Super Bowl XLIX was one to remember. The New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks facing off in Glendale Arizona to see which team would be “going to Disney World” as the Super Bowl champions.
The Seahawks had demolished the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII winning 43-8; therefore having a realm of confidence when entering the field to face the Patriots. The Patriots hadn’t won a Super Bowl since 2005 and Tom Brady was eager to add a fourth ring to his previous three. However, did he go about getting to this Super Bowl in the wrong way?
An NFL football is supposed to weigh a minimum of 12.5 pounds per square inch. However, official’s locker room attendant, Jim McNally deflated balls specifically for Brady’s use; a scandal now known as “Deflategate.” Given memorabilia by equipment assistant John Jastremski, McNally had no problem deflating the footballs for Brady to use in the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts on January 18, 2015.
What makes this situation even more unethical is the fact that Tom Brady knew about the deflation of the footballs. One would think that a man who already had three rings, two Super Bowl MVP titles, and is considered by most to be the best current quarterback in the NFL, would have a little more dignity. However, it seems as if his desperation to reach Super Bowl XLIX proved the complete opposite.
Due to the deflation of the footballs, the NFL put Brady on a four game suspension with no pay for the upcoming season; therefore missing week one against the Steelers, week two against the Bills, week three against the Jaguars and due to week four being a bye week, week five against the Cowboys. Not only did they suspend Brady but the Patriots organization was charged with a one million dollar fine and also lost their first round pick in the 2016 draft along with their fourth round pick in the 2017 draft.
Some say that the punishment is a little extreme while others think that it fits the crime. The NFL wants people to know that the Patriots are subject to punishment just like any other team in the league: even if your quarterback is Tom Brady.
In fact, this isn’t the first time the New England Patriots had bent the rules to get an advantage. In 2007, the NFL fined the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick after they found out that a Patriots staff member was videotaping signals by New York Jets coaches during a game. Due to this, the Patriots had to forfeit a first round draft pick along with being fined $250,000 as an organization and Belichick being fined $500,000. It all sounds a little bit familiar doesn’t it?
One week before defeating the Seahawks in the Super Bowl (28-24) Tom Brady felt as though the allegations were personal as he stated, “It’s all speculation,” Brady said. “I’ve tried to wrap my head around it, too. I’ve done that and I’m trying to move past that, because I continue to try to rehash things. I personalized a lot of things and thought this was all about me, and my feelings got hurt.”
Brady now having finished his appeal of the four game suspensions is waiting to hear back from the league. However, sources say that he should not hear of any decisions until late July. Will this decide the fate of the Patriots upcoming season? I highly doubt it.