With the news breaking yesterday regarding Tom Brady’s punishment in the Deflategate scandal, there have been tons of questions and opinions regarding his legacy.

Some think it is ruined forever, some think it takes a bit of a hit, and some think that it isn’t ruined at all. I think it will take a small hit, but I do not think it’s ruined.

Picture having a conversation about Brady with a rational person who is not a Patriots fan that sounds something like this:

You: I think Tom Brady is one of, if not the greatest quarterbacks to do it.
Them: He’s definitely up there, but that deflating footballs thing is questionable.

That is the type of thing I see happening. Maybe I’m a little too optimistic.

For what it’s worth, I use the term rational because let’s face it, tons of people in America believe what they want to believe and also believe everything they read. Rational people will take time to digest everything and formulate an educated opinion. If after you’ve read things from both sides of the argument and still feel that Brady’s legacy is tainted, that’s fine. At least you took the time to read everything.

However, the above make-believe conversation is one I’ve already had with some people (for real), and it is the type of conversation I think I will continue to have with rational fans. No one has any time for short-sighted people.

This is my reasoning:

First and foremost, people who have called Brady a cheater in the past either fail to realize or just ignore the fact that Spygate did not fall on him. That fell on Bill Belichick and the coaching staff. None of that was Brady’s fault.

Secondly, there is no evidence to suggest Brady or the Patriots cheated to win any of their four Super Bowls. There may have been evidence of this if Roger Goodell hadn’t destroyed video tapes the Patriots provided during the Spygate scandal. But because of this, we will never know. People like Marshall Faulk and others will make assumptions, and that’s okay. But with no way of knowing the truth, how can anyone definitively say they cheated? They can’t. And they know it. They just don’t want to believe it.

Third, some people like to go back to the Patriots being accused of videotaping the Rams final walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI and say that’s how they beat the Rams. Then they try and tie it into Brady. Seriously, I’ve seen people say this in the last week. But if they were logical, they’d know that this never happened. It stemmed from a report in the Boston Herald that was later debunked and the paper came out and apologized for running that story without verifying it. 

That’s a classic example of people believing what they want to.

Fourth, a 37-year-old Brady just won Super Bowl XLVI against one of the best defenses ever with properly inflated footballs and no illegal videotaping. He led the Patriots to touchdowns on the team’s final two drives of the game. He showed up when it mattered, like he has so many times before. That is no accident.

And lastly, if what Brady did is commonplace in the NFL, why is he being punished for it? Why is this a big deal?


The Patriots are repeat offenders and Brady is the best quarterback of this generation. And while that probably makes me sound like a homer, I am fully in favor of Brady being suspended. Cheating is cheating no matter how you slice it and he should not be put above anyone else. But in this instance, I feel that this is truly a minuscule thing that should not detract what Brady has brought to the Patriots organization, Patriots fans, and the NFL.

Many feel the punishment is egregious, and they have a legitimate argument that supports that. By now, many of us know the Wells Report sports some faulty logic and has a very biased tone in some areas. I’m not here to get into any of that or knock it any further than I just did. Everyone else has already done that.

Brady’s impact on the league is unquestionable. He is one of the faces of it. He is still great. Most of America can hate on that all they want. But that is the nature of the beast.

His legacy is still intact. And it’s still growing. When he comes back, the rest of the NFL is screwed. Nobody in the league plays better when they’re pissed off than Brady does. You better believe he’s going to come back and play like a mad man.

In fact, I guarantee that.

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Jesse Gaunce 5/12/2015 07:43:00 AM Edit

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