Commentary by Jacqueline Bennett 002


I believe in fair play. I believe in living by a code of honesty and personal integrity.


I also believe that a whole lot of envious folks have been gunning for Tom Brady. As the New England Patriots’ star quarterback Brady has led the NFL team to multiple Super Bowl victories.


According to an Associated Press report, speaking at Salem State University in Massachusetts yesterday, during a previously scheduled ‘question & answer’ session, Brady was quoted as saying, “As a human being, you care about what people think. I think as a public figure you learn not everyone is going to like you …. Good, bad or indifferent there are a lot of people who don’t like Tom Brady.”


I believe that is at the crux of so-called “deflategate”.


Brady was asked too if the the findings of  a recent investigation detract from the Patriots’ 2015 Super Bowl win. His response is said to have been – “absolutely not.”


“We earned everything we got and achieved as a team, and I am proud of that and so are our fans, ” said Brady.


The findings of the NFL investigation into deflated footballs purported to have been used by the Patriots to gain an edge in an AFC championship game victory against Indiannapolis were released a few days ago and say that Brady “likely” was aware of two team employees breaking the rules by deflating balls, the AP reported. Fueled by Brady’s reluctance to turn over his cell phone for the investigation, that has set off knee-jerk reactions by those eager to condemn Brady  –  despite the absence of hard and fast evidence. His agent, Don Yee, states that the testimony Brady did provide, was omitted from the 243 page report, along with key facts.


“Likely” does not make it so.


As a New England Patriots fan am I frustrated that naysayers have been given an opportunity to point the finger at Brady? Yes. That said, after first hearing the results of the investigation, well-known sportscaster Bob Costas labelled the low pressure footballs as a type of “gamesmanship” adding that “gamesmanship” is not uncommon in the NFL. Done by any other team it would not have been considered a big deal, he surmised.


If “gamesmanship” is common, then investigate all instances and apply standards fairly. If Brady is to be called a cheater then call every other alleged ‘gamesmanship’ player one too.


Costas further noted that in the second quarter of the contest in question, when the footballs were confirmed to be inflated to regulation, Brady went on to perform even better.


As I have written in previous commentaries, resentment of Brady and the New England Patriots is rampant.


Unlike anoited phenomes such as Peyton Manning, Brady was a low NFL draft pick who made his way to the top spot by replacing the popular Drew Bledsoe, who had gotten injured. Once the football was put in Brady’s capable hands, there has been no looking back. The Pats advanced to what has been called a “dynasty” with Bill Belichick as head coach.


There have been a couple previous questionable instances, including the Pats videotaping opponent’s signals from the sidelines. Again, they were apparently not the only team to do so. However unlike the rest, they paid the price, but went on to continued success.


How dare New England have multiple Super Bowl titles? The begrudging sentiment against a team from New England being number one in football is pungent, a sport which is supposed to be the stuff life is made of in other regions of the country. After all, here in New England we have so much elseincluding a wealth of excellent universities and a rich history of the nation as home to our Patriot forefathers who fought to establish American democracy.


Tom Brady has simply been the straw that broke the camel’s back. He sticks in the craw of others because not only is he a superb quarterback known for a strong work ethic, he is also exceptionally handsome, comes across as a decent and nice guy volunteering with special needs children in the Best Buddies International program, has three beautiful children of his own whom he had with two beautiful women, both were models, one still is and the other is an actress in a successful television show; both women are clearly intelligent and ambitious in their fields – not just arm candy.


There has been talk of punishment being levied against Brady despite a lack of definitive evidence against him, possibly suspending him from the first game of the coming season – that would be against the Steelers. If that is the case, I won’t be watching.


Were my mother still alive Tom, I know what her words to you would be about disparagers, “They are just jealous, because you’re such a talented and good-looking fella.”