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Joe Nocera

Ezekiel Elliott's Case Shows Deflategate's True Lesson

Fairness doesn't matter in NFL discipline. The contract does.
Running to court.

Running to court.

Photographer: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Remember Deflategate?

Sure you do. For a span of 18 months -- from January 2015, when the New England Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game, until July 2016, when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady agreed to accept a four-game suspension imposed by National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell -- Deflategate consumed the NFL, not to mention millions of football fans.