Tom Brady walked out of a New York courtroom a free man and onto the football field Week 1 after U.S. district judge Richard Berman ruled in favor of the four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback in his alleged role in the DeflateGate Patriots scandal.
The NFL hired Ted Wells and his private investigating team to look into matters involving Tom Brady and the Patriot organization’s alleged roles in the deflation of the Patriots’ footballs below NFL regulations.
Wells and his team stated that the Patriots had intentionally deflated their footballs and that Brady was “generally aware” that those balls were being deflated below the NFL standard.
As a result, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had enough reason to suspend Brady for the first 4 games of the NFL season. This decision then sparked an international debate on whether or not Brady’s suspension was fair based on the given evidence. Popular news stations such as CNN and MSNBC frequently featured lawyers on their shows to debate the topic.
On one hand, many people believed that after the SpyGate Patriots scandal, in which the Patriots were found videotaping opponents’ defensive signs from an unauthorized location, the team deserved a harsher punishment than just an organizational fine. This was obviously not the first time that the Patriots cheated the NFL system and many believed that it was time that Goodell show some authority and deal them a harsher penalty.
On the other hand, many people were under the impression that the investigation was done unfairly and biasedly just so that the NFL would have a reason to suspend Brady and deal the largest fine in NFL his-tory. People on social media laughed at the fact that during conviction the only evidence that was used was a report that said “generally aware.”
It seemed that the judge was on the latter side of the argument as he questioned the way Wells and his team conducted their findings. He also criticized the NFL for how they treated Brady and his lawyering team throughout the process by not allowing them to speak with Jeffery Pash, the General Counsel of the NFL.
Ultimately, Brady’s win in court meant that he could suit up for the Patriots Week 1 as they were one of the first two teams to kick off the NFL season Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Brady spoke with the media earlier in the week stating, “I’m very excited to be able to run onto the field Thursday night. It has obviously been a long 7 months for everyone.”
It seems that the NFL will now be challenging the teams that Brady will play in the first 4 games of the season, as Brady seems amped up, ready to go, and determined to prove a point on the field.
Brady was 25-32 with 288 yards and 4 touchdown passes. Brady also told the media that he “hopes to be out there all the time.”
Now that Brady is a free man and no longer under sanctions by Goodell and his men, it looks like he has even more of a reason to go out and win his fifth Super Bowl. Brady concluded his press conference by saying, “I’ve always appreciated it [being out on the football field]. For the last 20 years I’ve been playing football this time of year and it feels good to be doing it again.”
-Blake Saathoff ’18, Junior Sports Editor