Well, as a Steelers fan, I couldn’t be happier about Tom Brady’s suspension. It’s shocking, really, that Goodell didn’t suspend him for the second through fifth games of the season. Not only as a Steelers-hater, but for the ratings of the opening game of the 2015 season.
However, as a Tom Brady fan, and Goodell skeptic (OK, hater,) this punishment is ridiculous. It is random, harsh, and unwarranted. Like expelling students who take toy guns to school, because of zero tolerance policies. At least the school is basing their nonsense on a written policy. Goodell is basing his nonsense on, well, nothing, as far as I can tell. Just a lot of innuendo and suspicious circumstances. Add on the insult that this is the same punishment (for the player) as Ray Rice initially received, and this female fan is pissed. I really thought I hated Goodell before.
Kevin Kaduk at Yahoo sports argues that Tom Brady should retire in response to this, and I agree. It freaking hurts to play football at 37. Save what’s left of your brain, Tom.
The most successful quarterback in league history should say in no uncertain terms that Goodell is the reason he’s leaving.
He can’t be suspended under Goodell’s arbitrary rules if he’s not playing any more, can he?
You may dismiss this as a hot take, but the there’s no such thing when you’re dealing with a NFL commissioner whose approach to discipline has been one long hot take. Seriously, read my colleague Frank Schwab’s expert vivisection of the four-game suspension that Brady unjustly received and tell me the quarterback should take his medicine like a good boy. There aren’t many players that could take on Goodell’s “next man up” system of wayward justice and win in the court of public opinion, but Brady tops the small handful. He might even have enough juice to cost Goodell his job.
Judging by the immediate reaction to Monday’s ruling, Brady would have a majority on his side if he held his career over Goodell’s head.
What would have been an appropriate response? Well, since they really couldn’t prove that it was done on purpose, I think they should have instituted a special Patriots only equipment check. Check everything that is going out on the field with a Patriot for compliance before every game. This might be done by having the refs actually control all Patriots equipment. And I mean all of it. Uniforms, pads, cleats, balls, the tee, everything. Or, charge the Patriots $50,000 per game to have all the equipment checked before it is delivered to the locker room, and station officials in the locker room and with the equipment managers to make sure they don’t mess with anything. Do this just to the Patriots for a few years, then once the league has had time to review what equipment actually needs controls, institute whatever controls are appropriate, league wide. Goodell’s response didn’t address this at all. Because he isn’t a thinker and doesn’t understand corrective action. Only punishment. These are men, not dogs.