Leading Off

‘Deflategate’ ends argument over Joe Montana and Tom Brady legacies

Joe Montana watches Game 5 of the World Series at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014.
Joe Montana watches Game 5 of the World Series at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

This, that and the other thing:

▪ Before we heard the word “Deflategate,” Tom Brady’s ticket to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, already had been punched. He’s a four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, matching his boyhood hero, Joe Montana. He’s also a three-time Super Bowl MVP and two-time NFL MVP – just like Montana. But now that a league investigation has found enough evidence that Brady knew the New England Patriots’ footballs had been intentionally deflated before last season’s AFC Championship Game, the debate over who will be remembered as the greatest between Brady and Montana is settled – no matter how many Super Bowl trophies Brady and the Patriots win. Montana is the greatest Super Bowl quarterback. Period.

▪ If the majority of the Baseball Writers Association of America won’t vote Barry Bonds into the Baseball Hall of Fame, why should Brady be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after he was found as an accessory to cheating? Bonds never tested positive for steroids and was never suspended by Major League Baseball. All the evidence against Bonds – enlarged head, hulking muscles and mood swings – was circumstantial. Brady has been slapped with a four-game suspension and labeled a cheater by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Brady once was a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but it’ll be interesting to see how he will be remembered after he retires.

▪ What is most astonishing about “Deflategate” is that it was so unnecessary. Why did Brady feel the need to cheat to beat the Colts? Brady and the Patriots could have used a half-pint milk carton filled with dirt and rocks and beaten them. As it was, the Patriots beat Indy 45-7 – using regulation footballs in the second half.

▪ Not allowing NFL investigators to scroll through his cellphone text messages was Brady’s right to privacy. But ultimately, the NFL said, his failure to cooperate fully was one of the biggest reasons he was suspended. If he didn’t have anything to hide, why not turn over his cellphone?

Victor Contreras: (916) 326-5527, @sacbeevictor

Playbook

WHAT TO WATCH

NBA playoffs, Houston at Los Angeles Clippers, 7:30 p.m., TNT: The Rockets look to force Game 7.

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ON THIS DATE

May 14, 2004: The Kings can’t get on track offensively and lose 86-74 to the Minnesota Timberwolves to fall behind 3-2 in a Western Conference semifinal. The Kings would lose in seven games.

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