While the report does not formally accuse Tom Brady of misconduct himself, it says that he must have known that something was going on.
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Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa have all seen their exceptional home run performances dismissed by the fans as tainted due to their use of PEDs. They may still be on the record books, with Bonds still the official baseball all-time home run king, but not in the eyes of many, if not most, of all baseball fans.
Will this be the same kind of legacy for Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the New England Patriots? In 15 seasons with Belichick as their head coach and 14 with Brady as their quarterback, the team has won 4 Super Bowls, played in six, and won 12 division championships.
But will that legacy be left under a cloud from now on?
It all started back on January 15th, when the Patriots blew out the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 45 to 7 in the AFC Championship Game. The score was so lopsided that it was ridiculous to think that the Patriots would have needed to cheat to win the game.
But as soon as it ended there were allegations that the Pats had deflated some of the footballs that the team used when on offense to less than regulation size. This helps both a quarterback and his receivers to better grip the ball making it easier to catch. This is why it is against the rules to take air out of the balls.
Jim McNally, the Patriots official locker room attendant, and John Jastremski, an equipment assistant for the Patriots, were the two people suspected of having deflated balls. The question was – and still is – what did Brady and Belichick know about it and when did they know it?
Well now the NFL’s reports states:
“Based on the evidence, it also is our view that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.”
The evidence the league found comes from texts sent to and from the people involved. These include the following:
John Jastremski: Tom [Brady] is acting crazy about balls
John Jastremski: Ready to vomit!
Unknown: He saying there not good enough??
John Jastremski: Tell later
This is not the first time that the Patriots have been caught red handed. A few years ago they were found to have been videotaping opponents on field during games against league rules. That led to a big fine for Belichick and a loss of draft picks. This time the team and Brady could be facing a much stiffer punishment.