FOXBORO, Mass. — It seemed like the national news media got ahead of themselves Thursday and thought Tom Brady already had been elected president.
Rumors percolated for years that the New England Patriots quarterback wanted to go into politics when his NFL career is all said and done, and mistakenly thinking he already had been elected is the only reasonable excuse for how Brady was questioned at the podium over DeflateGate. Perhaps it was the “-Gate” at the end of the not-so-cleverly named controversy that confused one network into sending a real, live White House Correspondent to cover the
trial news conference. I’d rather not name the network, because I don’t like embarrassing others.
Brady was asked if he was a cheater, was repeatedly questioned on how he didn’t notice the Patriots’ balls were deflated and was told to apologize to his young fans. And that was after the quarterback admitted to zero wrongdoing.
Believe Brady or not, but at this point, the NFL has said absolutely nothing other than that it is investigating the situation. Brady and head coach Bill Belichick denied involvement, so this whole controversy stems from reports that 11 of the Patriots’ 24 footballs were deflated by 2 pounds per square inch in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.
Brady’s teammates took the stand Friday and did their best to convince the world that their quarterback didn’t need or deserve to be impeached.
“Tom’s a big boy,” defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said. “He knows how to handle all situations. He’ll handle this with class like he always does, negative or positive. He’ll handle it with class. That’s something that makes him so great, is how he handles himself on the field and off the field. For him to be attacked the way he did, trust me, we’ve been attacked plenty of times, individually and as an organization. It’s not our first rodeo.”
Wide receiver Julian Edelman, one of Brady’s closest teammates, wouldn’t get into what his quarterback said privately to his teammates Thursday in a team meeting, but he trusts that what Brady said to the press was the truth.
“I do,” Edelman said. “He’s got nothing to lie about.”
At times it’s difficult to remember that the Patriots are preparing for the year’s biggest game in the country’s biggest sport, and it’s taking place in just nine days. All anyone outside of the Patriots’ locker room wants to talk about is DeflateGate, while the team might be ready to make a Jeremy Lane-esque dumb statement just to get questions off deflated balls.
After one side of Edelman’s media scrum was only interested in talking about hot air, Edelman cooly turned to the other side and asked “what do got over here?”
Safety Devin McCourty refashioned questions about DeflateGate into Brady’s demeanor where it’s important: around his teammates.
“I think this team understands that we got a leader that we never question,” McCourty said. “There’s never any doubt, no matter what the situation is, whether it’s on the field, off the field. This team has a lot of trust in Tom. Honestly, I don’t think anyone in the locker room is worried about it.”
It’s best to wait to hear what the NFL has to say on this matter by now. If the league can’t prove any wrongdoing on Brady or Belichick’s side, then the story slowly will calm to a simmer, and no one’s minds will be changed on whether the Patriots are cheats and liars or upstanding citizens. And if the NFL can prove that Brady and Belichick were involved, well, then the Patriots rightly will be punished.
Thumbnail photo via Elise Amendola/Associated Press
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