Tom Brady has every right to be pissed off at his employer right about now.
For months, going on years, Robert Kraft and the Patriots’ brass have said that they’ve had Brady’s back during Deflategate. Kraft and the Pats continue to talk a big game, but they’ve routinely come up 2-3 yards short during the countless opportunities they’ve had to go full Al Davis on the league.
It’s cute that the Patriots had Brady’s No. 12 as their official team avatar over the summer (they don’t anymore, FYI), and it’s adorable that they raised that banner at Gillette with Brady’s face and put a No. 12 atop a lighthouse tower this past week. But none of these gestures are real, true protests of what will go down as the most unjustified suspension in the history of major North American professional sports.
Now, I get that outrage subsides over the course of time. Fans are certainly not as pissed off about Deflategate as they were 14 months ago and the Patriots have seemingly come to terms with the league suspending the face of the NFL for a quarter of a brief 16-game season. Yeah, some of that outrage will come back next week if Jimmy Garoppolo throws three picks and the Pats get blown out in Arizona this Sunday night. People will be screaming, “why is this happening again?!” But, make no mistake, fans and the Patriots have definitely become apathetic about all things flattened balls.
That needs to change in a hurry. Kraft and the Patriots absolutely need to show over the course of the next month that they truly have the back of the most important player in franchise history. They should play mind games with the league, fully expecting to be fined and fined a lot.
Here are a few ideas for Bobby K. and Co.:
- They should spraypaint the No. 12 – in black – in both end zones, minus the Patriots logo.
- They should have a sand painter create a giant portrait of Brady at the 50-yard line instead of the Patriots logo.
- They should wear No. 12 decals on their jerseys and helmets.
- All those other garbage NFL field logos that typically show up on TV (Kickoff 2016!) should be replaced with a black No. 12.
- Kraft should sit on a giant couch in the south end zone with Jastremski, McNally, Gisele and Tom Brady Sr. in all three home games at Gillette during the suspension.
- And most importantly, Garoppolo should include, “F*** Goodell!” in his play-call cadence throughout the game. (BLUE 42! … OMAHA! … 52’s the Mike! … F*** Goodell! … HUT!!!”)
The NFL’s in-the-bag TV partners will not care about the Brady No. 12 atop the lighthouse. They will not care about the giant Brady poster. Their cameras will be fixed on the field of play, and that is where the Patriots should go all out in protesting the suspension of the great No. 12.
Brady already cannot show his face at Gillette Stadium as this ridiculous suspension is underway. It would be really nice of the Krafts to finally do No. 12 a solid – no matter how much money they are fined by that insane red head in New York.