Derek Gentile: Deflategate saga doesn't end with Brady suspension


PITTSFIELD >> Despite what you may have heard, the saga of Tom Brady and "deflategate" isn't really over.

Brady has agreed to serve the four-game suspension imposed by the NFL. But that was because there is now a chance that future legal action may take place during the season, which would force him, if he lost, to miss games in the middle or later in the year.

That was a logistical problem Brady decided he didn't want the team to have to face.

But he has authorized the NFL Players Association to continue moving forward with the legal action, which may include petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.

By now, most people realize what a sham this entire controversy is. The footballs that were allegedly "deflated" by a Patriot ballboy were, in fact deflated by the same scientific principal that causes the tires on your car to deflate in the winter.

Inflated objects, when transferred from warmer to colder air, lose air pressure; it's called the ideal gas law.

But in case you don't realize how bogus this is, let me help out. You're going to read a few things you haven't read before, which is understandable. I doubt too many have read as much of the mountain of paperwork in connection with this issue as I have.

The biggest lie perpetrated by the NFL is that Brady hindered the investigation by destroying his cellphone. Whether he did or didn't is immaterial.

During the investigation, Brady's attorneys offered to present the NFL with a spreadsheet with all the numbers dialed by Brady's phones during whatever span the NFL requested. In addition, Brady's attorneys offered to provide all the names to all the phone numbers on that spreadsheet. The NFL could interview who they wished.

This was a way to get around the fact that the NFL has no subpoena power. And it certainly has no legal authority over any player's private property.

Brady offered this compromise. The NFL refused. Why? They told his lawyers it was too much work. Then they complained he hindered the investigation.

As a sidebar, kicker Stephen Gostkowski also was asked to turn over his cellphone. He refused outright. Yet he was not accused of noncooperation. Why? My guess is, he wasn't Tom Brady.

The other controversy Patriot haters hang their hat on is this "deflator" business. Seven months before the AFC Championship game, in which one or both of the ballboys is alleged to have tampered with the footballs (allegedly at Brady's request), one of the employees is called "the deflator" in a text. The context was the weight loss by one of the ballboys, not his activity in removing air from footballs. And the conversation took place in May 2014.

This was the only time this nickname surfaced in any of the thousands of texts from Brady or either ballboy. Interestingly, the Wells report, on which the NFL based its punishment, devotes and entire chapter to it, mentioning the term 16 times. An emphasis, I believe, that gives false weight to the term.

Finally, the science. A total of 21 scientists from across the country filed a brief on Brady's behalf, stating the NFL's conclusions were not based on science, but on "science-like terminology."

In fact, using temperature data obtained from 10,000 NFL games since 1960, they have concluded that a total of 61 percent of all the footballs used in those games were probably underinflated because, like your tires, footballs lose air pressure when they are carried from a warmer atmosphere like a locker room to a colder atmosphere like a football field.

The NFL did not cover itself in glory here.

Derek Gentile is an Eagle staffer. He can be reached at or followed on Twitter, @DerekGentile. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of The Berkshire Eagle.


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