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Did Tom Brady Cheat?

May 7th, 2015

New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady. Photo credit: Keith Allison via Wikimedia Creative Commons

It’s been an interesting week for pro athletes who are supposed to be the best of the best. Earlier this week, we reported on A-Rod and the conundrum he’s in .

Now, Tom Brady, considered possibly the best quarterback of all-time and a four-time Super Bowl champ with the New England Patriots …. could be in some trouble.

In January, the Patriots were playing an important game against the Indianapolis Colts — the winner would go to the Super Bowl. During the game the Colts intercepted one of Tom Brady’s passes and claimed that the ball seemed under-inflated. The refs checked it, and the reports were that most of the Patriots’ balls had less air than they were supposed to based on the rules.

The Patriots won that game and went on to win the Super Bowl . Tom Brady was the Super Bowl MVP.

And even though the Super Bowl went ahead, an investigation was promised.

The results of that investigation were made public yesterday.

One of its conclusions was that “it is more probable than not that Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities.”

What does that mean? It stops short of saying he cheated, but it kind of implies it.

The NFL commissioned the report. It was conducted by a prestigious New York City law firm .  The report is 243 pages long and is called: “Investigative Report Concerning Footballs Used During the A.F.C. Championship Game on January 18,   2015.”

The part most people are paying attention to?

Text messages between a locker room attendant, Jim McNally, who referred to himself as “the deflator” and an equipment assistant, John Jastremski. This is one of the exchanges:

Jastremski: Talked to him [Tom Brady] last night. He actually brought you [Joe McNally] up and said you must have a lot of stress trying to get them done…

Jastremski: I told him it was. He was right though…

Jastremski: I checked some of the balls this morn …

A few months later …

McNally: Nice dude … jimmy needs some kicks … lets make a deal ….. come on help the deflator.

Mr. McNally, according to the report, is referring to sometimes getting autographed footballs and shoes from Tom Brady.

The report also said that Tom Brady didn’t hand over his text messages, emails or phone records.

Another problem. Remember that Colts game from the beginning of this post? The head referee checked the footballs before the game and was about to take them to the field when … for the first time in his 19-year career he couldn’t find them. According to the report, video surveillance showed Mr. McNally left with them and locked himself into a bathroom.

The report added that Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick, and the owner, Robert Kraft, most likely didn’t know about it. But the Patriots have been accused of cheating before.

NBC Sports’ Bob Costas said that it’s possible Tom Brady will be fined but probably won’t be suspended.

Tom Brady’s agent, Don Yee, responded to the report saying, “This report contains significant and tragic flaws…”

Still, Tom Brady’s legacy may be in question now … all because he needed to get a grip.

Do you think this hurts Tom Brady’s reputation as one of the greatest quarterbacks ever?

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