Goodell, Brady have damaged reputations, need to settle

As is often the case when two people hate each other, Roger Goodell and Tom Brady have a lot more in common than they probably realize or would care to admit: 1) They’re both obstinate and believe they can do no wrong: 2) They’re both wrong.

Goodell and Brady, with each probably burning holes in the other with fiery glares Wednesday, met in a settlement hearing in a New York court room. There was no settlement, but also no casualties. U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman urged both sides to reach a settlement over the “DeflateGate” matter because otherwise he would to it for them, leaving at least one party unhappy (and most likely both).

“I think there are varying strengths to both sides here,” he said.

He’s right. Goodell and Brady need to settle and get this over with because it has lasted for an absurd length of time. The story of Brady allegedly throwing intentionally under inflated footballs broke seven months ago following the AFC title game between New England and Indianapolis in January. It’s not quite the length of the Watergate investigation but it’s moving in that direction.

Goodell, using his unilateral super powers, has suspended Brady for the first four games of the seasons. I’m guessing that will be reduced. It should be. Here’s why:

• WHY GOODELL NEEDS TO CAVE: He’s the man. He knows he’s the man. The CBA appears to make him the man in every way possible. Problem is he hasn’t looked good at various stages of this process and this is after he looked very bad in the Ray Rice case. Goodell seemingly hasn’t taken responsibility for ESPN being leaked false information for a report that stated 11 of the Patriots’ 12 footballs’ in the AFC title game were under inflated by two PSI (which proved to be an overstatement). It’s logical to assume the commissioner also is holding “Spygate” and other instances of the Patriots coloring outside the lines against them. And, well, he doesn’t like when people are less than honest with him – ask Michael Vick -- and Brady certainly has come off as less than honest.

• WHY BRADY NEEDS TO CAVE: He cheated. Of course he cheated. I don’t care if the Wells’ investigation was financed by the NFL, nor do I care if that one ESPN report was wrong. There’s certainly enough evidence to suggest Brady ordered that air be taken out of footballs, most notably in the text message exchange between two Patriots employees  that is contained in the Wells’ report. Is this the worst offense in the sports world? No. But as we’ve learned, the lying and the cover-up often are worse than the crime. Had Brady said from the outset, “I did it,” or even maintained that he didn’t fully understand the rule but admitted some measure of culpability, it wouldn’t have gotten nearly this far. He might not have even been suspended. So what is he protecting? His legacy, of course. His ego is getting in the way of clear rational thought. But the best way for Brady to limit further damage is to end this and agree to a settlement.

Reducing the suspension to two games seems fair. NFL players have been suspended four games for far worse things than deflating footballs.

Goodell and Brady both need to repair their images. A settlement would be a good place to start.

This is still the most entertaining thing to come out of "DeflateGate"

Recent Typings
MyAJC: Falcons' fortunes will tip on finding a pass rush
AJC: Dimitroff says Falcons not interested in Rice or Smith (for now)
MyAJC: Smoltz finally reunited with Glavine, Maddux
AJC: Digi-Blog goes to Cooperstown...
My AJC: John Smoltz did it right and did it clean
MyAJC: How Detroit landed John Smoltz -- and then blew it with him
MyAJC: Smoltz's drive carried in baseball -- but not hockey or comedy
AJC: Julio Teheran trade rumors make no sense
MyAJC: For FSU, Jimbo Fisher, perception is reality
AJC: Will Frank Beamer be next coach to get 'Bowden treatment'?
MyAJC: Tech went 11-3 but Paul Johnson warns to keep expectations in check
AJC: Swofford, ACC should get more involved with domestic violence issues
AJC: Fredi Gonzalez gets extension, and needs to make most of it
MyAJC: John Hart: I never made promises we were built to win
AJC: Hart said Gonzalez has been 'really good' in Braves' tough situation
AJC: Hart says Freeman may not return before August
MyAJC: Reflecting on Braves' deals: Were they worth it?
AJC: Thoughts on Braves' first half, including Gonzalez and Bethancourt
MyAJC: As trade deadline approaches, Braves' fans should prepare for nothing
AJC: Braves may have found something in Manny Banuelos
AJC: Hawks add Splitter, re-sign Millsap but had to let Carroll go (updated)
AJC: On Miller's struggles, Braves' losing and Gonzalez's feeling of support
MyAJC: Fredi Gonzalez says he feels supported by management

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author

Jeff Schultz
Jeff Schultz
Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.