It’s been a slow and painful fall from grace for Tom Brady. But he may have finally hit rock bottom.
Yesterday (July 28), National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Brady’s four-game suspension for the 2015 season. The New England Patriots’s star quarterback was originally suspended after a report released by an independent investigator found the team’s equipment staff guilty of purposefully deflating the team’s footballs during the AFC championship game, in which the Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts to earn a spot in the 2015 Super Bowl.
The Patriots, of course, proceeded to win the Super Bowl, led by none other than Tom Brady, who took home the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player award. But by that time, the team and its star player were already mired in controversy, as the reports of the under-inflated balls had already surfaced in a scandal that was soon called “Deflategate” and “Ballghazi” by the sports media.
Goodell said he upheld the suspension, which Brady appealed soon after its announcement in May, partly because of new evidence showing that Brady destroyed his cellphone after the investigator asked him to hand over text messages and other data from his phone. According to the commisioner’s decision, Brady claimed that it is his policy to destroy his cellphones and SIM cards when he gets a new phone.
Today Brady took to Facebook to proclaim his innocence, vent his frustrations, and announce his intention to bring the issue to federal court. “I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either,” Brady wrote. He added that before the controversy, he had “never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure.”
It’s a far cry from the Brady who was once featured in a 60 Minutes episode entitled “Tom Brady: The Winner,” which aired in 2005 after he led the Patriots to three Super Bowl victories in four years. In the same year, a GQ cover story gushingly predicted a future for Brady in the US Senate and as a 2020 vice presidential candidate.
Now, almost fifteen years after the first surprise Super Bowl victory that marked his rise to fame, Brady, still the reigning Super Bowl champion, will likely begin the 2015 season watching his team play from home.