"We're not mad, we're just disappointed."
Remember when your parents would say that to you when you did something stupid back in the seventh grade? It hurt.
Just like it still stings, after your spouse said it to you last week. Remember when your name appeared in bold letters on the Ashley Madison list of leaks? Talk about shame.
And much like I hope and pray my 6-going-on-16 year-old daughter feels remorse when I lay that phrase on her twice-a-week in the next 12 years.
You want the truth? I'm mad and disappointed that U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman overturned Tom Brady's 4-game, "Deflategate" suspension, saying he found "several significant legal deficiencies" in how NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell investigated accusations the Patriots used balls inflated below league-mandated levels.
I'm so mad that I want to gather up my crew, drive to Boston and fight somebody. But I saw "Good Will Hunting" and saw the whippin' that Matt Damon, the Affleck Brothers and that other guy put on Carmen Scarpaglia and friends on the playground. So, I don't want any of that because I haven't been to the gym in a while and I got this thing going on in my shoulder and so on.
So here I vent.
Here's the deal. The problem is that Judge Berman doesn't really care. He won't feel any shame, embarrassment or remorse in his decision. Why would he? He was just doing his duty. Besides it is just football. It's just a game. Tom Brady didn't murder anybody, commit sexual assault, use a racial slur, beat his wife, kill numerous dogs, smoke enough marijuana to render Cheech and Chong lifeless, use enough PEDs to pop Schwarzenegger, stomp on the American flag, fly the Confederate flag, oppose gay marriage, wear a 'Trump in '16' t-shirt or attend a Nickelback concert.
But the main sin that Tom Brady did commit, the one that has most Americans up in arms, with the exception of many a myopic New Englander is....
That he simply got away with it. But most of all, he's providing the blueprint for us and our children to sink to low levels to get away with transgressions too.
Truthfully, I only really had two problems with Tom Brady before this. The fact that he plays for Bill Belichick in Foxborough and that he's 5-2 with a completion percentage of 68.31-percent, has 18 touchdowns against 3 interceptions and has thrown for 2,316 yards against the Steelers. Heck, if it wasn't for the incomparable Tee Martin still being on the board in the 2000 draft, Brady could have even donned the black and gold.
But what I do grit my teeth about regarding Brady and the Patriots is their collective smugness. The "Screw you, we'll do what we want, whenever we want" attitude coming from them aimed at the rest of the NFL has been going on since the Hoodie's arrival in 2000. It happened with Spygate, and It's happening now. Who's going to stop it? Commissioner Roger Goodell was rendered powerless to stop it after Judge Berman's decision. So slap on your slicker, here comes the rush of water, the floodgates are hereby opened. Because there is really no reason why the 31 other teams shouldn't cheat too.
I'm in no way trying to portray myself as a saint. In fact, I'm quite sure that my last confession has become stuff of legend at priest get-togethers and barbecues. But I have suffered consequences for my wrong-doings and have learned from the consequences. I also know that the players for the team I root for have made questionable decisions and have been subsequently punished for their transgressions. I hope that they have learned from their actions.
I realize that as a father, I need to act as the main role model for my children and I try. But whether I like it or not, our children and, us to some extent, show hero worship to our favorite athletes and personalities. Tom Brady's actions truly needed to be corrected with some sort of punishment.
I understand the lack of evidence in this case. However, Brady's ball boys were fired for their involvement. So is that ball boys or fall guys? These guys make next to nothing, they didn't just up and do it without directions. The independent Wells Report points to Brady's possible involvement in the deflating of balls before the AFC Championship Game against Indianapolis. This whole ballboys-acting-on-their-own scenario is quite reminiscent of the 1992 classic, "A Few Good Men". That would make the ball boys Lance Corporal Harold Dawson and Pfc. Loudin Downey to Brady's Colonel Jessup. Just because Jack Nicholson's character wasn't present when his men stuffed a red rag down Pfc. William Santiago's throat, doesn't mean that he wasn't responsible for his death.
Thus, Brady ordered the Code Red.
The worst part about this whole scandal is the cover-up and the blatant lying. When asked to hand over his phone, Tom Brady claimed that it was destroyed. What quite possibly could've happened to his phone? Surely Tom Brady can afford an OtterBox or an Urban Armour Gear case to shield his cell phone from destruction. With one of those babies on his phone, nothing would have happened to it. I saw the UAG footage of them dropping an IPhone from space without breaking because of its protective case; surely Giselle's dropping it off of the Brady high horse wouldn't hurt it one bit. I'd like to see pictures of Tom Brady with his cell phone before this happened. He protects his head with a helmet and the Brady family jewels with a cup. Why in Blue Heaven wouldn't he protect his phone?
Now it comes down to this decision's effect on society. It's a game changer. Why worry about consequences if you're going to find a way to weasel out of them?
Got a tough test that you really didn't feel like studying for? No problem. Just flick out a Bic Pen and scribble the answers down on your free hand. When the person auditing the test spots you, have a rubbing alcohol pad in your writing hand and simply wipe the evidence away.
You've been eyeing up that hottie in accounting and you think the Ashley Madison tagline that "life's too short, have an affair" speaks to you, sneak away to the office supply cabinet at lunch. What's the worst that could happen? Just claim that you have a sex addiction and go to therapy. And if you're unlucky enough to have your name included on a hacked list, simply join a class action suit for $560 million. You can't lose.
Don't want your guests to know you had the fajitas grande for lunch, blame that gas on your kids. Isn't that why you had them in the first place?
Don't want to report all your taxes? Errrrrr. No, scratch that one. Government's going to get your for that one.
Simply put, not punishing Tom Brady further gives people license to cheat. It's an affront to the moral fabric of society and it represents a bigger dilemma. The fact that if a person has the means to take their defense to the highest levels, then they can possibly find themselves rising above the law without having to face any consequences.
This is is a major precedent. Roger Goodell has now been castrated of all power. All anybody in the league has to do is appeal to a higher court while doing whatever they please to get an edge. If you don't take too kindly to that suspension, file an appeal, you won't even have to serve it. Do the crime and serve no time.
This whole nonsense could have been avoided easily in the first place. All Brady had to do was admit his wrong-doing. It probably would have only amounted to a small slap on the wrist and it would have been quickly forgotten. But in order to protect his legacy, Brady went down the cover-up road and this sordid chapter would have just been a footnote in history.
But now Brady's reputation has been damaged beyond repair and this scandal will forever be a stain on the very legacy he was fighting so hard to protect with the cover-up.
Judge Berman may have vacated the suspension, but the court of public opinion has resoundingly reached a verdict of guilty with no chance of perceptionary parole.
I'm still mad and disappointed, but I guess I'll take the public's sentence as a consolation.