Tom Brady is a pioneer.
There was a time when home teams provided footballs for both teams in NFL games. Then Brady reached out to his peers to help him petition the league to make changes.
"Before that rule changed, the visiting team would travel, and we would play with whatever the home team put on the field. So his thing was, why can't we bring our own footballs that we throw with during the week — that we condition — so we can feel good back there," former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer told CBS4's Vic Lombardi on Xfinity Monday Live last night.
"I said, 'Yeah, what do I need to do?' He sent a fax, I signed it, I said I'm in favor of changing this rule so we can condition our own footballs."
The rule was changed, and team's are now allowed to travel with their footballs, but the Patriots have recently come under fire for reportedly under-inflating their footballs. It's a situation that Plummer believes to be overblown.
"I don't think it's that big of a deal. They get to condition their balls, so what's a little air let out of it? Yeah, he broke the rule, but it's not four-game suspension worthy," Plummer said.
New England is a repeat offender when it comes to breaking rules, and the NFL believes Brady lied about deflating the footballs. That may help explain the four-game suspension.
But Plummer believes a time will come when QBs will legally be allowed to slightly under-inflate their footballs. He also believes Brady would have been better off contesting the rule rather than claiming innocence.
"I would have stepped up after the Super Bowl and said, 'Why is this rule here? Yeah, I had him take take it down to 12 or 11.9, but you're mad at me? We're entertaining the masses, making billions of dollars. Why can't I do that?'"
The rule may eventually be adjusted, but for now, Brady's suspended four games for not following it. He will appeal the suspension, and there's a good chance he'll win.
Though he may be in the minority, Plummer's on Brady's side.