By Joe Giordano || Contributing Writer
On Thursday afternoon after much fanfare and media coverage, a federal judge finally decided to remove Tom Brady’s four game suspension for the upcoming NFL season. After a long trial and much testimony, the judge decided that the punishment levied upon Brady was too severe and that the NFL had overstepped its boundaries in suspending the star quarterback. While it is up for debate whether this statement is true, one thing is certain: The whole situation took up an overwhelming amount of media coverage.
The whole controversy began back in January in a playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. After the 45-7 New England victory, it was found that several of the Patriots game balls were under-inflated. This lead to the firing of two Patriots employees who supposedly were behind the deflating of the footballs. The NFL then went on to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. Commissioner Roger Goodell eventually decided that Brady colluded with the employees to ensure the footballs were under-inflated to his specifications. As a result, Goodell found it necessary to suspend the quarterback. Brady denied any knowledge of the deflating occurring and maintained his innocence throughout the whole ordeal. While the NFL may have gone overboard in suspending Brady without any hard evidence, Brady certainly does not seem as innocent as he wants to portray.
During the investigation, Brady destroyed his cellphone, which contained multiple messages and other possible evidence related to the case. If the quarterback had nothing to hide and had no prior knowledge of the incident, it seems unlikely that he would take such controversial action. Had he fully cooperated with the NFL and no foul play was found, everyone would be more inclined to believe his side of the story. However, despite Brady’s questionable behavior, it is hard to justify giving him an equal suspension to a PED user or convicted criminals.
The NFL has a long track record for mishandling player cases, such as the Adrian Peterson case, in which many felt the NFL acted too leniently. Peterson was convicted of assaulting his child and was only suspended after infractions were found under their specific policy. In addition, many other cases in which the NFL seemed to treat many players unfairly and inconsistently, including the imposing of many unnecessary fines and suspensions for minor offenses.
While it is nice to see a player finally succeed against the NFL and their sometimes overzealous punishments, some people wish that it would happened for a player that deserved to be exonerated, not Tom Brady. Brady’s actions lead many to believe he was guilty. The entire “deflate-gate” scandal took over many news sources for months leading up to the judge’s decision and will continue to do so for many weeks. The controversy surrounding a few deflated footballs and whether or not a Patriots quarterback had knowledge of the whole thing taking place was not worth this excessive media coverage. In a few years, we will very likely sit around and wonder why the air pressure of a few footballs took up months of our news coverage and was such a big deal.