When I was in third grade, I begged my parents to let me see Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. But unless a film was educational or enlightening in some way, my mom and dad took the whole “Parental Guidance” thing pretty literally.

After repeatedly demanding permission to see the movie, they still didn’t budge.

A few months later, I was at my friend Billy’s house when he whipped out a copy of Austin Powers on VHS. My stomach dropped. I didn’t tell him to turn it on, but I certainly didn’t stop him either.

When I went home for dinner that night, the guilt was written on my forehead. After poking at my broccoli for what seemed like decades, my mom eventually looked at me and asked the one damn question I was trying to avoid. 

“Keegan, what did you do at Billy’s house this afternoon?” 

Despite the politician in me, I’ve always been a terrible liar. Not to mention, nobody can tell when I’m “fibbing” better than my mother. 

With no other possible alternative, I told her the truth. 

She was mad, but not nearly as much as I’d envisioned. When my dad got home from work to address the verdict, he didn’t ground me. In fact, the only punishment my parents gave me was a two-week ban from TV and video games (which probably seemed a lot worse at the time). 

Why did they take it easy on me? Because I told the truth. 

I took accountability for my actions and fessed up to my mistake. By admitting my wrongdoing upfront, I solidified long-term trust with my parents. And while I didn’t realize it at the time (again, I was in third grade), this life lesson was everlasting.

Over the years, I’ve always looked back at this moment in nostalgia. Whether it was detention in middle school or getting caught with water bottles full of vodka in high school, I always tried to remember that the cover-up is always worse than the crime.

If you don’t believe me, just ask Tom Brady. 

Despite the fact that the Patriots were caught cheating multiple times before, their quarterback never learned his lesson. Deflating balls for better grip is not a felony by any means, and it should never tarnish a Hall-of-Fame player’s legacy. 

What should tarnish a player’s legacy, however, is lying. 

Brady received a four-game suspension from the NFL, while Bob Kraft and the Patriots were charged $1 million and two draft picks: a first rounder in 2016 and a fourth-rounder in 2017. Still, Patriots fans and other people without common sense have refused to accept Brady’s guilt. One fan even started a GoFundMe campaign to help Kraft (a billionaire) pay off the hefty fine. 

GoFundMe.com | Paying the bill of the PATRIOTS 

“We obviously know we won’t reach One Million Dollars, however we do believe the fine is bulls**t and want to help anyway we can.  So whatever is donated will be donated to the New England Patriots in help with the fine!” – Michael J. Whitman, Creator of the fundraiser

Since I started writing this article, the GoFundMe campaign has received thousands of more dollars from a naive bunch of American idiots (but primarily Patriots fans). 

Despite all this fundraising nonsense, the argument of whether or not Tom Brady cheated is no longer relevant. Now, the coverup is biting Tom Brady in the ass. Not the crime.

Earlier today on ESPN 1000, Waddle & Silvy had Yahoo! NFL investigative reporter Charles Robinson on their radio show. In discussing the Tom Brady scandal, Robinson made an excellent point about the real crime at hand. 

If Tom Brady had simply been upfront about the situation and admitted his wrongdoing, we wouldn’t be talking about this. 

If he had gone in front of the media and said, “Look guys, had I realized this would become such a big deal, I would have handled it differently. I apologize to the NFL for my mistake, and take accountability for my actions.” 

Instead, Tom Brady did the opposite. He went into hiding and seemed to laugh off the accusations in his first public appearance after the Wells Report came out. But when you consider the NFL’s lack of honesty over the last year alone, why would he have done any differently?

Hell, the same guy handing over this punishment (Roger Goodell) is the same guy that covered up a video of Ray Rice knocking out his girlfriend in an elevator.

This ‘scandal’ is not about Tom Brady cheating. This scandal is about Tom Brady lying.

It’s about the NFL’s problem, and the fact that they’ve created an environment of lying

After all, if the NFL’s commissioner is allowed to cover up the crime – what’s going to stop the players from doing the same exact thing? 

Evidently, nothing.

(Featured photo courtesy of Deviant Art