Watergate and Deflategate

This blog entry won’t be long since just about everyone in New England has offered their opinion on Tom Brady, the Patriots and the National Football League. What I will say is that one of the lasting lessons of the political crisis of the Nixon administration, commonly called Watergate, is that often the cover-up is more damning than the crime.

Breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee to steal documents was indeed a crime and low level crooks got arrested and did time. But the Watergate crisis occurred because President Nixon engaged in a cover-up by not releasing documents related to the case, told his underlings to engage in all sorts of legal and political maneuvers to stop the special prosecutor, and likely destroyed a Oval Office recording device that probably held incriminating conversations.

Nixon stonewalled, held fast to his arrogance of power, saw his tormentors as enemies, and in the end brought himself disgrace as he resigned from office.

That was 1974, but Deflategate has many similarities to Watergate – an unwillingness to cooperate with authorities, a refusal to hand over phone texts, outright lies to the press, the prosecutor, the public, and a view that the Patriots are somehow above reproach and deserve to be treated in a special manner.

Sure the PSI of the football is to most fans insignificant ( that really had no impact on the outcome of the game) and Tom Brady is the best quarterback in football ( and a football god in these parts). But when faced with allegations of actions that gave the Patriots a competitive edge during a championship game, what did the all-American hero do? He engaged in a modern day cover-up filled with lies, half truths; he refused to cooperate with the NFL; and  he revealed an arrogant attitude born from the view that he and the Patriots were above the rules. Luckily for Tom Brady, he only got a four game suspension, the team lost two draft picks and owner Bob Kraft, a billionaire, has to pay a million dollar fine. Remember for his cover-up Nixon lost the presidency.

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