From the standpoint of stupid, it’s hard to beat Deflategate. It’s a writer’s dream, a story that keeps getting more and more bizarro.
NFL commish Roger Goodell – hardly the paragon of Alexandrian leadership – has nonetheless grown a spine and upheld his four-game ban of New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, which followed an NFL-commissioned report concluding Brady probably knew that two Pats’ employees had deflated the team’s footballs before the A.F.C. Championship game with the Indianapolis Colts.
That game turned out to be a blowout, with the Colts totally overmatched by the Pats, so deflated balls probably didn’t figure in the outcome. But the Colts, who intercepted one of the balls, had been tipped off to possible Pats’ subterfuge by the Baltimore Ravens, who had previously played the Pats in a game that could’ve gone either way.
See where we’re headed? It didn’t look good for the Pats nor did the team’s decision to pay the $1 million fine that was levied inspire confidence, as innocent people do not hand over a million bucks as if they were doling out dollar bills. But Brady remained Nixonian in his defiance, attacking the report via his attorney-agent, Donald Yee, threatening to sue and refusing to turn over his cell phone.
Now we learn that Brady is so rich and famous that he destroys his cell phones periodically. He took to Facebook Wednesday to proclaim his simultaneous innocence and disappointment in Goodell and company. Except that Tommy Boy still has one of his old cell phones and, woops, had one with some 10,000 texts destroyed right before investigators requested it.
See where we’re headed? It’s the cover-up, they say, as much as the crime that sinks you, maybe even more so. Now the mess may be headed to federal court but the damage is done. Brady has sown the seeds of doubt in a stellar career – and for what? To crush a weak opponent the way President Richard Nixon dominated the George McGovern Democrats? Or because Brady, who turns 38 on Aug. 3, feared an opponent that can’t be vanquished – time?
Most likely, he’s going to miss four games to backup Jimmy Garoppolo, who is said to be Brady 2.0 (in the best sense).
In my forthcoming novel, “The Penalty for Holding,” backup QB Quinn Novak picks up the ball after New York Templars’ QB Lance Reinhart is injured in a freak sexcapade and runs with it all the way to the playoffs.
Garoppolo should be so lucky.