The thrilling behind-the-scenes account of how the NFL's most sensational scandal culminated in sports history's greatest comeback, featuring dozens of exclusive interviews with Patriots players -- including Tom Brady himself.
In January 2015, rumors circulated that the New England Patriots -- a team long suspected of abiding by the "if you ain't cheating you ain't trying" philosophy -- had used under-inflated footballs in their playoff victory against the Indianapolis Colts. As evidence began to build, however, a full on NFL investigation was launched, exploding an unsubstantiated rumor into an intense scandal that would lead news coverage for weeks. As shockwaves rippled throughout the NFL system, the very legitimacy of one of the league's most popular teams and their star quarterback began to erode, even as the Patriots and Brady went on to win that year's Super Bowl.
But as the celebrations gave way to the offseason, the investigation only intensified, reopening old wounds between the Patriots' powerful owner, Robert Kraft, and the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell. Brady was devastated and seemingly more nervous in front of a judge that on a game-winning drive.
When the dust settled, Brady would be able to play again - but only after watching the first four games of the 2016 season from his couch. The pressure couldn't have been more intense: Brady's legacy was at stake. If he failed to return to his usual self, all the critics and even the history books would have to put a giant asterisk next to his name, signifying one thing: he was a cheater.
12 is the propulsive story of this gritty comeback. It's a drama that unfolds in the locker room, the court room, and under the brightest lights in all of sports -- the Super Bowl. Now for the first time, readers will have an exclusive look into Tom Brady's experience and the NFL's shocking strangle-hold on their players. With unprecedented access to Brady himself, his teammates, and his lawyers, we will see just how a football legend went up against one of the largest corporations in the world to stage the greatest comeback in NFL history and emerge a god of the gridiron.
In this astute history of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's 2016 Super Bowl winning season, Sherman and Wedge (Boston Strong) begin with the "Deflategate" scandal. That incident involved allegations that New England deliberately under-inflated footballs for the 2015 AFC championship game, in which the Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7. Brady, at the center of the controversy, denied involvement but was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season. The authors portray Brady, often vilified by non-fans, as someone who possessed a rabid work ethic and herculean football talent. With unprecedented access to the Patriots' organization thanks to cooperation from Brady, team owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft, and DeMaurice Smith of the NFL Players Association the authors focus much of their attention on the behind-the-scenes proceedings surrounding "Deflategate," including new revelations regarding NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's antagonistic treatment of Brady. Brady returned from his suspension and brought his team to the playoffs, and Sherman and Wedge detail the season that ended with the Patriots' Super Bowl LI victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The authors' balanced treatment of the quarterback is refreshing, making this a welcome addition to many a football fan's library.