This will stick with Tom Brady and the Super Bowl champions forever.And Shank will do everything possible to make sure that happens. This is better for Shank than Christmas is for kids.
The NFL dropped the hammer on Brady and the Patriots late Monday afternoon. In the wake of NFL investigator Ted Wells’s 243-page “Deflategate” report, the league suspended Brady for four games, fined the Patriots $1 million (largest in NFL history), and took away two draft picks, including the club’s No. 1 selection in 2016.Leading the charge with three Patriots columns in five days and a bunch of gleeful tweets is General Shaughnessy.
The penalties were stiffer than the Patriots and their fans expected. As recently as January, owner Robert Kraft was asking for an apology from the league for raising the issue and embarrassing the team during Super Bowl week.
Now the league has determined that the Patriots are serial cheaters. In the eyes of the NFL, and much of Football America, the Patriots are Alex Rodriguez. For the second time in eight years, New England is being punished in the name of “the integrity of the game.’’ Blindly loyal fans can continue to bay at the moon, but unless the Patriots secede from the NFL, this doesn’t go away for Brady and the team.
The Patriots are a tremendously successful franchise. They win the AFC East every year and they have won four Super Bowls since 2001. Under the direction of Bill Belichick, they do things their own way and pay no heed to their critics. They regularly push the envelope and stretch the rules, and they win. This doesn’t make a lot of friends. And now it’s a field day for the army of Patriots enemies.