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Letters for May 17

Brady, Patriots not above the league

Recently, it was reported that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Commissioner of the National Football League, considered New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s role in Deflategate a serious violation. The article went on to say, “the NFL is convinced that connecting all the dots of the evidence supplied by Ted Wells leads to one conclusion. Brady cheated.”

Let me remind everyone that this is the second offense of cheating for this team and/or its members.

So, this week Goodell suspended Brady for the first four games of the new season. Four games is not serious. Four games is a slap on the wrist. This was an American Football Conference Championship game.

Sure, the score was one-sided in favor of the Patriots, however, the outcome of the game is not the issue. What matters is that Brady cheated, then he tried to cover it up by lying. And, in a public on-stage appearance, a day or two after the Wells report was released, he appeared to make light of it. He just doesn’t get it. He needs to be made to understand, in no uncertain terms, that he is not bigger than the game. Only a season long suspension will accomplish this.”

And what of the Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick? He claims not to have known anything about this issue. However Saints head coach Sean Payton also said he didn’t know anything about his teams Bountygate scandal.

Yet Goodell, saying “ignorance is no excuse,” suspended Payton for an entire season. In all fairness, shouldn’t there be the same penalty for the same offense?

What’s the problem, Commissioner, are you afraid to offend your pal Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots?

Ron Martin


Deflategate actually much ado about nothing

Right at the top I want to say that I am not a Patriot or a Brady fan in any way. I do think that Brady is the best quarterback in football and I don’t mind seeing the Patriots suffering a setback. But, not in this manner.

Do the referees not handle the ball between every play, tossing, catching, and placing it on the field? Would they not have a feel for the ball?

Umpires examine baseballs before every game and toss out any ball for even being dirty. Pitchers spend time between every pitch rubbing dirt onto the ball. Baseball hitters get to customize their bats (and wear contact lenses which enhance performance).

Here’s the bottom line to the whole Deflategate fiasco. The Patriots would have won that game if they’d been playing with a goathead.

Dick Mauer


If Brady doesn’t play, pressure is on Bills

I’m disappointed that Tom Brady won’t be leading the Patriots in Game Two of the Bills season. It’s not that Brady didn’t deserve a four-game suspension. He clearly did by arrogantly and foolishly lying to the football world, his fans and the commissioner by saying he knew nothing about Deflategate.

I’m disappointed Brady won’t be there because I wanted to see how Rex Ryan’s new team stacked up against the best. There’s also the danger that the Pats could win with their stand-in quarterback. That would be embarrassing to Bills fans and deflate our expectations for the season. No pun intended.

Cheryl Cranston

West Seneca

Pats resorted to cheating to continue their run

The rules are there to create a level playing field for the participants. For Tom Brady to dismiss this as “gamesmanship” is ludicrous.

He plays on a team that is well documented for not playing within the rules, devoting time to come up with creative ways to circumvent them in an effort to gain unfair advantage.

To their credit, Brady and his organization have assembled a winning system. But, rather than going with that, they’ve chosen to guarantee its continuity by resorting to cheating.

Being a former high school coach, I not only resent their strategy, but question the morality it represents. How are we supposed to give our kids proper direction in life, when the role models under media scrutiny ignore the publicity and promote the justification of breached ethics to succeed?

Bob LaBarbera

Niagara Falls

Responsibility starts with the players

First, let me say I’m sorry about the death of Steve Montador. It is sad to lose someone so young and about to become a father too. It’s terrible.

That being said, I’m more than a little tired of people, including some in the media, trying to find a scapegoat for these deaths. It might be convenient that the NHL and NFL have the deepest pockets, but it’s time to get real.

Are you going to tell me that if you went to all the junior hockey teams or college football programs and laid out the potential problems of CTE all of these players would heed the warnings. Nonsense.

Say the NHL made helmet cages mandatory for all players. You know there would be an uproar from the players. Some play for the glory, the money, or because they have been “jocks” their entire lives and that is all they know how to do.

We are all held responsible, or at least should be, for the choices we make in life and it is about time to hold the athletes responsible for their choices. They earn an obscene amount of money for playing a game, yet they don’t want to accept responsibility for their own health or their off-field actions.

We’re always giving lip service to why we shouldn’t pamper athletes but then are quick to rationalize why someone else should be held responsible for their choices and actions. Some things never change.

Jeffrey Warda


Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240. Letters may also be sent via fax to 849-4587 or emailed to Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include name, hometown and a phone number for verification.