Do you remember when New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was caught cheating against the Indianapolis Colts, forced everyone to deal with the coverage for months on end, revitalized the ball jokes industry, refused to accept responsibility, and then sued the NFL for trying to suspend him?
Yeah, well, Deflategate isn’t over just yet.
To recap the legal battle, Goodell suspended Brady four games at the start of the 2015 season, Brady refused to take his lumps, brought the league to court, and the federal judge sided with Brady, nullifying the suspension.
Well, both sides met again Thursday, with the NFL and the NFLPA arguing their respective sides before a panel of three judges that will decide the outcome of the whole ordeal—that is, assuming the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal, but crazier things have happened.
Neither Brady nor Goodell was actually present, but the lawyers had at it, and in a shocking twist of events, the judges seem to be more favorable towards the NFL, applying a little bit of logic to the situation.
“Anyone within 100 yards of this would have realized that the cell phone issue raised the stakes in this thing,” said Judge Parker, referring to Brady’s demolition of his own cell phone to prevent having his messages read by the NFL. “Mr. Brady’s explanation of that made no sense whatsoever.”
Okay, maybe saying that they are just “applying common sense” is a little mean, but you get the point. As I’ve said before, Brady is like a child getting detention in elementary school for saying a bad word, claiming he didn’t say it, someone else did, and then suing the school to get the detention overturned.
The general consensus right now is that the judges will rule 2-1 in favor of the NFL, effectively reissuing Brady’s four-game suspension for the beginning of 2016. Of course, cases are rarely open-and-shut, and it’s usually difficult to predict the way the judges will vote.
The bottom line is, whether you like it or not, a high-profile athlete like Brady winning a case of this nature isn’t good for the future of sports. Players will start bringing the league to court over any fine they feel is too high or undeserved. Sure, Goodell can get carried away at times, but that’s up to the owners to fix or ignore.
The U.S. Government has no place in football.