NEW YORK — Tom Brady does not play defense, but he has just sacked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the infamous “Deflategate” controversy, as a judge removed the four-game suspension, a crushing blow to the NFL boss who spent eight months and millions of dollars in legal fees to defend the penalty against the New England Patriots’ legendary quarterback.
The NFL’s golden boy, who’d just won the Super Bowl in January amid talks of cheating, was hammered from a public relations standpoint before Goodell lowered the boom in the form of a four-game suspension and millions in fines against the New England Patriots — coupled with the loss of draft picks — for having “general” knowledge that low-level staff members deflated footballs past the minimum league standard.
Goodell also punished Brady for allegedly not being forthright and forthcoming with requested information; he reportedly destroyed his cellphone that ostensibly contained possible information that could have shown him giving subtle or explicit instructions to the equipment manager to deflate the footballs prior to the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Brady’s suspension wasn’t completely erased upon his initial appeal, which was heard by Roger Goodell, the same man who handed down the unprecedented punishment to Brady and the Patriots. That prompted the quarterback and the NFLPA to take the league to federal court.
And just like in the Super Bowl, Brady won the battle at the very last minute. The 2015 NFL season begins next week and the Patriots host the formidable Pittsburgh Steelers for their home operner.