Our President has established...or perhaps I do him a disservice and he simply reflects...an attitude in the country where no one is ever responsible or suffers consequences for anything. The NFL for some reason never had officials in total control of Game Balls. Seems like an oversight to me. And not a particularly egregious one, but an error nonetheless.
But that error was discovered last year in a manner that threatened to bring mirth and derision down on the league for failing to oversee one of the most critical tools of the game...the ball. What to do? What to do! For some inane reason, "Our Bad! We'll fix it!" did not come to their collective minds. Instead, they focused on how to blame someone...anyone...else. Who could they possibly put on the hot seat that already had erred in the past (ala the guy who already has a record so everyone will certainly believe that he transgressed again)...Hello, New England Patriots.
The League made a bunch of assumptions (always a really bad beginning for any action): 1) that the "under pressure" was deliberate; 2) that the staff of the New England Patriots reduced the pressure; and 3) that Brady both knew and condoned it. Of course, there is no proof of any this.
If you inflate balls indoors, with warm air, and then take them outside into winter or late fall weather, the air pressure goes down. That is why we have to re-inflate our auto tires in the late fall and winter. If the balls were inflated indoors to the lower legal limit called for in the rules, as soon as they were taken out to the field, that pressure would drop. No rules were broken. The League didn't have any provision requiring or even suggesting that the officials check ball pressure prior to or during a game. Is that New England's fault? I have no recollection of anyone proving that any ball-boy or anyone else on the Patriot's staff did anything with the ball pressure. Did any confess? If so, I missed that headline.
Finally, I have 5 friends who played Quarterback at various levels, up to and including top University teams. All of them say that they could not tell pressure in a ball: a ball they liked in cold weather sometimes turned out to have higher air pressure than another that they did not like.
As a side note, some point out that Brady "destroyed" his phone when he got a new one. Well, he had given the league the emails that he thought had anything to do with the matter before, and he was fully aware of how easy it is to get data off any electronic device even when you think you have erased it, so his decision to completely destroy his phone after he had gotten a new one seem like good common sense to me...and I am not a star subject to a desire of many to know the most insignificant details of my life. He did a smart thing.
So...this action by the National Football League is not about Justice, ...or Punishment...as much as it is about their desire to save face and direct attention away from their failure to supervise game balls properly to someone or something else...and it was the New England Patriots turn to be in the barrel.