Deflect Gate – by Todd Vandenberg

As in, “I won’t cooperate, I won’t provide any texts or emails, I’ll deflect all the blame I can.”

Good plan, Tom. It’s kinda working, too.

The consensus response from Patriots fans and Brady fans has been predictable, and sad. (Full disclosure; I’m a Dolphins fan, but have always liked and respected Tom Brady). I’ve read statements like “Framegate”, “It’s just circumstantial evidence”, “He didn’t need deflated balls in the Super Bowl”, etc., etc.

Framegate. Maybe Tom should have cooperated with the investigation. If he could provide texts and emails proving he did not ask for any special handling of the footballs, he would have been wise to do that. I certainly would have. Hmmm – maybe all hs texts say, “Great job, guys!”

Circumstantial evidence. This is hardly a criminal investigation, but if you somehow think the phrase means “There’s no proof at all”, you’re wrong. It means there is evidence, and that evidence is derived from the circumstances of the situation. It doesn’t mean it’s a fariy tale. Decisions are handed down every day in our courts, due to circumstantial evidence.

He didn’t need underinflated balls to win the super Bowl. No one is saying Brady isn’t an exceptional player. They’re saying he broke the rules in a different game.  If you’re pulled over for speeding, the implication isn’t that you speed all the time; you broke the rule in this specific instance. The Super Bowl has zero bearing on this.

Do Tom’s defenders (and Tom) really expect us to believe he couldn’t tell the difference? He’s only handled footballs for, what, about thirty years? Again, if he had nothing to do with it, why didn’t he provide access to his texts and emails, and remove any doubt?

Now there’s talk of a suspension, anywhere from one to four games. Pats fans are livid, because it’s so unfair to their Tom. No. What’s unfair is breaking the rules, and getting away with it. Justice would truly be served if Brady was suspened for the playoffs; after all, that’s where the infraction occurred.

And please, don’t bring up all the scumbag wife and child beaters, and the NFL’s abysmal handling of that issue. Of COURSE that’s a much more serious issue. Just because they’ve been incapable of handling that correctly doesn’t mean they should blow this, too. If texting your sideline and pumping in fake crowd noise is worth punishing, I’d hope that actually making the ball easier to grip for your team, actually affecting gameplay, would carry a substantial penalty as well.

It’s cheating. How on earth can you justify that, by saying it’s just gamesmanship? Wrong, wrong, wrong. Ask yourself, if it didn’t really matter, then why did they do it? For fun? Same reason Lance Armstrong doped all those years, for fun?

I was disgusted when the story first broke months ago, and I’ll be disgusted even more when Brady gets a slap on the wrist. Most of all, I’m disgusted that a guy I always held in high regard as a great competitor is just another lowlife cheater. Lie some more, Tom. That worked out so well for Lance, after all.

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