Tom Brady is a cheater.
There’s no way around it.
With his official retirement announcement expected, Brady will no doubt get heaps of praise about his long and successful NFL career.
The gushing will be sickening, to say the least.
Some will call him the most accomplished quarterback ever because he won seven Super Bowls in 22 seasons.
Fanboys — some media members included — will proclaim him the G.O.A. T. — the Greatest Of All Time.
Either way, Brady shouldn’t shake the cheater tag. It’s a part of his résumé, DNA.
It has to be the same way people look at Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong. And even if you believe their sins were bigger or more heinous, all three did things in their careers not to be proud of. Think about it. If you rob a bank for $100,000 or take $5 out of your grandmother’s purse, you’re still a thief.
And don’t be mad if some fans in NFL America are salty about Brady’s actions. And the same goes for the New England Patriots. They cheated big time, too. Brady gets painted with that brush as well.
Some teams believe they were cheated out of wins and perhaps even Super Bowls because Brady and company played dirty pool.
Ask the St. Louis Rams how much they admire Brady and New England. The Pats beat the Greatest Show on Turf, 20-17. To this day, several Rams feel like the Pats knew what was coming. Rumors circulated that the Patriots videotaped the Rams’ walkthrough before that Super Bowl.
The proof that cheating was going on came in 2007 when the NFL fined coach Bill Belichick a record $500,000 for videotaping opponents signals. By league rules, that is not permitted. That episode was dubbed “Spygate.”
For sure, some would argue that Brady didn’t know and can’t be blamed. But knowing the other team’s defensive signals helps the quarterback. That’s hard to argue.
But Brady was also caught up personally. The league suspended Brady, its Golden Boy, in a cheating scandal called “Deflategate.” In 2015, Brady was suspended four games for violating the NFL policy on integrity of the game.
Brady’s shady behavior cost the Pats a $1 million fine and the loss of two draft picks.
After an investigation, the NFL ruled that Brady was “generally aware of the inappropriate activities.” Footballs were deflated under league standards in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Yes, Brady is a convicted cheater.
This isn’t just my feeling. This is a fact.
Worse, Brady went out of his way to cover up his crime, even destroying his phone to hide communications with the ball boy whose nickname was “The Deflater.”
Can’t make this stuff up.
Even when Brady was asked by NBC News reporter Peter Alexander, “Is Tom Brady a cheater?’’ Brady swung and missed. His answer: “I don’t think so.”
Cheating can’t be tolerated, accepted or brushed under the rug for anyone — even Brady.
Fans were mad as well about the Houston Astros cheating scandal in MLB. They stole signs from opponents and knew what pitches were coming. That’s a huge advantage.
In 2017, they won the World Series. Fans in Houston might have loved it. But Yankees fans and Dodgers fans don’t feel the same way. Both were defeated by the Astros that postseason.
And oddly enough, both teams were beaten good in Houston where all the cheating took place. The home team won six of seven games in the ALCS and the World Series. The Astros were roasted by fans and media.
The strange part about the media that covers the NFL is that you get the feeling it is in bed with the league. Stuff is glossed over and almost never mentioned.
Brady gets to skate. The same with Belichick.
Most act as if it never happened and shouldn’t be discussed when talking about the success of Pats.
It’s why some sports fans just can’t fully get onboard with either Patriots’ dynasty. Often, both feel like $3 bills, something fishy. Brady was supposed to be Derek Jeter, a big time winner you could feel proud about and respect.
But it didn’t happen. Instead, Brady took a dark path that forever will stain his legacy with those who believe in fair play and a level playing field.
You can remember those seven Super Bowl victories all you want. But don’t forget that cheating, too.