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If Deflategate hit Mayberry, what would Andy Griffith do?

Tom Brady.AP

"The Andy Griffith Show'' is my favorite TV series of all time. My brother Peter and I made it a habit to watch an episode or two before we sat down to write our screenplays. We marveled at the way the show delicately balanced comedy with pathos and heartfelt drama. It was soothing to the soul to watch the show's portrayal of life in small-town America during a simpler day and age. Moreover, the comedy was inspired and the lessons taught along the way were timeless.

Andy himself was never very funny. Instead, he was responsible, trustworthy, and compassionate. He had a lot on his plate between being sheriff, justice of the peace, and a single parent to his beloved son Opie. The laughs came from the rest of the townsfolk — Gomer, Floyd, Goober, and particularly Barney. They were easily influenced and prone to knee-jerk hysteria. Andy was kept busy corralling this cast of characters, but somehow he managed to be patient and wise, his reasoning always sound and life-affirming.


One particularly poignant episode was titled "Mr. McBeevee.'' In this one, Opie spins a yarn about a fantastical man he met in the woods who walks in the treetops, wears a silver cap, has 12 extra hands, and can blow smoke from his ears. Knowing that the child has an active imagination, Andy laughs it off. A less amused Deputy Fife thinks Andy is mollycoddling the boy. When Opie produces a quarter that he says his new friend, Mr. McBeevee, has given to him, Andy grows concerned. He puts his foot down and gives his son the choice either to man up and renounce his imaginary friend or face some serious consequences.

The intimidated Opie almost relents, but he cannot get himself to deny Mr. McBeevee's existence. A disappointed Andy is ready to administer a spanking when Opie looks him in the eye and asks, "Don't you believe me, Pa? Don't ya?" Overcome by his son's courage of conviction, Andy does an about-face and declares, "I believe ya, Opie. I believe ya!" Aunt Bea and Barney are surprised by Andy's faith in such a far-fetched story. They ask Andy how he can possibly believe in Mr. McBeevee! Andy's response is short but to the point, "I don't. But I believe in Opie."


The "Mr. McBeevee'' episode is profound, and it strikes a distinct similarity to what has transpired here in New England over these last few months as our Patriot Nation has suffered through the three-ring circus known as Deflategate. The rest of the country, and much of the local media, are flummoxed that we could overlook the (seemingly) incriminating evidence and still put our faith in the innocence of our beloved Tom Brady. The short answer is that after we've watched #12 play for 15 seasons, admiring the class and dignity with which he's carried himself on and off the field, Brady has earned our respect and trust. More important, he has looked the world square in the eye and has emphatically stated he has done absolutely nothing wrong.

On the TV show, Andy's faith was rewarded when he eventually discovered that Mr. McBeevee did indeed exist, and that Opie's wild descriptions were a result of the eccentric McBeevee working as a telephone lineman. Logic dictates that one day the final chapter will be written about Deflategate. Perhaps, when the truth is finally known, the trusting Patriot Nation will come out with egg on our (Flying Elvis) face. But we anticipate that Brady will be completely exonerated. Who knows? Time will tell. For now, though, I'm quite certain I speak for most of New England when I say, "We believe ya, Tom. We believe, ya!"


Bobby Farrelly is a film director, screenwriter, and producer. His films include "Dumb & Dumber," "There's Something About Mary," "Fever Pitch," and "Hall Pass."