The most amazing thing happened last night. For the first time in The Wifeyiac’s pregnancy, I felt my baby girl moving. It was crazy, you could actually feel her moving around inside that belly, most likely practicing her first touchdown dance. I had a smile on my face and my emotions were euphoric, I was ecstatic to a point that words can’t describe.
It’s a feeling that I can only compare to what Tom Brady must be feeling right now… or at least this guy is:
Look, when the news broke I was at work and I couldn’t get to my computer. The six hours since Judge Berman humiliated the NFL and overturned their ignorant decision to suspend Tom Brady have been non-stop coverage (here is the 40-page ruling if you are bored or perhaps on a non-stop flight to Australia). I don’t need to tell you what happened.
I have long written about my disgust with Roger Goodell’s czar-like rulings. To be completely fair, I think as a business man, Goodell has been great for THE LEAGUE. He has taken the NFL to new heights, made it a multi-billion dollar (and once tax exempt) franchise that spans different continents of the world. He has figured out ways to bring us football three nights a week and now makes Thanksgiving Day a whole marathon of NFL.
Where Goodell has gone wrong is in his handling of HIS PLAYERS. I wrote last year about the Ray Rice situation, and at that time I said that Goodell had gone too far. Boy, did he just go even further, huh?
You see, people are crying out on Facebook and Twitter that the Patriots cheat the system again or Tom Brady, the NFL’s goody two shoes, has gotten away with it yet again. This isn’t about the Patriots. This isn’t about how under or over inflated the balls were. Hell, this isn’t even about Tom Brady if you think about it. It is about a man that has no rhyme, reason or rationale in how he hands out punishments.
I have used this comparison before, but I will do it again. In my past life, I was a high school English teacher. Every time a student submitted an essay, every time they took a test, every time they turned in something so small as vocabulary home work, there was a coinciding scoring rubric. Often times, they were made well aware of the terms in which they were to be graded ahead of time, whether it be in the syllabus or an actual grading rubric I put right in their hands.
I couldn’t simply walk around case by case and stamp a grade on their papers haphazardly, I needed a system in place. A system that should they want to argue why they didn’t meet a certain standard, said argument would fall flat because the answer was right there on the paper in front of them.
Goodell does none of this. Brady didn’t even know what kind of punishments he would be facing, which, whether it is morally right or not, may have changed his approach to his cooperation to the case. The NFL had zero CONCRETE evidence against Brady, except for Goodell’s “impartial” investigator Ted Wells’ report. The rumors were that the court asked the NFL one question: do you have any evidence? The answer was no, and the case became a joke.
Here’s the problem with the Brady haters argument against justice being served today. Tom Brady wasn’t suspended for cheating. Or was he? No, Brady was suspended for not cooperating with the investigation, right? You see the problem? Add to the matter that the methods in which the NFL sought to have Brady cooperate with were a joke and borderline unconstitutional, and you have a commissioner with entirely too much power.
Did Tom Brady cheat? Probably, but it’s a lot like the Michael PINEda pine tar incident (which incidentally wasn’t called Pine Tar-gate. Why does the NFL have to add gate to everything? For crying out loud, Watergate wasn’t a scandal about water, it was the name of the office complex, you don’t just add gate to every scandal, but I digress). After Pineda was suspended for cheating, many players came out and said that they weren’t upset that he cheated. They were upset that other pitchers have been doing it for years, they simply weren’t idiots who made it as obvious as Pineda had.
It’s one of those things; we all know everyone does it — said Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski to the Boston Globe — There’s no doubt I’m all for it. But you just can’t do it so blatantly. John [Farrell] didn’t want to go out there, it puts him in a bad spot. But rules are the rules.
The same can be said about what Brady did. Want proof?
ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters and ESPN The Magazine contributors polled more than 100 players (not every player answered every question) and found a similarly sensible consensus. While 72 percent of respondents believe the Patriots were responsible for lowering air pressure of the footballs, only 16 percent said they were “upset” by it and 68 percent said they think other teams do the same thing. Sixty percent said the Patriots aren’t “cheaters.”
Quarterback Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension is too long, according to nearly 80 percent of the players. So it’s no surprise that 88 percent said league discipline should not be determined solely by commissioner Roger Goodell. (read the entire survey here.)
Simply put, every player needs to know the guidelines in which Goodell hands out punishments. Even the policy for substance abuse could use some work. Substance abuse in the NFL has the same set amount of games suspended for each incident, but shouldn’t there be by-laws?
Goodell just made it known that he feels the integrity of the game is most important. He has constantly set precedents that he seemingly doesn’t realize he should stick to. Doesn’t that mean a player should be suspended more for using PEDs than getting caught with a joint? One cheats the game, the other gives you the munchies. Pretty big difference there if you ask me.
If Goodell wants the power to “defend the shield” he simply needs to become more fair, and that means staying up late for a whole week and coming up with a set standards of discipline. He can’t leave any vagueness anymore, because let’s face it, how many four game suspensions wind up getting reduced because their is no firm backing? Ray Rice initially getting suspended for two games for beating his wife with the evidence on national television to Tom Brady getting suspended for four games based on inconclusive evidence is a travesty.
This is America, where you are innocent until proven guilty. Again, do I think Brady did it? I sure do. But it wasn’t proven. This is the way the judicial system works… just ask OJ.
I know, you think I am just kissing up to the misses, but why would I? I am a Houston Texans fan. As long as Brady is slinging the ball in New England, it makes it that much harder for my boys to win. I want Brady suspended, but it should be done fairly. Every big time suspension the NFL has dealt with in recent history has come under a lot of scrutiny, and that needs to stop.