The NFL may not have found absolute proof that Tom Brady cheated by using under-inflated footballs, but yesterday's report suggesting that he did is already doing bad things to his reputation. A sampling:
- Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe: It was a "bad day for the Patriots," and an "especially bad day" for Brady, he writes. "It stretches all believability to conclude that he had nothing to do with this. And it damages his hard-earned legacy across America."
- Juliet Macur, New York Times: "Is it now up for debate whether he is one of the greatest quarterbacks ever?" asks Macur, and the answer plays off language from the NFL report: "More probable than not."
- Mike Freeman, Bleacher Report: "Go ahead, Patriots fans. Blame the media. Blame me. Blame Roger Goodell. Blame it on a rogue ball boy. Blame it on the Colts. Blame whomever you want. But most rational people, most people who don't have a horse in this race, will blame Brady, as we should. Because Tom Brady lied."
- Adam Kilgore, Washington Post: "Brady’s historic place as a quarterback should remain stable, because to say otherwise would make the mistake of conflating morals and athletic achievement. The enhanced grip matters, yes, but it is not responsible for Super Bowl rings and 4,000-yard passing seasons." Still, it's clear now that he's "a liar," and "what remains of Brady's golden reputation just disappeared."
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