By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — As the NFL tries doggedly to ensnare the Patriots in a full-fledged controversy, the league may be incidentally making the Patriots a stronger football team.READ MORE: Green Line Trolley Driver Facing Charges For July Crash
At least, that’s part of the takeaway from Tom Brady’s recent comments on the matter, which he delivered to Jim Gray in their Monday night radio interview. Gray asked Brady about “Spygate 2,” the incident involving a Patriots camera operator breaking an NFL rule by filming the Cincinnati sideline while working on a video feature that spotlighted the advanced scout attending that Bengals game. Specifically, Gray asked Brady is the ongoing investigation is weighing on him or his teammates.
“Well for me, I pretty much put it out of my mind. I’ve not thought about it since I heard about it,” Brady said. “And I think a lot of people are making a lot of nothing.”
That’s a line that is certain to get noticed at 345 Park Avenue (once the bigwigs all return from their presumably lengthy holiday breaks), as the NFL has not been exactly known to go lightly on Brady or the Patriots when it comes to issuing punishments. And with the NFL reportedly “showing frustration” that the Patriots’ explanation actually checks out, a comment like that is sure to increase the frustration levels at NFL HQ.READ MORE: CDC Advisers Recommend Who Can Get Booster Shots Of Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine
Additionally, Brady seemed to suggest that many Patriots, having already been run through the wringer with DeflateGate, know exactly what is happening. Brady seemed to suggest that if the NFL decides to wage war, the Patriots won’t let them win.
“That’s the reality for our team. We’re thinking about other things. We’re trying to focus on winning games. As a player, it’s my job to go out there and do the best job I can do and eliminate distractions,” Brady said. “A lot of people are trying to make this a distraction for us, and we’re not going to allow that to happen.”
Of course, Brady has some history in that department. After the Spygate scandal lit the football world on fire in Week 1 of the 2007 season, the Patriots authored the first-ever 16-0 regular season and came as close as can be to making it a perfect 19-0 season. After getting accused by resentful opponents of deflating footballs, the Patriots won the Super Bowl and then won two more, as Brady himself has undergone a late-career renaissance during which he played arguably the best football of his Hall of Fame career.MORE NEWS: Salem Haunted Tour Is Most Booked Experience Of Fall, According To Tripadvisor
The current situation turning into a full-blown scandal would seem to be unlikely, considering the footage is far from incriminating. But, well, those of us here in New England know that we really can’t put anything past the league. In any event, if the league decides to tap into its warmongering ways, the Patriots appear to be prepared.