Patriots Talk: ‘DeflateGate Is Finally Put To Rest’ According to Judge Berman
by Stephen Hilton
Deflategate can finally be put to rest after Super Bowl LI. New England Patriots fans can finally let go of the 18 month drama of the investigation at last. The Patriots coming back from 28-3 deficit will forever become a tagline that will be remembered in the same way as ‘Wide Right’, the nickname that sports broadcaster, Al Michaels, dubbed the 47-yard missed field goal attempt by Buffalo Bills‘ kicker Scott Norwood in their 19-20 loss against New York Giants in Super Bowl XXV. That will be the nightmare that every Atlanta Falcons’ fan will need to live with for the rest of their franchises’ existence.
For Pats’ fans, they couldn’t be happier. Many dubbing the Patriots’ 2016 season as the ‘Revenge Tour’ among many nicknames. It started without star [Quarterback], Tom Brady, for the first four games of the season, due to his suspension for Deflategate was reinstated by Second Circuit Court of Appeals by a vote of 2-1. The suspension reinvigorated the hate for Roger Goodell and the NFL commission for allowing the suspension to be reinforced despite being thrown out of court the first time. The Patriots still went 3-1 and then went on to go 14-2 for the regular season, and then proceeding to win Super Bowl LI in one of the greatest conclusions in recent memory. (Many Golden State Warriors‘ fans would hope that this helps forgetting the 3-1 lead blow but it will likely not)
The 18-month long drawn-out soap opera was quite literally, unbearable. Not only did it cover the sports media for months on end, but it brought much debate about the credibility of the Patriots’ success. Just as Spygate did back in 2007. To Patriots fans, no one could have imagined a better outcome, including Judge Richard Berman, the man who oversaw the first trail of the Deflategate scandal in September of 2015. Berman’s decision allowed Tom Brady to play the entire 2015 NFL season but of course the case was taken out and then overturned.
The judge feels that with the conclusion of Super Bowl LI, Deflategate can be officially be put to rest. Berman talked in an interview with Sports Illustrated writer Kalyn Kaher.
I think Deflategate is finally put to rest by that Super Bowl.
Should it really though? The Patriots suffered badly because of Deflategate and lost a lot along the way. Many Patriots fans will say that its better to let go, but its never good to forget. Deflategate and all that it has brought up will become a huge vocal point during the next CBA meeting in 2021 for how much power can be allowed by the commissioner whether the NFL likes it or not. Judge Berman felt since the beginning of the controversy that the whole issue should have been taken care of on the field.
I always thought in the back of my mind when I had the case, that this is a case that should be settled on the field. Not in the courts, not with an arbitrator, and ultimately, that’s what happened.
The Judge was correct in his statement as Super Bowl LI had arguably one of the greatest upsets, not just in NFL history but in all of sports. The game had many moments within just the 4th quarter of the game that completely changed the tone of it all and made the victory that much sweeter. However, like many Patriots fans, he felt that even with the Super Bowl victory, the Deflategate controversy being over doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t have even been thing in the first place.
“I’m having trouble finding the ‘Gate’ here.” So I guess that was an expression of my true feelings. I didn’t see what happened here that warranted a million dollars, two draft picks and a four-game suspension. It just didn’t add up.
Very well said Mr. Berman. The whole circumstances surrounding Deflategate have remained very spotty at best and downright idiotic at worst. The fact that Judge Berman feels that even with the changes in precedent with the court of appeals, he would not hesitate on making the same decision again.
I would decide the way I decided in the same way today. I mean, I couldn’t actually, because the court of appeals has now had a precedent, but take that away, and I would go the same way. I would not change a thing.
Even though Deflategate is over now with Patriots victory, it doesn’t mean that it’s significance can be lifted so easily. There are still some who will forever see fit to keep Roger Goodell out of New England and many are still in that camp now. Despite the controversy now being a memory, the Patriots’ lose their 4th pick in this year’s draft and the fact that people are still arguing against Ideal Gas Law (a scientific law at that) shows that people will never stop making ‘deflate’ jokes any time soon.