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The NFL Seems To Think So …

May 12th, 2015

Tom Brady. Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall via Creative Commons Wikimedia

The National Football League announced last night they’re suspending Tom Brady  for four games next season for his role in the deflated football controversy .

The Patriots were also penalized.  They will lose their first round pick in 2016, their fourth round pick in 2017, and were fined $1 million.

It’s a big controversy.

A lot of people (especially Patriots fans) were shocked by how harsh the penalty seems because all the investigation came up with linking Tom Brady to deflating the footballs was that he probably, generally knew about it. It took them 4 months and 243 pages to come up with what isn’t exactly evidence.

The locker room attendant (who unfortunately referred to himself the “deflator”) and the equipment assistant texted to each other about deflating footballs, and both lost their jobs .

Tom Brady’s punishment is in part because he didn’t co-operate with investigators as much as they would have liked, particularly Mr. Brady not handing over his phone, text, and email messages.  The thinking is if he didn’t cheat why not just provide the information?

Some people argue that if they did cheat there are way worse ways of cheating than deflating footballs. And that the punishment in this case doesn’t fit the “crime” (or possibly lack of), so to speak. Others say there’s no such thing as cheating just a little, that cheating is cheating. NBC Sports’ Bob Costas says the punishment does fit and that the reason it doesn’t seem to fit is because the NFL has been so inconsistent in disciplining others.

Critics threw it right back to the NFL for, among other things, covering up the seriousness of concussions, which many people believe is horrific by comparison.

And still others are scratching their heads at why each team supplies their own footballs for a game in the first place.

Tom Brady and the Patriots have three days to appeal and you can bet they will .

They might not be able to make all of the punishment go away but there’s a chance they can reduce it.

If they don’t, and Tom Brady is suspended for four games, the first game he’ll play next season would be against none other than the Colts — the very team that reported the deflated footballs to begin with.

What do you think? Is the punishment fair? 

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