Almost everyone and their grandma heaped praise on Tom Brady after the quarterback announced his retirement Wednesday, closing the book on an NFL career that spanned 23 seasons and included an unprecedented seven Super Bowl titles.
Rob Parker, predictably, took a different approach to the news, instead pointing out the New England Patriots’ cheating scandals, including the suspension Brady served for his involvement in Deflategate.
Specifically, Parker, a longtime sports journalist, noted the double standard that seemingly exists between Brady and the Major League Baseball players who’ve failed to earn induction into the Hall of Fame due to suspicions of performance-enhancing drug use.
“Don’t forget to mention the @Patriots cheating scandal – Spygate – and Brady being suspended by the
@NFL for cheating – Deflategate – when you tell his story. Include everything like you do for Bonds, Clemens and others who had blemishes in their careers,” Parker tweeted.
This really shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Parker long has been unwilling to acknowledge Brady’s greatness. The Spygate and Deflategate scandals clearly don’t sit well with Parker, who stated several times over the years that Joe Montana was better than Brady despite the latter continuing to accumulate Super Bowl rings in the latter stages of his NFL career.
Parker elaborated on his Brady retirement take Wednesday on his “Inside the Parker” podcast:
“It’s interesting because Tom Brady and the Patriots were caught up in cheating scandals, and somehow, someway it doesn’t seem to stick to Tom Brady as it does to baseball players. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa — all these other guys, there’s more, that were all caught up in the steroid era, they didn’t get into the Hall of Fame, their careers were basically tarnished, tainted, whatever you want to use. And somehow, Brady escapes it. Is it the football writer? Do people not really care? Do people not care about the Pro Football Hall of Fame? What is it?
Because the Patriots got caught in Spygate, where they were recording teams’ signals, defensive signals. Which is huge, because that would help a quarterback, wouldn’t it, if they know what kind of defense they’re running? Yeah, I think it would, that would help Brady. People said, ‘Well, Brady had nothing to do with it. That was Bill Belichick.’ Well, that intel helps Brady. Also, he was suspended for four games for Deflategate. You remember that? He got suspended for Deflategate because he was having the ball boys take air out of the balls and then they did not meet NFL specifications. People said, ‘That’s no big deal. What do you care about a football or whatever?’ There’s a reason you have to have a certain air pressure in it and everybody needs to play with the same ball. Can we be honest? And somehow, that escapes him.
Don’t forget the Patriots again got caught cheating in Cincinnati, where they were recording. They said they were doing a documentary, but they were also recording Cincinnati’s defensive signals — another time they were caught up, Josh McDaniels, who was a Patriots guy, got basically fired in Denver for cheating.
All I’m saying is when you tell the story of Tom Brady, and you want to go out there, make sure you include everything, like you do with the baseball players. Just be fair, be honest, be accurate. Don’t gloss over the cheating parts for Brady and the Patriots. And make sure that every time you mention Bonds or you mention Clemens front and center (and) you’re going to talk about that those guys had some sort of juice issue — and here’s the big takeaway: Bonds and Clemens never got busted by baseball or ever got suspended. And Brady got suspended by the NFL. How ironic is that?”
Parker went so far as to say on “The Odd Couple” podcast with Chris Broussard that Brady shouldn’t be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
And Parker doubled down on the Brady hate Thursday with the following tweet: “If a full scope is ever exposed or reported about the cheating that went on to help the @Patriots win so many Super Bowls, when you really think about it, Tom Brady could wind up being Lance Armstrong – without the bicycle.”
One could argue it’s apples and oranges. But Parker almost certainly would have no time for such debate. It’s obvious he dug in his heels a long time ago on the Brady hate, and nothing will stop him from dumping on the legendary QB as he rides off into the sunset.
Now, just imagine the Parker takes we’ll get when Brady is enshrined in Canton.