More Sports / Football | NFL NOTEBOOK

Goodell's decision fails to clear up unanswered Deflategate questions

by Hiroshi Ikezawa

Staff Writer

Now that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s suspension, will the Patriots play the first four game of the season with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback?

It’s very unlikely.

The NFL Players Association will appeal Goodell’s decision, bringing the case to court. That means the suspension will be put on hold while the legal case plays out.

Brady will be on the field at Gillette Stadium when the Patriots open the 2015 season against the Steelers on Sept. 10.

It’s anyone’s guess when the court case will conclude or who will win. But as long as the NFL fails to show clear evidence in court showing Brady’s involvement in Deflategate, the four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback can avoid suspension.

Goodell’s decision was something of a surprise. But it means almost nothing.

Has the NFL succeeded in investigating what happened in Deflategate?

No.

We know the Patriots used improperly deflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game against the Colts in January. The Ted Wells Report disclosed that two members of the Patriots team staff were involved in deflating the air from balls before the game. The two people exchanged text messages with Brady.

The NFL punished the Patriots and Brady. The Patriots accepted the $1 million fine and the loss of two draft picks. Brady appealed the four-game suspension. Brady had his assistant break his old cellphone that likely contained the records of the text messages.

That’s all.

Why did those two people prepare deflated balls, an act that breaks NFL rules? For whose benefit? Did the Patriots players really not notice the balls’ condition when they touched them thousands of times that week?

We also want to know if the Patriots only used deflated balls in the game against the Colts or if they cheated in other games in the past.

The NFL has not provided the answers or information regarding any of these questions. And it will not in the future.

The Patriots will not be denied their latest Super Bowl victory over the Seahawks because of Deflategate.

Brady’s reputation has been harmed, but he will become a Pro Football Hall of Famer in the future. And the Patriots are a contender in the AFC East.

Nothing will change because of Deflategate. And the truth of Deflategate will never come out.