Now you know. Now you know that, in Roger Goodell’s batshit crazy universe, the greatest crime of all is defying authority. Tom Brady just got locked in the attic for four games this fall, and it wasn’t REALLY because he dicked around with the ball (a crime that, as already noted in many other places, has been met with a relative slap on the wrist elsewhere), but because—and here I will use the wording of the letter Troy Vincent had dictated to him by Goodell—the Patriots QB “failed to cooperate fully with the investigation.”

That’s what costs you four games and $2 million in salary in today’s NFL. This is because Roger Goodell is a shit-eating moron. Under his watch, the NFL has adopted the very American legal tradition of manufacturing crime out of crime. You can take a small crime—any crime, really—and you can inflate it by making the PROCESS of pursuing that crime utterly sacrosanct, to the point where an entity like the NFL says, with a straight face, that “The extent to which the club and relevant individuals cooperated with the investigation” is somehow one of the most important factors in determining if a man—even one as wildly successful and wealthy as Tom Brady—should be allowed pursue his livelihood and collect his paycheck.

Brady’s crime isn’t that he doctored balls, it’s that he didn’t SUBMIT. In fact, it doesn’t even matter if Brady DID doctor the ball or not, because the NFL would still carry out the investigation like so:

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NFL: Hey, give us your phone.

Brady: Um, no.

NFL: Whoa! Sounds like you got something to hide, buddy boy!

You see how that works? The original crime becomes irrelevant next to the NFL’s insistence that—if under investigation—you bend over and let them drip hot wax all over your balls, or else. Making everyone obey every last protocol of a bullshit internal probe is a hell of a way to invent new powers for yourself. This is how Sean Payton found himself out of the league for a YEAR strictly for the crime of “ignorance” during Bountygate ... a satellite offense so far removed from the original crime as to be applicable to your grandma as well.

The NFL is now in the business of punishment, and with the completely arbitrary and stupid machine they’ve put in place, they can pretty much punish anyone for any reason in any way now. In the case of the Patriots, I find all this hilarious because the Patriots and their fans are entitled assholes and I want them to fail. But of course, it won’t be so funny when my team accidentally farts on a ref and tries to cover it up and then Goodell moves them to Alaska as punishment. There is no stopping this shit-eating moron anymore. You never know when he’ll strike or why. He’s almost like an act of God. Yes, yes I think he’d enjoy thinking of himself in precisely that way.

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