ONE ON ONE: When in Doubt, NFL Finds Tom Brady the Perfect Scapegoat

Beleagured and embattled New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady – arguably one of the greatest to have ever played the game – is the NFL’s perfect scapegoat.

 Cell phones and deflated footballs. A reputation run through the national wringer on the heels of yet another Super Bowl victory. A schmoozy, smarmy, disingenuous NFL commissioner so hell-bent on turning the “marketing” tide that he found the perfect smokescreen to salvage the image of a corporate behemoth that only in recent years has begun to show it knows it might be a good idea to actually care about its players or their off-field behavior.

That smokescreen? Well look no further than one Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr.

The NFL is using one of its brightest and best personalities to draw attention away from its most disturbing issues.

The NFL is using one of its brightest and best personalities – Tom Brady – to draw attention away from its most disturbing issues.

How quickly the media and public have forgotten that at the outset of last season the NFL was completely awash in scandal stacked upon weekly scandal.

First you had Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his fiancée in the face and knocking her out cold, caught red-handed on security camera video and as if that weren’t enough, he then dragged her unconscious body into the elevator of an Atlantic City Casino.

What a crud-storm that totally misogynistic act caused the poor NFL helmsman Roger Goodell.

Then there was the indictment of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson after he switch-whipped his poor son leaving him with open wounds and causing yet another backlash on an organization that barely had time to come up for air from Rice’s Cro-Magnonic display.

And absolutely no one is talking about Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy for being suspended for the upcoming season’s first 10 games (then having that suspension reduced to just four games) after numerous instances where he used brute, physical force against his former girlfriend.

Can you imagine if Tom Brady belted Giselle or took a belt or switch to his kids? It’s not even a remote possibility that the guy who took a pay cut of his own volition so his team could win would do anything even remotely of that nature. Tom Brady is a competitor, not a liar or a cheater or a phony.

Based on Deflategate, he’d be crucified after being tarred and feathered after being castrated after being drug through the muck if he so much as batted an eyelash in the wrong way toward anyone off the field.

But you see, we’ve all forgotten about the massive avalanche of bad press the NFL’s received in the past 12 months – almost all of it having to do with serious crime and brutality toward women. Once again, I ask, how does taking air out of a football constitute cheating even if Tom personally did it himself? How did it help Tom Brady help the Patriots win that 45-7 football game? Does Tom Brady getting a new cell phone constitute a lack of character on his part? How is it that his text messaging to Jimmy “The Locker Room” Guy constitute an attempt to cover up something? Does anyone have those text messages?

Does anyone keep a junk drawer full of old cell phones? Tom Brady probably isn’t even home long enough to have a junk drawer. If you were Tom Brady and married to one of the most beautiful women on planet earth would you hand over your phone to anyone, with it ostensibly being loaded with pictures of her? What’s more is, Goodell never ASKED to see Tom Brady’s cell phone. The NFL isn’t the Supreme Court … it’s a FOOTBALL organization. It can’t subpoena a player’s cell phone even if there had been some sort of incriminating evidence on it!

Tom Brady is being vilified and the clowns who are jumping on the bandwagon are stewing in their own narcissistic blather. Hey, look at us, we are on national television and we speak English and we are wearing a suit jacket and tie… we MUST know what we are talking about and people MUST want to listen to us dump all over this guy. Hey! Wait! What does vilify mean?

If I were Tom Brady I’d put a hold on the multimillion dollar checks for charity sitting on my desk and put it toward suing the living bejeepers out of Roger Goodell who has proven he has absolutely zero handle on the complete marketing meltdown the NFL has undergone in the past 12 months.

Tom Brady can handle a righteous four-game suspension.

But I don’t blame him one bit for trying to clear his name and distance himself from being scapegoated by Goodell so that the press will drop its pursuit of the seedy underbelly and truth that deep down the NFL thrives on misogyny and violence and we devour it each Sunday like so many sadists. How many weed and booze-laced Ferrari traffic stops will we read about this season, Roger?

Don’t get me wrong here. I love football and I live for those lazy Sunday November afternoons, chowing down on Buffalo wings and drinking Bud Light with echoes of Vince Lombardi speeches ringing through my football-addled brain.

But I know a scapegoat when I see one and Tom Brady is being held for a ransom he’s not willing to pay from a football game that the New England Patriots would have won if Goodell himself had lathered every ball in Gorilla Glue and chili beforehand and said here you go Tom, throw that!

It’s sheer nonsense and I’m going on Ebay right now to buy a Tom Brady jersey, the highest-selling jersey being sold by the NFL today.

— Capecod.com Sports Editor Sean Walsh’s column “One on One” appears here weekly. His email is seanwalsh@ccb-media.com. Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm

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