Being a fan of sports, I tend to like any team out there that respects the game. Unfortunately, neither of those things can be said about Tom Brady. Brady has been a quarterback in the National Football League since 2000 when the New England Patriots picked him in the sixth round. Since then, he has led his team to six Super Bowls, winning four of them. He will easily be a unanimous first ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer, having won two Most Valuable Player awards, three Super Bowl MVPs, been selected to the Pro Bowl 10 times and accumulating over 50,000 passing yards to date. But it seems with every Super Bowl victory, there is a scandal surrounding it and that brings the legitimacy of the Patriots and Brady’s accomplishments into question.
From the “tuck rule” debacle during the 2002 NFL Playoffs when the officials ruled Oakland Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson’s strip sack as an incomplete pass to when members of the Patriots’ staff were seen recording practices of the New York Jets, it seems that every one of New England’s Super Bowls is tainted.
Most recently and prominently is the “Deflategate” controversy. Brady and the Patriots were accused of deflating 11 out of the 12 game balls that were used in an AFC Championship Game win against the Indianapolis Colts last January.
After an investigation, the Patriots’ organization was fined $25,000 and Brady was suspended four games. This prompted Brady to appeal the decision and both he and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ended up in Federal Court. There, Goodell’s original decision was overturned and Brady is allowed to play in every game this coming season.
What does this mean for the rest of the league? Well for starters, the Patriots’ first four games are against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys. With Brady out and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo supposed to be starting, these four teams assumed they would have an easy win. But with Brady back in the lineup, the Patriots have reassumed their role as the “bad guys” of the NFL as they’ve started to regain momentum and make a run at Super Bowl 50.