Time – Tom Brady’s comments on Monday about the NFL’s recent scandals involving Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson (and Greg Hardy, and Ray McDonald) haven’t gotten much attention, because he really didn’t say much of anything at all… So when Brady was asked on Boston sports news radio station WEEI about the NFL’s recent spate of high-profile violence [he] had this to say:
“I try to stay in my lane. All of those things, none of it’s really my business or my control. I’ve just been focusing on the games and what I can do better. The things that are taking place on other teams or league-wide decisions, those are a different pay grade than me . . .”
[Y]ou could hardly be forgiven for being disappointed Brady would not take a stand on an issue as clear-cut as domestic abuse… Maybe once football season starts, Brady simply doesn’t want to talk about anything other than football, ever. But maybe there’s something a little less cut-and-dry to Brady’s comments than that. Since 2001, Belichick and Brady have proven themselves time and time again two of the league’s savviest and shrewdest operators. Belichick is not afraid to bend the rules when he thinks he can get away with it (see: 2007’s Spygate scandal)… None of this is to say that the Patriots will sign Ray Rice or Ray McDonald or Greg Hardy or Adrian Peterson somewhere down the line. But the evidence suggests that Belichick and Brady value winning above all else, and at some point in the future, one of these players might be able to help them do just that — at a discount. So perhaps that could be another explanation for why Brady had no interest in commenting on these recent incidents. Even if none of these men ever become a teammate of his, speaking out against them could close a lane that would maybe, just maybe, help the team win another Super Bowl. That’s simply not the Patriot Way.
OK, let’s see if we can follow the thinking. Granted it’s not going to be easy; there’ll be a lot of twists and turns, corkscrews and loop-de-loops, but let’s journey together into the pretzel logic at work here. Brady – who’s the quarterback of the New England Patriots and is in the middle of a season with 10 million things on his plate – opts not to weigh in publicly on the crimes being committed by four other guys on four other teams, and for that we’re “disappointed.” We acknowledge that he doesn’t want to talk about anything but football, but then say he really didn’t answer Dennis and Callahan’s question because he and Belichick are notorious cheaters. But maybe, just maybe, the real reason Brady is going all Omerta on this is because the Patriots have a secret plan to sign Rice, McDonald, Hardy and Daddy Peterson. Got it? Good.
See, it makes perfect sense! Point a camera at the Jets’s sideline (in a place other than the NFL-approved point-a-camera-at-the-sidelines area), beat your fiance’, whip you’re 4 year old bloody, it’s the same thing! See, the Patriots are evil. So evil in fact, they might possibly sign all these evil guys someday! So why wait? Why not just rip them for it now? It’ll save time later on! I mean, sure, we could actually criticize the actual teams who are actually employing these actual vicious, twisted psychopaths. We could hold their GMs accountable for signing them. Hold their coaches’ feet to the fire for playing them. Or say their owners look bad for saying nice things about Goodell. Or ask their quarterbacks to chime in on what they think about sharing a locker room with sadistic motherfuckers. But who cares what Joe Flacco or Cam Newton or Matt Cassel has to say about their own teammates? The important thing is to the focus on the New England Patriots, who are really at fault in all this. And if Tom Brady – who by all accounts didn’t toss his wife on a bed covered in assault rifles or build a Whoopin’ Room onto his Brookline mansion – let’s blame his silence for the whole thing. In the weird, sordid world of the NFL 2014 season and the bizarre logic of the anti-Patriots jihadists, this is what passes for making sense. @JerryThornton1
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