Seeing the Forest through the Trees

In the very long aftermath of the never ending joke that has been labeled Deflategate, we finally have a victor, of sorts. The National Football League (more importantly Commissioner Roger Goodell) has triumphed over the New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady, as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Brady of a rehearing. Now barring a very small chance of the case being heard by the Supreme Court, this ridiculous sideshow has come to a very unfathomable conclusion for New England football fans.

Last summer, Tom Brady and his legal counsel were able to convincingly expose Deflategate as the sham, which for those who do not have a vendetta against Brady and the New England Patriots could always clearly see. Judge Richard Berman decided to overturn Roger Goodell’s “impartial” ruling as arbitrator in Brady’s appeal of his four game suspension. Tom Brady was allowed to take the field and celebrate his 2014-15 Super Bowl victory with his teammates as they opened the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  As the season progressed, Brady and company went on a 10 game winning streak using the fuel from the Deflategate fiasco to further their goal of winning back to back Super Bowls.

Sadly, due to a virtual cavalcade of injuries towards the end of the season, the 2015-16 Patriots season came to an end in the AFC Championship game against the eventual Super Bowl Champions, the Denver Broncos.  The bitter sting and disappointment of that loss carried over to the offseason as Tom Brady and his legal team went to battle with the NFL yet again, this time in Second Circuit Court of Appeals over Judge Berman’s favorable Brady ruling.  Unfortunately, the end result was that Tom Brady’s four game suspension was reinstated due a to a 2-1 decision.  Brady and the NFLPA (National Football Players’ Association) were determined to right this wrong, not just for Brady but for the entire roster of NFL players.

The NFLPA’s interest in this case stems from their own regret over how they handled the last CBA (collective bargaining agreement), as they gave the NFL and their commissioner more or less carte’ Blanche to make whatever decisions he’d like in regards to player discipline.  Essentially, they allowed the evil Emperor from the Star Wars movies to exist in the NFL, unchecked.  Now like most people in this world, NFL players don’t particularly care if someone successful is getting knocked down a few rungs from the top. It’s that short sightedness that will be their downfall. Sure, this time it’s Tom Brady, with the Super Model wife and four Super Bowl rings, whose legacy is being crushed and dragged through the gutter, but what about next time the NFL decides to flex their power?

Tune into the NFL network today and you will likely hear a bevy of former players talking about how Tom Brady should drop this fight now, because bigger, worldly situations such as the horrifying events in Dallas are occurring. Not discounting the horrible events transpiring in Dallas but what does that have to do with Tom Brady’s case? Horrible events have occurred throughout history and still less meaningful events have transpired simultaneously. To use the dastardly events in Dallas to push your own agenda is both disrespectful to those who have lost their lives and callous to the remaining victims of such tragedies.

Now, with the immediate NFL future of the New England Patriots clearer than it has been in many months, what do New England fans have to be excited about? Sure, the New England Patriots have seemingly lost the greatest Quarterback of this generation for the first four games but let’s be honest, the Patriots have routinely persevered with the next man up mentality. Let’s not forget that the Patriots have a pretty stellar roster to contend with this season aside from Tom Brady. The time will come when Tom Brady is permanently on the sidelines, as he is far closer to the end of his Hall of Fame career than he is to the beginning. Regardless of the fact that it has become rather old hat to say, but wouldn’t it be nice to see what Jimmy Garoppolo is capable of? If this man is truly New England’s future, why not see what he has in the tank?

The Patriots have ruled the AFC East for the better part of 15 years, sacrificing the first four games of the season is now seemingly inevitable but what if it turns out that Brady’s successor is up for the challenge?  Sure, New England could possibly lose all four Garoppolo games but does anyone really believe that Tom Brady is the only reason the Patriots are successful? Bill Belichick is an amazing coach, the Patriots defense is quite impressive and on paper their offense is practically an All-star team.  The first four games of the Patriots 2016-17 season will no doubt take years off many New England fan’s lives and possibly place this year’s playoffs in doubt but I think it’s safe to say it won’t be any less exciting.

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