Deflategate is finally over (kind of…please…please be over).
The story of Tom Brady and deflated balls spanned 8 months and almost took control of the NFL off-season – if you were following the NFL, you knew about Deflategate.
A huge part of a story like this is the creative, funny and, often, crazy reactions from a little place we all know and love: The Internet. With each development in the story, a new wave of memes, videos and jokes were filling up Twitter timelines.
No matter which side of the debate you were on; there was always something to laugh about. Among all the accusations, claims, lies, suspensions and appeals the world always maintained a light-hearted side to the story – almost making the last 8 football-lacking months bearable.
So, as much as we want this to be over, let’s take one last trip down memory lane and relive the extraordinary events of Deflategate with the help of some of the best creations the Internet has to offer.
January – The Accusations
The story begins following the Patriots victory over the Colts in the AFC Championship game.
Accusations are made that the Patriots used deflated footballs, an investigation begins and all eyes are on Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots organisation.
The Pats went on defence whilst the Internet fired up the offence:
Could two of the “NFL greats” be cheating their way to victory?! The reputations of Brady and Belichick were firmly on the line. Their relationship was an easy target…
This wasn’t the first time the Patriots had been accused of attempting to gain a competitive advantage over their opponents (Spy-gate, a famous example)
The controversy followed the Patriots through the build up to their Super Bowl matchup against the Seahawks…
…and Russell Wilson wasn’t the only Wilson in the spotlight
February – The Super Bowl
The Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl but Deflategate didn’t fade away as investigations continued – the new Lombardi Trophy design didn’t help matters
May – The Suspension
Tedd Wells finishes his investigation into Deflategate and his report concludes: “more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls”.
The Patriots and their fans were on the defence against the report
But “more probable” was deemed good enough by the NFL so punishments were handed out, including a 4 game suspension for Tom Brady
The suspension was celebrated by some…
…but the Patriots and, most importantly, Brady continued to defend themselves against the claims
The Patriots had to deal with the possibility of missing their star QB for the first 4 games of the 2015 season
June – The Appeal
Tom Brady makes an appeal against the 4 game suspension. During his hearing a fairly normal courtroom portrait sketch was released…
DeflateGate is turning into a real thriller pic.twitter.com/KmY3Xv2Bej
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) August 12, 2015
September – Overturned
Tom Brady wins his appeal and the judge overturns the 4 game suspension laid out by Roger Goodell
Tom Brady wins another tough battle with some help on defence… pic.twitter.com/bzM6USrHLL
— TheRedshirtFreshman (@thersfreshman) September 3, 2015
HEY RAWDJAH pic.twitter.com/r3hsQDrRi1
— Mike Tunison (@xmasape) September 3, 2015
Come at me, Go(odell). pic.twitter.com/rTiHnMNxbG
— Eric Orvieto (@eorvieto) September 3, 2015
Brady is overjoyed…
…whilst the NFL regret their choices
That is how the story ends. A truly epic tale…
Tom Brady’s free pic.twitter.com/Ga9Emahngn
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 3, 2015