|Goose Him, Roger|
We are now well into what, the seventh month of DeflateGate hullabaloo?
There is no one, even the most virulent Patriot Hater (I should know, I'm at all the meetings -- very depressing church basements, but great fellowship), who is happy about this. The people who want to see Tom Brady punished have had to spend all this time waiting to have the football pulled away from them, and the penalty get reduced on appeal. The people who want to see Brady reinstated have spent all this time not getting what they want, and still holding out hope that they will. PR people are using this as yet another moment of why advertisers should shy away from the NFL, as if this was going to be the straw that broke the golden goose.
THIS JUST IN: Straws do not break geese. Film at 11.
Old school NFL owners, we are led to believe, need wildly over-matched and over-reaching commissioner Roger Goodell to "win" this. Much in the same way that one wins a divorce or a custody battle, one suspects, given that the biggest takeaway from all of this has been to crush Brady's ability to whore himself out for advertising.
So let's just have it. Go all in, Roger. Just out and out ban Brady for life.
It would be thermonuclear in its impact. It would overshadow the rest of the preseason (and amen to that, because this preseason has been nothing but injury misery, which means it's the same as every preseason). It would result in lawsuits and boycotts and social media meltdowns and PR blowback and advertising pullouts and on and on and on.
Then, the regular season games would start. And the tumult would drop by 90% because Game Always Wins. Brady would fade into the background. Bill Belichick will figure out how to win games without him, because the man won double-digits with freaking Matt Cassell, and he coaches in the NFL's short bus division. The advertisers will come back, because this is the only show on television that is DVR-proof. Then, people will freak out about something else (say, franchises moving to Los Angeles).
In the long run, Goodell exerts his utter and total dominance over the league. Everyone involved forgets the appeal process, because the appeal process is an utter joke and pointless. And the next time we go down the rabbit hole of someone taking a shortcut, maybe they don't, because Utter Hammer Tool Roger Goodell will be waiting.
Well, probably not; it's not like the death penalty has ever been a deterrent. But let the fantasy persist of a world without lawyers.