Joe Montana pins blame for ‘Deflategate’ on Tom Brady
Joe Montana essentially stated it is his belief that if there’s anyone behind the entire “Deflategate” scandal, it can only be one person: Tom Brady.
According to Montana, there’s only one individual who would be allowed to authorize the manipulation of game balls, and that person is the quarterback.
“If I ever want a ball a certain way, I don’t do it myself,” Montana said, via the Boston Globe, following a promotional appearance for Papa John’s. “So, somebody did it for him.
“But I don’t know why everybody is making a big deal out of trying to figure out who did it. It’s pretty simple. If it was done, it was done for a reason.”
The NFL Hall of Famer is Tom Brady’s boyhood idol — the New England Patriots quarterback on Thursday posted a photograph of himself dressed up as Montana to Facebook — so the unflattering opinion of one of his football heroes may sting for Brady a bit.
The four-time Super Bowl champion wasn’t interested in Bill Belichick’s protestations or Brady’s vehement denials that they had anything to do with the under-inflation of the footballs during the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. Montana essentially argued that determining who would benefit most will lead to the culprit … not necessarily the individual who literally deflated the footballs, but who was the mastermind behind the entire scheme.
“I mean, it’s easy to figure out who did it,” said Montana. “Did Tom do it? No, but Tom likes the balls that way, obviously, or you wouldn’t have 11 of them that way without him complaining, because as a quarterback, you know how you like the ball. If it doesn’t feel like that, something is wrong.”
Montana did, however, blast the NFL’s rules regarding how balls have to be within strict inflation parameters.
“It’s a stupid thing to even be talking about because they shouldn’t have the rule anyway,” he said. “If you want to see the game played at the best, everybody has a different grip, everybody likes a different feel.”
Despite his belief that Brady was behind the events that spawned Deflategate, he nevertheless admires the Patriots quarterback and said that the scandal doesn’t diminish Brady’s accomplishments or tarnish his legacy.
“The guy is a great quarterback,” he said. “There is a category that people like to say, ‘the greatest to ever play,’ he is definitely in that category. But I think it’s hard to put anybody up there, no matter who it might be … Tom obviously is having a tremendous career.”
As noted, for Brady to hear that his boyhood idol believes he was behind it all likely will be disappointing news to Brady, to say the least. Brady said earlier this week that when it comes to being compared to the all-time greats like Montana, he doesn’t “ever see myself on that level.”
Regarding whether the outcome of Super Bowl XLIX will have any affect on Brady’s legacy, Montana said the Patriots quarterback’s career speaks for itself.
“Can it get any better? The guy is already playing at the top of the level of anybody else,” he said. “I think a win is great for him, but I think if he loses, I don’t think it matters to his legacy at all. The guy has won three and been here six times.”
(photo credit: Kirby Lee-USA Today Sports)