By Ron Borges
Talk of Fame Network
In the opinion of the greatest quarterback New England ever produced, “Deflategate’’ is the most overblown story in football history.
So says Doug Flutie, launcher of the most famous pass completion in college football history and a guy who admits he was always someone searching for an edge himself during his 21-year professional football career…just like everyone else in the NFL.
“With all the crap that goes on in the NFL, with all the things that go on, one pound of pressure in the ball, all this attention?’’ Flutie told The Talk of Fame Network. “I don’t get it. I honestly don’t get it.
“There’s people wearing illegal cleats. There’s people wearing illegal pads. There’s people who put silicon on their jerseys as offensive linemen. I guarantee you everyone who’s in the Hall of Fame as an offensive lineman before 1990, 1995ish, put silicone on their jerseys. Guarantee it.
“Guys in the days of stickum. I still sprayed my hands with Tuf-Skin or stickum or something in cold weather to get a tackiness to my hand to grab the ball. That’s illegal. There’s a thousand little things players do all the time. That’s not saying Tom did it intentionally. I don’t know. I’m not saying he did it. I’m saying even if he did do it, it’s not a big deal.’’
Long retired from a Hall-of-Fame career in the Canadian Football League and as a Pro Bowl quarterback during his 12 years in the NFL, Flutie has watched in amazement as “Deflategate’’ expanded more and more out of proportion until it has, quite literally, turned into a federal case.
That case will likely be ruled upon by Judge Richard Berman soon, it seems, because neither the NFL nor the NFLPA, the union fighting Brady’s four-game suspension, are anywhere near reaching a settlement despite the heartfelt urging of Berman to find one.
In Flutie’s opinion, if Brady is suspended for a pound of air pressure somehow having escaped from a football, it is patently absurd. There are, he says, far more nefarious and even dangerous things going on in the NFL affecting performance and the outcome of games than the air pressure of a football.
“Guys that test positive for performance enhancing drugs -- that’s a lot more of a violation than a pound of pressure in a ball,’’ Flutie said. “(But) that gets forgotten. It’s in the papers for a day and forgotten about. I don’t get it. It’s because it’s Tom Brady.’’
That part, at least, doesn’t surprise Flutie because he believes Brady is not only the finest quarterback of his era, but the finest quarterback of any era. As the slogan goes, “simply the best’’ comes immediately to mind when Flutie thinks about Brady.
“I just think that Tom’s the greatest quarterback that’s ever played the game,’’ Flutie said. “I spent one year with Tom. He’s at a different level.
“He’s at a different level mentally and (with) his physical skills of accuracy with the football and putting it where he wants to put it. The only time I’ve ever seen him inaccurate is when he’s got an injury, and nobody knows about it.’’
Clearly, New England’s greatest quarterback is fully behind the greatest quarterback ever to play in New England. And that’s playing with whatever amount of air anyone cares to put inside a football.