Again, you could make a pretty good case that the Patriots cheated. You could punish the organization pretty fairly based on the information we have. If the decision was to suspend Bill Belichick, fine Robert Kraft, or remove a pick from the Patriots franchise, based on the idea that franchise leadership had a moral/legal obligation to prevent cheating, I wouldn't have as big of a problem.
It's the fact that effort was made to single out specifically Brady that has never made sense to me. Deflated footballs has always struck me as a franchise issue, not an individual player issue. Equipment managers who won't stand up to players who want illegal things to happen is a team infrastructure problem first and foremost.
Go after the team collectively, the owner or the HC individually, fine. Singling out individual players is something you do when you have direct evidence that they were involved.
If what you have is circumstantial evidence that they might have been involved, then you have to punish the team, the owner or the coach.
Nope. I do admire the Patriots as a rival fan, I've been loud in my calls for the team to become more Patriots-like, and it looks to me like Reich is moving in that direction too, which is something I like to see. Because the commitment to discipline, execution, and putting the team over individual accomplishments is the way you win big games.
I hate to see everything they do right dismissed with the "cheater" label when it's generally not the case that they win by cheating. Especially over something petty like deflated footballs.
The whole Deflategate saga has always struck me as a tempest in a teacup and the more I've dug around the issue, the less impressed I've been with the way Goodell and the rest of the NFL brass handled it. The response just seemed and still seems, ridiculously excessive. Other episodes of doctored footballs are answered with a warning or a fine, not a 4 game suspension of a guy who is possibly indirectly involved in the whole thing.
I've never been satisfied that the "Brady Cheated" narrative has a leg to stand on, it strikes me as the sort of thing rival homers cling to as a way to discredit his legitimate accomplishments and put their own GOAT candidates forward, especially Rodgers and Peyton. To make their guys seem better by comparison. Which is why the Manning HGH rumors deserve to be brought up -- our guy has a mark on his record too. probably a worse one than deflated footballs if we're all being honest. If you can discredit a guy based on rumors that may or may not be true, Manning is in a certain amount of trouble.
If we assume everything is true, PEDs vs doctored footballs is not an argument we want to be making. We don't have a leg to stand on either. If we assume everything is overblown, we can't use the "Brady Cheated" mantra. If we accept one as true but not the other despite a similar level of evidence in both cases, then we aren't being fair or reasonable.
Either way the "Brady Cheated" mantra is something that probablt needs to die. And it doesn't do the Colts any favors to cling to it unreasonably.
It's just how I feel about the whole thing.