So, ‘deflate-gate’ is over and it appears the Patriots and Tom Brady likely knew what was going on. A punishment has been handed out, but is it that harsh?
‘Deflate-gate’ is finally more or less put to bed. It has long been accepted that the New England Patriots used deflated balls in their AFC Conference game against the Indianapolis Colts. Using balls with a lower air pressure enabled quarterback Tom Brady to grip the ball better, which is a considerable advantage for the Pats, due to the wet conditions.
The NFL judged that it was “more probable than not” that Brady was “at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities”. To translate to plain English: Brady knew the balls were deflated.
The punishment was, objectively speaking, proportionate to the crime. Tom Brady was banned for the first four games of 2015, at the Bills and Cowboys, and the home ties against the Steelers and Jaguars. Ironically, Brady’s first game of the 2015 season will be against the Colts.
However, some do not have too much sympathy for the four-time Super Bowl winner.
Tom Brady sentenced to spending four Sundays next season with Gisele, that’ll learn him.
— Dave Hannigan (@daveyhannigan) May 11, 2015
The Patriots themselves were also hit, losing their first round pick for the 2016 NFL Draft, as well as a fourth round pick the following year. The franchise has also been hit with a fine to the tune of $1 million, and two equipment staffers, believed to have been responsible for or at least integral to the deflation, have been suspended indefinitely. The Patriots however, should not feel all that aggrieved by the fine.
Tom Brady’s 4-game suspension costs him $1,882,352 in salary. Patriots’ fine is $1M. So team actually makes $882K…but still loses plenty. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 12, 2015
Considering the 45-7 winning margin in the AFC title game, it is fair to say on the balance of probabilities that it did not make a difference to the final outcome. Bill Belichick and Co. are content with the outcome of another collection of rings. Cheating is cheating, but the Patriots may still come out of this this laughing.
A steep penalty for small deflated balls BUT a minuscule penalty for a SB ring. Goodluck on your quest for 5 with BIG balls. #tombrady
— Bill Romanowski (@billromanowski) May 12, 2015
It is reported that Brady is likely to appeal. In fairness, he has got away with worse.
I would have kicked Tom Brady out of the league years ago for wearing Ugg boots. pic.twitter.com/yuThMbuOdz
— Kent Murphy (@coachkentmurphy) May 11, 2015
Brian Barry, Pundit Arena.