I've probably mentioned on various social media platforms (fine, only Twitter) that I'm tired of the story about the Patriots deflating footballs. I won't call it DeflateGate, even though that's much easier to type than typing "the Patriots deflating footballs." I believe Brady probably knew something about it and I believe the NFL has really screwed the whole investigation up. Even though I'm an A-Rod apologist, I don't condone cheating, but from everything I've read I'm not entirely sure how much cheating deflating the football really ends up being. I'm not sure the NFL knows either. So in a judgment-free zone on whether Brady is guilty, innocent, or framed, I prefer to focus on the terrible sportswriting that comes from reactions to the four game suspension Brady received for deflating the footballs. Jay Mariotti wrote back-to-back columns eviscerating Brady and Jay is at his red-faced, terrible writing best (worst) in them.
I'll start with his July 28 column where he compares Tom Brady to Richard Nixon.
Well, so much for the 2024 presidential bid. Unless you are Nixonian in your political bent,
Unless you love corruption, you should hate Tom Brady. Why? He's no G.I. Joe, because he's not an American hero.
you’ll understand why Tom Brady has lost all credibility not only as an
American hero but as someone who deserves not even a saliva spit of
support in the Deflategate scandal.
I literally have never thought of Tom Brady as an American hero.
It’s one thing to argue that Brady, in the AFC championship game,
performed better with footballs that were properly inflated in the
second half than with purposely underdeflated balls in the first half.
By "one thing" Jay means, "This could go to the effect the underinflated balls had on the game and therefore could potentially go to the merit and severity of a punishment." It's still cheating if a team doesn't gain an advantage, but it doesn't seem the Patriots gained an advantage in this specific situation.
it means “The Man Every Other Male Aspires To Be” and “The Greatest Quarterback Of All Time” has committed these sins:
1. He knowingly participated in a scam with team equipment managers
to deflate footballs, which gave him a competitive advantage while
violating league rules. That makes him a cheater.
2. He denied participating in the scam. That makes him a liar.
3. He had an associate destroy the smoking phone and, by extension,
the probable incriminating evidence on that phone, meaning he refused to
cooperate. That makes him a cover-up artist.
4. On the way to his associate's house in order to make sure his associate was there, he texted this person. This means he was texting and driving.
5. Brady was clocked by at least one police radar as going 5 miles over the speed limit while on his way to the associate's house. This makes him a speeder and law breaker.
6. He tried to steer out of the way of a squirrel on his way to the associate's house, but ran over the squirrel instead. This means Brady was guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
7. After walking back in his house, he threw his recyclable water bottle into a regular trash can. This is just him flagrantly showing the city's recycling rules do not apply to him. What other rules does Tom Brady think don't apply to him? No need to answer that question, because it's obvious now.
Is it possible four games aren’t enough, then, that Brady should have been banned for the entire season?
At the very least, he should be decapitated. At the most, one of his children should be sold into slavery. So any punishment in between seems appropriate, though a real American hero would just go ahead and sell his child into slavery now instead of waiting for this punishment to be handed down.
Given New England’s status as a dynasty, with four Super Bowl titles in
the 21st century, Brady’s continuing defiance is raising the same doubts
about the Patriots that the Steroids Era did about Major League
Yes Jay, these two events are completely similar. Tom Brady deflated footballs in one playoff game by a certain amount of PSI and this is similar to what happened over a 6-8 year span where multiple baseball players used PED's to gain an edge over a multiple game span and destroy current records in the MLB record book. One is the same as the other.
I'm surprised Jay didn't hit us with a "In the Steroid Era, the players got pumped up to gain an edge, while Brady deflated in order to gain his edge."
How much of their success is real,
how much is deceitful?
“He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested
access to text messages and other electronic information that had been
stored on that phone,” Goodell said in his appeals decision. “During the
four months that the cellphone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly
10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that
The world may never know what pet names he and Gisele have for each other. For this, someone must pay, and that person is Tom Brady.
But for once, in a tenure tarnished by his irresponsible handling of the
Ray Rice case and an erratic record of off-field punishments in
general, Goodell seems to be spot-on.
If anyone was ever wondering who that person is that feels Goodell was "spot-on" with his handling of the situation where Brady allegedly deflated footballs, then you can rest easy knowing that person is Jay Mariotti. No one should be shocked by this. Jay would side with Westboro Baptist Church if it helped him write a column that bashes an athlete or coach.
He could have waffled and given weight to his all-but-dead friendship
with Kraft, who defended Goodell publicly and in ownership circles as he
was attacked amid the Rice fallout. But this time, he stood firm in
front of the league’s so-called shield and avoided all wishy-washiness.
There is a clear difference in standing firm for solid factual and evidentiary reasons and standing firm because the decision has been made and that's the decision. I don't think Goodell should have necessarily waffled, but not changing his mind doesn't mean his decision was correct in the very first place.
Harmful as the Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson abuse cases have
been to the league’s image and reputation, maintaining the game’s
competitive integrity is vitally important, too, particularly when it
involves the league’s most visible and acclaimed player.
The game's integrity is very important, but I would argue that making sure the athletes involved with the sport don't abuse children or women is more important to ensuring fans aren't alienated than ensuring a football is at the proper PSI level would be.
What we have now is Brady, in frantic image-restoration mode, legally
challenging the ruling and seeking an injunction allowing him to play.
Remember back when Jay Mariotti started at Sports Talk Florida and the "Examiner," back when he talked about how the legal system is corrupt (against rich white men!) and he understands this because of all he had gone through? Welp, now he's describing Brady exercising his legal rights as his being in "frantic image-restoration mode." As expected, when Jay talked about how he understood the American legal system and how it swallowed people up, he only meant he understood this from his perspective. Everyone else deserves whatever they get. The legal system is against Jay Mariotti, while everyone else is getting treated fairly.
If Brady was smart, he’d accept his four games and go away. It’s hard to
believe even the most venomous Goodell critic would side with Brady
now. He will argue the Wells report is flawed and the ball-deflation
rules were unfairly applied. Um, why would an innocent man destroy a
phone that could help him if wronged?
What a bad counterargument to the idea the ball-deflation rules were unfairly applied. Brady destroying his phone is circumstantial evidence that can go to support the belief he was attempting to destroy evidence, but the destruction of the phone isn't a counterargument to the Wells report being flawed or whether the ball-deflation rules were fairly applied or not. Again, for someone who claims to understand the legal system, Jay is very clueless about how the veracity of legal challenges can be determined. If the ball-deflation rules weren't unfairly applied, then this could mean Brady will win his legal case. Just like if evidence is mishandled in a criminal case, it doesn't matter if the suspect acted very suspiciously to where it seemed like he was covering up a crime. I can't let Jay take me down this rabbit hole. He's ignorant, we know that.
“Especially in light of the new evidence introduced at the hearing —
evidence demonstrating that he arranged for the destruction of
potentially relevant evidence that had been specifically requested by
the investigators — my findings and conclusions have not changed in a
matter that would benefit Mr. Brady,” Goodell said.
Team Brady’s response? “Neither Tom nor the Patriots did anything
wrong,” agent Don Yee said. “And the NFL has no evidence that anything
inappropriate occurred. The appeal process was a sham.”
For the record, there was no denial that the smoking phone was destroyed.
For the record, Brady admits the phone was destroyed. Why did he do this? Who the fuck knows? I can take a guess, but it's just a guess. Regardless, I just enjoy reading Jay's terrible writing about this topic. Considering I find ball deflation to be boring, I need to get my enjoyment on this topic where it can be found.
Now for the July 29 article that Jay compares Brady to Lance Armstrong, Pete Rose, and Tiger Woods. Yeah, Tiger Woods. Tiger cheated on his spouse, which apparently is now the same thing as using PED's and betting on baseball.
Tom Brady is 37 years old. He looks 27 years old. And now, he’s acting 17 years old,
Real strong hot take to start the column off. If only Brady's son were 7 years old then Jay could have thrown that in there too.
using his Facebook account — gee, what’s his relationship status? —
This isn't really funny or clever. Brady is married, Jay. He's married to a supermodel. That's his status.
If he was a mature, reasonable person, he’d call a news conference,
invite the world, look every reporter in the eye, stare every camera in
the lens and say, for posterity, “I’ll take your questions for the next
I always love the sportswriter challenge to determine true honesty which can only be determined by that athlete calling a press conference and answering the media's questions. Because answering questions from sportswriters is always the best way to determine honesty. Sportswriters like Jay have such a high opinion of themselves that they believe they should be the final arbiter on whether an athlete is lying or not. Sure, if Tom Brady called a press conference then it would give Jay something more interesting to write about, but mostly it's Jay's ego which causes him to believe he's not merely a member of the press, but the person who should stand in final judgment regarding Brady's honesty.
You know, if Jay Mariotti were a reasonable, mature person then he would call a press conference and talk about exactly what happened on that day when he was accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Jay would NEVER do that, because he considers it a private affair. I mean, Jay Mariotti had a chance to clear his name and totally chose not to do that. He pled no-contest, but he wants Tom Brady to stand up and defend himself in a press conference where he can take questions for two hours. Few things anger me more than the hypocrisy of the media. Jay doesn't believe he has an obligation to explain himself, but of course when it's not Jay in the firing line then only a mature, reasonable person would call a press conference to explain himself.
Instead, Brady logged onto Facebook, where he doesn’t have to answer
questions but can continue to twist his obvious wrongdoing into an
increasingly absurd drama that is becoming a national headache.
I will agree with the "national headache" part.
“To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL
information it requested is completely wrong,” he wrote. “There is no
‘smoking gun’ and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the
fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing.”
Zero evidence? The NFL has 11 underinflated footballs from the first half of January’s AFC championship game.
I think the issue is that Brady and the Patriots are not convinced these footballs were underinflated. That's the source of their disagreement, that the Patriots and Brady dispute the notion these balls weren't inflated properly.
The NFL knows that both equipment managers were fired by the New England
Patriots. And when the NFL asked Brady to provide a cellphone that
might help prove his innocence, he chose to get rid of the phone just
before his meeting with investigator Ted Wells.
I'm not defending Brady, but his statement is that he was under the impression that the investigators didn't need his phone. Also, Brady wasn't going to just let them search his phone. By the way, this is a stance I guess the majority of Americans would take if their employer (or another entity that isn't a law enforcement entity) requested their cell phone. I don't give my cell phone number out to but a select few at my work, so I certainly am not going to allow my employer or anyone else search my cell phone. Destroying the phone does seem a bit extreme without having some more context.
Now, we’ve lost respect for him as a human being.
This statement coming from Jay Mariotti is hilarious. I haven't lost respect for Tom Brady as a human being, even if is totally guilty. It's sports, guys. Let's keep a little perspective. Brady didn't kill anyone or commit a violent crime against humanity.
Would he please accept his four-game suspension like a man rather than pouting like Bart Simpson?
Even a decade ago this reference wouldn't be relevant. Bill Simmons is embarrassed for Jay Mariotti that he used such a dated pop culture reference.
“I also disagree with yesterdays [sic] narrative surrounding my
cellphone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER
my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would
not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances. As a member
of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going
forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. Wells’
investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation
would result in ANY discipline.”
That's Brady's story. It could all be lies. Plus, it's a smart move as a member of the union to not a set a precedent for your phone to be searched.
Hey, while he’s sitting in September, at least Tom can bank his check
from Apple for the iPhone 6 plug.
Yes, because Apple needs Tom Brady to name drop the iPhone in order to sell the product.
As for the broken Samsung phone, we’ll
just assume the dog ate it.
Again, there is no need to assume anything because Brady admits he destroyed the phone. This is the second time that Jay has indicated Brady is hiding the phone or not admitting what he did with his cell phone. One very clear thing that has occurred through this entire mad legal battle between the NFL and Brady, and that clear thing is that Brady destroyed his cell phone.
There may be no smoking gun, but there is a smoking cellphone, wherever it went.
Maybe Jay should go check landfills or check at the bottom of rivers, as if Brady's phone is a murder weapon and not a cell phone that got destroyed in order to cover up evidence of DEFLATED FUCKING FOOTBALLS.
And I can’t wait for a judge, assuming Brady’s legal challenge actually
advanced that far, to subpoena Samsung for his cellphone records. Does
Brady really want to go there? Doesn’t he realize how the lies are
piling up and digging him a deeper grave?
Why does this matter so much to Jay? If the records are subpoenaed and Brady is seen as a liar, then it only strengthens Jay's assertion that Brady is a deceitful little shit and the commissioner should throw the book at him. Why worry about Brady lying if you think he'll be caught?
The operative word is entitlement. Every time a cheating athlete is
caught red-handed — for performance-enhancing drugs, for gambling, for
bimbo sex, for corked bats, for lubed baseballs and, now, for doctored
footballs — he feels enabled to deny the charge rather then fess up.
I don't mean to dismiss the importance of footballs that are inflated slightly below the limit allowed, but to compare it to using PED's, gambling, and cheating on your wife is a little bit of an overreaction from Jay.
While Brady’s sin doesn’t rise to the same level, he joins Lance
Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Pete Rose and all the baseball juicers on
Rebuttal Row. Ultimately, all were proven wrong and forced to
acknowledge guilt. Brady will have to do the same, but not anytime soon.
I don't even know what to write in response to this. I think the absurdity of comparing these players to Tom Brady is fairly apparent. There really aren't levels of cheating, and I have no idea how Tiger cheating on his wife relates to cheating in sports, but it seems extreme to compare Brady deflating footballs in one playoff game to Lance Armstrong cheating through multiple Tour de France victories, Rose gambling on baseball, and every MLB player who has ever used PED's. It seems like a rather broad comparison as well.
By that, Kraft was acknowledging that he’d agreed to accept the NFL’s
penalty for the Patriots — a $1 million fine and forfeiture of two draft
picks — during the May league meetings in San Francisco. In other
words, he thought he was playing a wink-wink game with Goodell: The
Patriots would take the hit if Brady’s ban eventually was reduced or
eliminated. Shame on Kraft for thinking a commissioner should work in
such a wishy-washy manner.
The terms of punishment for a cheating scandal should not be negotiable.
Despite the fact the NFL reportedly did try to negotiate with Brady to decrease his punishment if he just admitted to wrongdoing.
Again, I find it interesting that Jay doesn't think terms of punishment for cheating in sports shouldn't be negotiable, but he was glad to plead no-contest to stalking and assaulting his girlfriend in order to avoid jail time and/or a trial. Apparently Jay feels that deflating footballs is a much more serious offense than allegedly abusing your girlfriend, to where deflating footballs should have no negotiable punishment, but allegedly abusing your girlfriend can be pled out to no-contest because it's not quite a serious enough accusation for the punishment to be non-negotiable.
The New England sleaze is a reminder of how fortunate we are, in the Bay
Area, to enjoy two championship teams that aren’t scandalized.
I'm sure Jay wrote this with a straight face while ignoring the column he wrote about Barry Bonds, who played in the Bay Area, and was part of a scandal Jay discussed a few paragraphs ago. He wrote here about Bonds. I'm sure Jay doesn't remember this though. He would NEVER knowingly contradict himself or be a hypocrite.
He is firing a missile at the commissioner in a declaration of war, and
that the owner who helped Goodell get his job — one that pays him as
much as $44 million annually — now can be considered a mortal enemy. In
the end, the powerful owners run this league, and while Kraft and Brady
won’t win in court, Kraft can exact his revenge by trying to rub Goodell
out of office.
And that's the right Kraft has as one of Goodell's 32 bosses. Goodell serves at the pleasure of the owners.
Kraft sounds silly in claiming ESPN is in cahoots with the NFL to get
the Patriots, ignoring that the media behemoth has been one of
Goodell’s biggest critics in his mishandling of the Ray Rice case and
“The decision by commissioner Goodell was released … under an
erroneous headline that read, ‘Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone.’ This
headline was designed to capture headlines across the country and
obscure evidence regarding the tampering of air pressure in footballs,”
Not exactly, Kraft was merely claiming that ESPN uses headlines designed to get readers/viewers and that's not a false statement. ESPN does do this, as does many other sports sites or networks.
And yes, the idea ESPN would be in bed with the NFL sounds crazy as long as you ignore the specific instances where ESPN has protected NFL interests by suspending Bill Simmons after he criticized Roger Goodell, canceled "Playmakers" because the NFL didn't like it, and got their contribution to the PBS documentary on concussions removed. Oh, and ESPN has the rights to certain NFL games. You know, other than their financial interest in supporting the NFL and the previous attempts to protect the league, ESPN has no history of being in cahoots with the league.
Training camps have started, gentlemen. The football season is here. Tom
Brady destroyed his cellphone. Innocent men don’t destroy their
I have destroyed a cell phone before. My cell phone display cracked when I stepped on it one time and rather than have a cracked cell phone hanging around I smashed it with a hammer (for fun) and threw it out. I had no special numbers on there, I just didn't want anyone to get my personal information when I threw it out. Maybe innocent men don't destroy their cellphones, but most innocent/guilty men aren't Tom Brady and have the phone number of many celebrities, athletes, models, and family members on their phone. I think someone would want to steal Brady's phone when/if it got thrown away in order to have these numbers.
I need two aspirin.
So Jay's terrible writing gives him a headache too. At least we have that in common.