The verdict is in: Tom Brady "probably" "most likely" "might have" "maybe" "kinda sorta" knew about alleged ball deflating before the Patriots AFC championship game against the Colts earlier this year, according to the Wells Report published by the NFL this week.
OK sure. Fine. Whatever. I won't worry myself with that whole "burden of proof" thing if the NFL isn't. If they say the Patriots did something wrong, dole out the punishment and let's be done with it. Dragging the Patriots' and Tom Brady's names through the mud is not only unnecessary, based on the level of the offense, it's defaming, and it shows what a lack of integrity and scruples the NFL and Roger Goodell possess. Fuck that and fuck them.
But I digress.
Speculation is that Tom Brady will be given anywhere from a 2 to 10 game suspension for his indiscretions as well as a fine. Big whoop. Jimmy G will get some additional playing time to increase his skill set, Brady will get some injury-free rest, and we'll have an even better, more well-rounded team for the 2015 playoffs. Sounds good to me.
No, you need to hit Brady where it hurts if you really want him to pay for his sins. Here are some more creative ideas of how the NFL could punish him:
1) Make him play for the Jets for a year.
This one is courtesy of Andy Borowitz of the New Yorker and it's a doozy.
Borowitz's best guess as to Tom Brady's reaction: "'I am going to fight this decision with every fibre of my being. This is America. You can’t force a person to play for the Jets.'"
2) Give him an old-fashioned physical punishment.
Found this great suggestion from medium.com: "Jab [him] in the balls with a needle." It's direct (ooooh) and to the point (that't right).
I don't have balls, but I can imagine this would be pretty heinous. I can't even stomach the idea of a bikini wax.
3) Make fun of his Uggs.
Tom is a very sensitive guy. This would shake his insecurities to the core.
4) Get shamed by Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show."
Wait, that already happened:
"From now on, we as a country are gonna be watching your balls like a hawk. And not just those balls, but 'dose nuts' as well."
5) Be subjected to questions like the ones he was asked at the "Deflategate" press conference for a whole year.
"This has raised a lot of uncomfortable conversations for people around this country who view you as their idol. The question they’re asking themselves is, ‘What’s up with our hero?’ Can you answer right now, is Tom Brady a cheater?"
"What do you say to the skeptics that say, ‘The Patriots have had violations before. How can we possibly believe what Brady and the coach are saying now?’"
"Are you wondering if you've played with an under-inflated ball before?"
(I think the NFL has pretty much ensured this will happen no matter what.)
6) Sign him up for "Wife Swap."
Can you think of anything worse for Tom Terrific than making him trade in beautiful, skinny, spry wife Gisele for a dumpy house Frau from Iowa?
7) Dress him up in funny outfits and put him on national TV.
But wait! That already happened too. Voluntarily. And he owned it.
This on the other hand - yikes:
8) Assign him to bunk with Gronk.
No more solo suite in the hotel for Tommy boy on road games. Make him shack with Rob Gronkowski and all that goes with that. The ass-slappin'. The spiking of all his possessions. The incoherent trash talk. The inevitable parade of trashy 'hos. Brady would be studying his playbook; Gronk would be lighting his farts on fire. It would be the NFL's version of The Odd Couple.
(Sounds like a good idea for a pilot actually.)
9) Ensure he loses another Super Bowl to Eli Manning and the Giants.
On second thought no, that would be way too harsh.