BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota -- Though the Deflategate sage may have indicated something else, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said on Wednesday that he believes the success the Patriots have had is good for the league and its fans.
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This year's Super Bowl-week presser for Goodell was the first time in four years that he wasn't asked a question that was somehow related to Deflategate. Asked instead about New England's relative dominance when it comes to Super Bowl appearances and championships, the commissioner explained that their consistency is something to behold.
"It’s really remarkable," he said, "that they’re going for their third Super Bowl in four years in this kind of a system, where keeping that group together, changing whatever they need to change, whether it’s players or coaches, they do that in a way and still create success.
"I just marvel at that. I think our other clubs marvel at that. I think fans marvel at that."
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For the NFL, having the Patriots back in the Super Bowl, and having a variety of non-playoff clubs from 2016 back in the playoffs this year -- the Jags, Bills, Titans, Eagles, Vikings, Rams, Saints and Panthers were all back in -- represents all that the league is shooting for.
"I think the balance of having new teams with having teams that continue to find ways to win is a great thing for the NFL," Goodell said. "And I think it’s a great thing for our fans, so you can continue to win, and there are also teams that can surprise you. That’s what makes our game special."
The biggest takeaway from the "Tom vs. Time" documentary series that premiered on Facebook Thursday?
Tom Brady keeps a copy of the letter from the NFL informing him of his four-game Deflategate suspension handed down by commissioner Roger Goodell.
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“It’s a nice way to remember,” Brady says as he pulls the letter from his 2016 binder. He looks directly into the camera and says, "Thank you."
The 15-minute Episode 1 of the six-part, behind-the-scenes look at the Patriots quarterback became available on Facebook Watch Thursday:
S1:E1 The Physical Game
Coming off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is already looking ahead to next season. This premiere episode offers an intimate look inside Tom's unique, well honed training process - and his drive for perfection - heading into the 2017 NFL season.Posted by Tom vs Time on Thursday, January 25, 2018
Another highlight is Brady seething as he and his wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, drive home from the Patriots season-opening loss to the Chiefs back in September.
On a recent Quick Slants The Podcast, filmmaker Gotham Chopra, who created the series, with Brady, discussed the project:
Here's the release schedule for the other "Tom vs. Time" episodes, which will culminate no doubt in scenes from Super Bowl 52 vs. the Eagles on Feb. 4 as TB12 goes for title No. 6: Episode 2, Sunday, Jan. 28; Episode 3, Tuesday, Jan. 30; Episode 4, Thursday, Feb. 1; Episode 5, Sunday, Feb. 4.; Episode 6, TBA.
Tom Brady’s reaction to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s five-year, $200 million contract extension?
“That’s a lot of money and obviously NFL business is going well," Brady said in his Westwood One radio interview before Thursday Night Football. "He can pick up a lot of checks now.”
Goodell, of course, fought the protracted the NFL's legal battle with Brady over Deflategate and handed down the suspension that kept the Patriots quarterback out of the first four games last season.
“Maybe he’ll take me out to dinner sometime," Brady joked.
Brady also weighed in, ever so gently, on Rob Gronkowski’s one-game suspension for his late hit on Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White and White’s subsequent criticism of the suspension and Gronk’s actions.
“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, certainly he is," Brady said of White. "Rob said his piece after the game and I will let him speak for himself. I have been part of football a very long time and it is a very emotional game, it is a very intense, physical game and Rob got called for a penalty. He is dealing with the ramifications for it and we’re pretty much moved on at this point.”