The public weighed in with ‘Deflategate’ judge before ruling

Published 9:04 am Thursday, September 10, 2015

NEW YORK — A judge who lifted New England quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game “Deflategate” suspension last week got plenty of advice from the public before he ruled, including from a Nevada teacher who said her sixth graders thought Brady would be “plain stupid” if he couldn’t tell balls were deflated after touching a football “a million times.”

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman put more than a dozen letters into the case record Wednesday, thanking each writer and apologizing for a delay in responding to football fans including a doctor, a lawyer and a teacher.

It’s unlikely the letters had any effect on his decision last week to lift Brady’s suspension and criticize the league for its handling of the “Deflategate” investigation and disbursement of penalties after balls were discovered improperly deflated during New England’s 45-7 trouncing of the Indianapolis Colts in January’s AFC title game.

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The judge did not cite them in his formal written ruling as he described documents he read before deciding the dispute.

As might be expected, letters originating from states in New England urged Berman to lift a suspension that was supposed to begin with Thursday’s opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“This whole controversy has been totally blown out of proportions through an unintelligent society and fan base biased against the Patriots,” wrote John Homer Hikory of Windsor, Vermont.