Warrior Weekly: Dear Roger Goodell…


WSPN's Duncan Stephenson writes his weekly column discussing a relevant topic in sports.

Duncan Stephenson

This week, under unfortunate and unsuspected circumstances, I had no choice but to deviate from my standard “Warrior Weekly” format. There are no “WHS Sports, College Sports, and Pro Sports” this week, only a letter to the one and only, Roger Goodell.

Dear Roger,

Congrats man, you did it. You won. You finally defeated Tom Brady in the NFL’s grudge match against the New England Patriots, and it only took you a year and a half! I wish you could explain to me, to all of Patriots nation, and the whole country, why you feel it is just to convict Mr. Brady without a lick of hard evidence.

Please, enlighten me. I couldn’t possibly imagine how you would have acted if the player in question had been someone like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, or Sam Bradford. Would you suspend them for a quarter of the season? Strip their organizations of their 1st round draft picks? Dish out the largest team fine in NFL history? Maybe it’s just me, but I’m fairly certain that your decided punishments would have been different, and the entire process wouldn’t have been drawn out to a year and a half. Why? With all due respect, who cares about Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, or Sam Bradford? They’re your typical, run of the mill NFL quarterbacks, leading mediocre teams. Harshly punishing them would come off as an overly aggressive move. Tom Brady, on the other hand, is the face of the mighty New England Patriots. Quite possibly the most despised team in American Sports. Their ability to maintain excellence on the field over the past 15 years rubs people the wrong way.

Now, consider the fact that you, Roger Goodell, are hated almost as much as the Patriots themselves. A scary thought. Is it possible that you attempted to boost your own popularity by unfairly, and without sufficient evidence, dropping the hammer on the evil New England regime and Tom Brady? I think so. Your so called “evidence” against Brady is laughable. You hired one of the best attorneys in America, Ted Wells, to spearhead an investigation into whether or not the Patriots knew about the alleged deflation of footballs. Wells’ probe took three months, and in the end, all he could conjure up was that it was “more probable than not” that Brady and the Patriots were involved in the purposeful deflation of footballs. Really? That’s it? Nonetheless, you jumped at the opportunity to convict Brady and the Patriots in the public eye, and handed down one of the harshest punishments in recent NFL memory. All based on a private investigation that took over three months to conclude that Brady was “probably” aware of the alleged cheating.

A man who has done so much for your league deserves better than this. It isn’t fair that you scapegoat him in favor of your ego. This is the United States of America, a country where you are innocent until proven guilty. “More probable than not” sounds a bit short of proof to me. So, Roger, shame on you. You selfish, corrupt, and egocentric commissioner. Patriot Nation sees right through your devious intentions, and there is nothing we want more than to watch you hand Tom Brady the Lombardi Trophy following his team’s victory in Super Bowl 51.