Is #Deflategate Finally Over, Or Will Tom Brady Try His Luck At SCOTUS?

Is #Deflategate Finally Over, Or Will Tom Brady Try His Luck At SCOTUS?

Is #Deflategate Finally Over, Or Will Tom Brady Try His Luck At SCOTUS?

If Tom Brady was any kind of a man, or a role model, we wouldn’t still be discussing “Deflategate.” Remember that the allegations were all made within the 2014 football season, and the announced punishments were handed down after the Super Bowl following that season.

Tom Brady (photo: Getty Images)
Tom Brady (photo: Getty Images)

(This is where I put my large disclaimer. This is not an unbiased piece, nor do I intend it to be. I dislike Tom Brady. I find his personal life questionable at best, his professional career with the Patriots full of corruption, and as a Seahawks fan, I am legally allowed to despise him. Those who wish to defend Brady can do so in the comments.)

Thanks to “Deflategate,” we had to watch an incredibly awkward press conference that sounded guilty (and vaguely obscene).

And we had to listen to celebrities who are Patriots fans. (Which was admittedly funny, even if it’s about two minutes too long.)

And because Brady couldn’t just take a punishment (because he’s TOM BRADY and therefore above the rules of others, and why did you want his cell phone? Oh, that’s gone, destroyed, no more text messages – behold the sports version of Hillary Clinton), he appealed his four-game suspension. District court ruled in Brady’s favor, but the U.S. Appeals Court reversed that, reinstating the NFL and Roger Goodell’s penalty. Since the Appeals Court decision was a 2-1 ruling from a 3 judge panel, Brady asked for an en banc hearing from the full court.

The court denied his request.

The decision, announced in a one-page notice by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, may also put an end to one of the most widely watched and embarrassing scandals in the history of the N.F.L. The case, which began in January 2015, raised awkward and unseemly questions about the powers of the commissioner and the motivations of one of the most decorated players in league history.

Brady has only one play left, and it’s a Hail Mary – he can appeal to the Supreme Court.

Brady can still ask the Supreme Court to hear his appeal to have his suspension overturned, but given the timetable of the court, and the fact that the season begins in less than two months, the chances of any relief coming before opening day are remote.

“That would be an extremely long shot, and, of course, could not be finally resolved soon, even were the justices to hear the appeal,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond.

As a result, it is all but certain that the Patriots will be led by the little-tested backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo when they open their season on Sept. 11 against the Cardinals in Arizona. Brady will be able to attend training camp and play during the preseason, but he would have to remain away from the team and its training facility and stadium starting Sept. 3.

He could rejoin the team during the fifth week of the season, when the Patriots play the Browns in Cleveland.

Brady may make the appeal, despite the long shot, just because it would delay the suspension that much longer. However, he then runs the risk of having the suspension later in the season, when the Patriots would (theoretically) be trying to get into the playoffs. And given the current politics of SCOTUS, I’m not sure if they would take the case as a non-political amusement, or reject it because it is a non-political and unimportant-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things case.

And really, this case is not the most important thing EVER. Football itself is not the most important thing ever, either. (Those who know me, know that the most important thing ever is baseball. I’m only partially kidding.) I can think that Roger Goodell is an idiot, that Tom Brady is a jerk, and the Patriots are cheaters, and still think that this case isn’t worthy of the Supreme Court’s time.

Yes, the NFL needs to clean up its act (and let Condi Rice have her dream job as NFL commissioner), but Tom Brady needs to stop the appeals. If he really values his team over himself, then he needs to man up and take the suspension. The time for mitigating the punishment ended when his cell phone was “broken and replaced” in the middle of the investigation. Brady needs to sit out his four games and get it over with.

Or, you know, he could appeal and have to serve the suspension in the middle of a playoff run. That suits me just fine, too.

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