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Deflategate has finally run out of air

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Patriots QB Tom Brady has decided not to appeal his four game suspension to the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday.

He will be suspended for the first four weeks of the 2016 season . All in all, it’s probably better for him to do so, since the Supreme Court accepts appeal cases at a rate of about one percent.

544 days. Eighteen months. Let that sink in for a minute. Talk about your “no such thing as bad publicity.” 544 days of accusations, investigations, alibis, Ideal Gas Law, destroyed cell phones, etc. What started out as a rules violation which, according to the NFL rule book, tampering with game equipment should have been a $25,000 fine, morphed into something so much greater.

By the time it ended, Deflategate was no longer about air in footballs. It was about Labor Law contract agreements. To give one man that much power was, in hindsight, a huge mistake by the Players’ Union . You can bet when the current labor agreement ends, this will be an issue the players will not accept. I’ll admit, I am a little salty over this whole mess. Fans, except Patriots fans,will be jumping for joy saying Tom Brady lost.

He’s found guilty. That’s just not the case. The NFL’s victory was simply that Commissioner Goodell was within his rights when deciding punishment regardless of whether his “independent” Wells investigation showed proof or not.

Some people have argued that the NFL staged a witch hunt, referencing the Panthers/Vikings game in Nov. 2014 where team personnel were heating the balls up in front of sideline heaters due to the cold weather. This was shown live on television. The League was made aware of the situation and they immediately contacted both teams and told them to stop, and then issued a statement to all teams that this was illegal and should not be done.

In the case of the Patriots, the league acted in a very different manner. Once told of the possible infraction, the league did not contact the Patriots, they chose to set a trap for them leading up to the AFC title game. This is speculation but it does have some merit to it. All encompassing power will trump any situation at any time.

Yes, the Union really messed that up.

From the Patriots standpoint, the suspension probably couldn’t have come a better time. They open the season at the Arizona Cardinals and then are home for three games against the Dolphins, Texans, and Bills. My guess is they will end up 2-2,which in all reality will probably still have them near the top of the AFC East, with a very angry Tom Brady due back in week five.

We now have eight weeks left before the season starts. I wonder what the NFL fan base will have to talk about until then?

Brady’s guilt of course. Can you taste the salt?

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com