#NoBradyNoBanner, But It’s Time for Tom Brady to ‘Fess Up!

If I were advising Tom Brady on how to respond to the punishment handed down by the NFL, I would tell him to confess. It’s too late to try and cover up his actions, and too unseemly to blame low-level employees who were merely doing his bidding. Despite the circumstantial nature of the evidence–or really the lack of any evidence at all–the whole thing stinks. If Tom wants to survive the mess he made, he has to own up.

It does not have to be a tearful tell-all, just a simple admission of guilt. I did it. I asked the locker room guys to let some air out of the game balls. I am sorry. It was not my intention to disrespect the game of football.

See, this is where the difference in punishment comes from. Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Ben Roethlisberger, and all the others, their actions were away from the field. Their vile behavior was not specific to, nor was it about football.  Tom, the face of the NFL, winner of four Super Bowl rings, cheated. Call it what you will but that is what it is. Cheating. Disrespecting the game. And like Pete Rose, Brady must pay.

That is not to say that I think the NFL’s penalties are appropriate. I do not, and I support an appeal. And I agree with and will proudly tweet #NoBradyNo Banner in support of waiting to raise the Super Bowl banner until Brady has served his sentence. But like Bill Bellichick, Brady will now be labeled a cheater, and his name will forever be linked with this shameful incident. And it is shameful, because really, did he have to cheat to win? He has talent, and brains and success. Wasn’t that, isn’t that enough?

Andy Pettite survived his admission of guilt in taking banned substances during his playing days for the Yankees.  His name is never thrown in with Clemens, or Bonds, or McGwire. It’s almost a footnote to an otherwise blemish-free career. That is the best that Tom Brady can hope for, and even that only if he confesses now to his part in Deflategate.

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