Friday, January 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fennelly: Tom Brady's audible to take a seat the right call

Good news: Tom Brady will sit for the first four games of this season.

Bad news: It destroys our marble-stepped fantasies of Brady going deep, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!

The tailgate party with Patriots fans wearing Roger Goodell and Earl Warren masks. The Oliver Wendell Brady-Ruth Bader Ginsburg matchup box. And there's Ben Affleck's amicus brief. Not that we'd see it. They don't allow video­taping during Supreme Court arguments.

Yeah, like that would stop the Patriots.

What a waste of time.

This case finally appears to be closed, and Brady appears ready to be suspended, though he reportedly has granted the NFL Players Association permission to continue the fight.

Note to NFLPA:

Muhammad Ali turned to the Supreme Court.

Curt Flood turned to the Supreme Court.

Important stuff.

Brady has no business being there.

He should sit for his part in Deflategate.

And don't tell me he didn't have a part. We're all adults here.

Brady is perhaps the greatest quarterback in history. I love watching him compete.

None of this changes that.

No matter.

Sit your butt down.

You could make a stirring argument that Goodell and the NFL made a mockery of this process, thus turning Brady into a martyr.

But Brady made a mockery first, the way he thumbed his nose at all of this at first.

Yes, the NFL has bigger problems, from players rotating in and out of the justice system to former players' brains ending up in pathology labs.

Brady still cheated. Then he tried to cover it up. The cover-up was worse.

It was all so needless. I mean, does anyone out there really think Brady and the Patriots would have lost that AFC title game with properly inflated footballs? Brady could have thrown bean bags and beaten the Colts.

That was never the point. What else does the NFL have than the honesty and integrity of its outcomes? That's why it needs to fight PED use. That's why tampering with game equipment matters. Do you really think Goodell would have gone after golden child Brady unless it was serious? Do you really think Brady would have denied, denied, denied unless he knew it was serious?

I think this would have been a wrist slap if Brady had fessed up after the Patriots won the Super Bowl early in 2015. Shut up, take your medicine, move on and we'll see you in Canton!

This was not the crime of the century.

Then again, four games aren't a death sentence.

Patriots fans, like all fans, are a curious lot. They went from Brady had absolutely nothing to do with it, to, even if he did, it didn't affect the outcome, to, Goodell was on a power trip. Sometimes I think Pats followers won't rest until Brady is named Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year for his work with underprivileged, underinflated footballs.

Why did any of this have to happen?

Then again, why did Richard Nixon, who already was going to clobber George McGovern in the 1972 election no matter what, resort to shenanigans?

Because that's who he was.

Yes, there's a big difference between violating the Constitution a thousand or so times and messing with a bag of footballs.

Maybe that's why Nixon got more than four games.

New England will manage without Brady. Bill Belichick and the Patriots have a way of hanging in there. They'll survive. So will Brady.

Have a seat.

There's no need to make a federal case out of it.

I'm glad this isn't one anymore.

 
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