Over the past several months, the words “deflate” and “gate” have quite possibly become the most used words by New Englanders. Whether you are a New England Patriots fan, a sports fan or have simply tuned in to any major news media outlet since January, then you have been exposed to the Patriots and the seemingly never ending tale of deflate-gate.
The NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell have hit the Patriots with a $1 million fine, stripped them of multiple draft picks, and last but not least suspended Tom Brady, the lord and savior of New England football, for a stiff four games. It is now June and deflate-gate is still making headlines. Brady’s appeal of his suspension is yet to be addressed by commissioner Goodell.
If this situation plays out and Brady’s suspension stands for at least one game (which is likely), it means he will not be present at the Patriot’s home opener September 10th against the Pittsburg Steelers. More importantly, this means that Brady will not be in attendance for the raising of the Super Bowl XLIX banner at Gillette Stadium.
This brings up an interesting predicament for Patriot’s ownership. Do they raise the banner without their star quarterback in attendance or do they refuse to in an act of defiance against the NFL and their harsh punishment? This is interesting from a PR standpoint. The Patriots could use this situation to publicly stand up to the NFL and light a fire beneath their team and fan base, generating a wave of momentum that the team could ride through the season.
They will have to decide whether they want their public image to be that of an organization openly against the NFL and its commissioner, or as an organization that is in accordance with the league and its procedures. This will be a tough call for Patriots management, and anxious Pats fans have to wait to see how the deflate-gate saga ultimately plays out.
— John Alviti, Intern, Team Scott