This was all too much. The controversy surrounding the PSI of a football during media week and prior to the Super Bowl. The six months of bitching and moaning back and forth between the Patriots and the NFL. The 240 PAGE Wells Report on an ounce or two of air. The 4 game suspension of Tom Brady. Talks of Tom Brady destroying and/or withholding evidence. Every last second of it has been too much. It's gotten to the point where it has become nauseating. Do I think Tom Brady should have gotten suspended for 4 games? No. Do I give a fuck anymore? Absolutely not. At this point I just want people to stop talking about it. Granted, neither upholding the suspension or reducing the suspension would have silenced the critics, no matter what side of the fence they happened to be on, but at least we finally have an actual decision. You know, until Brady sues the league and turns a deep breath's worth of air into another year of news stories.
Are people surprised by this ruling? I thought the number of games would be reduced, but I wouldn't say I am shocked by it standing. Do you know how bad Roger Goodell and the NFL would have looked had they succumbed to Robert Kraft and the Patriots? Upholding this suspension was just a way of saving face, whether they agreed with their original terms or not. You can't let one franchise push you around and compromise your authority. Not without 31 other teams knocking on your door wondering why the most successful franchise of the last 15 years gets preferential treatment. Especially not when the Commissioner has a very close relationship with the Owner of that very franchise. When you win you put a target on your back. That's why the Saints team that was guilty of bounties, based on circumstantial evidence at best, lost their head coach for a year. That very team won a Super Bowl. When you have a team competing in a multibillion dollar organization you can't let that team succeed while sacrificing the integrity of your product, no matter how petty the infraction. Changing the suspension would have been worse than not punishing them at all. Nothing has changed since the Wells Report came out, so the the terms of the discipline shouldn't change either. This is nothing new. The NFL is completely inconsistent in their penalties, but it's better to stand for something than fall for anything, even if what you stand for is an absurdly long suspension relative to the crime.