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When it comes to Tom Brady preparing for Super Bowl LIII, there are plenty of labels you could use to describe him to the viewing public.
“New England Patriots quarterback” is the simple one. “Five-time Super Bowl champion” could be popular. “14-time Pro Bowler” is impressive even if the man himself disagrees. The legendary quarterback has no shortage of accolades that could be used, but there is also that one negative thing that opposing fans are quick to throw out. As well as opposing news stations, apparently.
Whoever ran the chyrons at KDKA, a CBS affiliate located in Pittsburgh, took that negative thing and ran with it, labeling Brady as a “Known Cheater” during the station’s coverage of Super Bowl media night on Monday. The graphic was captured by one very entertained Twitter user:
The person responsible for the graphic was fired by KDKA. In a statement to SI.com, the station wrote, “While fans are entitled to have personal opinions, we have a journalistic responsibility to provide unbiased reporting. The graphic that appeared Monday violated our news standards. The individual who created the graphic no longer works for KDKA-TV.”
Few people in Pittsburgh will likely have a problem with throwing the legacy of Spygate and deflate-gate into Brady’s face, considering how much the quarterback has tormented the Steelers. Brady’s 109.9 passer rating against Pittsburgh in 11 regular-season games is his second-highest mark against any team, and his top mark comes in just five games against the Atlanta Falcons. He’s also cost the Steelers three different trips to the Super Bowl, eliminating them in the AFC championship game in 2017, 2005 and 2002, although he left that first title game early due to injury and Drew Bledsoe picked up the slack.
Whether or not the label is fair or funny, it likely carries little importance beyond the entertainment of Pittsburgh residents. Brady is playing in his ninth Super Bowl, and it’s going to take more than some sniping about his past to take that away from him.
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