Brady wins ‘deflategate’ battle: Is he invincible?

On Sept. 3, a federal court lifted the four game suspension upheld by the NFL against New England Patriots quarterback and one of the most recognizable faces in the NFL, Tom Brady.      Brady was ruled to play  in the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers after being suspended by the NFL for the scandal known as “Deflategate”.

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Keith Allison via Flickr

What needs to be clarified is what exactly “Deflategate” is. It is the sequence of events leading up to and after the 2014 AFC Superbowl Championship between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts.

The main controversy  surrounding the situation was the accusation against the Patriots of altering the pressure of the footballs before the game. What’s  so controversial about this, is that the pressures of the ball dramatically affect how well it’s gripped, thrown, kicked and caught.

Adding more to the controversy is the fact that Patriots and their head coach Bill Belichick are no strangers to being accused of suspicious activity. Back in 2007 they had NFL commissioner Roger Goodell breathing down its neck in the scandal “Spygate” which brought unwanted heat from the higher-ups. It could be deduced that after this interaction a watchful eye was placed on the Patriots.

Despite the hot water the Patriots have found themselves in in the past, any step out of line could spell trouble for a team known for not playing by the rules.

According to, NFL regulations state that the proper pounds per square inch is around 13psi +/- .5. During the 2014 AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts however, it was reported that the balls the Patriots were using were under the proper psi.

The accusations against Brady and the Patriots seem rather justified, considering the importance of the game and the substantial advantage. Furthermore a four game suspension for Brady was warranted however ineffective considering the present circumstances.

Goodell however does not believe Brady should get off so easily. Upon hearing the word of the overturning, an appeal was ready to be sent to the presiding authority, Judge Richard M. Berman.

“We are grateful to Judge Berman for hearing this matter, but respectfully disagree with today’s decision,” Goodell said in a statement to USAToday. “We will appeal today’s ruling in order to uphold the collectively bargained responsibility to protect the integrity of the game. The commissioner’s responsibility to secure the competitive fairness of our game is a paramount principle, and the league and our 32 clubs will continue to pursue a path to that end.”

What is comforting to see is Goodell’s goal to adhere to the rules and regulations he as commissioner vowed to uphold.

“If you can’t play by the rules, what are you even striving toward? I get [making] money, however there’s no respect for a ring won through deception” said senior, former football player, and avid sports fan Patrick Jimenez.

Jimenez brings up a fine point.What is a “trophy” truly worth if one knows they did not win it through earning it? Clearly there are factors outside this realm of thinking that have a major sway, however the response “Deflategate” is getting tells a different story as to the direction the NFL wants to take it.

An example needed to be made of this dispute. The amount of underhanded activities that the NFL, more notably Goodell, has mediated and oversaw in the last decade would be enough to send the average CEO into a frenzy.

“I don’t think Goodell is the best commissioner we [the NFL] have ever had, no where am I saying this. However if you can find a person that is handling ‘Deflategate’ better than what he’s doing now, please show me,” Jimenez said.

While it is true that the breaking of rules within professional sports is not an unusual occurrence, now can be the time to put a collective foot down and stamp out the invincible attitude shared by Brady and Belichick.

Connor McKinney
Staff Writer
Published September 16th, 2015