tombradyI’ve come to this conclusion: Whatever you think about Tom Brady and the ball-deflation controversy, there is someone out there with an opinion 10 times crazier. That’s the beauty of a subject with a massive gray area … and things didn’t get any clearer with the language the NFL used in releasing its report on the controversy Wednesday:

Based on the evidence, it also is our view that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady [the quarterback for the Patriots] was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.

[Side note: "generally aware of the inappropriate activities ... involving the release of air" is how I will apologize for farts going forward].

The NFL is basically saying Brady did it, but they can only connect the dots with circumstantial evidence. A lot of QBs do it, apparently. Brady got caught (pretty much) and will likely get some sort of punishment. That’s fair. That’s how it works.

The real news in all of this is the HOT TAKES Christmas of sorts that it has created. Let’s take a spin through a few of the best:

From the Startribune.com comments section: “Tom Brady needs to be suspended for one year for cheating like Paul Hornung of the Packers was, and should never be allowed in the Hall of Fame like Pete Rose was.”

Probably too harsh? Probably.

From CBS’s Jon Heyman on Twitter:

A tepid joke, but still: comparing Bonds and Brady … pretty hot.

How about this USA Today headline: “Tom Brady cheated his way to a Super Bowl.” The piece that followed was somewhat more measured, but there might as well have been sparks flying out of the big type for the heat it was bringing.

On the other end is Brady’s dad, who is calling this “Framegate from the beginning.” Sir. Sir. Tom had his chance, but back in January he said his “feelings were hurt” by all of this. His credibility is gone, and he’s no choirboy in this.

Somewhere between suing the NFL for a billion dollars and giving Brady life in prison is where the correct answer is.

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