Week 1 of “Deflategate” had the Patriots playing defense. Now that we’re less than a week away from the Super Bowl, it’s clear their strategy has shifted. They’re ready to play offense with this story of underinflated footballs.
Quarterback Tom Brady set the tone on his radio program Monday morning with a classic move: turning himself into the victim. He’s going to be the bigger person and move past this evil NFL investigation because that’s what bigger people do.
“I personalized a lot of things and thought this was all about me and my feelings got hurt,” Brady said on WEEI.
Like another famous football player who was in a far more serious situation, Brady vows to get to the bottom of this. But now is not the time, he said. It’s time to focus on the Super Bowl.
“I’ll have my opportunity to try to figure out what happened and figure out a theory like everyone else is trying to do,” Brady said. “But this isn’t the time for that, and honestly I’m not interested in trying to find out right now because we have the biggest game of our season ahead.”
We can’t say we blame Brady for this strategy of shifting the narrative and claiming to be the victim. You see this all the time from high-profile folks accused of wrongdoings, regardless of whether they turn out to be guilty, innocent or somewhere in between.
If you can go beyond merely planting the seed of doubt that you did something wrong and actually have people believe that the real wrong is being perpetrated on you … why wouldn’t you at least give it a shot?
The NFL, in particular, is in a vulnerable position with fans after the way this season played out. “Typical NFL hogwash” is how one ESPN commenter describes all of this. Build up your credibility by being the victim and tearing down your accuser. Whether the Patriots are ultimately guilty or not, someone is advising Brady and co. very well.