So long, Deflategate -- you will not be missed ... at all


Good riddance to Deflategate, my least favorite NFL scandal of all time.

When Tom Brady announced Friday he would no longer fight the four-game suspension for his alleged role in the deflation of footballs before the 2014 AFC Championship Game, it ended a saga that dragged on for 544 days across 18 months and the better part of two full NFL offseasons. Two!

This was the story that wouldn't die. Every time you thought Deflategate was over, it came roaring back to life with terrifying intensity. Deflategate was like Jason from "Friday The 13th" without any of the camp or gory fun. I think the clincher for me came in May, when Brady filed a Hail Mary appeal that led to the esoteric legal term "en banc" being casually tossed around the internet despite no one having a clue what the hell an en banc was. (For the record, I'm pretty sure it's a French cheese pastry.)

We were in the weeds of an ugly layered fight with the mind-numbing possibility of a Supreme Court proceeding to discuss air in footballs. The American justice system was teetering on the brink of infinite darkness.

So let me take this opportunity to thank Tom Brady for doing his part to put an end to all the madness. It can't be easy to give up the fight, especially if the truth lies with the rabid "Free Brady" contingent who believe No. 12 truly got railroaded here and had no "general awareness" of what was going on with those damn footballs.

Which, let's face it, he probably did. But can you imagine if he didn't? Were I in Brady's cleats, I would've been committed to a padded cell approximately 541 days ago.

One last thing: There is the possibility, however remote, that this isn't over yet. The NFL Players Association might not be ready to give up.

Wait, what does "for cert" mean? Nevermind, I don't want to know. Leave me alone! Leave me alone! Leave me alone! Football, please.

Welcome to the Around The NFL End Around, a weekly look back at the world of the National Football League. Dan Hanzus serves as your guide.

Tom's big statement

Is there any doubt Brady is going to throw for 450 yards and five touchdowns in his first game back from suspension? Who's the poor team that has to deal with that? (Checks schedule) Of course it's the Browns. It could only be the Browns. How could it be anybody other than the Browns?

Poor Tiger ...

Thank God for Lindsey Vonn. Not only does her saucy behavior in this interview spare us the back half of some ponderous JockSpeak from J.J. Watt, we get to see Hannah Storm go Joe Buck At Lambeau for no real reason. Hannah, relax, it's an ESPYs pre-show broadcast. There are 14 people watching ... tops. The children are safe.

Hug a Lions fan

The Detroit Lions will hold a ceremony during halftime of their Week 6 game against the Los Angeles Rams to honor the 25th anniversary of the 1991 Lions, the franchise's only Super Bowl champion.

Wait ... that's not right. That's not right at all. The '91 Lions, led by Barry Sanders and the immortal Erik Kramer, went 12-4 and advanced to the NFC Championship Game before being eliminated. They will gather at Ford Field in October to reminisce about their brush with greatness.

If the idea of celebrating a team like this might seem odd to you, try to take pity. The '91 Lions remain the only team in franchise history to win a playoff game in the Super Bowl era. That's right folks, Detroit has one postseason victory in the past half century.

So while it may seem odd to the greater public to celebrate a team that lost 41-10 in its final game, it's imperative that you factor in perspective. Just because Lions fans can't have nice things doesn't mean they shouldn't be able celebrate their team's past -- however undecorated it may be.

Aaron's annoyance

"Aaron ... like I said, I have a great relationship with my brother Luke. Me and Aaron don't really have that much of a relationship. It's just kind of the way he's chosen to do life. I choose to stay close with my family and my parents and my brother. It's not ideal. I love him and I can't imagine what it's like to be in his shoes and the pressure he has, the demands from people that he has. Don't have hard feelings against him, it's just how things go right now."

That was Jordan Rodgers on this week's episode of "The Bachelorette." You have to wonder if the brothers have had a conversation since the comments aired on Monday night. What we do know is that Aaron wants nothing to do with this public airing of family grievances. He appeared this week on Bill Simmons' HBO show, which -- given Simmons' well-known pop-culture sensibilities -- seemed like the perfect forum to address the squabbles.

But Simmons never asked Rodgers about his brother's comments, which one can safely deduce was not an oversight on The Sports Guy's part. Can Rodgers control this story? What happens when E!, Extra, TMZ and the like send crews to Packers training camp? And they will, especially when Jordan wins the show, which feels inevitable.

Stay tuned.

Yo ... Russell ...

Russell Wilson is aware that the world can see these videos, right? Like, it's not possible he thinks that only Ciara or perhaps his Bro Entourage have access to the couple's weird conquest ramblings, is it? Come back to us, Russell. You're floating.

Just a reminder to the rest of the world ...

We could kick all your butts in soccer if we wanted to. If we had to mobilize all our top athletes onto the pitch, we would field full-on '92 Dream Teams within a decade.

Tweet Of The Week

Yep, that's the same Gov. Mike Pence who will be Donald Trump's running mate in the presidential election. If Trump had an uphill climb to win any New England states before, he can forget it now.

Until next time ...