Tom Brady is no better than Barry Bonds.
Or Roger Clemens.
Or Mark McGwire.
Or Sammy Sosa.
That's according to the current standards set by most media and fans.
It doesn't matter if you have actual proof. It's simply about do you believe what the person is telling you, and after listening to Brady's 30-minute press conference about "Deflate-Gate," it's hard to believe he had no knowledge of the rule violation. After all, less pressure helps Brady throw the ball better, especially in the rain.
Even weekend warriors in flag football know that.
The NFL, according to media reports, found 11 of 12 of the footballs the New England Patriots provided for game balls in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts this past Sunday were deflated and not up to standards.
It violated an NFL rule as all footballs must reach a certain amount of pressure. The Pats' had 11 of the 12 balls under-inflated by two pounds of air per-square-inch (PSI).
Brady was asked point blank by a reporter if he was a cheater. "I don't believe so and always believe I've played within the rules," Brady answered.
He thinks so. He should have said absolutely not.
Although a "Today Show" poll said that 77 percent of the viewers that voted said they didn't believe Brady, many will come to his defense.
Wait for it. .. We will get the apples and oranges response from Brady and Pats' fans.
Others will say it's no big deal. It's only air pressure and the Colts wouldn't have won anyway. After all, they lost 45-7.
You can't have it both ways, however. If you steal $10 out of your grandmother's purse or a million dollars in a bank heist, either way, you're a thief.
Same here. Either you follow the rules or you break them; the latter means you've cheated.
There's no other way to look at it. If Brady had ball boys deflate the balls to his liking, he cheated.
Tom Brady is a cheater.
Many don't want to believe it or taint Brady's career.
He's a Hall of Famer quarterback who is going to his sixth Super Bowl. He's already won three.
But those things shouldn't matter, nor should they protect you when you are caught doing something you shouldn't.
And the history of this franchise doesn't help. In the SpyGate scandal, the Pats were caught videotaping the Jets' coaches defensive signals. Coach Bill Belichick was personally fined $500,000, the team was fined $250,000 and the team lost a draft pick.
In Brady's case, he should get the same treatment as MLB players caught in the Steroid Scandal.
In that case, the accused players never failed league-issued drug tests and were branded just because of what people believed.
In Spygate, knowing the defensive signals would have helped Brady run the offense. In Deflate-Gate, throwing a ball with less pressure would have helped Brady as well.
The point is simple. You can't use past performances and simply throw out the scandals because you like a guy. It's bogus and wasn't done for great MLB players when it came time for the Hall of Fame.
Check the MLB record book. Bonds is the all-time home run hitter with 762. He also won seven MVPs. Clemens won seven Cy Youngs.
A skinny McGwire still has the rookie record for home runs with 49. The same McGwire who once hit 32 HRs in 67 games in a single college season. Yes, he was a slugger long before he bulked up.
Some writers want to be judge and jury. They want to keep these guys out of the Hall of Fame because of suspicion, not facts or evidence.
It's a slippery slope.
These are facts: Bonds - All-time HR leader. Never tested positive for PEDS. Why? Because they didn't test for it before 2006.
McGwire - Didn't test positive, just like Bonds.
Sosa - Also didn't test positive, just like Bonds and McGwire.
Clemens - And he also never tested positive.
In Brady's case, there are now two clear cheating incidents that involve his team, with the deflated footballs directly implicating Brady.
If public opinion matters more than proof, there's only one way to figure it out.
If Bonds, Clemens and the rest are branded as cheaters, so should Brady.