I don’t like the New England Patriots. I don’t. But there are a lot of people, especially in New England, that do. Patriot’s fans are crying foul over their beloved Tom Brady’s four game suspension, now upheld by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The crux of the matter is that Brady is accused of destroying his cell phone just when League officials were investigating “Deflate-gate.” This appears to be why the League was so hard on Brady, as it appears that he had something to hide.
For those that don’t know, a report commissioned by the NFL concluded that Tom Terrific, as Brady is called, “was at least generally aware” of plans by Patriots personnel to underinflate footballs to Brady’s liking, below the league-mandated minimum of 12.5 pounds per square inch before or during the 2014 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. Ok. I get it. But does the punishment fit the crime?
I don’t like the New England Patriots because they defeated my Eagles in 2005 en-route to their third Super Bowl victory in four years. Brady, the most valuable player of this year’s Super Bowl and the league’s golden boy, is a sure future Hall of Famer — and yet he is associated with cheating to gain a competitive edge – which is a major No-No. You don’t cheat. You just don’t.
And the Patriots organization has been caught with their hand in the cookie jar before: (in 2007, the Patriots were fined $250,000 — and Belichick $500,000 — for videotaping Jets coaches’ defensive signals during a game at Giants Stadium.) This time they were fined $1 million and lost a couple of draft picks, including next year’s first-rounder.
The Bible says that we should shun the very appearance of evil. Doing evil is bad, And the appearance of evil is bad too. shunning the very appearance of wrongdoing is something that the Patriots have not done in at least two instances. Or so it seems.
On the one hand, some agree with this statement: “They don’t deserve to be the Super Bowl champion.” But Super Bowl Champions they are. Again. On the other hand, last week, during an appearance by Brady at Salem State in Massachusetts, fans were rabid in their support of him and his team. They chanted and cheered and defended their hero.
William C. Rhoden of the New York Times said that “we can expect more of the same. In fact, I expect Monday’s penalty will ignite a rallying cry from Patriots fans, who will be hoping to cheer their team on to yet another Super Bowl appearance. I can see it now: ‘Free Tom Brady’ hoodies everywhere. From where I sit, Monday’s penalty was a hard love tap: A billionaire owner loses a million bucks; a 37-year-old quarterback gets to take the first four games of the season off.” Go figure.
On the other hand, the Colts, who were cheated, get to stew over their 45-7 title game drubbing. The Patriots get to keep their trophy.
Where’s the justice?