Tom Brady probably still has confetti in his hair.
After all, it’s been a whirlwind celebration after the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl on Sunday and had a huge parade in Boston on Wednesday.
Still, not everyone is impressed that Brady, the New England star quarterback, has led the Pats to four titles and won three Super Bowl MVPs.
Recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Charles Haley blasted Brady, saying he had to “cheat” to get his rings.
Haley – who won five Super Bowl rings (two with the 49ers and three with the Cowboys) – was asked to pick the all-time best quarterback in the NFL: Joe Montana or Brady.
Haley, who won two rings with Montana, went into attack mode.”Joe didn’t have to cheat,” Haley told the Talk of Fame Network. “I’ve lost all respect (for Brady). When your integrity is challenged in the game of football, to me, all his Super Bowls are tainted.”
You have to say this just didn’t happen overnight. Who wants that shadow lingering over them? I could be wrong, but I realize there were 12 balls deflated and 12 ain’t. Then you’ve got (Pats’ coach Bill) Belichick coming on three different times trying to explain it. … You know something is wrong.”
Haley is on the money.
And he’s only talking about Deflategate. Haley didn’t even get into SpyGate, where the Patriots were found guilty taping opponents’ defensive signals. A quarterback could benefit knowing a team’s defensive coverage ahead of time.
The bottom line remains either you cheat or you play by the rules. There’s no such things as cheating a little bit. Either you cheat or you don’t.
The evidence, so far, tells us that Brady’s Pats have cheated, and more than once. Hence, tainting Brady’s rings is fair game.
Haley isn’t the only one who feels this way. Most players and executives just won’t say it publicly. It’s because Brady is one of the NFL’s stars. Plus, if it comes from players or executives in the game currently, it may come off as jealousy or sour grapes because they haven’t won like Brady and the Pats.
Nonetheless, it’s hard to shake the fact that the Patriots have been branded as cheaters – again. They were found guilty in 2007 of recording opponents defensive signals. The NFL fined them big time (a total of $750,00) and took away a draft pick.
This time around, although the NFL hasn’t rendered a verdict yet, the Pats’ integrity has been called into question.
And this time, Brady, the league’s Golden Boy, is front and center. His word about not having any knowledge of what happened doesn’t play well. In fact, it stinks.
Not just with some fans, but even with former greats in the game. Even John Madden and Troy Aikman pointed the finger at Brady being involved. Those two have no hidden agenda.
And last Thursday at the Super Bowl in Arizona, Montana, a four-time Super Bowl winner and Brady’s boyhood idol, blamed Brady for this scandal.
“If I ever want a ball a certain way, I don’t do it myself. So, somebody did it for him,” Montana said to the media in Phoenix. “But I don’t know why everybody is making a big deal out of trying to figure out who did it. It’s pretty simple. If it was done, it was done for a reason. There is only one guy that does it. Nobody else cares what the ball feels like.”
It’s hard to ignore Aikman, Madden, Montana and now Haley. All have achieved at the highest level in the league.
“This is what Charles Haley believes – it’s going to come back to haunt him one day,” Haley said. “If the league doesn’t come down on this guy. … Everybody is talking about it. Nobody believes it was by accident. It is what it is.
“I’m not going to take any of his Super Bowl rings away from him. But it’s sad that it has to be tainted like it is right now. Hopefully, they’ll come out and let us know what really happened. Then the mystery is all gone.”
Brady missed a golden opportunity to come clean and be honest. He didn’t. That’s why everybody isn’t celebrating Brady.