As you might imagine, writers and pundits across the country are taking Tom Brady to the woodshed this morning over his “more than probable” involvement in the deflation of footballs as outlined in the Wells report.
Let’s get the ball rolling with the venerable New York Post, who went with the headline: “NFL probe has Brady… BY THE BALLS!” under a “Deflategate Tomshell” overline.
— New York Post (@nypost) May 7, 2015
Post columnist Steve Serby checks in under a headline of “NFL must sack cheater Tom Brady with two-game ban.” Serby writes: “The Pretty Boy doesn’t look so pretty anymore, and now he will be forced to wear a pair of Scarlet Letters when the 2015 NFL season begins: C for Cheater, L for Liar.”
Brady must be suspended for minimum of 2-4 gms, Belichick gets 1 yr and tm loses 1st rd draft pick 2016-17. Tm gets fined the max.
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) May 6, 2015
Former NFL quarterback and New England native Tim Hasselbeck didn’t pull any punches over Wells report findings.
“He cheated, plain and simple,” Hasselbeck told The Post. “And I think in terms of his legacy, he lied. He’s got more Super Bowl rings than other quarterbacks he’ll be compared to. For me personally, I just lost a lot of respect [for him]. I’m sure he doesn’t care, but that’s kind of how it goes.”
We all were “generally aware” that the Patriots push the rules. We also knew it was “more probable than not” that they cheat. No news here!
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) May 6, 2015
Former Patriot Damien Woody doesn’t have his former teammate’s back.
“I’m disappointed, because for me, it’s like: ‘Why? Why did you feel like you had to do that?’ ” Woody told The Post. “I know how hard he works, I know the type player he is, how hard he prepares. Why did he think he had to? It just baffles me.”
The New York Daily News kept pace with their tabloid cousins with the front page headline “Great Balls of Liar!” with a “Deflatriots” logo to anchor the page.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) May 7, 2015
Popular columnist Mike Lupica opines that Roger Goodell must suspend Brady to protect the integrity of the league.
And Lupica’s colleague Gary Myers writes that “it is more probable than not that this is the beginning of the end of the Patriots’ dynasty.”
The Daily News took the extra step of having an illustrator pen Brady as Pinochio for the back cover with the headline: “Big Nose, Small Balls.”
New York Newsday takes the opportunity to look back at five “alleged cheating scandals” involving the Patriots.
The New York Times takes a more measured approach with “Tom Brady’s Legacy as One of the Best Takes a Hit.“
Bob Kravitz — who was first to break the Deflategate story for WTHR Sports in Indianapolis, does a victory lap today.
“Bottom line, his league’s Super Bowl champions have a Scarlet Letter, another asterisk to add to their growing collection,” Kravitz writes. “This couples up with SpyGate, another misdeed that cost Bill Belichick a half-million dollars, and it makes it more likely that the league will bring the hammer on a recidivist organization.”
When it comes to Brady, I think Wells Report is pretty weak. Also think he’s probably guilty. Different things. http://t.co/ouSYUmwZPu
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) May 7, 2015
Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel — who’s been tweaking Patriots Nation since the story broke in January — says he’s “more than doubtful” that the Deflategate scheme was “dreamed up by two attendants.”
The New Yorker takes a lighthearted approach to the controversy, suggesting that Brady’s punishment is that he has to spend a year quarterbacking the New York Jets.
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) May 7, 2015
Monday Morning Quarterback’s Andrew Brant writes that “Brady does not come off well in the report. He was lawyered up and not forthcoming with phone records and information, suggesting he had something to hide. He denied even knowing McNally’s name, something the report called out as ‘not plausible and contradicted by other evidence.’
“While Wells did not have subpoena power and authority to recover Brady’s phone (much of the text and phone details came from Jastremski’s phone, which was property of the Patriots), the lack of cooperation was noted, as it has been in previous NFL investigations. Indeed, the evidence retrieved from McNally and Jastremski puts Brady into the football-tampering scheme.”
Longtime scribe Joe Posnanski asks that you “Wake Me When It’s Over” and says that Deflategate is not a big deal.
“The NFL doesn’t care about tampered-footballs,” Posnanski writes on NBCSports.com. “The NFL has NEVER cared about this stuff. If the NFL cared, do you think they would let offenses provide their own footballs? If the NFL cared, do you think they would let quarterbacks like Eli Manning use specially prepared footballs that have been scrubbed, scoured, spun, roughed up for months and months? If the NFL cared, do you think they would have a stinking $25,000 fine for altering footballs? Are you kidding: $25,000? That’s not even a parking ticket by NFL standards. They give bigger fines for mispronouncing Goodell’s name.”
Closer to home, the Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley writes that Deflategate is “part of the Tom Brady story now. Today, tomorrow, forever.”
Deadspin hasn’t missed a beat since the news broke with their most popular story entitled, “Tom Brady Threw Those Poor Ball-Deflating Jamokes Under the Bus.”
Omg somebody please tell me these text messages from the Patriots report are not real…If so I’m going to the hospital of laughter
— Shawne Merriman (@shawnemerriman) May 6, 2015
And we’ll close with The Onion, who makes us chuckle with the headline, “Nation Can’t Wait To Hear Patriots Fans’ Excuses This Time.”
“Tom, can you comment on the Wells Report?” https://t.co/fXQcXrWhjr
— Matt Ufford (@mattufford) May 6, 2015