The quarterback nicknamed “Tom Terrific” is “Tom Tarnished.”

A 243-page investigative report by the NFL found that the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady was at least aware that two team employees broke league rules by underinflating footballs for him during last year’s playoffs.

On Monday, the NFL suspended Brady for four games; fined the Patriots $1 million; and took away the team’s first-round draft pick in 2016 and its fourth-round pick in 2017.

The NFL said Brady’s suspension was for “conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL” and for “failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation.”

Throughout this entire incident, the player with one of the surest sets of hands in professional football committed two crucial fumbles — in the way he handled the allegations with his league superiors and how he handled them with the public.

Not only did he most likely cheat for a long time, but he lied about it; refused to cooperate to the fullest with the investigation; and acted like a smirking, conquering hero in his recent appearance at Salem State University. Sportscaster Jim Gray asked him perfectly sensible questions about “Deflate-gate” in front of an audience packed with Patriots fans. Brady blankly dismissed the questions.

This is the NFL team coached by Bill Belichick, who was fined $500,000 after a Patriots video assistant was caught in 2007 filming another team’s defensive signals. The Pats were fined an additional $250,000.

“For the second time in eight years, New England is being punished in the name of ‘the integrity of the game,’” wrote Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy. “Blindly loyal fans can continue to bay at the moon, but unless the Patriots secede from the NFL, this doesn’t go away for Brady and the team.”

Those who truly profess to love sports should expect its participants to follow the rules. Respect for Tom Brady nationwide has taken a bone-crushing sack, for a serious loss.

Brady once had a chance to be regarded as the best quarterback ever. Not anymore.

The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.