Brady shamed by “Deflategate,” Commissioner Roger Goodell is to blame

Goodell may see his run as commissioner end as a result of poor decisions.

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Goodell may see his run as commissioner end as a result of poor decisions.

It is time for NFL fans to move out from under the black cloud of ignorance and misplaced

anger directed towards the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady. Since allegations

claiming the Patriots deflated footballs beyond the legal limit during the AFC Championship

came to light, an unending stream of legal battles and bad publicity has consumed the NFL.

Over the last few months, courtroom battles stemming from the allegations have mutated

into a monster, destroying Commissioner Roger Goodell’s already fragile reputation, while

further tainting the Patriots’ image among casual fans.

Why have football fans exhibited such rage over a situation so mundane? The Patriots

“allegedly” deflated footballs, meaning prosecutors haven’t proven beyond doubt that the team

violated any league rules regarding the air pressure of footballs. Even so, fans have come at the

team with vengeance, claiming the allegations taint ever aspect of the Patriots’ legacy.

While fans are entitled to their opinions, and exemplify a passion for the sport with their

determined stance; it is the way the NFL has gone about dealing with Deflategate that has left the

rest of the sporting world laughing at its ineptitude.

Starting on the day the accusations came out, the NFL has looked to alienate and embarrass

the Patriots’ franchise. Taking away future draft picks and fining the team millions of dollars

wasn’t enough to satisfy the power-hungry Goodell, who proceeded to drop a four-game

suspension on the face of the league, Tom Brady.

This decision marked the zenith of Goodell’s incompetence during his reign as commissioner.

Just months after he handed down a two-game suspension to Ray Rice [Baltimore Ravens

running back] ­for beating his wife, a crime committed in a public elevator under the eye of

security cameras – he leveled a four-gamer on Brady for a crime we don’t know he committed.

Goodell, a self-proclaimed enforcer of justice within the ranks of his league, deemed the

deflation of footballs a more heinous crime than domestic violence.

The hypocrisy exhibited by Goodell during the last several years of his commissionership has

been blatant and comical. Ray Rice got a two-game ban for beating his wife; Brady got four

games for allegedly deflating footballs. Greg Hardy [Dallas Cowboys defenseman] got four

games for severely beating his girlfriend; Josh Gordon [Cleveland Browns wide receiver] was

handed a 16-game ban for smoking marijuana.

The punishment should fit the crime, and too many times during Goodell’s reign, it hasn’t.

The severity of each indiscretion in question should be weighed against its real world

consequence, not against the commissioner’s personal measuring stick of righteousness.

The Deflategate ruling is a joke. This fact was affirmed, in no uncertain terms, by the

District Court Judge who threw out Brady’s suspension based on lack of evidence. By no

measure is the possible violation of an arbitrary rule within the confines of a sport built upon

greed and an unquenchable desire to win worse than beating a loved one unconscious in an

elevator. The profound lack of logic boggles my mind.

It’s time for NFL fans to step back, pull the blindfold off their face, and identify the true

villain of Deflategate, Roger Goodell.