AN INSIDE LOOK - Commentary and opinions on local politics and life in general in Southeastern Massachusetts! Featuring the writings of Bill Gouveia, newspaper columnist for the Sun Chronicle and local cable TV talk show host. Feel free to read, comment and enjoy!
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Yes, Brady Should Still Keep Fighting
This column originally appeared in the Sun Chronicle on Monday, April 25, 2016
AN INSIDE LOOK
By Bill Gouveia
When it comes to Tom Brady and the
DeflateGate saga (I can’t believe this is still going on), Sun
Chronicle sportswriter extraordinaire and old friend Mark Farinella and I agree
on many things.
points out the re-hashing of this silly, stupid controversy in local media and
radio talk shows is a painful and somewhat masochistic process.Like him, I’m sick of discussing
air pressure in footballs.
also points out this is no longer about whether Brady actually knowingly
participated in a plot to gain a competitive advantage.It has morphed into a battle over the right
of the NFL Commissioner to hand out draconian punishments as he sees fit under
the terms of a poorly-negotiated contract by the players union.
correctly notes Brady’s options are severely limited in the
wake of the appeals court 2-1 decision to reinstate his suspension.The quarterback has little chance of being
successful at any of his appeal opportunities.The odds clearly show he is highly likely to miss the first four games
of the 2016 season.
Mark correctly points out that even if Brady’s name were somehow
magically cleared, it would not change the perception around the country that
he and the Patriots organization cheat.“SpyGate”
will never be resolved, and the questions that linger over it will –
in the minds of many – always cloud the great accomplishments
of this team and their biggest star.Again - total agreement.
all this leads Mark to the conclusion that Brady should cease all appeals and
simply serve his suspension.Farinella
says for the superstar to continue his quest to clear his name will perpetuate
a distraction that will hurt his team.In fact, he says if Brady continues to exercise his right to attempt to
exonerate himself, then “he’s a selfish fool.”
is not a fine line where reasonable people can agree to disagree.Brady is not appealing a decision on whether
he delivered a late hit, or his sneakers were the wrong color, or some unique
rules violation.He is being called a
cheat and a liar.Forget his legacy as
an NFL great – his very honor and character are on
the line here.
Brady is truly innocent as he claims, then he owes it to himself and his family
to make use of every possible appeals alternative he can afford.And fortunately for Tom, he can afford a lot.
point about how the national perception of the Patriots will not change even if
Brady is somehow cleared is correct.But
that goes directly against his illogical conclusion that Brady’s
continued appeals would cause the team to suffer.If Brady pulls a Robert Kraft and says he is
accepting the punishment without admitting guilt – then he might as
well admit guilt.
difference between Kraft not appealing the fine and draft picks and Brady not
appealing the suspension is simple.Kraft was not personally accused of wrongdoing or cheating.Brady has been.
someone wrongly accused myself or Mark of plagiarism (the journalistic cardinal
sin), I expect both of us would fight such an accusation to the full extent our
resources would allow.It is difficult
to put a price on your personal integrity.
lastly, Mark points out Brady’s accomplishments “far
outweigh any damage DeflateGate could ever do to his legacy.”
Pete Rose if his accomplishments outweighed the punishment he received.Ask Roger Clemens if his record of
accomplishment has been more important than what he is perceived to have done
off the field, as he still has to buy a ticket to get into the Hall of
Fame.Once you are branded a cheater, it
sticks unless you clear your name.
is not a “take-one-for-the-team”
type situation.This is a man fighting
with every means at his disposal to clear his name, or at the very least avoid
punishment for something he insists he did not do.
Mark, I think Brady is probably wasting his time and money.But I will respect and admire his decision if
that is the way he chooses to go.
the meantime, if you want a good deal on tickets to the first three home games…
Bill Gouveia is a
local columnist and entering his 45th year as a Patriots season
ticketholder.He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at