While the so-called “Deflategate” scandal has led to calls in the sports media and among NFL fans to ban the New England Patriots from Sunday’s Super Bowl game — or at least to suspend Tom Brady, the Patriots future Hall of Fame quarterback, who according to his accusers ordered game footballs illegally doctored — Brady has a message for all of those people.
Don’t hold your breath.
According to Brady in interviews conducted just six days before he plays in the sixth Super Bowl of his storied career, investigators from the National Football League have not even contacted him about their investigation.
And he does not expect that they will, at least until Super Bowl XLIX is in the books.
As any football fan — or anyone who watches the monologues by late night TV comedians, or Saturday Night Live — has been made acutely aware over the past eight days, the NFL is looking into allegations that the Patriots played the January 18 AFC Championship Game, in which they easily defeated the Indianapolis Colts 45-7, using illegally under-inflated footballs.
By using slightly deflated footballs, critics of the Patriots charge that New England gained a competitive advantage by making the balls somewhat easier for Brady to grip and control — though few if any commentators have suggested that such an advantage, if it even existed, had any impact on the outcome of the game.
While the NFL has said it is conducting a serious investigation into the allegations, the man at the center of the storm says he hasn’t heard a peep out of the league yet.
“I believe they’re going to do after the season, so we’ll deal with it after this game,” Brady told ESPN in an interview Sunday.
In a separate Boston radio interview Monday morning, Brady said that the allegations against him and the New England Patriots at first caused him some emotional turmoil, and that his “feelings got hurt,” but he has since put the controversy behind him.
“I personalized a lot of things and thought this was all about me, and my feelings got hurt. Then I moved past it, because it’s not serving me,” Brady told the radio station. “What’s serving me is try to prepare for the game ahead. I’ll deal with whatever happens later. I’ll have my opportunity to try to figure out what happened and figure out a theory like everyone else is trying to do. But this isn’t the time for that.”
Tom Brady added that he knows the closer his New England Patriots get to Super Bowl Sunday, when they will face the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks in the biggest football game of the year, he will continue to be hit with media questions about Deflategate — but don’t expect any more answers out of him, he said, adding it would be “just is a lot of wasted energy for me to talk about it more and more and more.”