By Scott Taylor
Judge Richard M. Berman, the man who has been tasked with determining if Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for doing something that, at worst, is a 10-yard penalty, was fair and/or legal, is certainly asking the right questions.
Fact is, I already like Berman. Regardless of his decision, he’s already shown that the alleged Deflategate controversy is exactly what it seems to be: Nonsense.
This week, Berman told both sides to reach a settlement. Because NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ego is too big for a room, it appears as if a settlement is out of the question. So, it would appear that Berman is going to make everyone — and especially Goodell — look like the idiots they are.
This week, at the first hearing into this silly court case over nothing but Goodell’s idiocy, Berman asked NFL counsel Daniel L. Nash, the obvious question:“What is the direct evidence that implicates Mr. Brady?”
Nash mumbled something about “considerable evidence Brady knew about Deflategate,” which was another point of contention for Berman.
“This Deflategate. I’m not sure where the ‘gate’ comes from.”
Berman also pointed out another bit of reality: Brady actually played better with properly inflated balls in the second half.
“You might say (Brady) got no better advantage from the under-inflation,” Berman said.
A four-game suspension, whether he knew the footballs were deflated or not is simply stupid. Footballs have been inflated, deflated, covered with stick ‘um and left in the cold. The biggest penalty ever handed out for messing with footballs was handed to the San Diego Chargers for “tacking” the balls. It was a $20,000 fine. The owner of the Chargers uses that for tip money.
Still, Goodell says he’s concerned about “the integrity of the game.” Integrity of the game? If the balls were deflated by two pounds PSI as the NFL alleges, how did seven on-field officials, who handle the game ball on every play, miss it? If you’re worried about the integrity of the game, do something, anything, about your officials.
Regardless of Berman’s decision, this is the most absurd thing that’s ever happened in major American sport and now it’s going to cost taxpayers millions to run this circus through the courts.
Goodell’s ego is making him look like a moron while the league is being spanked every day by a judge who thinks its a board of directors filled by members of the Keystone Kops.
It’s embarrassing for the NFL, but at least Judge Berman has a sense of humour.