How 'bout a round of cheers for the New England Cheaters and QB Tom "I Got Away with It, Suckers" Brady?
The New York Daily News points out: "Brady wasn’t wearing his wedding ring Tuesday night at a Patriots gala."
Since I have devoted a certain amount of attention to the case of Tom "The Cheating Man" Brady (aka DeflateGate), it seems only fair to take formal note of the slapdown administered this week by federal judge Richard Berman of the Southern District of New York to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (see "After Tom Brady's Deflategate suspension tossed by judge, Gisele steps out looking relaxed"), voiding The Cheating Man's four-game suspension and reinstating him to the eligible roster of the New England Cheaters. Though he sat out the Cheats' final preseason game against the NY Giants, he's expect to be taking snaps for the regular-season opener against the Steelers Thursday night in Foxborough.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell took a beating for procedural high-handedness in the judge's ruling, though neither the judge nor the NFL Players Association, which is solidly behind The Cheating Man in his legal battle, seems to care about The Cheating Man's cheating. What's more, in complaining about the commissioner's procedural violations, the judge set out steps that should have taken which aren't part of the league's prescribed procedures either.
And there are legal naysayers. On HuffPost, Portland (OR) criminal defense attorney Kevin Sali cautions that "Tom Brady's Legal Victory May Be Short-Lived," arguing that "there's a good chance that ruling will be reversed on appeal." (The NFL has already said it will appeal.)
I have no idea what role Brady had in deflating footballs, or whether he did anything improper in connection with the investigation. Let's assume, for the moment, that as a factual matter he's entirely innocent. Let's assume, further, that the NFL's hearing and appeal processes were riddled with errors and that commissioner Roger Goodell incorrectly interpreted the collective bargaining agreement and made multiple other legal mistakes.Meanwhile, the nice thing is that the ongoing dust-up (the NFL has already said it will appeal) makes it even more likely that the thing The Cheating Man will primarily be remembered for is being The Cheating Man. Then there are the rumors that The Cheating Man has, as the New York Daily News's Ethan Sacks characterized the rumors, "fumbled his six-year marriage to Gisele Bundchen over the tensions from his legal battle with the NFL." We take no position on Cheatin' Tom's possible marital woes, and offer him the consolation that even if his marriage is kaput, he still has his memories -- the memories of a Cheating Man. And a reminder that there are probably lots of hot babes out there who don't care about a player cheating as long as he's a player, and especially a star player.
Under the law, even if that's all true, it still may be insufficient to justify vacating the suspension. The reason relates to the way the law treats arbitration agreements such as the NFL's CBA.
So let's hope that Tom ("I Got Away with It, Suckers") Brady and the New England Cheaters can look forward to a season of spending as much of their time as possible thinking and talking about, well, you-know-what. There's reason to hope that everywhere they go they'll hear crowds chanting (come on, join in!): "Winners never cheat, and a winner never cheats."
IN THE INTEREST OF FAIRNESS, THERE'S A
SCHOOL OF THOUGHT SAYING, "TOM WON!"
The New Yorker's Ian Crouch claims, "Tom Brady Wins the Long Game," arguing that The Cheating Man --
managed, by prolonging Deflategate, to rather unexpectedly rehabilitate his image. The longer it stayed in the news, the more ridiculous the entire scandal began to seem. The more the evidence from the N.F.L.’s investigation was parsed in print and on talk radio, the more flimsy and bizarre it appeared. And the longer that the N.F.L.’s clumsy handling of the case was put on display, the more that people began to turn against the league and its commissioner. Even before Thursday’s ruling, the seemingly impossible had happened: people from places other than New England and San Mateo, California, had begun, begrudgingly, to root for Tom Brady.I've always thought Ian's kind of a dim bulb, and this seems to me kind of nuts. Then again, when it comes to the perceptions of the public, it may be that a dim bulb is exactly the right sort of illumination.
All the same, I think The New Yorker is on firmer ground with this eye-opening Borowitz Report:
NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—Minutes after overturning Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for the 2015-16 N.F.L. season, federal judge Richard M. Berman raised eyebrows by admitting that he had the Patriots quarterback on his fantasy team.
Responding to reporters’ questions, Berman said that Brady’s inclusion on his fantasy roster “played no role whatsoever” in his judicial decision.
“As a federal judge, I made this ruling based strictly on legal precedents and the merits of the case,” Berman said. “But, as a fantasy-team owner, sure, it’s going to be awesome to see Tom in there for all sixteen games.”
The judge said that he was especially looking forward to seeing how Brady takes advantage of what he called “an amazing array of offensive weapons.”
“Gronk is going to have a big year, and even if Julian Edelman isn’t ready for Week One, I think Reggie Wayne is going to surprise a lot of people,” Berman, who also has selected Wayne for his fantasy team, said.
For his part, Brady minimized the role that Berman’s fantasy team might have played in Thursday’s legal victory. “A win’s a win,” he said.
COME TO THINK OF IT, POSSIBLY
IAN CROUCH IS RIGHT AFTER ALL
What could be more American than that eloquently stated principle: "A win's a win"?
What was it that The Donald tweeted? "Tom Brady is my friend and a total winner!" That pretty much settles it, dontcha think?