Neither New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady nor NFL commissioner Roger Goodell have said that the farce better known as Deflategate has any impact on how they approach Super Bowl LI. Still, with the big game eight days away, their background has become a (media-fabricated) storyline yet again.
Brady has made it clear that his motivation does not stem from Goodell and the NFL front office suspending him a quarter of the season but from his teammates. Goodell, on the other hand, has noted that it would be an honor to give the Lombardi Trophy to the "surefire Hall of Famer".
Both men play the media-game the way they are supposed to play it. Even if the revenge aspect would play a role, neither of them shows it – which is the smart thing to do.
Therefore, others have to jump in and deliver material. Yesterday, Tom Brady’s father has done just that. In an interview with San Francisco TV station KRON 4, Tom Brady Sr. delivered some harsh words for Goodell:
He went on a witch hunt and went in way over his head and had to lie his way out in numerous ways and the reality is that Tommy never got suspended for deflating footballs. He got suspended because the court said that he could, Roger Goodell could do anything he wanted to do to any player for any reason whatsoever. That’s what happened. The NFL admitted they had no evidence on him.
This, of course, is all true. The NFL went into the investigation looking for something, anything, to prove the Colts’ accusations. An "independent" $5 million dollar investigation later it found nothing but inconclusive circumstantial evidence and still used it to suspend Brady and fine the Patriots (who have been cleared by the investigation).
While his son will not admit it, the elder Brady clearly and understandably feels that the result was unjust. Therefore he went even further at Goodell and his comments about meeting Brady after a potential Patriots victory:
It should be an honor because somebody that has Roger Goodell’s ethics doesn’t belong on any stage that Tom Brady is on
It is possible that Brady Sr.’s son feels the same way but in the end it should not matter. Brady Jr. – just like his teammates – has to do his job and prepare for the upcoming game against the Atlanta Falcons. The outside noise generated in the last couple of days is a way to pass the time but in the end, it should have no impact whatsoever on the Super Bowl.
All that matters is preparation and on-field performance. And the rest will take care of itself.