The NFL boot-lickers have come out in force in favor of Ted Wells’ claim that Tom Brady did not properly cooperate in his investigation of low-pressure footballs used by the Patriots in the first half of the AFC title game.

The issue was Brady’s unwillingness to turn over a personal cell phone and e-mails from a private account to Wells. The boot-lickers have joined the cry that Wells and the NFL have a full right to engage in such invasions of personal property in investigating the conduct of club employees and players.

Pro Football Talk and the rest of the house organs for the NFL figure that Brady and his advisers should have taken Wells’ assurance that all he was interested in were texts and e-mails concerning the footballs.

“If he doesn’t have anything to hide, why would he not turn over the texts and e-mails?’’ has been the din from the house organs and much of the anti-Patriots public.

Real simple: Privacy.

That’s why you don’t use a cell phone issued by an employer. That’s why you pay $100 a month – or in Brady’s case, presumably much more for security – for your own cell phone.

Other than a request from police in a criminal matter, or a subpoena, it’s no one’s gol-darn business what is on a private cell phone or e-mail account. Wells and the NFL don’t have subpoena power, so Brady was fully righteous in telling those parties to take a hike.

It is preposterous the NFL now can make the fascist-like leap that Brady can receive extra punishment for not providing Wells with private texts or e-mails. Roger Goodell isn’t god, even if Pro Football Talk and the rest of the slobbering lap dogs think that’s so in cases like this.

Yes, but Goodell has to protect “The Shield.’’ The next time I hear that, honest to Thomas Jefferson, I’m going to throw up.

How about protecting the bald eagle and what it stands for? How much easier can it be: I don’t have to show you my records from my private cell phone and e-mails from my private account unless you’re a cop or you are carrying a subpoena.

We keep hearing this from the house organs and lap dogs:

“Obviously, there was no competitive advantage for Brady and the Patriots, since they were much more dominant in the second half vs. the Colts when footballs were used that were inflated to specifications – and as obviously, by the manner in which Brady played in the Super Bowl, also with 'legal' footballs.

BUT, the fact the low-pressure footballs didn’t affect the competition isn’t the point … it’s that Ted Wells has investigated and decided that, in all likelihood, Brady tried to cheat.’’

Fair enough. That’s covered in the NFL rules. Teams tampering with footballs are subject to a $25,000 fine or more.

OK, double it, since it was a playoff game … make it $50,000.

Actually, I can’t wait for the NFL to suspend Brady for multiple games, citing failure to cooperate, and have Brady and his legal team – I’m hearing Denny Crane and Alan Shore might be on the case – take it to Federal court.

Can’t win there?

I’m guessing the case would start in Boston and, if appealed, it would be to the First District Court of Appeals, also in Boston. Tom Brady vs. his tormenters on Tom’s home field ... I like his chances to hand a precedent-setting defeat to the NFL and its Mussolini-like tactics in the name of The Shield.

Wish I hadn’t used that. I just lost my breakfast.

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