New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks to the media at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 22, 2015 in Foxborough, Mass.
Photo by Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports/Reuters

Let Me Finish: What Tom Brady knew

Let me finish with this.  I had an uncle who, whenever someone left his wife and ran off with someone, or got caught stealing money from the shop, would offer an all-purpose incantation: “It’s like everything else.”

Some government screw-up gets unearthed.

 “It’s like everything else.”

 Somebody does a below-code job on a bridge and there’s a crash.

 “It’s like everything else.”

 It was hard to argue with my uncle because there was, on even a little examination, a common thread to all these stories.  It’s that people find ways to let down the system, let down society, let down “you,” the person who wants things to be like they’re supposed to be.

And so it is with the news that the star quarterback of the New England Patriots, the Super Bowl champs of the world, knew that some guy in equipment was letting enough air out of the football so he, Tom Brady, could get a better grip and throw a better pass. 

That our hero – to the extent he knew it was being done – knew that the game was – to whatever extent he was deflating the ball – being rigged.

Yes, as my uncle would be saying now.

 “It’s like everything else.”

 In other words, it’s just another case of people cheating the system, of getting theirs, at the expense of keeping the system honest.  Like cheating on your spouse, cheating on your taxes, embezzling on the company books.

Go ahead: say it doesn’t matter. 

But first, “Say it ain’t so.”  

Excuse me for living.  I’d just like to know if you did it.