08 Feb 2017 - 1:31
What Deflategate? Honoured Goodell hands Brady MVP trophy
Houston: After losing a court fight to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and serving a four-game ban to start the season, New England quarterback Tom Brady accepted something else on Monday from Goodell – the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy.
The final touch for the 2016-17 NFL campaign came on Monday when Brady and Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke after New England's 34-28 overtime triumph over Atlanta at Super Bowl 51 in Houston, Texas.
"It's a great honuor for us, for me personally, to have both of these guys this morning," Goodell said. "Tom, come on up and get your trophy."
Brady, who arrived 18 minutes late for the presentation, earned it by sparking the Patriots to the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, rallying New England from a 28-3 deficit to force overtime and then driving the Patriots for the winning touchdown in extra time, a Super Bowl first.
"It's an honour to be here and to have the commissioner give me this award," Brady said.
In becoming the first quarterback to win five Super Bowls, Brady completed 43-of-62 passes for 466 yards and two touchdowns.
"It took a miraculous effort," Brady said. "The lows of not playing great, then the highs of playing better and then at the end, it's just a night I'll never forget. It's a great win for our team.
"I'm just happy this team will be able to be mentioned with some of those other great teams."
Brady was to have missed the first four games of the 2015 season after "Deflategate", when the Patriots were found to have used underinflated balls in a play-off win on their way to a 2015 Super Bowl triumph.
Goodell ruled Brady had to have known about the underinflation, Brady went to court and had the ban overturned but an appeals judge reinstituted the ban and Brady dropped the fight, instead sitting out from the first four games this season, when New England went 3-1 on the way to an NFL-best 14-2 record.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick, asked if Brady might have been motivated by vengeance this season, dismissed the notion that Deflategate played any inspirational role in Brady's heroics.
"I think it's really inappropriate to suggest that, in Tom's career, he has been anything other than a great teammate, a great worker, and has given us every single ounce of effort, blood, sweat and tears that he has in him," Belichick said.
"To insinuate that this year is somehow different, that he competed harder or did anything to a higher degree than he ever has in the past is insulting to the tremendous effort, leadership and competitiveness that he has shown for the 17 years I've coached him," said the coach.