Call it a global catharsis of sorts for friends and enemies of Tom Brady. Deflategate finally reached its coda on Thursday morning and the internet breathed a protracted sigh of relief. Deflategate established itself as the unrelenting hangover of the 2014 NFL season long ago and, upon learning that a federal judge lifted Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, social media users finally found their long awaited hair of the dog. Most of the tweets — whether they were in Brady’s camp or somewhere else in the vast ether of sports fandom, dealt with the news by spreading a bit of levity.
ESPN shared some great tweets, including a Vine posted by the company’s SportsCenter account lampooning the internet’s reaction to Brady’s reinstatement.
Here’s what the Internet looked like when Tom Brady news broke. https://t.co/xJMKBinlvj
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 3, 2015
One fan posted a snapshot of a Dunkin’ Donuts in Lewiston, Maine, at which the shop’s management expressed undying gratitude for the judge who ruled in the Deflategate case. Tom Brady may or may not get some donuts out of this deal yet.
— Stacey Pacheco (@pachecostacey) September 3, 2015
Twitter users also revisited an unusual courtroom sketch that went viral last week, adding a new twist on the unique rendering of the Pats quarterback.
Tom Brady gets the news about his suspension being overruled. pic.twitter.com/CkqDSJu5Of
— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) September 3, 2015
Wrestling fans likely appreciated a WWE-themed video clip in which the faces of Tom Brady and Roger Goodell were pasted over CM Punk and Vince McMahon. The scene harkens back to an angle in 2011 in which Punk forced McMahon to apologize after the WWE Chairman “suspended” his star wrestler. It works on so many levels, really.
— Frank The Clown (@FrankWWEClown) September 3, 2015
Even tire manufacturer Michelin got in on the online revelry, tying Deflategate to its line of products with a decidedly tongue-in-cheek rib on virtually everyone involved.
— Michelin USA (@MichelinUSA) September 3, 2015
Instagram users were just as cheeky with their reactions to the end of Deflategate. Tom Brady and Roger Goodell were prominent fixtures of Photoshopped memes and other off-the-cuff silliness.
Of course, not everyone was exactly thrilled with the resolution of Deflategate. Tom Brady’s many detractors have been quick to point out that the football star has been embroiled in a number of controversies during his career, and yet he always emerges smelling like the proverbial rose. But while rumors abound that the present scandal has put a strain Brady in his private life — including speculation that his marriage to Giselle Bündchen is on the rocks — the NFL star is free to move on with his career. There’s no doubt that he’ll face a lot of tough challenges on and off the field in the months to come, but from here on out Tom Brady’s old foe Deflategate will only endure as a footnote in sports almanacs and history books.
[Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]