Deflategate: Why The Patriots’ Penalties Are Fair


Being a writer for a Patriots fan site and a lifelong Patriots fan, I’ll be the first to admit that I am very biased towards the Pats in the “Deflategate” scenario. However, when it comes to the recent suspension and penalties placed on Tom Brady and the Patriots as a team, I feel as if the NFL actually got the punishment right.

Everyone expected Brady to get suspended somewhere in the realm of 2-4 games, and some people were even calling for him to be suspended for half of the regular season. For those of you who think the million dollar fine and the first and fourth round picks taken away was extreme, just remember that the Patriots have been caught cheating before, so they are repeat offenders, and should be punished accordingly.

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  • When this sentencing came out, many people compared it to Ray Rice’s miniscule two game suspension after a video came out of him knocking his fiancé out in an elevator. Clearly that suspension was much too lenient, and that has had an effect on the punishments Goodell has given out since then. He suspended Adrian Peterson for the remainder of last season after details came out involving Peterson in hitting his child. In that case, Goodell was just trying to make up for the mistake he had made by giving Rice too small of a punishment. And can you blame him, imagine if Peterson was allowed to play again last season, there would have been an uproar of people saying that Goodell didn’t care about domestic violence.

    Now, in Brady’s case, he is trying to keep up the new standard he has set: If you do something wrong, you will be punished severely. And, according to the Wells Report, Brady “was at least generally aware” of the footballs being deflated.

    However, deflating the balls alone probably would have been a 1-2 game suspension, but Brady came out in an interview and said that “[he] didn’t alter the footballs in any way.” That is what added on two games, a million dollar fine, and the docking of draft picks. Deflating the footballs in a 38 point blowout is not the problem in this situation, it’s the lying.

    Lying is never okay, but as a Patriots fan, I’m not mad a Brady for lying after the AFC Championship game. If he had admitted to knowing about deflating the footballs, then there was a possibility that Goodell could have felt forced to suspend Brady for the Super Bowl, which almost definitely would have cost the Patriots their fourth Super Bowl ring. This likely would not have happened, but there was a chance, and I don’t think Brady was willing to risk not playing in his sixth Super Bowl. Thankfully, he played in Super Bowl 49, and the Pats earned their fourth Lombardi trophy of the 21st century.

    Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Not only are the penalties against the Patriots fair, but Brady is appealing his suspension and will likely get it shortened because the evidence provided in the Wells Report is circumstantial. We might lose Brady for a few games next season, but this suspension is only going to motivate him even more as the season progresses. Plus, we get to see Jimmy Garoppolo in action for a few games of the regular season.