, drunk driving, murder indictments and this panel made up of one owner, a former player and a lawyer could hand out a final punishment that would be absolute and written in stone.

This panel can be a rotating (annual) body that would serve as a check and balance on a commissioner who has repeatedly stepped over the line by not really protecting the integrity of a sport that pays him big bucks. Goodell answers to the owners. This 3-person panel could answer to everyone and fairly go through each case.

This Deflate-Gate episode is not over, but the jig is up on Roger Goodell’s inept handling of judicial matters when it comes to his league. He wasted nine months chasing Tom Brady in the courts and really should cut his losses and change the culture in the league office.