Another shining NFL moment: Tom Brady beats the ban

FILE – In this May 7, 2015, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gestures during an event at Salem State University in Salem, Mass. Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in using underinflated footballs during the AFC championship game last season has been upheld by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The league announced the decision Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)

FILE - In this May 7, 2015, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gestures during an event at Salem State University in Salem, Mass. Brady's four-game suspension for his role in using underinflated footballs during the AFC championship game last season has been upheld by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The league announced the decision Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)

“Me against the commissioner? Total mismatch.” (Charles Krupa/AP photo)

Does Roger Goodell ever get anything right? He was too weak on Ray Rice before he was too strong. (Rice won his appeal of the indefinite suspension, which the NFL levied after seeing the infamous elevator video. Prior to that, Rice had been docked a mere two games.) Now an every higher-profile Goodell ban — this of the league’s highest-profile player — has been set aside by a U.S. District Court judge.

As of yesterday, Tom Brady was set to miss the season’s first four games for what Goodell deemed was his part in DeflateGate. As of this moment, Brady will miss no games. NFL justice at its finest.

There are some — Pats owner Robert Kraft chief among them, I’d wager — who’ll see this un-banning as proof the Patriots did nothing wrong. That’s a reach. It’s pretty clear that somebody being paid by the Pats did something at least a teeny bit wrong. Goodell was right to come down hard on a team and a famous player whom he deemed had skirted the bounds of fair play. But now we have to ask: Is Goodell’s judgment — he was wrong twice on Rice, let’s recall — to be trusted?

The NFL found probable cause — which isn’t the same as conclusive evidence, we concede — that Brady played a part in the deflation of footballs for the AFC championship game. The NFL suspended him four games. Brady appealed. Goodell, acting as arbiter, nixed the appeal and charged that Brady had impeded the investigation by destroying his cell phone.

The matter then landed in Judge Richard Berman’s lap, with nobody giving the disgraced Brady much of a chance to win back anything. Let this be a lesson to all legal eagles: Never overrate the NFL’s capacity to overplay its hand.

I’m not sure that justice was served here — I think Brady deserved a suspension, and four games sounded right to me — but the greater issue is no longer Tom Brady. Again, it’s Roger Goodell. He took a big swing at the NFL’s Golden Boy and wound up whiffing, and now it’s the Tiffany League’s commissioner who looks shabby.

Reader Comments 0

49 comments
HonestInformed
HonestInformed

One game for the deflation part and 3 additional games for lying, destroying evidence, non-cooperation and being difficult.


He would have been truthful & cooperated fully IF he were innocent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


He obviously would not have destroyed his cell phone IF he were innocent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


No suspension is absurd.


The judge got this one wrong.


I hope the NFL appeals and Brady misses the playoff games............we all know the Patriots will be there because they have the easiest schedule in the NFL this season (How does the Super-bowl champion end up with the easiest schedule?? This is also ABSURD).

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

The most Brady should have been given was 1 game, which apparently he offered to accept.  Goodell obviously was trying to recover some lost credibility or revenge, or he would have accepted the one game suspension and moved on.  Glad the judge tossed this foolishness.  Should they remove Gaylord Perry from MLB Hall of Fame for admitting to routinely altering the baseball? 

William1952
William1952

How did this mess ever get to a federal court? In any event, I think it's a wake up call for all the other owners.

tmc
tmc

if anyone before this result thought Brady was a cheater, than you were swayed by incorrect leaked information by the NFL. A PR which hunt against the league's best team over the last 2 decades. Confirmed by the NFL's chosen judge.

if you are still believing Brady is a cheater after this ruling, than you have an agenda against Brady, the Patriots or both.


It's been the NFL that has been acting shady, leaking incorrect information, concealing correct information... and yet i wonder why is Brady considered to be a the bad person in this. Doesn't make sense.

BDK1
BDK1

@tmc It doesn't make sense for you because you are obviously a longtime Patriots fan. Brady cheated, plain and simple. The Patriots have a long history of cheating. Too bad his cell phone was conveniently totaled. Funny that I have never done the same to my cell phone.

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

@tmc  Brady cheated, lied, destroyed evidence and failed to cooperate..........tmc is defending him as if he did nothing wrong. WOW

Falcons2013
Falcons2013

When the suspension came down everyone was ripping Brady and saying he deserved that or more. Now that court flipped it, it is amazing how many people are NOW saying the whole thing was stupid and never should have gone this far and NFL didn't have proper process in place. Reality is NFL needs to choose battles and this one became ridiculous vendetta that included the commissioners ego and it exploded in his face. Now there will be litigation on future suspensions. The authority of the commissioner has been undermined significantly on what should have been an insignificant matter. He could have settled with Brady for 1-2 games and saved face.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

LMAO. Mark's stance is pretty much what got the NFL in hot water - jump to conclusions and leap past or over considerations of evidence and policy. Having reviewed those reports that were published this leaves me with ONE big question: WHY did the NFL pursue this to begin with? I don't believe we've seen an honest answer to that question.

Chilidawg
Chilidawg

If the NFL had a valid concern about the psi for their game balls, the refs would have been in charge of the balls for the entire game.  To relieve the refs of this responsibility the balls could have been modified so that air could not be added or removed.  This is the latest evidence that Goodell is in over his head. 

Tyrone_Biggums1
Tyrone_Biggums1

Brady is a cheat. Look at his performance in the Super Bowl with properly inflated balls- he threw 2 terrible interceptions.

58Supersports
58Supersports

@Tyrone_Biggums1  The second half the balls were ok... the ref's checked air and all ball were good at start of 2nd half... read the report and lawsuit. Goodell had no evidence and couldn't prove nothing after spending close to $17 million to bring down TB. The cell phone was a joke. They had already checked the cell phones from ball boys and TB's e-mail and found nothing... The judge told Goodell to settle and he wouldn't. Thank God you must have evidence before you hang someone.

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

@Tyrone_Biggums1  12 three & outs with 3 INTs this preseason (finally had a TD drive against 2nd & 3rd string players during Game 3) with properly inflated balls.........huh makes you wonder.


BTW..........they have been deflating balls for a long time (not just the Indy game).

RangeRover
RangeRover

Bradley,

Seriously?

Goodell made a ruling that based on circumstantial evidence was fair, just  and warranted.  He was simply overruled!

Happens every day in courts across the land, Bradley.

Please cease with the unabashed journalistic puffing.


Bryar Michon
Bryar Michon

Why were the Colts not at least fined for having 3 of their balls under the 12.5 PSI? Probably because balls have never been tested at halftime in January.  There is no prior scientific data to compare. This equipment violation case has gone on too long.

DawginLex
DawginLex

Called it.

The case was flawed from the beginning and would never hold

I'm laughing at anyone blaming air in a ball for a 38 point beatdown

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

Goodell should be fired by the owners becuase he did right by them and not the game. The easy fix was for him to say going foward the League will once again would control the balls, something the Sheild allowed teams to do seven years ago.

Owners policing owners that hire their own Sheriff?

He's done.

colt07
colt07

Good Lord, Bradly is crazy. NFL had no evidence and the judge made the NFL admit that. When the judge makes you admit you have no evidence and then tells you to settle outside of court, LISTEN TO HIM!!!!

Goodell is just as crazy as Bradley. He has to be politcally correct.

Bottom line, my pet dog Snoopy could do a better job than Goodell. He would just sit in his chair, eat dog biscuits, and let the NFL rock along.

styymy
styymy

The Golden Boy wins again.

JSSN
JSSN

Hilarious, you folks are blaming the "System."  Let's see, the NFL went "Docket  Hunting." They hand picked the Judge (Berman) they wanted to hear the case  as Savannah pointed out. Berman has one of the most conservative ruling records in the entire nation as does the Southern District of NY Federal Courts. How did it work out?  Gracious sakes alive, when a Judge pleads with you to reach a settlement, dang it, listen!

savannahgator5220
savannahgator5220

The NFL ran as fast as they could to get this case heard in this court and not Judge Doty's courtroom. They still lost badly.

Gov-waste
Gov-waste

Cheats and liars know how to beat the system, Brady will make a good politician

RichardKPE
RichardKPE

@youlibtards I hope you're joking.  The facts of this case are that Roger Goodell wanted more power over the NFLPA so he paid millions of dollars to Ted Wells for a made up report designed to ruin the integrity of the game's single biggest public face.  Brady may be a big deal to the public, but he was cheated by the entire league.  

metitotktodd
metitotktodd

@youlibtards How is it cheating you moron if EVERY QB is doing the same thing, as Aaron Rodgers admitted?

NealBoortz
NealBoortz

I personally believe "this ruling" was More about putting a "Big ole bbq fork" in Goodell....than about Giselle's husband missing 4 games ??

My money is on a New competent Commish next year.

NealBoortz
NealBoortz

Tom B is beginning to look, feel, and have the "Teflon touch" as of Hillary !!

JKToole
JKToole

A guy in stripes touches the ball before every play is blown. Why have they gotten a free pass? Umpires determine if the ball is suitable for play in baseball. Refs or some official determine the suitability of the ball in soccer and damn near every other sport that has one.


Incidentally, the Patriots won that game 45-3. They could have beaten Indianapolis that day throwing a cinderblock.


Yawn.

stiffneck
stiffneck

@JKToole 

Yeah, fixing the balls made a real difference in the second half.  

Colts 0-7-0-0 — 7
Patriots 14-3-21-7 — 45

58Supersports
58Supersports

Agree with Judge, no evidence, facts, and they didn't need TB's phone as they already had the two ball boys phones and TB's e-mails... Three strikes on Goodell , 2 with Rice and 1 with TB....= u out.  If Goodell appeals he is crazy.. let it go. This has cost already over 17 million dollars. What a waste of money. Time to shut up and play ball.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@58Supersports 

This is actually strike #5 on Goodell - BountyGate, Rice, Peterson, Hardy now Brady

DrPhill
DrPhill

I would like more explanation of what happened here. Did the judge throw out the case with a wink? Is he a Patriots' fan? Has Judge Judy voiced an opinion?

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

Your time and energy would have been better spent researching and writing about what Nick Chubb eats for breakfast.  Nobody down here cares about professional football.

coj
coj

In our society, the bigger you are – the more you are allowed to cheat and get away with it. 

RichardKPE
RichardKPE

@coj Not sure about that.  The league cheated a player, and got smacked down in court.

brion77
brion77

We need court over a ball with less air than the required standard and possibly a person losing $2 million over it? Seriously

BiCurious_Barack
BiCurious_Barack


Roger Goodell handles NFL administration about as well as Frank "Wrong Again" Wren manages an MLB farm system.


RichardKPE
RichardKPE

Not sure justice was served?  I hope you mean because Goodell still has a job.  


It's very clear at this point that the NFL had zero evidence the Patriots did anything wrong, and they paid an attorney (Wells) millions to fabricate evidence in an attempt to gain more power over the NFLPA.  Judge Berman did the absolute right thing.