Foster: Football wins in Brady beef, NFL should move on

Terry Foster
The Detroit News

The New England Patriots scored the first victory of the NFL season. And if you think about it, it is a victory for all of us.

Quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots had his four-game suspension overturned.

Unless something wacky happens, then it means we get a wonderful season-opening game next Thursday with the Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

We get Tom Brady versus Ben Roethlisberger.

We get music, thunder and the opening of the best league there is although Commissioner Roger Goodell and some of his players do everything in their power to destroy it.

Judge Richard M. Berman tossed aside the four-game suspension the NFL placed on Brady for under inflated footballs. That means he can play unless an appeal is won, something that could take months to happen.

This is good news and the right decision.

This is a league that has suspended murderers, spousal abusers and steroid users for far less.

Sit down and think about this.

Brady got four games for under-inflated footballs. He was suspended for something he did not get a competitive advantage. He was suspended for air. Let that roll around your brain for a minute.

Did Brady cheat?

He sure did.

Did he lie and withhold evidence? Did he destroy a cell phone that might have been filled with crushing text messages to ball boys who did Brady’s dirty work?


And was he the mastermind behind several footballs being under-inflated for the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts? I believe so.

Punishment didn't fit

The Colts would agree. They were the ones that tipped off officials that some of the footballs were below the 12.5 psi that the league dictates.

But four games made no sense. Goodell has had universal power over the entire league and was able to impose any fine and any suspension he wanted and got away with it for the most part. Now he messed with the wrong guy. He messed with Brady who has clout and is willing to fight fire with fire and right down to the wire.  Goodell did the same.

No one blinked as these two speeding cars came colliding together.

However, a smart judge with experience on his side made a smart decision. Goodell should lick his wounds, admit defeat and move on. But he won’t.

This is not about ego. This is not about refusing defeat.

Goodell cannot and will not back down.

Here is my theory:  This is Goodell’s cause but it is not his call.

The NFL is a league where Goodell represents the owners. They want blood. They are tired of the cheating Patriots. And they are tired of the cozy relationship between Goodell and Pats owner Robert Kraft.

Do something. That was the demand owners privately gave to Goodell, Show loyalty to the rest of the league.  So he will be a good puppet and appeal even though he will lose.

If you want go fine Brady, I am fine with it. If you want to give him one game then I won’t fight you.

Now Goodell needs to walk away. Isn’t this the same guy that gave Ray Rice a two-game suspension for knocking his woman into next week? Then he saw the tape and suddenly became outraged and a champion for spousal abuse?

Come on. The reason the NFL is a champion for the cause is because of video. If not for that tape, the NFL would still be suspending guys in minutes rather than games for hitting their women.

The NFL has spent millions and wasted everybody’s time on the Wells Report and by dragging this thing out for three quarters of a year.
The judge has spoken.  The judge is right. It is time to move on.

Steelers vs. Patriots. Brady vs. Roethlisberger.

That is all I care about.