THE SANTA CLARA
May 14, 2015
Forget about the New Orleans Saints deliberately trying to injure players with a bounty system or the Ravens trying to sweep the Ray Rice domestic abuse incident under the rug. Tom Brady may have asked for a little air to be taken out of a football. Sound the alarms.
Attorney Ted Wells released a 243 page report last week stating his findings from the deflategate investigation the NFL hired him to lead, which has led to the widespread bashing of the future Hall of Famer.
The simple truth of this story is that people do not like the Patriots and their quarterback. Would this be a big deal if Blake Bortles and the Jaguars were to blame? Of course not.
No team in the NFL has a winning record against Tom Brady, so it should not come as a surprise that everyone is piling on him, now that they think they have found a flaw. Yet the fact remains that there is no tangible evidence proving Brady broke this petty air-pressure rule.
The worst the Wells Report said about him was, “…it is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities…”
Patriots owner Robert Kraft pointed out that Wells does “not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship Game.”
A key piece of evidence the report highlights is that Jim McNally, a Patriots locker room attendant, went into the bathroom for 100 seconds carrying the footballs. This proves absolutely nothing as this is not hard evidence.
First off, the NFL should have enough common sense to not leave the bag of AFC Championship game balls alone with anyone. Secondly, how does the claim that McNally deflated 11 footballs incriminate Tom Brady?
The Wells Report also noted that all 11 of the Patriots’ footballs were tested during halftime, while only four of the Colts footballs were, so I do not know how this could possibly be called a fair investigation. But let’s just say that Tom Brady is guilty. It still doesn’t matter.
In the second half of the AFC Championship, when the deflated footballs were switched out, Brady played even better. He then went on to light up the “Legion of Boom” in the Super Bowl, going 37-50 with four touchdowns, all with regulation footballs.
So let’s stop pretending that this story is remotely important. A deflated football does not negate the era of the Patriot’s dominance or tarnish Tom Brady’s legacy. It is fine if you don’t like Brady, just don’t call him a cheater.
Andrew Slap is a Sophomore Communications Major.