by: Bryant “B-Boy” Worthing @bboyworthing
The NFL has suspended quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of the 2015 season for his role in a scheme to deflate footballs used in the AFC title game. The league called it “conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL”, basically saying Brady knew the balls were lighter than the league-required weight. On top of that, the league also fined the New England Patriots franchise $1 Million and took away two draft picks in upcoming seasons, including a first round choice set for 2016, while two equipment staffers have been suspended indefinitely. The investigation by attorney Ted Wells found that Tom Brady had knowledge of the deflated footballs in a game where the Patriots routed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7, sending them to Super Bowl XLIX where they eventually edged the Seattle Seahawks 28-24.
The casual football fan might have several questions, including “why is this a big deal?” The easy answer is that softer, deflated balls often tend to be easier to catch and throw which can give certain players an advantage. Text messages were found documenting the employee’s actions. Brady has time to appeal the suspension, and the Patriots have not made any official comment as of yet.
The Patriots will have to navigate 25 percent of their season without their star quarterback, including two games with teams that made the playoffs last season – the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys. This matches the largest fine any NFL team has gotten individually for an offense, proving that soft balls can get you in trouble on the football field.