Saturday, May 9, 2015
TOM BRADY AND THE WORDS THAT WILL HAUNT HIM FOREVER
One thing about players and coaches in the NFL, they never forget. They never forget who
throws a cheap shot on the field or says something about them off it. The phrase 'bulletin board
material' started in the NFL and it will remain there forever. But players and teams don't really
need a newspaper article pinned to a slab of cork to motivate or remind them of something,
they have it engrained in the long-term memory part of their brains.
This is exactly what landed Tom Brady in the center of the "DeflageGate" scandal which is something that, undoubtedly, wipes the shine off his golden boy image and mostly likely
will get him suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this week.
To understand the scope of this saga, you have to go back to May 1, 2012 when Baltimore
Ravens head coach said in an interview with ProFootballTalk.com, the three Super Bowl
titles won were tainted because of the SpyGate scandal in 2007.
“Even the thing in New England, no matter whether those things had any impact on whether
they won their championships or not, they got asterisks now," Harbaugh said."it’s been
stained. So to me, it’s never worth it. You’ve got to figure out ways to use the rules to your advantage.”
The statement was not only eye-raising because it came from the mouth of a current NFL
coach, but for the fact Harbaugh got his job with the Ravens in big part because of Bill
Belichick, who made a personal call to the team's owner on behalf of Harbaugh recommending
him for the job. Saying the Patriots' titles were tainted was seen as a huge slap in the
face to Belichick and one Tom Brady never forgot. He also remembered the line, "you've
got to figure out ways to use the rules to your advantage" so eloquently stated by Harbaugh.
So, after the Patriots beat the Ravens in the playoffs this season, Brady took a moment during
his post-game press conference and did something that was so out of character for the Patriots
QB: he fired a shot at Harbaugh publically. In response to the Ravens being confused by a
Patriots formation, claiming it was illegal, Brady said the Ravens should "study the rule book
and figure it out."
Study the rule book and figure it out.
Those eight words will haunt Brady forever.
Brady was taking a dig at Harbaugh who said the Patriots' titles were tainted and also was
sticking up for Belichick, whom he is fiercely loyal to. He felt Harbaugh was being incredibly
disloyal to a man who helped him get his first NFL coaching job and never forgot it.
Harbaugh didn't forget Brady's comment, either. After the Patriots beat the Ravens they
moved on to play the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship. The Ravens have
strong, strong ties to the Colts. Chuck Pagano, the head coach of the Colts, was the
defensive coordinator with the Ravens prior to getting the job in Indianapolis.
Before the AFC Championship game, the Colts alerted the NFL the Patriots may
be using deflated footballs. Many people within the league believe the Colts were tipped
off by Harbaugh after Brady made the comment pointed at him, saying the Ravens
should "study the rule book and figure it out".
Study the rule book and figure it out.
Brady has long been known to be psycho about the feel of the footballs he uses during
the games. He and Peyton Manning went to the commissioner in 2006 in an effort to
let quarterbacks break the balls in during the week leading up to the game. They got
the green light and the NFL pretty much changed the rules for them.
Somewhere along the line, the Ravens and Harbaugh got wind of Brady liking underinflated
balls. Just like in any business or life for that matter, people talk, rumors gets started,
stories get spread, and information collected.
The Ravens just played the Patriots in the playoffs and lost two 14-point leads to
them. During the course of the game, they may have discovered what they had heard
to be true about Brady's underinflated balls
Getting beaten by the Patriots on the field was one thing, embarrassed by Tom Brady
off it, was quite another. Turns out it was something Harbaugh wouldn't forget.
The goods on Brady and the DeflateGate scandal are out with the league set to suspend
its golden boy quarterback who had it all until he uttered the words that will haunt
him forever: "Study the rule book and figure it out."
In that Harbaugh interview gave ProFootballTalk.com in 2012, the coach of the Ravens
also said something that turned out to be really prophetic.
“If you’re cheating, in the end, you’re going to get discredited,” Harbaugh said. “It’s just
not worth it.”
Tom Brady should've remembered that line by Harbaugh as much as he engrained the
one about the Patriots' titles being tainted in his head.
Tom, it just wasn't worth it.