Maybe you thought Deflategate was over. Done. Finished. Dead and buried.
A federal appeals court ruled in favor of the NFL on Monday, reinstating a four-game suspension that Roger Goodell issued to Tom Brady. As of now, Brady will miss the Patriots’ season-opener in Arizona on Sept. 11, followed by three consecutive home games against Miami, Houston and Buffalo.
Yes, 16 months after deflated footballs became a national crisis, this is where we are – and Bob Ryan has had enough.
“I honestly and truly believe – and I’ve said from day one – that if this were any other team, it would have been settled the day after,” the longtime Boston Globe columnist said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “There would have been a phone call from the league office saying, ‘We have found out you tampered with the inflation of the footballs. Our by-laws say that that is at least a $25,000 fine. Put the check in the mail and we’ll see you later.’ But it’s the Patriots.”
Not the Browns or the Jaguars or the Titans. But the Patriots.
“This was Roger Goodell’s opportunity to placate the other 31 owners, many of whom are upset because they don’t think that Spygate was properly or sufficiently punished,” Ryan said. “Many others are upset excuse they think there are continuing things that go on – shenanigans, shall we say – involving the Patriots when they come to Foxboro that they don’t have to put up with elsewhere. Whether they’ve imagined this or not, this is what they believe. So I think this is an attempt by Goodell to address the 12 years or so of transgressions on the part of the Patriots, real or imagined. I honestly do not think this has anything to do, ultimately, with Brady or the footballs. This is about going after the coach (Bill Belichick) and the enabler of the coach, which is the owner (Robert Kraft). That’s what this is about.”
Ryan, to be clear, believes the Patriots tampered with the footballs. He just thinks the punishment from the NFL has been excessive.
“Something happened,” Ryan said. “And the Patriots, therefore, should have been punished. No question in my mind, they should have been punished. Let’s say the fine was supposed to be $25,000. Give them $100,000. Give them $500,000. Give them $1 million. That’s it. I have one question to ask, and I’ve asked this question for 16 months and no one’s given me an answer. If, in fact – and it is a fact – that $25,000 was the starting point for the transgression, how do we get from $25,000 to $1 million, a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick and suspension for the best player on the team if no other agenda was involved? You explain that to me. No one has been able to explain that to me.”