A new documentary sheds light on Deflategate and actually defends Tom Brady’s role in the scandal.
At this point in the season, the New England Patriots would normally be entrenched in a deep playoff run, so there’s usually plenty of content to cover. From injury reports, matchup previews and legacy debates, there was never a shortage of topics to tackle.
However, being that the circumstances are different this campaign, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Deflategate has made a triumphant return to being a prominent topic of conversation among fans and media members.
Earlier in the week, Bob Kravitz of The Athletic, the reporter responsible for breaking the news on social media six years ago, disclosed regrets and mistakes he made in the process of bringing the scandal to light after the 2015 AFC Championship Game.
On the heels of that revelation, it sounds like a good time to touch on “Four Games in Fall,” a two-hour long documentary that essentially provides a scientific breakdown of why the Patriots might not have been as guilty as some people were led to believe.
Patriots fans will remember Tom Brady getting the short end of the stick, as he was dealt a four-game suspension for the start of the 2016 season. He ultimately got the last laugh by orchestrating the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, but director Julie Marron went into great detail about why the investigation didn’t serve its initial purpose: proving guilt or innocence.
Here’s a particularly damning quote from Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel that indicates the league had one simple (but equally duplicitous) intention by launching an investigation: find a way to punish the Patriots, even if the evidence against them wasn’t foolproof.
"“The NFL didn’t realize that footballs naturally deflate due to temperature and moisture,” Wetzel wrote. “Yet armed with suspicions that the Patriots cheated, the league conducted a ridiculous ‘experiment’ to prove it – multiple gauges, different length needles, no recording of time or temperature, no baseline data and even haphazardly recording what it found.”"
Per Wetzel, game-approved footballs in a 2016 matchup between the Giants and Steelers were recorded as well below the league’s air pressure standards, but the league “brushed it off as a natural occurrence,” like poor weather conditions. Why wasn’t that considered during their inquiry into Brady and the Patriots? It really makes you scratch your head.
Between this new documentary and Kravitz admitting that maybe Deflategate wasn’t as big of a deal that it was perceived to be, you can’t help but wonder if Brady took the fall for the Patriots simply because he realized how bizarre and laughable the accusations were and wanted to prove that he didn’t need to deflate footballs to win championships.
No matter where you stand on the scandal and who (if anybody) was guilty, you should definitely make some time to watch “Four Games in Fall.” Who knows, it might just do the impossible and change your opinion about how it all went down.