The Slatest

This Is Not a Joke: Deflategate Could Actually Go to the Supreme Court

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots reacts after a play in the first half of the 2015 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 18, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. 

Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

A federal court denied Tom Brady’s appeal for a new hearing on his four-game Deglategate suspension on Wednesday, meaning the next and only remaining step for the New England Patriots quarterback is to take his appeal to the Supreme Court.

Cue collective nationwide groans from every football fan everywhere.

The aging and no longer remotely interesting Deflategate case, in which Brady was suspended for his part in an alleged plot to deflate footballs, apparently to make them easier to grasp and throw, has been dragging on since the cheating charges first surfaced after the 2015 AFC Championship game in January of that year. So for more than 18 freaking months.


In September 2015, Brady won an appeal against the NFL in federal court, which ruled that Brady did not receive due process. The decision effectively overturned the four-game suspension and Brady was eligible to play the full 2015-2016 season. But then in April 2016, after an appeal brought by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, a three-judge panel from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the suspension.

Now that Brady’s request for a new hearing by the full 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has been rejected, he’s running out of options. If he accepts this ruling and is suspended, he’ll miss a quarter of Pats’ regular season and backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will start those four games. Deflategate will be over, for better or worse—mainly worse—and we can all finally stop talking about it (ahem, Ben Affleck, Bill Simmons). If he decides to try and drag this fight to the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, save us all.