At the end of the season this year, it was alleged that Tom Brady was aware of Patriots staff purposefully deflating footballs in the AFC Championship game against Indianapolis Colts. The NFL served punishment which included a four game ban at the start of the season for the star Quarterback.
The case went on over the summer and overpowered any media on the NFL. It was all anyone really talked about. Finally, at the start of September, the ban was thrown out of court by the judge who felt NFL went too far with punishment, and announced that the suspension was ‘premised upon several significant legal deficiencies’.
This was without a doubt a huge relief to Tom Brady and the Patriots, finally he could get one with his day job so to speak but looking back at it now I wonder, did deflategate help or hinder his career?
At the time, it was difficult to know whether to feel sorry for the guy or whether to be annoyed because no punishment was faced. For me, it certainly felt as though Brady was least liked player within the NFL but as the season has progressed I feel this has turned around massively and he has quickly become a star quarterback once again.
Has it helped? Has it hindered? I certainly don’t feel it has affected his career, his legacy perhaps, yes. I asked how other fans of the game felt:
“Oh definitely helped. But I don’t think it was the incident itself as much as getting let off without the ban he was due. If he had sat out the games he had due to be banned for, it might have changed him but I believe playing from the start of the season has made him think “I’ve got a second chance and I’m going to take it”, so [definitely] helped him and the Patriots.” @Hilesh83
“Helped. He’s as motivated & focused as ever” @Effing_Frank
“At this point it’s definitely helped. He’s even more fired up to win! Will all depend on the NFL’s appeal” @Murph_XF
“Helped. Roger was left with egg on his face and consensus was that NFL wanted to drill Pats because they missed out on Spygate” @codyroyle
“As the NFL failed to prove any guilt on his part it had no affect and he will go down as the Greatest of All Time” @Adam18031983
“Tom Brady’s whole career comes from chip on shoulder from low draft, deflategate only fuelled that fire further” @DunlopGraham
“Not sure anything would hinder the career of a 38 year old who’d already won 3 Superbowls. Deflategate was just another chapter” @life_in_a_box
The overall consensus is that it has helped his career more than it has hindered, and as one person mentioned, the NFL did of course appeal it, so what is the likely verdict? Well, the success of the appeal will be announced after the SuperBowl, on March 03, 2016. Watch this space.