The Trouble With Tom Brady
With one, swift, arbitrary NFL commissioner’s office decision, Tom Brady went from perhaps the best quarterback in league history to the game’s biggest pariah. And the sporting world seems to be ecstatic over the ruling.
That, my friends, is an interesting dynamic and defines so much about the players we like and don’t like.
Brady is too perfect. He’s tall, handsome, has a Brazilian supermodel wife, and is secure enough to rip up his man card and wear Ugg boots, the brand created primarily for women. And, he plays for a team that, outside of New England, is universally despised because they win, they cheat, they have a curmudgeon coach who’s about as likeable as a lizard, and an owner who flaunts perfectly coiffed, $500 pocket silks on his five-thousand dollar suits.
So when we can chip away at the perfect man’s statue and stuff flakes off, we are very content.
Consider the column of ESPN.com’s Ian O’Connor. O’Connor is a North Jersey kid who has covered New York sports for most of his life. New Yorkers, of course, have a natural and visceral hate of the Patriots, who have exerted NFL superiority for years over the New York Jets, the team in their conference.
O’Connor wrote that Brady needed to come clean and admit he cheated.
“Deflategate changes everything. Brady’s credibility is in tatters now. And he will only hurt his reputation more by continually trying to fake out people who refuse to be deked….the non-New Englanders who respected Brady as much as they respected any athlete, will have trouble ever believing in him again,” O’Connor wrote.
Really Ian? Believing what? What’s Brady going to tell them that he knows there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
Brady cheated. There is no question that he either ordered, or influenced members of the Patriots’ equipment staff to lower the pressure on his game footballs. You didn’t need a 243-page report from a lawyer, Ted Wells, who is clearly aligned with the NFL, to figure that out. He got his punishment. The world is satisfied that Brady got a four-game suspension, and head coach Bill Belichick lost two draft picks for his juggernaut, and Bob Kraft is out a million bucks, which means he’s out exactly 2,000 new pocket squares.
There is a scene in the movie A Few Good Men, where Tom Cruise, cross-examining Kiefer Sutherland, asked about an order Sutherland’s character, Lt. Jonathan Kendrick, gave to PFC Harold Dawson, not to give another private food. “But it wasn’t a real order was it?” Cruise says. “I mean, after all, it’s peace time.”
Brady cheated, but was it a real cheat? Can anyone prove that a little less air in an NFL football could have given Brady such an advantage that it now tarnishes his legacy as perhaps the best quarterback of all time? In other words, apparently the football did all the work during Brady’s career. It apparently was a robot football and made its way down the field and right into the arms of a waiting player without Brady having to do anything. His legacy is tarnished?
Really? In fact, the Wells report confirms nothing. Even in the smoking gun game, the less-inflated ball didn’t give Brady any advantage. In fact, he played way better in the second half of that game, putting up 28 points with a regularly inflated ball that was much harder and in cold weather. The following week, he won a Super Bowl with a regularly inflated ball.
But Tom Brady is too perfect. He wears Uggs and we don’t like that at all.
Follow Mike Missanelli on Twitter.