The Great NFL Hypocrisy: Deflategate, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots

The Atlanta Falcons were found guilty of pumping in crowd noise for two years. Punishment: $350,000 fine, loss of a fifth round draft pick.

The Cleveland Browns were found guilty of illegal texting during the game. Punishment: $250,000 fine and a four game suspension for their General Manager.

The New York Jets were found guilty of openly, illegally tampering with then Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis. Punishment: $100,000 fine.

Everyone remember Ray Rice's initial punishment? Well, in Goodell's defense, there was no report using such strong language as "probably" for him to go on.
Everyone remember Ray Rice’s initial punishment? Well, in Goodell’s defense, there was no report using such strong language as “probably” for him to go on.

The independent Wells Report, set in place by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (yes, this Roger Goodell), finds that New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady was probably “at least generally aware” of violating the rules with the now infamous Deflategate scandal. The same report also found that “said league investigators found no evidence that coach Bill Belichick and team management knew of the practice.

Punishment: $1,000,000 fine. Loss of 1st and 4th round draft picks. Tom Brady suspended for four games without pay.

Seems fair.

Oh wait, sorry – ha I’m always mixing up my words. As a writer, that can be pretty annoying. Not fair… uhm, what’s the word I’m looking for here – it will come to me – oh here we go: f*cking ridiculous. That’s two words, no wonder I was confused. I apologize.

Months ago, Patriots' owner Robert Kraft demanded an apology from Roger Goodell for wasting money and resourcing in a baseless attempt to sully Brady and the Patriots. I guess this was the response.
Months ago, Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft demanded an apology from Roger Goodell for wasting money and resources in a baseless attempt to sully Brady and the Patriots. I guess this was the response.

Before I get into this, let the record show: it’s just a sport. There are so many worse things going on, well… within that particular organization, that to call this the NFL’s greatest mistake or mistreatment in the past year would be a large overstatement. You can do plenty worse things than mistreat a franchise, just ask the Baltimore Ravens.

Let the record also show that I am a Patriots’ fan, and as a Patriots’ fan let me say: the Patriots were found rightfully guilty in Spygate and signing a contract extension with now-murderer Aaron Hernandez gave me quite a bit of disgust for my home team (I used to cheer for that psychopath). So I am not a blind “Patriots can do no wrong” kind of guy.

I stand by my f*cking ridiculous statement.

The bizarre saga of Deflategate has gone from “what?” to “really?” to “come on.” over the past few months. For the record, I believe the last time the NFL ordered an independent investigation into a matter, it was the Ray Rice case. The findings: Roger Goodell likely had no knowledge of the elevator videotape prior to its public release. Show of hands: how many people out there believe those findings?

Okay, so a private investigation was launched into potentially criminal concealing of evidence… and whether or not balls were properly inflated during a 45-7 AFC Championship beating. Right away, it seems odd to have the same reaction to such wildly different scenarios. But surely, there must be a precedent for this? This ball tampering must be a serious, serious charge with strong punishments? Well, turns out this has happened before with the San Diego Chargers. Their punishment: a $20,000 fine. Wow, that seems irregular.

So clearly the issue is not the ball tampering, but a further charge:

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 01:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots waits near the bench during the first half of the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 1, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

“With respect to your particular involvement, the report established that there is substantial and credible evidence to conclude you were at least generally aware of the actions of the Patriots’ employees involved in the deflation of the footballs and that it was unlikely that their actions were done without your knowledge,” Vincent wrote. “Moreover, the report documents your failure to cooperate fully and candidly with the investigation, including by refusing to produce any relevant electronic evidence (emails, texts, etc.), despite being offered extraordinary safeguards by the investigators to protect unrelated personal information, and by providing testimony that the report concludes was not plausible and contradicted by other evidence.”

Ah, so it is because Brady lied. Well, if it is proved with such strong language in the report like “maybe” and “probably” and “at least generally” and “more likely than not,” I mean, that just sounds so definitive, right? Forget legal language, if you used those phrases in a college essay, you would get at best a “C” and a “use a stronger voice” comment from the professor. Brady’s crucifying lack of cooperation was his refusal to turn over his personal phone and email.

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 22: Referee John Parry #132 holds a meeting with other officials during a game between the St. Louis Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Edward Jones Dome on December 22, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Rams beat the Buccaneers 23-13.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
I understand the outrage but lets stop pretending the Patriots are the only team to push the rules. The referees throw flags on every team.

Because only the most paranoid and guilty celebrities (with a supermodel wife) would refuse to turn over potentially personally devastating material to such an airtight organization like the NFL. They have not once ever leaked any material from any sort of investigation before… not once. And that, boys and girls, is how one uses sarcasm.

With increasing scrutiny turning on the Wells Report, and a potentially huge new hole surfacing earlier today, one wonders if the NFL and its elite team of 32 rich white guy owners have gone too far in their witch hunt of the New England Patriots. Many believe that Tom Brady will launch a lawsuit against the league and others (myself included) hope that owner Robert Kraft follows suit.

A referee was accused, convicted, and fired for stealing and replacing balls during the AFC championship game. Funny how that got left out of the report.
A referee was accused, convicted, and fired for stealing and replacing balls during the AFC championship game. Funny how that got left out of the report.

And as for punishing the Patriots, the team cleared by the Wells Report… you got me on that one. Great to see that Goodell is not above letting such petty things as facts stand in the way of punishing the Patriots… such a controversial move, to overly punish the team that most of the nation is jealous of/hates anyway.

This is discrimination, clear and simple. As a Patriots’ fan I can only say: sue the bastards, Tom. Beat ’em in court like you beat them on the field.

The NFL Clusterf*ck: Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and Abuse

Warning: the following post contains disturbing images and video.


Can you tell another human being how to live their life? Do you have the right? What makes a good person and a bad person?

For the past few weeks, the NFL (National Football League) has made headlines. Regrettably, football has not been involved. First came the Ray Rice scandal. For those of you who do not know, Baltimore Ravens receiver Ray Rice entered an elevator with his then-fiancé (they are now married), Janay. Then, this happened:

No charges were filed and the NFL suspended Rice for two games. Then, that video was released and Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely by the NFL. Rice has recently appealed his suspension, and his wife Janay continues to insist that the media has blown the entire thing out of proportion.

Actual Instagram response from Rice’s wife.

Due to their reluctant and forced handling of the issue, the NFL became swamped in scandal, with many feeling that Commissioner Roger Goodell must resign for his involvement in attempting to swipe what happened under the rug. For the record: the Ray Rice scandal was not the only one going on at this point, simply the one involving the most famous player. For a few weeks, Rice was the name on everyone’s lips in regards to the NFL.

Then Adrian Peterson happened.

Peterson was arrested and charged for beating his four year old son with a tree branch. Peterson also allegedly stuffed leaves into the child’s mouth to prevent him from screaming. Below are the photos taken ONE WEEK after the beating took place (I do not have to say ‘alleged’ as Peterson has already admitted to doing it).

abuseToday, Peterson as been activated by the Minnesota Vikings. He is expected to fully participate and play, while receiving his complete salary.


I felt I could not say any of that while being my usual smug, cheeky self. Again, I will mention that these are not the only two problem players in the NFL. These scandals have raised a lot of questions. Many have to do with morality and social responsibility.

“Don’t tell me how to live my life!”

This is a philosophy that many individuals in “free” countries adhere to. Indeed, what is the point of freedom without the ability to choose what kind of life to lead? If we are to go by the words and opinions of Janay and Ray Rice, than the world (through the media) has intruded on their privacy and their right to live. To hear Janay speak, theirs is a complicated love that only they can understand, and the rest of the world is rushing to ruin what a good thing they have.

Adrian Peterson is trying to discipline his child. At least that’s what people like Charles Barkley and many others think. Don’t tell him how to raise his kid. Don’t tell Ray and Janay how to live their lives.


I had one professor in my time at University who was brilliant. He gave me an essential lesson that I will not forget and that I believe applies here: Some opinions are wrong. Is everyone entitled to a point of view – absolutely. Is that point of view immediately valid and equal to all others – not a chance in hell. In this era of understanding, I feel that society is in danger of losing a crucial truth. Sometimes people are full of sh*t.

There is NO defense for people like Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. I am not saying they are monsters, but I am saying that they each committed a crime that is indefensible. In what scenario is it okay for an NFL athlete to strike an unarmed woman? Or for a father to brutally beat his child with a tree branch? There is none. The discussion ends there. For any saying, “it is a cultural difference, or they probably learned it from their parents”. Please listen to Cris Carter below:

He is absolutely right. Never once in history has “well that’s how it used to be done” been a valid reason to prevent enlightenment. Progress means change and it means growth and we have overall grown as a society. Any individuals out there who use their upbringing as an excuse for their actions – that is the immature response of a child. We live in an age with actual unlimited access to education. It is called the internet and its greatest power is its ability to collect and pool all human knowledge. Does it pool other crap, sure – but the fact remains.

No one forced Rice or Peterson to behave that way. They made the decision, the decision to continue vicious cycles that probably began much earlier in their lives. That decision was wrong, and both of them were wrong for doing it. Their athletic ability should not and does not matter. Ray Rice is a miserable excuse for a partner and Adrian Peterson has a hell of a lot to learn about being a father.

As for Janay, it is a tragic truth that many abuse victims justify their mistreatment. She is wrong as well. Her opinion and view of her relationship come off as nothing more than a horrible fantasy that the rest of the world recognizes for the farce it is.

People have the right to ruin their own lives. That right ends the moment another person becomes involved. Adrian Peterson didn’t hurt himself – he savagely beat a four year old boy. Ray Rice punched his wife in the face. I sincerely hope that that relationship does not create children.

People have the right to ruin their own lives, until another person becomes involved. Fun fact about society is that everyone is interconnected. No one has the right to waste a life because it always matters to someone else. Actions like these are not defensible. This is not a debate on morality. The human race is sadly gifted at self-justification.

No one likes being blamed and everyone out there can come up with an excuse for practically anything. As a species, we have been able to justify such atrocities as slavery, the Holocaust, and repressing human rights. People do not want to be labeled as “bad people.” The horrible truth is that bad people do not exist. Neither do good people. There are just people, and people have the choice to do what they will. In their mind, that action will always be good (if not immediately than after much rationalization and self-justification).

But this is the 21st century. People need to grow up and be held accountable for their actions. Not every scenario has two valid sides. Abuse is wrong. Period.

Let’s hope the NFL does not let profits stand in the way of humanity. Actually no, let’s not hope for that. Let’s hold people responsible for their actions. Let’s stop rationalizing and take a stand. We’re human beings – let’s act like it.

"I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury." That's his mugshot, by the way.
“I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury.”
That’s his mugshot, by the way.