This morning, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the NFL in the ongoing Deflategate case, reinstating New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s original four-game suspension imposed by commissioner Roger Goodell. However, to think this ruling finally put this Deflategate issue to rest, which started after the 2015 AFC Championship game, you’d be wrong, at least according to Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole.
“It’s going to keep on running, because I think the NFLPA is going to take this even further,” Cole told The Jim Rome Show on Monday. “The possibility of that they have to be heard again by the same appeals court, there’s a form of doing that. They can even take this to the Supreme Court. So we can see, if the Supreme Court wants to hear the NFL vs. Brady, and whether this matter gets sorted out there.
“I have a morphed fascination with that idea, to test whether or not this CBA means anything, but it does mean that we have to sit there and talk about inflation rates and whatever gas laws and gas bags and other stupid things,” Cole said, before referring to Deflategate as the most over-rocked controversy in the history of sports, both professional and amateur.
Cole is frustrated that “Deflategate” is once again national news, a scandal he views as an equipment violation.
“I’m frustrated that I have to talk about something that is so mundane and stupid for years and years and years,” Cole said.
According to Cole, the severity of Brady’s suspension, the Patriots’ fine and lost draft picks from Deflategate is more about Goodell folding under pressure from other owners over their perceived lack of punishment for Spygate, New England’s other rule-bending scandal from 2007.
“This should have been one game, maybe two. I’ve always said that this is like throwing a spitter in baseball,” Cole said. “There’s history there, I get it. But he’s not doing anything that hasn’t been done to equipment time and time again, where the penalty for that have been, were far less like $25,000 maybe $50,000. Never a serious suspension, never this kind of penalty.”
Cole does tend to believe that it was more probable than not that New England staffers and Brady had a role in the deflation of the balls.
“They did take the balls into the bathroom, right? That by itself is incriminating enough to me when combined with all the text messages, right? You put that all together,” Cole said. “That’s why you do some kind of penalty. Again four games is way out of line with any present that had been set before. It’s out line with PED use, it’s out of line with drug use, it’s out of line with what people get for beating women, it’s out of line with anything else. This is a one, at most two, game suspension. One really is tops, in my view, and maybe not even one. It should have been just a heavy handed fine and maybe just a fine on Brady himself, losing a couple of game checks.”