Browns left tackle Joe Thomas had an interesting take on Tom Brady and DeflateGate on Sunday when Cleveland-area reporters asked the eight-time Pro Bowler about it.
Per Pat McManamon of ESPN, Thomas likened the NFL to professional wresting and compared NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to WWE chairman Vince McMahon, saying the NFL is an “entertainment business” and that “basically, Goodell is Vince McMahon.”
That may not go over well with Goodell, but Thomas said the NFL set up a “sting operation” on Brady and ultimately gave him “the death penalty” for what Thomas said equated “to driving 66 [MPH] in a 65 zone.”
But Thomas said Goodell is making headlines and that “his predecessor did not act unreasonably” in dealing with such matters. Thomas sees football air pressure as a non-story but said he understands that everything is a story in today’s game.
“I’m not sure if [Goodell] realizes what he’s doing is brilliant, but what he’s doing is brilliant because he’s made the NFL relevant 365 [days] by having these outrageous, ridiculous witch hunts,” Thomas said. “It’s made the game more popular than ever and it’s become so much more of an entertainment business and it’s making so much money.
“That’s why I’m sure there’s plenty of people saying this is embarrassing for the league. But it’s an entertainment business when it comes right down to it. When the game gets eyeballs in newspapers and on TV, that’s what in the end is the goal for everyone. And that’s what this controversy is giving them.”
More of what Thomas said is posted here in McManamon’s blog.