Archive for August, 2015

No One Wins In Brady Case

Posted: August 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

“You win some, you lose some.” bradycrazy

This classic cliche can illustrate the trials and tribulations for most of us. But, in the case of Tom Brady vs. the NFL, it couldn’t be less true. For both parties, regardless of the ultimate outcome, will emerge from the barren wasteland that is the league’s offseason with blood on their fingers and skeletons in their closets. There are no winners in this cat and mouse game of chess, and the sooner both sides realize this, the better off they’ll be.

You see, Roger Goodell and the NFL have made it their personal goal this offseason to “win.” Like Bill Belichick with a video camera on his shoulder, the league is willing to do whatever it takes to come out on top, even if that means dragging their posterboy through a mile of proverbial broken glass to do so. After last year’s Ray Rice fiasco, in which the Commissioner’s image was tarnished through PR follies that made the WWE look like The White House, Goodell’s personal popularity went from lukewarm “Barack Obama” type levels to Antarctic “George W. Bush” degrees of disgust. Female fans viewed him as apathetic to their cause, and male fans viewed him as merely pathetic. It was this fumbled discipline that indirectly led to the league’s “jihad” against Brady and the New England Patriots.

When news broke in January of the Patriots’ habit of deflating footballs, the league wasted no time in painting the franchise as an enemy of equality. Gone was the storied tale of Tom Terrific, replaced with media driven drivel casting the Super Bowl hero as a villain to the integrity of the game. It’s difficult to say when the point of no return came for the NFL. Was it the now infamous press conference when Brady adamantly denied a role in deflating footballs? Was it when Goodell and Troy Vincent announced Brady’s four-game suspension? Or, could it have been when Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft meekly accepted the league’s stiff penalty of a first round pick and a $1 million fine? Regardless, the tipping point has passed, and the NFL is not going to lie down until a federal judge orders them to.

That, of course, is why the league cannot win. At this point, every single Patriots fan, regardless of the eventual outcome, will view Goodell as a biased and deceptive figure. Their trust in the league, much like the league’s trust in the Patriots, has evaporated. But, this disloyalty and dismay isn’t limited to the fanatics in Foxboro. A recent poll showed that a majority of NFL players believed that the penalty levied upon the Patriots was too harsh. That doesn’t sound like resounding leadership from a man who was once considered the most powerful figure in sports. No, Goodell is no longer the supreme leader of American athletics. His failures have assured that fact. Now, he just has to worry about keeping his job among a chorus of doubts.

Even if the NFL wins their court case against Brady, a majority of fans and players will view this as a needless distraction from the real problems plaguing the league and culture in general like drugs, domestic violence, and crime. As the league continues to persecute Brady, players like Aldon Smith (3 DUIs) and Greg Hardy (domestic abuse) get slaps on the wrist. It’s this hypocrisy that fans can’t stomach; and it’s this closed minded scope that will doom the NFL in the end.

Granted, it’s not as though Brady can come out of this smelling like roses, either. The once heralded figure is always going to have his doubters. Even if the federal courts exonerate the former Michigan Wolverine, the naysayers will always have their voices fueled by the NFL’s vendetta against him. A biography that would have once read like a mix between Mother Teresa, Milton Berle, and Johnny Unitas will instead include a chapter reminiscent of Richard Nixon. The Patriots and Brady have always had enemies; any great empire does. But, never before have we seen these adversaries given so many reasons to continue to spew their vitriol.

When Brady returns to the playing field, whether it be in week one, two, or five; he will emerge from the tunnel at Gillette Stadium with nearly 70,000 fans behind him. If Brady is standing in front of tanks filled with jealous doubters, the Foxboro Faithful will have his back. The problem is, that regardless of when he returns, those tanks will now be rife with ammo provided to Brady’s enemies by a weapons manufacturer known as the National Football League.

So, who has a stronger case? Brady? Goodell? It doesn’t really matter in the end what side the courts rule with. The damage has already been done. The reputations of all involved in this modern day soap opera have been deflated.