It’s possible if you are not from New England, that you don’t quite get the thing with Tom Brady. The fact is, he’s not just revered – he’s idolized. From when you’re a kid, the Patriots are the team and since the 2000 season or so, Brady has been the quarterback. Watching him throw is a pleasure and the reverence toward him is pretty well deserved since he’s brought home three Super Bowl wins in his tenure. He’s also been Super Bowl MVP. Twice. If he doesn’t wind up in the Hall of Fame with Bradshaw, Starr, Montana and Unitas, it’s hard to image who will.
The thing is, if you take an objective look, Brady hasn’t always been the most honorable guy off-field. You’d never know it from the press, since Brady rises from his gaffes anew each time. But cheating in the playoff game? That brings dishonor to a whole new level. It’s hard not to cry out, “Say it isn’t so, Tom!”
And he is saying it isn’t so. The latest rumor is that it was the equipment manager who let the air out of the footballs and Brady, a world-class, Super Bowl-winning quarterback, couldn’t tell when he held the ball in his hand. C’mon! Even other quarterbacks and receivers are finding this hard to believe.
Then there’s the Colts, who say they never noticed the ball was light. That could either mean that the air was let out of the balls seconds before they were weighed at half time or, my personal favorite, that the Colts realized early on what was up with the football and kept quiet because the deflated ball helped them in the bad weather, too.
I’m not sure what to make of this. In baseball, it’s a time-honored tradition for a pitcher to do “something” to the ball whenever possible to alter the action of the ball. Maybe it’s time-honored to deflate the footballs in bad weather but I just never noticed it until now. If it’s not one of those violations that is subject to a knowing grin from the players, officials, and fans, then deflating the football in a playoff game is just plain cheating of the most despicable sort — even if Tom Brady is the quarterback involved in the event.