Tom Brady’s boyhood idol calls the Deflategate controversy “funny” and “no big deal.”
“Everybody is trying to do something different,” Joe Montana told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Our offensive linemen used to spray silicone on their shirts until they got caught. Once you get caught, you get caught. Period. It doesn’t take anything away from Tom’s game. But how long has he been doing it? I don’t know.”
The NFL suspended the Patriots quarterback for four games, alleging his knowledge in a “more probable than not” scheme to deflate footballs in the AFC Championship Game that New England won 45-7. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hears Brady’s appeal on June 23.
Like Brady, Montana owns four Super Bowl rings. Brady, a Bay Area-native, attended the January 10, 1982 NFC Championship Game that launched the 49ers dynasty. In Candlestick Park, a four-year-old Tom Brady watched Montana loft an end-of-the-endzone pass somehow brought down to earth by Dwight Clark. Two decades after “The Catch,” Brady broke Bay Area hearts by beating the Oakland Raiders in the infamous Tuck Rule Game that catapulted the New England Patriots dynasty.
Montana, noting his previous ignorance of the effects of deflation on wet-weather-game balls, confessed to the Pittsburgh newspaper, “Heck, I would’ve thought about [deflating the ball], sure.”
Montana, traveled to Pittsburgh for an event honoring him and five other area quarterbacks: Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Joe Namath, George Blanda, and Johnny Unitas. The 49ers and Chiefs quarterback confessed to still rooting for the Steelers.
He appears to care less about the controversy ensnaring the kid who once rooted for him.
“It is one of those things that is a rule, right?” Montana maintained. “It might be a dumb rule, but it doesn’t matter. He didn’t deflate them himself, but you can pick up the ball and can tell if it is underinflated, overinflated or what you like. Everybody is afraid to say it, but if the guy did it, so what? Just pay up and move on. It’s no big deal.”