Jimmy Garoppolo cares, do you?
May 11, 2015 5:14 PM   Subscribe

The NFL has suspended Tom Brady for four games and fined the Patriots $1million for deflating footballs used in the AFC title game.
posted by artsandsci (155 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Maybe i don't know enough about football, but missing four games for conspiring to cheat in a title game seems like a relatively light sentence.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:17 PM on May 11, 2015 [18 favorites]


Probably if I had anything to do with football in any way, and needed somebody to look after the footballs that were going to be used in the football sports game, I wouldn't hire the guy who called himself "The Deflator", same way as if I ran a Chinese smorgasboard place I wouldn't hire the guy who called himself "The Rice Poisoner".
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:17 PM on May 11, 2015 [51 favorites]


first we have to see if it sticks.

also, for those playing at home, deflating balls twice as important as knocking your fiance out.
posted by nadawi at 5:17 PM on May 11, 2015 [139 favorites]


that'll teach 'em

I guess an actual, literal slap on the wrist is against league regulations?
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:24 PM on May 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


Maybe i don't know enough about football, but missing four games for conspiring to cheat in a title game seems like a relatively light sentence.

It's a quarter of the season, equivalent to about 20 games in basketball or 40 in baseball. The FPP doesn't mention that the team also lost two draft picks as part of the decision (a first-round pick next year and a 4th round pick in 2017). That's probably a bigger deal than a million dollars, which is only about twice the league minimum pay for a single player (in other words, peanuts to a franchise worth billions).

I suspect nobody will know how the 4-game suspension stacks up to other penalties until we know the Patriots' record after four games next season. If it ends up not hurting them much then it's basically an unpaid vacation for a guy who will probably be fine without those paychecks, on the other hand if it leads to the Pats missing the playoffs then it's a wasted year in the careers of a lot of people who probably weren't involved.
posted by axiom at 5:24 PM on May 11, 2015 [17 favorites]


Peanuts!
posted by clavdivs at 5:27 PM on May 11, 2015


Not even mentioning the fact that the NFL didn't unequivocally prove that Tom Brady had anything to do with it.
I'm disgusted that the NFL dealt with deflate gate in this way but have failed to handle wife beating, rape and concussions with the same time, effort and severity.
Not to mention the jet engines used in a Panthers Vikings game to heat footballs on the sideline, with video evidence.
I don't know why I'm surprised at the NFLs idiocy and behavior.
posted by shesbenevolent at 5:30 PM on May 11, 2015 [27 favorites]


America's game.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:33 PM on May 11, 2015 [9 favorites]


with all things goodell, it's all about his perception of response - he's upset that the pats had everyone talking about the pats' previous cheating scandal and his handling of it - and so, here we are - make pouty captain america sit out for 4 games (likely reduced) and cough up a couple picks.

one day goodell will lose the support of the owners and that week/month/year will be amazing as the roaches scatter towards the sports tabloid media to string him up.
posted by nadawi at 5:33 PM on May 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


Congratulations, Metafilter. You are talking about Tom Brady's Balls.
posted by eriko at 5:34 PM on May 11, 2015 [18 favorites]


also, for those playing at home, deflating balls twice as important as knocking your fiance out.

Isn't failing a urine test for weed grounds for a year suspension? Their penalty scheme seems entirely backwards to me.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:36 PM on May 11, 2015 [14 favorites]


Also, in the video clip from the FPP link, John Clayton characterizes the punishment as "very severe" which I would take with a grain of salt. ESPN is in bed with the NFL (they air MNF) so they probably are going to toe the party line regarding the severity of the punishment. They just dropped Bill Simmons because he called Roger Goodell a liar (referring to the video tape of Ray Rice, and the commissioner's claim that they didn't know about it).

I wouldn't be surprised if Brady appeals and the punishment is reduced. Frankly, people just don't really care very much about deflated footballs. Football fans don't think it had much of an affect on the outcome (in fairness, I have some sympathy for that point of view, though I think it misses the point), and the public seems pretty inured to cheating in sports.
posted by axiom at 5:37 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


on the other hand if it leads to the Pats missing the playoffs then it's a wasted year in the career of a lot of people who probably weren't involved.

Not to trot out sports writer cliches, but Tom Brady is, in some respects, the face of the Patriots organization, and if they do miss the playoffs, the "wasted year" is punishment to that entire organization, an organization that benefited from the cheating. Brady isn't the only one who benefited from an appearance in the Super Bowl, and he shouldn't be the only one punished if punishing is to take place.

In an organization that tends to fuck everything up lately, I feel like NFL actually made the right call, though that might just be because it's the only call they could have made once they made the determination that cheating happened. They weren't going to make the Patriots forfeit the game (meaningless now except for standings) and pulling-an-NCAA and banning them from post-season play this year would make, at varying times, the AFC East, the AFC, and the entire league look meaningless.

And honestly, this isn't point shaving or game throwing or some other kind of collusion that completely changed the outcome. The Patriots did something that gave them an advantage and now they are being punished by a disadvantage.

(After typing this all out, I realize that these points have probably been made for weeks on all the sport's sites I avoid for other NFL-hating reasons these days but here they are.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:40 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


...fined the Patriots $1million for deflating footballs used in the AFC title game.

Did someone drop a few zeros? $1 mil is under the couch cushion change for them.
posted by Splunge at 5:43 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Quarter-season suspension for probably but not provably conspiring to tamper with equipment in a fairly minor, fairly common, and utterly against the rules fashion actually seems about right.

Ray Rice, on the other hand, ought to have been thrown out of the league and behind bars the moment that video surfaced.
posted by Ryvar at 5:49 PM on May 11, 2015 [10 favorites]


the "wasted year" is punishment to that entire organization, an organization that benefited from the cheating

I'm not necessarily in disagreement with the general idea that Brady and Patriots be penalized, I just don't know what a proportionate response looks like. I don't really buy that slightly deflated footballs (such that nobody apparently noticed it during the game -- none of the officials nor the opposing players) is as bad as videotaping opposing teams' practice. I'm also not convinced that it's very fair to punish people who had no knowledge of this and no involvement.

I could probably be persuaded that there's no perfect solution, but like I said, nobody knows the actual magnitude of this punishment until after the games are played and outcomes are determined. The punishment will seem hilariously pointless if the Pats start out 3-1, and that's entirely possible given the amount of time they have to prepare, and the fact that while Brady is certainly the most important Patriot, he's not as important to his team as say LeBron James is to the Cavs (I just mean, there are lots of other moving parts, and giving Belichick time to prep a replacement makes it even easier to believe they could start out next season quite well).
posted by axiom at 5:49 PM on May 11, 2015


Frankly, people just don't really care very much about deflated footballs.

Hate speech, animal abuse, domestic abuse, sexual assault, brain damage, and early death. This pales in comparison. By and large, IMO, NFL fans don't truly care about much besides the final score.
posted by Lyme Drop at 5:52 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Maybe i don't know enough about football, but missing four games for conspiring to cheat in a title game seems like a relatively light sentence.

There are only 16 games in an NFL season, and one lost game can cost you the playoffs. Four games for the best player at the most important position is a strong punishment. The draft pick penalty is also very serious.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:52 PM on May 11, 2015


also, for those playing at home, deflating balls twice as important as knocking your fiance out.

Players sit out for an entire year if they smoke pot one too many times. Don't try and make sense of it.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:53 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Brady will toss and turn all night on his bed of solid gold and mattress of hundred dollar bill stacks.

Don't worry, the Eagles have restored the balance of honor to the NFL by signing paragon of virtue Tim Tebow, who will oh god I can't finish that thought or stop screaming WHAT THE HELL WAS CHIP THINKING
posted by delfin at 5:55 PM on May 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


In the world of football, four games is a lot. When my dad sent me an e-mail about it the subject line was "Holy Cow!!!". This is a huge slap in the face for one of the sports' golden boys. He has carefully cultivated his image as the all American homecoming king, with his supermodel wife Giselle, the good kid next door. He'll still be in the record books, but his records will always have an asterisk next to them now.
posted by alms at 5:56 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


This pales in comparison

I totally agree, but I think NFL fans can care about more than one thing at once. I'm by no means a big NFL fan, but I can separate the discussion of the severity of this punishment from the NFL's generalized douchebaggery on other topics.
posted by axiom at 5:56 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


He'll still be in the record books, but his records will always have an asterisk next to them now.

I doubt it. In the game in question, the Pats beat the Colts 28-0 in the second half, using the properly-inflated balls.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:01 PM on May 11, 2015 [10 favorites]


Lifelong Boston-area resident here.

I don't know or care about sports, but I know enough from popular culture to recognize the Patriots as the villains from The Mighty Ducks / Little Giants / Bad News Bears / Every single sports movie where there's a rich, talented team of overachievers who still cheat just so they can rub it in people's faces.

People around here need to come to grips with the cognitive dissonance of hating the Yankees while supporting the Patriots and move on.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:03 PM on May 11, 2015 [18 favorites]


The problem with the NFL's ad hoc, parallel justice system scale is it's completely arbitrary, there are no defined "crimes" and both the charges and punishment are completely dependent on the perceived level of media response/public outcry.

Punch your fiance in the face on video = 2, no 6, no actually 2 games
Punch your Mom in the face (not on video) = 0 games
Punch your girlfriend in the face (not on video) = 15 games, + 8 more games
Smoke some weed and get caught = 4, no 2 games
Smoke some weed with your friend in a car = 0 games, but your friend is cut from the team
Smoke a shit load of weed and do a bunch of interviews about it = 16 games, but then its fine
Conspiracy to tamper with the game ball = 4 games, maybe.

No consistency, no explanations, just wild, reactionary flailing as the public slowly, ever so slowly, catches on that "the Shield" is becoming rather tarnished. And not for nothing, but only one offense is actually related to football, rather than you know, society.

It's hard to get personally invested in the contractual rights of millionaires foolishly bargained away to their billionaire employers, except to note the utter inconsistency and laughable notion that there's any kind of "justice" at play here, rather than pure public relations machinations from multiple billion-dollar businesses and their umbrella organization.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:03 PM on May 11, 2015 [30 favorites]


What I enjoy about this is that there is going to be an appeal by Brady saying he lacks awareness. It reminds me of that Billionaire divorce case where a CEO had to argue that his company's performance was luck so that his wife was not entitled to any of it because it wasn't a material product of the relationship.

I have a perverse love for instances where people have to legally prove they are crap.
posted by srboisvert at 6:11 PM on May 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm disgusted that the NFL dealt with deflate gate in this way but have failed to handle wife beating, rape and concussions with the same time, effort and severity.

This. Fuck the NFL.
posted by photoslob at 6:11 PM on May 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


Here's the story, of a man named Brady
he's a convicted cheating SOB
something something....

/Giants fan
posted by jonmc at 6:12 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I doubt it. In the game in question, the Pats beat the Colts 28-0 in the second half, using the properly-inflated balls.

To me, the most damning thing is the long term Patriots fumble statistics that have been discussed.

The New England Patriots Prevention of Fumbles is Nearly Impossible

And also the simple fact that the team is a repeat offender when it comes to cheating. This isn't the sort of scenario where you give them much benefit of the doubt that the only time cheating might have occured was during the Colts game. Even Brady's camp has been complaining that this was a sting, the NFL was informed ahead of time that this was already an issue and were looking for it. You can say they beat the Colts and the Seahawks fair and square, but nobody can be certain they got there fair and square. And as I said in regards to the suspension...in the NFL every single win and loss matters.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:12 PM on May 11, 2015 [20 favorites]


I feel like it's also worth mentioning that part of Brady's punishment is not for his involvement in the deflation per se, but for his refusal to cooperate with the investigation. I suppose we can all decide for ourselves whether non-cooperation with an investigation conducted by a provably incompetent and desperately self-serving organization like the NFL is a greater crime than telling someone to deflate footballs, but there's no question in my mind that Goodell thinks that deceiving him personally is a grave crime.
posted by Copronymus at 6:14 PM on May 11, 2015 [11 favorites]


The punishment will seem hilariously pointless if the Pats start out 3-1

A four-loss suspension would have been fun. A 3-4 start would definitely have put a crimp in their future playoff chances. At least make the toothless punishment entertaining.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 6:15 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


The only thing I'm looking forward to in all this is how Jon Bois will adapt it into the next Breaking Madden
posted by hellojed at 6:17 PM on May 11, 2015 [10 favorites]


In the game in question, the Pats beat the Colts 28-0 in the second half, using the properly-inflated balls.

Everyone agrees that the Patriots would have won the game anyway. That's not what this is about. This is about the pretty boy, the aw-shucks kid, being branded as a liar and a cheater. Lots of people -- lots of professional football players -- have said that under inflating balls is not a big deal. By giving out this punishment the league is saying that they think it was a big deal. They're giving him the scarlet letter.
posted by alms at 6:17 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


A four-loss suspension would have been fun. A 3-4 start would definitely have put a crimp in their future playoff chances. At least make the toothless punishment entertaining.

I like the idea of making them start every game down 6-0.

(Because I'm an Eagles fan and as it stands we have to play them with Brady and the Cowboys don't.)
posted by Drinky Die at 6:18 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


The power of the Dark Side grows with rage, so as a Pats fan I am stoked for next season.

Remember what happened last time there was a big cheating scandal? The players all got mad and they went undefeated. Until some guy caught a ball on his head. (Maybe if it had been more inflated, it would have bounced off?)

Gronk, at least, has made his feelings clear. He said that his biceps aren't deflating, only inflating, and also you can deflate DEEEEEZ NUUUUTS. I'm guessing he will continue to inflate now that the suspension has been announced.

feel like it's also worth mentioning that part of Brady's punishment is not for his involvement in the deflation per se, but for his refusal to cooperate with the investigation.

The interesting thing about the refusal to hand over the cell phone is that it was at the behest of the union (basically, they said don't do it, it sets a bad precedent for other players). So that will be interesting during the appeal. I'm expecting 2 games for Brady, unless there's some weird clause in the CBA that comes up somehow.
posted by vogon_poet at 6:28 PM on May 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


This is actually a pretty severe punishment for the team. The loss of two draft picks, one of them being a first, is a massive hit that could hurt the Pats for a couple of years. To be honest, this is a bigger punishment than I had anticipated.

Brady's suspension is right about what most people familiar with the NFL expected. The suspension is not for deflating the balls, specifically, but for failing to cooperate with the investigation itself. They weren't able to conclusively say Brady knew the tampering occurred, but his lack of transparency didn't give him much reasonable doubt.

I'm no fan of Goodell, especially as a Browns fan, but this suspension seems about right to me - when viewed independently.
posted by elwoodwiles at 6:33 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


To me, the most damning thing is the long term Patriots fumble statistics that have been discussed.

Those fumble statistics are mostly bullshit.

And also the simple fact that the team is a repeat offender when it comes to cheating

Every. Team. Cheats. Repeatedly.

As a Patriots fan who once custom printed a t-shirt that featured a mash-up of the Patriots logo and the Cobra Kai logo, you could say I am seriously looking forward to this season. Sweep the leg, Tommy!
posted by Rock Steady at 6:40 PM on May 11, 2015 [9 favorites]


The suspension is not for deflating the balls, specifically, but for failing to cooperate with the investigation itself. They weren't able to conclusively say Brady knew the tampering occurred, but his lack of transparency didn't give him much reasonable doubt.

Sorry, but this is absolute bullshit. You're arguing that it's okay for Brady to be punished for taking an adversarial stance, which is completely understandable considering the situation, not to mention his right to do so. Considering how many bullshit charges are floundering on these rocks once the truth comes out (the Bonds and McNair cases come to mind here), perhaps the NFL should get out of the "work with us or else" business.
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:44 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Goodall. Delenda. Est.
posted by Etrigan at 6:45 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


There's no reason not to cooperate with your employer's investigation if you haven't done anything wrong.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:45 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


As a Pats fan, I think the Wells Report was bullshit. As a woman, I'm angry that the NFL thinks the probable mishandling of a football is a more serious offense than the definite mishandling of women and children.
posted by Ruki at 6:48 PM on May 11, 2015 [9 favorites]


I doubt it. In the game in question, the Pats beat the Colts 28-0 in the second half, using the properly-inflated balls.

But they beat the Ravens by just 4 points to get there. (Speculation was that the Ravens tipped off the Colts.)

Petition to Have Colts, Ravens Replay 2015 AFC Title Game Reaches 40K Signatures
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:49 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


You're arguing that it's okay for Brady to be punished for taking an adversarial stance

I'm not arguing anything of the sort. I'm stating what many media outlets are stating - including the linked video.

I agree with the suspension because I believe Brady cheated - and then failed to meet his commitments to the NFL when they launched an investigation.
posted by elwoodwiles at 6:52 PM on May 11, 2015


The funny thing?

I think this is what gets Goodell fired.

Why? Because it attacks Robert Kraft, his biggest defender -- well, until now.
posted by eriko at 7:05 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Every. Team. Cheats. Repeatedly.

Oh wow, that link is just full of Patriots...well I don't quite know the appropriate word.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:11 PM on May 11, 2015


Mark my words. It may be many years, but someday it will be revealed that the Raiders tuck rule screwover was a Pats cheat somehow. Fact.
posted by cccorlew at 7:39 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's been a bad year for people finding out about the gross-ass shit that goes on beneath a pro sports organization, and probably a regular year for all of the gross-ass shit that goes on beneath a regular pro sports organization. Let's hope for more bad years for finding out until stuff starts to change.
posted by codacorolla at 7:47 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why? Why? The Patriots handily beat the Colts in that game. Why cheat? Letting their inner sociopath to shine?
posted by bukvich at 7:54 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm by no means a big NFL fan, but I can separate the discussion of the severity of this punishment from the NFL's generalized douchebaggery on other topics.

I guess my point is that it's hard to understand how anybody with a moral compass can still be an NFL fan. Just my opinion.
posted by Lyme Drop at 7:55 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Everyone commenting in this thread should have to declare their team allegiance upfront. For the record I am a Patriots fan.

My gut feeling is that there are lot of pissed-off quarterbacks in the NFL right now because they will no longer be able to work the balls they way they used too due to the increased scrutiny. I also doubt the full suspension will stand up to appeal, but who knows?

Everybody who hated Brady before still hates him and everybody who like him before still likes him and the world is still turning round and round. And that would be true no matter what the Wells report said.
posted by dweingart at 7:57 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


I guess my point is that it's hard to understand how anybody with a moral compass can still be an NFL fan. Just my opinion.

The safety issues are the only thing that gives me severe pause, but I feel the league makes changes to try and improve safety year by year and is continuing to do so. Probably too slow, but I feel like they are making an effort.

As for the domestic violence and the murderers and the amoral corporations behind it all...well you will be hard up for mass entertainment that doesn't have all that present among individuals in the industry, usually without industry punishment regimes. How many weeks does the record industry suspend the tour if a band frontman hits his wife?
posted by Drinky Die at 8:03 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am a Michigan fan. No dog in the NFL pissing contest (but the NCAA has it's own massive issues).

One further gross thing is that the Saints got a $500k fine for running a bounty scheme explicitly targeting opposing players heads. The Patriots got a $1M fine for under inflating some balls slightly.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:06 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Drinky Die, there is no overall fixed monopoly on music tours. If the frontman hits his wife, you would see calls for venues to cancel. But no one company is in charge of those venues, able to hand down punishments from on high. There isn't a single corporation that can prevent the band from playing in front of any audience of any decent size in the US. When there is, we can start talking about a universal punishment for rock stars. The NFL is a monopoly. The only comparable organizations are other sports leagues. And maybe the WWE.
posted by Hactar at 8:12 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Existential Dread: "One further gross thing is that the Saints got a $500k fine for running a bounty scheme explicitly targeting opposing players heads. The Patriots got a $1M fine for under inflating some balls slightly."

The Saints also lost their head coach for an entire year. It makes no sense to compare the fines in isolation.
posted by savetheclocktower at 8:19 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's hard to get personally invested in the contractual rights of millionaires foolishly bargained away to their billionaire employers, except to note the utter inconsistency and laughable notion that there's any kind of "justice" at play here, rather than pure public relations machinations

That's been exactly my reaction as well. This is theatre, and it's working. MetaFilter (of all places) is talking about the NFL during the off-season. Brady and the Patriots are going to be closely watched all season long, and fans of the NFL are going to take this trivial gesture as proof that the league is developing an ethical backbone (regardless of the overall situation).

When it comes to Football, I think that we've conclusively proven that there's no such thing as bad publicity. It really doesn't even come close to existing.
posted by schmod at 8:19 PM on May 11, 2015


Sex pistols concert.

2 Draft picks! That's just mean and vindictive.
posted by clavdivs at 8:19 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


> Oh wow, that link is just full of Patriots...

The Pats don't even make it into the upper half of the cheater rankings. It's hard to think of them as exceptional cheats in any way other than for being caught doing it while winning major games.
posted by ardgedee at 8:27 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think you missed my point there. :P
posted by Drinky Die at 8:32 PM on May 11, 2015


I did not expect we'd spend so much time comparing this punishment to other unrelated punishments.

I think that the NFL has demonstrated that it has no idea how long it should suspend anyone for criminal acts committed outside of work — whether the player admits to the act or is merely accused of it. But the league is the only body that can punish players for violating its own rules.

As for investigations of rulebreaking, the NFL is free to set up whatever standard they can get the players to agree to in a collective bargaining agreement. It's true that the Wells Report did not prove anyone's culpability beyond a reasonable doubt, but if you truly think that its version of events is not the most probable version… well, then I find you curious, but I'd be interested in hearing your arguments.

They're also allowed to suspend Brady for failing to cooperate with the investigation and for making assertions that the investigators thought were highly implausible and contradicted by other evidence (i.e., lying).

If anyone think this punishment is too severe, then I'd like them to explain to me how they think the league is supposed to deter anyone from breaking the rules.
posted by savetheclocktower at 8:42 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


The usual penalty for this kind of infraction is an automatic first down after they swap the football for a fresh one, and a $25k fine. This is pandering to public perception, even if you accept the Wells report (many don't, expect Brady's legal team to be one if them.)

In any event, if the suspension sticks, Brady will be traded. Garopolo is exceeding expectations by most reports, and the Pats need secondary help more than they need an aging QB who's going to miss a quarter of the season.
Belichick may trade him even if the suspension doesn't stick, and Bob Kraft will be ushering Bill towards retirement. Too much embarrassment for what should be a national brand - no hope of reaching markets beyond the New England faithful with Tom and Bill.

Goodell is a dead man walking. Having Tom Brady take the hardest fall to paper over a year where the most vile players of the NFL were constantly in the media will put him on the outs permanently with the Kraft and Mara factions, and a lot of smaller market owners ride with them.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:42 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm not saying I'll eat my hat if Brady gets traded over this, but I will certainly eat a post-it that says "you were right," because that is a ridiculous thing to believe.
posted by codacorolla at 8:49 PM on May 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


So the little league kids had to give up their championship this year, but these guys get to keep theirs?
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:55 PM on May 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


I will also eat a post it, but likely be happy doing it because the Eagles would be a very likely trade partner in that crazy scenario.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:56 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Iggles would be the most likely trade partner, yeah. More than one rumour in that direction even before Ball-ghazi.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:07 PM on May 11, 2015


In any event, if the suspension sticks, Brady will be traded. Garopolo is exceeding expectations by most reports, and the Pats need secondary help more than they need an aging QB who's going to miss a quarter of the season.
Belichick may trade him even if the suspension doesn't stick, and Bob Kraft will be ushering Bill towards retirement. Too much embarrassment for what should be a national brand - no hope of reaching markets beyond the New England faithful with Tom and Bill.


Huh? This is all ludicrous.
posted by shesbenevolent at 9:10 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


In any event, if the suspension sticks, Brady will be traded. Garopolo is exceeding expectations by most reports, and the Pats need secondary help more than they need an aging QB who's going to miss a quarter of the season.

Hey, if the Patriots want to re-create the 2011 Colts experience (minus Andrew Luck at the end of the tunnel) rather than take a chance at losing a couple more games than usual and weathering a scandal that has changed literally no one's opinion of the team, Tom Brady, or Bill Belichick, I certainly won't stop them. The more dysfunctional organizations that overreact themselves into shambling messes, the more likely it is that the Bears can luck into another Super Bowl win somehow.
posted by Copronymus at 9:25 PM on May 11, 2015


Ugh, the Bills can't even be good at this thing. Actually, that kind of explains a lot ...
posted by kat518 at 9:38 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]




weathering a scandal that has changed literally no one's opinion of the team, Tom Brady, or Bill Belichick

I think it changed some people's minds in Boston--at least among my friends. They aren't sports-crazy, but modest Pats and Sox fans and they feel a bit less cheery about the home team. But I probably run with the wrong crowd. It seems like most of the rest of Pats Nation is tieing itself in knots trying to defend Brady.

I would like to see a Tom Brady tee shirt with him and Nixon morphed and saying "I am not a crook." There is something oddly compelling about people who would have won anyway going ahead and breaking the rules just to make sure.
posted by Cassford at 9:48 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am not a cheat.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:50 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hey here's an idea! Why doesn't the NFL, just about the richest fucking sports league in the states, but 20 game balls for every match that only the refs have access to until they hit the field. Problem solved.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:53 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


What is needed is a system that gently checks the pressure of the balls on a regular basis, a ball chip perhaps and a cage like devise to protect the balls.

I see why you folks keep sports threads secret, they are fun.
posted by clavdivs at 10:11 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


gofundme: Paying the bill of the PATRIOTS

What the actual fuck.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:25 PM on May 11, 2015


Gofundme is basically a joke website at this point.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:33 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hate speech, animal abuse, domestic abuse, sexual assault, brain damage, and early death. This pales in comparison. By and large, IMO, NFL fans don't truly care about much besides the final score.


Well, that's like your opinion, man. Some people care a lot about all of those things and are leaving the NFL in droves over it. And a lot of us that are sticking around for now see clearly how the failure to deal with these issues threatens the very existence of a truly great professional sport that we love. And forget about trying to attract new fans, particularly the kind of fans with brains, money, and kids.

Look, Goodell came into this thing with a huge credibility problem and that's why the penalty was so much more than was expected, and yet far less than it should have been IMO. The NFL is really at a stage where there needs to be zero tolerance for shenanigans and this is a situation where the games biggest star playing for the biggest team in a championship game, explicitly and in a premeditated way broke the rules and gained an advantage and came out on top. If I *really* stretch my brain and play devil's advocate, the commissioner might rationalize off the field violence as something beyond his scope*, incidents for the police to deal with. But here the rules the commissioner is paid to enforce were ignored. I know why diehard rednecks might ignore hooligans who punch their wives and shoot each other if they're winning, but I don't know why anyone would watch a sport where there's little consequence for breaking the rules. It's one step removed from WWF, we are perilously close to football becoming a pay per view thing in places like Vegas, and this happened on Goodell's watch, with the owners' tacit approval. Brady and Belichek should be out of football at this point, with team penalties as well.

*of course, I do think it's smart for each team to make sure their players are model citizens off the field -- this is what makes people like their team and support fades when your players are assholes and criminals. I loved how the Seahawks traded away star player Percy Harvin just because he was a jerk and was heartened to hear their general manager state publicly they would never sign someone guilty of off field violence until this week when The Seattle Times ran a front page story on top draft pick Frank Clark who, you guessed it, admitted punching his girlfriend in the face. I haven't decided for sure yet, because my two young sons who wear their Hawks jerseys every day know nothing of this, but this seems like a teachable moment and mailing back our six jerseys with a letter explaining why seems like an appropriate thing to do in a progressive city like Seattle.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:46 PM on May 11, 2015


Joey Michaels: “Hey here's an idea! Why doesn't the NFL, just about the richest fucking sports league in the states, but 20 game balls for every match that only the refs have access to until they hit the field. Problem solved.”
The home team used to provide all the footballs for both teams. Until Tom Brady, Payton Manning, et al. got the rules changed so every team provided their own footballs.

Goodell Delenda Est.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:48 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


and Bob Kraft will be ushering Bill towards retirement.
I was trying to hang with you until you got to this part. Belichick was specifically exonerated by the report, has been to 6 super bowls and won 4, and is so clearly the best coach in the game that I'm not even sure who else you could even mention with a straight face. The odds of the Pats casting him aside are 0.00%
posted by Lame_username at 10:52 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


"The issue with punishing Brady is it is all based on conjecture. There's not even really circumstantial evidence; there's really no evidence of Brady's direct participation in any scheme put forth in Wells' report. The report implicates Brady basically because it says he had to have known, not because they had any proof that he did know or stated to either McNally or Jastremski that he wanted balls deflated after inspection. The report simply doesn't find him guilty."

oh, and the supposedly "independent" investigators responsible for the report? They have "successfully represented the NFL in various litigation matters" including the recent concussion-related lawsuit filed against the league. They are basically NFL's corporate fixers.

I'm a Patriots fan but I would never claim that the Patriots are above it all. Every NFL (and every professional sports) team takes certain liberty with the rules. In fact, what makes Belichick one of the most successful NFL coaches ever is his ability to find ways to take advantage of every single loophole in the NFL rule book to his team's advantage, and often not in the most kosher way (to say the least). But that's not the case here. Even the report written by the NFL corporate fixers could not claim that Brady was directly involved in the matter of deflated balls (other than the fact that Brady wanted the balls to be inflated to the lower end of the ALLOWED limits BEFORE inspection).

The problem here is that this sets a dangerous precedence of the league being able to arbitrarily punish any player or any team for any real or conjectured violation as long as the league can accuse them of "not cooperating fully enough." You can gleefully cackle at the Patriots until this becomes your team's problem.

What happened to Vikings and Panthers when they were caught on camera using heaters to warm up game balls on the sideline (against the rule) in December 2014? The league sent out a warning. No fine. No lost draft picks. No suspension. Just a warning. So what happened to the integrity of the game back then?
posted by perkinite at 10:54 PM on May 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also, if NFL really cared about the integrity of the game that much, they could have spent a few bucks to buy pressure gauges that actually work and keep them calibrated and make people actually keep records of the readings.
posted by perkinite at 11:01 PM on May 11, 2015


The league sent out a warning. No fine. No lost draft picks. No suspension. Just a warning. So what happened to the integrity of the game back then?

Teams got a fair warning that messing with balls again would not be a good idea.

They are basically NFL's corporate fixers.

If I was hired to fix this situation to the benefit of the NFL, I probably would have chosen a different course than proclaiming the reigning Super Bowl champions cheaters. The report found him guilty by a preponderance of the evidence standard. It's pretty common to do it that way outside of criminal court. This was not a good result for the league.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:13 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


So they felt good about risking not having a totally fair game at the AFC championship game because there was a fair warning given ahead?

If I was hired to fix this situation to the benefit of the NFL, I would try to blow this up to be the biggest scandal of the year that will take attention away from the concussion lawsuits/domestic violence issues/other controversies. Apparently they had the same idea.
posted by perkinite at 11:20 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


None of those issues were currently in the news cycle in any major way and even when they were they were not slowing the league down. It is pretty much never to the benefit of a sports league to be perceived as unfair competition. Ask Pete Rose how seriously sports leagues take the idea that games might not be on the up and up.

The best way to fix this issue to NFL benefit was to find that the pressure variations were natural, enjoy the post draft storylines, and wait for training camps to open.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:37 PM on May 11, 2015


And admit that they ran a sting operation during the AFC championship game based on nothing for nothing? I would have been super pissed if I were a Colts fan. Actually I'm curious why Colts fans aren't more pised about this.
posted by perkinite at 11:44 PM on May 11, 2015


Admit they followed up on a tip to protect the integrity of the game and their investigation revealed nothing was amiss. The golden boy Super Bowl Champions won fair and square. What's wrong with that?
posted by Drinky Die at 11:46 PM on May 11, 2015


If they really wanted to protected the integrity of the game, why did they let a part-time employee walk away with the balls to the bathroom for however many seconds before the game when they had the tip suggesting that the Pats might have been deflating the balls? And let them play the entire first half knowing this? The league is either utterly incompetent or utterly disingenuous. Or, in my opinion. probably both.
posted by perkinite at 11:55 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


And do you really think Tom Brady is the NFL's golden boy? Like, seriously?
posted by perkinite at 12:00 AM on May 12, 2015


If they really wanted to protected the integrity of the game, why did they let a part-time employee walk away with the balls to the bathroom for however many seconds before the game when they had the tip suggesting that the Pats might have been deflating the balls? And let them play the entire first half knowing this?

Well we're talking about the best way to fix this for the league after the fact. The second half thing is what it is either way. Is it better to say, "Sorry we waited so long Colts, our bad, but the Patriots were not cheating." or "Sorry we waited so long, and it turns out they were cheating so we fucked up even more than that last scenario."

I think the most reasonable interpretation on what I read is that Grigson brought it up ahead of the game but the NFL ignored him but then he brought it up more forcefully during the game and that got them to check it just for the hell of it and..."Oops wait, do these numbers make sense? We have no idea."

There is obvious incompetence going on here, but I think the best path to recovery has always been to argue there was no actual cheating. Admiting a bumbling process is no big deal if nobody was cheated. You just make some changes to better handle the balls in the future and the integrity of the game is fine. Now we have Super Bowl champions the league itself is tearing down months after crowning them.

>And do you really think Tom Brady is the NFL's golden boy? Like, seriously?

One of them, obviously, I don't think it's reasonably debatable. He is in the running for greatest of all time and has the rings to prove it.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:07 AM on May 12, 2015


When my dad sent me an e-mail about it the subject line was "Holy Cow!!!"

I love that people still use the phrase "Holy Cow!!" --it grabs my attention more than a thousand f-bombs.
posted by craniac at 1:23 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Anyone who watches Jimmy Kimmel knows the whole thing is bullshit.

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, John Krasinski, Steven Tyler, Dickie Barrett, Chris Evans AND BIll Simmons already confessed to doing this.
posted by kinetic at 3:02 AM on May 12, 2015


What's really funny in the whole thing is that the PSI in the balls is a relatively arbitrary number suggested by Wilson (the manufacturer) something like 75 years ago, and literally in the history of NFL football nobody has ever suggested they change it. If Brady had suggested they broaden the range to 11-15 PSI, I would bet he would have had support for it on the Competition Committee, just like the 2006 rule change about letting teams provide their own balls was approved without a single vote against it. But instead he cheated, and the guy who helped him cheat got caught.
posted by graymouser at 3:25 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


NFL football is already close enough to WWE that I have a hard time working up outrage over some balls being underinflated. Look at the linemen for chrissakes. There are clearly already many pairs of underinflated balls on the field every Sunday.

Now, had home teams been overinflating game balls back when they were providing them, that would have been meaningful tampering. An underinflated ball is slightly easier to grip, and then only up to a point because it starts to have a detrimental effect on how it flies. An overinflated ball is almost impossible to grip.

At least that's how it seemed to me back when I played in school.
posted by wierdo at 5:19 AM on May 12, 2015


Deflate-ghazi needed to happen to deflect controversy away from the domestic violence and brain damage controversies plaguing the NFL. Tom Brady didn't only cheat; he saved pro-football by inflating interest in the actual game.
posted by Renoroc at 5:23 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


also, for those playing at home, deflating balls twice as important as knocking your fiance out.

Well, to be fair, one of these is within the NFL's mandate, and the other one is properly within the domain of law enforcement. Why would the NFL want to step in for the law? The cops don't enforce what takes place on field.
posted by theorique at 5:28 AM on May 12, 2015


The report found him guilty by a preponderance of the evidence standard. It's pretty common to do it that way outside of criminal court. This was not a good result for the league.

The report, written by a firm that has in the past argued that smoking doesn't cause cancer and that asbestos doesn't cause cancer (they were formerly known as Failure, Inc.) hinges on the idea the referee's recollection is incorrect about which gauge he used but right about everything else . If the ref's recollection about the gauge is correct, then there's no significant variance in pressure. It also skips the fact Mike Kensil, the NFL’s VP of game operations (and a former Jets employee) popped out on the field at halftime to tell the Patriots, "You are in big fucking trouble." But, you know, no sting.

As a Pats fan, I'm with a couple of the posters above: the league's given the team a lot of fuel and even underdog status which will make it fun. I'd love for them to go Full Rogue and become like the Raiders when Al Davis was still sentient. If Brady sits for four games I don't think they make the playoffs, but oh god it would be so sweet if they did. Those draft picks hurt though. The million dollar fine, whether you think it's peanuts or not, gives Kraft ample incentive to push for independent arbitration. Which should keep the NFL top of the sports news cycle all off-season.
posted by yerfatma at 5:47 AM on May 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Apparently the NFL has video of Tom Brady punching footballs.
posted by Gungho at 6:04 AM on May 12, 2015


Okay: First, Bears fan. When we met the Pats in the Super Bowl, it wasn't a game, it was a parade.

The real history of this.

Yes, Tom Brady was one of the leaders of the rule change to allow teams to bring their own footballs. Also leading this effort? Drew Brees, Aaron Rogers, and Peyton Manning. Might have heard of those guys, between the four of them, what, seven superbowls?

Why?

Simple. Before, the home team provided the footballs for both sides. And do you think they provided identical footballs to both sides? Hell, no. The home team got the footballs in the exact condition they wanted them in -- inflated high end of the range or low, scuffed up, the whole nine yards.

The visitors? They got shiny new footballs inflated to the very top pressure allowed. They were occasionally cleaned and waxed. Yep, waxed. You know, to keep them from getting "wet." So, the visiting team was playing with slippery rocks, the home team was playing with footballs.

Thus, the campaign to change the rules. The idea of changing the rules? Made a bunch of sense, really. The problem, though, was the rule change they made. They shouldn't have allowed the teams to provide the balls.

MLB has a process. The home club provides six dozen (more if a doubleheader) new-in-box baseballs to the umps before the game. They take all of them, open them, inspect them, rub them down with a special mud to take the gloss off the ball and make them grippy, and then they control them throughout the game. Since, throughout the game, the umps are the ones handing balls into the games, neither side knows which particular baseball is going to be in use at a given time. And, well, tampering with balls before the game doesn't happen anymore.

That's what the NFL needs to do. Get new footballs every game, rub the shine off them -- new footballs are slick -- and control them completely during the game. They already do this to some extent with the kicking balls. They just need to do this with the rest of them.

As to 4 games for Brady? That's wrong. Literally, the fine for use of an illegal football is $25K, the stated relief is "Automatic first down, replace the football." If giving up a first down rates a suspension, how do we get past week 5? The last non-PED 4 game suspension out there was part of the Bountygate scandal. If you're comparing slightly deflated footballs to a program to reward intentionally injuring other players, you are nuts.

$1 million and draft picks to the organization for misconduct? Sure, this was organizational misconduct, first round draft pick is a big hit. But 4 games to Brady? No -- esp. when you have a defined penalty already in the books. No way this stands on appeal.

You know, I keep insisting that no commissioner is as incompetent as Gary Bettman, but by god, Roger Goodell is doing his damnedest to prove me wrong.

Although there is Keith Olbermann's take: Suspend Brady one day for the footballs and the rest of the year for being stupid and making this a big deal, which does have a certain thing going for it.
posted by eriko at 6:16 AM on May 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


Why would the NFL want to step in for the law? The cops don't enforce what takes place on field.

the nfl steps in all the time under its personal conduct policy. as to why they want to, you'd have to ask them. but i mean, justin blackmon is likely done playing professional football forever, and it ain't because of his ball handling skills.
posted by nadawi at 6:47 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The single overriding lesson of the last forty years of American politics applies here as well: It's not the crime, it's the coverup. Imagine if Brady had come out right after the AFC title game and said, "Gosh, I'm sorry. I told our equipment guys I wished the balls could be softer, and whoa, I never thought they'd break the rules... Well, it's still totally my fault, because I'm the leader of this team, and I'm gonna pay the NFL mandated $25K fine per NFL rule blah blah blah, and kids, cheating never pays. I'm very sorry. Now I'd like to focus on the Super Bowl." This thing would have been over. The equipment guys would probably still be employed, Pats fans would be able to shrug it off, Pats haters would be able to make signs about it, and we wouldn't be talking about it now.

Lions fan emeritus until Goodell leaves.
posted by Etrigan at 7:05 AM on May 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


yeah, i really see brady's punishment being about how he wouldn't cooperate, not the original rule break - and i do fully expect it'll get chopped to 2 games.
posted by nadawi at 7:14 AM on May 12, 2015


eriko: "Although there is Keith Olbermann's take: Suspend Brady one day for the footballs and the rest of the year for being stupid and making this a big deal, which does have a certain thing going for it."

Troy Vincent's letter outright states that Brady is being punished partly for his adjudged culpability and partly for being a giant penis about this whole thing, so that's basically where we're at.
posted by savetheclocktower at 7:24 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Etrigan: "Gosh, I'm sorry. I told our equipment guys I wished the balls could be softer, and whoa, I never thought they'd break the rules..."

I still think that might actually be what happened, but I agree that even if it didn't go down like that, it seems like the obvious thing to say to defuse the whole situation.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:25 AM on May 12, 2015


ESPN.com writer Ian O'Connor has a good take in this article entitled "Tom Brady should skip appeal, tell truth now":
This isn't Pete Rose gambling on baseball or Lance Armstrong and Alex Rodriguez pumping one illegal drug after another into their bodies for a competitive edge. Brady should tell the public that he thought he was merely driving 63 mph in a 55 mph zone, that he didn't realize taking some air out of the ball was a big deal, and that he now realizes it is a very big deal.

He should apologize to Kraft for lying to him and for making the owner look and sound like a fool at the Super Bowl. He should apologize to Jastremski and McNally for putting franchise-player pressure on employees in no position to resist it, and for effectively costing them their jobs. And he should apologize to Wells, Goodell, Vincent and, more important, to fans everywhere who thought Tom Brady would be among the last quarterbacks to spike the integrity of his sport.
If Brady had done something like that from the outset, the whole thing would probably have blown over pretty quickly. But he decided to double down instead. I really don't care about the whole "which gauge did they use" folderol. That doesn't matter. The other evidence collected in the investigation makes it quite clear that Jastremski and McNally were deflating balls under direction from Brady. No, it's not proven beyond the shadow of a doubt. No, there is no video of Brady explicitly telling Jastremski and McNally to deflate balls. But that's not the burden of proof in this sort of thing, and I just can't believe that anyone reading the report with unbiased eyes could possibly reach any other conclusion than Brady, Jastremski and McNally were working together to deflate balls.

As for the actual ball deflation . . . Who cares? It's pretty clear that it made very little difference. And I don't imagine Brady thought that doing it perverted the integrity of the game. Like the quote above suggests, he probably thought it was like driving 63 mph in a 55 mph zone. What do you get for that? Maybe a warning or a little slap on the wrist. But if you refuse to admit that you were speeding, repeatedly lie about speeding in public, refuse to turn over a cell phone that is likely to contain evidence that you and your buddy have been talking about the best ways to speed on your morning commute . . . well, then you are probably going to get a pretty big ticket.
posted by slkinsey at 7:26 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Like the quote above suggests, he probably thought it was like driving 63 mph in a 55 mph zone. What do you get for that? Maybe a warning or a little slap on the wrist. But if you refuse to admit that you were speeding, repeatedly lie about speeding in public, refuse to turn over a cell phone that is likely to contain evidence that you and your buddy have been talking about the best ways to speed on your morning commute . . . well, then you are probably going to get a pretty big ticket.

You mean assert your rights? Because no, police do not have the right to demand that you surrender your cell phone sans warrant.

This is the sort of moral bloviating that has been the bane of sports editorializing for years. No, Tom Brady had no reason to cooperate with the league investigation. If the NFL's enforcement division relies on cooperation in a fundamentally adversarial relationship, that's the league's problem.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:49 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


they don't rely on cooperation, as shown in this case - they think it was more probable than not that brady was involved, which is the standard they're held to. now, maybe if brady had cooperated they'd have found reason to absolve him or they'd have found even more proof of his wrong doing. regardless, without his cooperation they still managed to complete their report.
posted by nadawi at 8:09 AM on May 12, 2015


You mean assert your rights? Because no, police do not have the right to demand that you surrender your cell phone sans warrant.

No kidding?

I hope it was clear that I was spinning a rhetorical example out of the quote I posted, and not making a legal point. Perhaps I should reframe it:
...He probably thought it was like taking a few broken pieces out of the cookie jar. What do you get for that? Maybe a warning or a little slap on the wrist. But if you refuse to admit that you were taking cookie pieces, repeatedly lie about taking cookie pieces in public, refuse to turn over a cell phone that is likely to contain evidence that you and your buddy have been talking about the best ways to get cookie pieces out of the jar . . . well, then you are probably going to get grounded by your parents for a pretty long time.
Better?
posted by slkinsey at 8:14 AM on May 12, 2015


they don't rely on cooperation, as shown in this case - they think it was more probable than not that brady was involved, which is the standard they're held to. now, maybe if brady had cooperated they'd have found reason to absolve him or they'd have found even more proof of his wrong doing. regardless, without his cooperation they still managed to complete their report.

Except that they do, because a large part of why they are punishing Brady is because he refused to cooperate with the league investigation.

And no, it's not better, because this idea that one should just turn up one's belly and surrender ones rights doesn't just stay on the field. We as a society have a real problem with saying "well, if you did nothing wrong, why are they investigating you?", whether it's in the courts or on the field.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:29 AM on May 12, 2015


No, Tom Brady had no reason to cooperate with the league investigation. If the NFL's enforcement division relies on cooperation in a fundamentally adversarial relationship, that's the league's problem.

Except as I understand it the CBA makes explicitly clear that failure to cooperate with an investigation may be considered "conduct detrimental". Refusing (at the apparent instruction of the Players' Association) to grant the NFL access to his texts - even with assurances regarding privacy of irrelevant content - runs afoul of the contractual terms to which he has agreed.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:36 AM on May 12, 2015


Etrigan: "Gosh, I'm sorry. I told our equipment guys I wished the balls could be softer, and whoa, I never thought they'd break the rules..."

So yeah, Brady "fessed up" to the fact that he asked to the equipment guys to deflate the balls but conveniently enough, the fact that he asked them deflate them WITHIN THE ALLOWED LIMITS doesn't get discussed. He didn't like that referees were sometimes over-inflating the ball (outside the allowed limits) during inspection and asked them bring the rule book indicating that their balls were still within the allowed limits and did not need to be inflated further. But who cares about the context? OF COURSE BRADY MUST HAVE CHEATED! Seriously, go through the report and try to find any evidence showing that he cheated (i.e. that he wanted the balls deflated outside the allowed limits).

This is why you don't talk to the police or give up your phone. Anything you say or provide can be taken out of context and be used against you.


Brady should tell the public that he thought he was merely driving 63 mph in a 55 mph zone, that he didn't realize taking some air out of the ball was a big deal, and that he now realizes it is a very big deal.

Why should he apologize for sticking to the rule? As yerfatma pointed out, the claim that the balls were deflated (under the allowed limits) is based on the argument that on the idea the referee's recollection is incorrect about which gauge he used but right about everything else. I mean, if I'm going to get suspended from work, I am not going to just say, "oh yeah, my fault" and accept the suspension if the accusation is based on someone's imperfect and inconsistent memory of using an imperfect tool with no records whatsoever of how it was used.


He should apologize to Kraft for lying to him and for making the owner look and sound like a fool at the Super Bowl.

Robert Kraft is not a fool. He's a shrewd businessman who has been pretty successful. When what is commonly known as Spygate broke out, Kraft and the team never denied what they did (tbh it is hard to deny what one did in front of 80,000 people). Having gone through the Hernandez nightmare, he wasn't just going to take a player's words for it, Brady or not. Kraft would not have risked his reputation and (much) more importantly, the cozy relationship with the commissioner (which is pretty much dead by now) for a 37-year-old quarterback who may or may not play next season (yes, he may be Tom Fawkin' Brady but when you're a 37-year-old quarterback, you're always one play away from retirement. And you think Kraft will try to stop Belichick when it's time for Brady to be sent off to a nice quarterback farm? I don't think so) and backed him up unconditionally before and after the investigation unless he believed Brady's innocence and found no evidence suggesting otherwise.

CBA makes explicitly clear that failure to cooperate with an investigation may be considered "conduct detrimental"

Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski who was also investigated did not give up his phone either and he was never punished for it or mentioned.
posted by perkinite at 8:41 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Garopolo is exceeding expectations by most reports

Of course they're going to say that. What are they going to say? Belicheck coming out with "welp, we're boned" would be delightful but unrealistic.

Comparisons to other NFL punishments aside: I'm a Bills fan. I'm okay with this punishment - the other AFC East teams play the Pats twice a season, so (regardless of whether the Pats need to cheat against the division or not) the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets are on the receiving end of New England's cheating more often than any other teams.

plus the Bills play NE the second week of the season, so when the suspension is inevitably cut in half, Buffalo still benefits
posted by everybody had matching towels at 8:43 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


NoxAeternum, this isn't a criminal case, it wasn't a criminal investigation, and none of this was pursued through the legal system. He has no particular "rights" here to surrender. Yes, the league cannot compel him to turn over his cell phone and cooperate with the investigation, and he can refuse to turn over his cell phone and refuse to cooperate with the investigation. But the league can draw its own conclusions from this in making its determinations as to the appropriate punishment.

It seems likely to me that, had the investigation not revealed plenty of information leading directly to the reasonable conclusion that he had knowledge of and directed the deflating of footballs, his refusal to turn over his cell phone and cooperate probably would not have resulted in punishment. However, having made the determination that Brady had knowledge of and directed the deflating of footballs, it is not unreasonable for the league to consider this among other factors in deciding his punishment.
posted by slkinsey at 8:44 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


And no, it's not better, because this idea that one should just turn up one's belly and surrender ones rights doesn't just stay on the field. We as a society have a real problem with saying "well, if you did nothing wrong, why are they investigating you?", whether it's in the courts or on the field.

I disagree entirely. There are lots of other professions where you have a duty to cooperate with any investigation into misconduct, and a failure to cooperate can be used against you. Due process rights change a lot if you're talking about the privilege of playing football rather than a constitutional right. Attorneys, doctors, dentists -- at least in my jurisdiction, basically any profession that is governed by a regulatory body has to submit to requests for information or suffer the consequences.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:47 AM on May 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


perkinite, I don't see how you can make the argument that adjusting the inflation of the balls after they had been adjusted by the referees is kosher. If the referees were overinflating them or even if they were inflating them above his preferred level within the rules, there are ways of addressing that without having someone sneaking around and letting air out of the balls on the sly.
posted by slkinsey at 8:49 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's different here in California than elsehwere but I can't recall the last time I saw an advertisement featuring Brady. I can remember lots of Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and JJ Watt though. So #1 star and golden boy seem a tad off to me. When's the last time he had a national marketing campaign? Even Russell Wilson (who is pretty much a complete unknown outside of football fans in my area and this is niner country so they should have at least heard of him) had Microsoft stuff after his superbowl win. I haven't seen a thing with Brady this year.

As far as the tampering with balls thing, the fans I know are pretty much all along the lines of "who cares, everyone does it, you do whatever you can to win." PEDs and tools/research into making PEDs untraceable probably has a ton of money behind it these days. WRs used to use sticky spray. I've seen Peyton Manning sniffing smelling salts or whatever between plays to be more alert or something. Whatever it takes.

The PSI in the ball is so completely arbitrary. All the NFL had to do was say something like "hey we didn't really think about this too much" fine the team, fire the ball handler and take over control of the balls. I am loathe to claim conspiracy but man does this feel like a way to try and control outrage about the brand. There's so much going on with concussions (maybe not in the general public but definitely in sports journalism) and quite a few "red flag" players that were drafted despite pending assault charges. This seems like a good deflection to help kick those other items out of the spotlight for awhile. They also announced they are removing their nonprofit status. Which, besides being able to hide what they pay Goodell, allows them to say, hey look we pay taxes now we're changing. Even though the NFL itself really isn't anything more than a couple of offices that collects the money and disperses it to teams.

I hope there's a reckoning coming but have very little faith there is. I do believe the talent pool is going to dry up, some parents are going to make decisions about that and force the issue, but it's not really going to hurt the game. They'll work around it, change the rules, make it exciting still. I thought this was the beginning of the end for the NFL with the concussion thing. Then the Pacman/Mayweather fight came along and every. single. person. I know knew about it and had an opinion. I mean people who never ever talk about any sport were talking about the fight. I thought boxing was over, a niche sport but apparently people like their violence, whether it be reveling in it or speaking out loudly against it. And as long as the discussions are being had there's ad revenue to be made. This does not bode well for my hope in the NFL changing anytime soon.
posted by M Edward at 8:50 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


So yeah, Brady "fessed up" to the fact that he asked to the equipment guys to deflate the balls but conveniently enough, the fact that he asked them deflate them WITHIN THE ALLOWED LIMITS doesn't get discussed. He didn't like that referees were sometimes over-inflating the ball (outside the allowed limits) during inspection and asked them bring the rule book indicating that their balls were still within the allowed limits and did not need to be inflated further. But who cares about the context?

"It's all the ref's fault for overinflating them! We were forced to underinflate them to average it out!"

Nope. Doesn't make a lick of sense.
posted by Etrigan at 8:52 AM on May 12, 2015


Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski who was also investigated did not give up his phone either and he was never punished for it or mentioned.

MAY be considered conduct detrimental. Is not automatically considered such. I expect there was not additional evidence against Gostkowski whereas there was against Brady, circumstantial as it was.

I still think the punishment is way harsh. And I'm a Dolphins fan who celebrated the Pats' first Superbowl loss to the Giants like it was a Phins Superbowl win (I'm aware this is a measure of how sad it is to be a Dolphins fan these days). The Dolphins lone division win in the last decade plus was when Brady was out for the year with a knee. I don't need yet another "yes, but" season.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:56 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can agree that the whole ball inflation thing is a bit dicey, although I think it's reasonable to have parameters so everyone is on a fairly level playing field. The issue is, of course, physics. A ball that is inflated to a certain pressure inside a warm indoor room won't still be at that pressure after 90 minutes in sub-freezing temperatures. Maybe the solution is that all balls have to be inflated to one specified pressure before the game, or maybe the solution is to have balls monitored throughout the game and adjusted to remain within the range prescribed in the rules.

I don't think this is really about whether Brady and the Patriots gained an unfair advantage through the fact that they were manipulating the pressure of footballs after they had been inspected and regulated by the referees. Or whether or not the pressure of a football really makes all that much difference. What this has to do with is the fact that rules are rules -- even the silly, ineffectual or possibly bad ones -- and it is reasonably clear that Brady, Jastremski and McNally were willfully breaking them. I think there is also a difference between the kind of rule breaking done in a game when linemen hold or receivers run pick routes, and the kind of rule breaking done by manipulating equipment.
posted by slkinsey at 9:03 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Maybe it's different here in California than elsehwere but I can't recall the last time I saw an advertisement featuring Brady. I can remember lots of Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and JJ Watt though. So #1 star and golden boy seem a tad off to me. When's the last time he had a national marketing campaign? Even Russell Wilson (who is pretty much a complete unknown outside of football fans in my area and this is niner country so they should have at least heard of him) had Microsoft stuff after his superbowl win. I haven't seen a thing with Brady this year.

Star power in the NFL isn't just about endorsements, but Brady made about $7 million to Peyton's $12 million last year. Their public personalities lead them to different sorts of deals.
“Peyton Manning seems like a guy you want to grab a beer with at a sports bar and talk football all day. He seems like an approachable guy,” said Tom O’Grady, a sports branding expert and chief creative officer at Gameplan Creative. “[Brady] has a little more of a ‘Hollywood’ persona, even though he’s playing in New England. If L.A. ever got a team, he’d be a great Los Angeles quarterback.”

Brady has endorsement deals with Uggs, Movado watches and Glaceau Smartwater, premium brands that aim to sell to the guy in the luxury box. The affable Manning appears in commercials for Papa John’s pizza (in fact, Manning purchased 21 Papa John's locations in Colorado), DirecTV, Buick and Nationwide, which aim for the fan sitting in the bleachers. And there are many, many more fans sitting in the bleachers than in the luxury box.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:09 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, I suppose the suspension gives Brady more time to support this national marketing campaign...
posted by Huffy Puffy at 9:23 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


slkinsey, sorry I didn't clarify. There's also no evidence Brady told them to deflate the balls AFTER inspection. The whole idea was to deflate the ball lower (12.5) than the team standard (13) but still within the league limits and before inspection.
posted by perkinite at 9:45 AM on May 12, 2015


". . . we have concluded that it is more probable than not that Jim McNally (the Officials Locker Room attendant for the Patriots) and John Jastremski (an equipment assistant for the Patriots) participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee. Based on the evidence, it also is our view that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady (the quarterback for the Patriots) was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls." (emphasis added)
posted by slkinsey at 9:51 AM on May 12, 2015


...maybe the solution is to have balls monitored throughout the game and adjusted to remain within the range prescribed in the rules.

From an engineering point of view, it would be relatively trivial to build equipment that would maintain a set of balls at a fixed, precise pressure on the sidelines. At any question of the ball in use being too soft or too hard, the refs could replace it with a calibrated one. I think pro football has the funds to implement this, but I bet they won't.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:02 AM on May 12, 2015


I think NFL fans can care about more than one thing at once.

This line (in various permutations) gets trotted out here all the time, but after a handful of decades observing human behavior, I feel pretty confident saying that no, people actually cannot care about more than one thing at a time, at least not very well. Attention is a very limited resource, and we are shit at multitasking.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:15 AM on May 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah but where's the evidence "they participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee" in the report?

The most damning evidence they had were the text messages from months ago about different games and even they explicity state Brady wanted the balls within the league limits. The fact that referees were sloppily using their sloppy tools and never kept any records should make you question if the "deflated" balls were under the limits and if so, how much, to begin with. Their two gauges generate two different measurements and they're not sure which gauge they used first to begin with! Why should anyone trust the report based on the faulty data and assumptions?
posted by perkinite at 10:24 AM on May 12, 2015


Maybe it's different here in California than elsehwere but I can't recall the last time I saw an advertisement featuring Brady.

I can't speak to endorsements, but Brady's face shows up on the front page of the Boston Globe and Boston Herald more often than pretty much anyone else, including Massachusetts the governor and the Mayor of Boston. Even offseason. He is the town's leading man.
posted by alms at 11:15 AM on May 12, 2015





The principal thing everyone new to this should start from is that this is nothing more than dishonor among thieves.

This is almost 20 years old and is a Wire-esque indictment of the entire food chain for the sport.

Don't weep for Brady, but also don't think for a moment that you can take any kind of balanced moral position against him or the Patriots. They're just the best at what they do.

posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 11:45 AM on May 12, 2015


Wells talked to the media earlier, some highlights:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet · 6m 6 minutes ago
Ted Wells: “That people at the league office wanted to put a hit on the most popular player, the face of the league, doesn’t make sense.”

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet · 12m 12 minutes ago
Asked about which gauge Walt Anderson used, Ted Wells associate Lorin Reisner said it “doesn’t matter.” Says it doesn’t change the science.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet · 22m 22 minutes ago
Ted Wells said he told Tom Brady that he wouldn’t even hold his phone. Would just take printouts. Brady would not provide the information

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet · 25m 25 minutes ago
Ted Wells: “Patriots provided me substantial cooperation except in 1 critical & crucial area – I wanted to do a 2nd interview with McNally.”

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet · 28m 28 minutes ago
Ted Wells: “Patriots were all over me from Day 1 on why @NFL did not warn them of a complaint, alleging it was a sting. He did not find that

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet · 34m 34 minutes ago
Ted Wells says on a call that no one from Tom Brady’s camp raised any issue with his impartiality. Notes Kraft welcomed his appointment

posted by Drinky Die at 12:44 PM on May 12, 2015




A few fans protesting at the league office, handcuffing themselves inside.

I will never believe those guys aren't from some sports talk radio show.
posted by Etrigan at 12:55 PM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Peter King posted an interesting list of questions over on The MMQB. To my thinking, the meatiest one of them is this:
4. The text exchanges between Jastremski and McNally certainly make it sound as if they were illegally and deliberately deflating footballs. What reason would they have to do that? How else would you explain those texts?
I just can't think of any reason they would do the things they did and write the things they wrote if they were not manipulating the pressure of game balls at Brady's behest. Why would a locker room attendant who is not even supposed to be involved in ball preparation refer to needles and inflation, call himself "the deflator" and, most especially, be in a position to demand (and get!) swag from Brady unless he were involved in a scheme to lower the pressure of game balls at Brady's behest?
posted by slkinsey at 1:48 PM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, the fact that Brady wasn't even willing to review his electronic data with his attorneys and only turn over that which was responsive completely negates his privacy objections in my eyes, and convinces me that there was most likely incriminating evidence his attorneys would have had an ethical/professional obligation to disclose once they agreed to do so.
posted by slkinsey at 1:56 PM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


slkinsey: "I just can't think of any reason they would do the things they did and write the things they wrote if they were not manipulating the pressure of game balls at Brady's behest. Why would a locker room attendant who is not even supposed to be involved in ball preparation refer to needles and inflation, call himself "the deflator" and, most especially, be in a position to demand (and get!) swag from Brady unless he were involved in a scheme to lower the pressure of game balls at Brady's behest?"

So here is my [admittedly homer-ist] suggestion of how it might have happened without Brady's knowledge. Keep in mind, I don't think this is what actually happened, but I think it is very possible.
1. As soon as the ball prep rules change, Brady begins harping on the equipment guys to make the balls as flat as possible. This gets repeated again and again -- as flat as possible.
2. At some point, the equipment guys fuck up, and inflate the balls too much for Tom's liking, maybe he has a bad performance, and he flips out at them. "I told you a million times! As flat as possible!" This explains the obvious disdain the equipment guys have for Brady, as demonstrated by their texts.
3. The equipment guys decide - ON THEIR OWN - to illegally deflate the balls below the minimum, in order to once and for all get Brady off their backs. After they begin doing this regularly, maybe he compliments them on what a great job they are doing, and he gets them some swag. Maybe at this point Brady begins to assume they are being deflated illegally, but he likes 'em flat, so he's not going to ask too many questions.
4. Ballghazi happens. Brady begins communicating with these equipment guys much more often than usual, as now he's got to ask the questions and find out what they have been doing and for how long. He'd also like to keep them from going public with their stories.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:48 PM on May 12, 2015


> Brady begins communicating with these equipment guys much more often than usual, as now he's got to ask the questions and find out what they have been doing and for how long. He'd also like to keep them from going public with their stories.

Let's pretend I believe parts 1–3. If so, part 4 is where Brady decides to cover up what he's learned instead of telling the truth about it, even though telling the truth would be way simpler — it wouldn't require that three dudes get their stories straight, and he wouldn't run the risk of saying things that are contradicted by other evidence. Why wouldn't Brady just tell the truth?
posted by savetheclocktower at 3:31 PM on May 12, 2015


Report: Brady hires Kessler, a thorn in the NFL's side

Kessler is a new addition, but his name is one that's well-known in NFL circles. He served as outside counsel to the NFLPA last year during the appeal of the NFL's indefinite suspension of Ray Rice. Twenty years ago he helped establish free agency in the NFL by winning the Freeman McNeil case and settling the Reggie White case that focused on restrictions of player movement.

The lawyer who represented Patriots coach Bill Belichick back in 2000, when Belichick sued the NFL and the New York Jets in federal court to free himself from his contract with the Jets? That was Kessler, too.

posted by Drinky Die at 4:29 PM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kessler's also the guy who is looking to kill the NCAA. If Brady's hiring him, he's going to war.
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:13 PM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I really hope the next CBA just specifies a list of infractions and a list of punishments, and then states that anything not envisioned on the infractions list goes to independent arbitration. I am tired of every disciplinary issue becoming a referendum on Goodell's idiocy — because he is an idiot, and it makes all discipline seem suspect.

Or maybe the NFL could just get a new commissioner.
posted by savetheclocktower at 6:52 PM on May 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


“An Open Letter To Tom Brady”Olbermann, 12 May 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 11:41 PM on May 12, 2015


According to a report from Sports Illustrated, citing a source associated with Fanatics.com, sales of Brady paraphernalia have jumped 100 percent since the release of the Wells report that concluded it was "more probable than not" that Brady was "at least generally aware" of rulebreaking involving the deflation of footballs, and his jersey has outsold that of every player in the league except rookies Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:48 AM on May 13, 2015


This one is fun:
Most fans think the NFL made the right call in suspending Tom Brady.

That’s the result of an ABC News/ESPN poll, which found that 63 percent of all fans and 76 percent of self-described “avid” fans supported the NFL’s decision to suspend Brady for four games and strip draft picks from the Patriots for Deflategate.

The poll also found that a majority of fans say that Brady and the Patriots cheated, although the vast majority of fans think other teams cheat, too. In fact, only 6 percent of fans think cheating is limited to the Patriots.
You have to feel bad for that last 6% of fans.
posted by graymouser at 7:09 AM on May 14, 2015


Aaand now the Patriots have gone there. A page with the team logo giving "context" to the Wells Report.
posted by graymouser at 8:24 AM on May 14, 2015


Case closed.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:30 AM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


HA! I literally laughed out loud at that, wow. If football culture wasn't so homophobic I assume they'd be breathlessly explaining that all the stuff about Tom Brady's balls was just some weird kinky sex thing they happened to be into. That is some A++ rationalization, dudes, great work.
posted by dialetheia at 10:33 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've had a good time this afternoon imagining the meeting in which they decided that "he's just talking about losing weight!" was a winner.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:13 AM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've had a good time this afternoon imagining the meeting in which they decided that "he's just talking about losing weight!" was a winner.

So why do you think they went with that explanation? If they didn't really believe that's what the explanation was, then why not ignore it completely instead of putting it out there for ridicule?

And even if it was related to deflating footballs, what would that statement even mean? You realize that it was his job to adjust the footballs to the desired pressure during the season, and you do that by overinflating and then deflating to the correct point. Maybe that was just their in-joke.

I know that this topic has dropped off the front page and is not going to get much traffic, but I'm disappointed in the lack of critical thinking being displayed by many of the posters here.

Besides the fundamental issues with the assumptions made during the analysis of the measurements such as ignoring the referee's own statement about which pressure gauge he used to measure the footballs pre-game, which would have resulted in all the Patriot's footballs being legal, and ignoring the in-game measurements of the Colt's footballs also being out-of-bounds according to one of the pressure gauges, the purported motive doesn't even make sense.

Does anyone really believe that Tom Brady wanted someone to go through the effort of deflating the footballs by exactly 1/4 of a PSI, when the variation from football to football (not to mention during the course of a game) is greater than that?
posted by Harvey Byrd at 2:05 PM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Which leads to the point that the real offense was that the Patriots and Brady in particular didn't just roll over for the league, but treated an inherently antagonistic interaction as such. It's the same dynamic as what happened with McNair and the NCAA, and that's turning out to be not going well for the NCAA these days.

The fact that Brady has hired Kessler, who has made a career of nailing these sorts of organizations to the wall over this sort of bullshit, should be a wakeup call to both the NFL and the sports media.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:55 AM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


And Brady has officially filed his appeal. Fun tidbits:

One, the appeal argues that under the CBA, only Goodell has the authority to issue punishment on Brady for this matter (while everyone knows his fingerprints are all over this, the ruling nominally came from EVP Troy Vincent.)

Two, the appeal argues that the punishment leveled is completely inconsistent with how this sort of matter is normally punished.

Finally, the appeal attacks the Wells Report itself, arguing that the report is filled with unsubstantiated conjecture and as such is insufficient grounds for the punishment leveled.

And, as if this is not enough of a circus at this point, Goodell has elected to choose himself as the hearing officer, instead of making the intelligent decision and getting a neutral arbitrator. Especially considering that they will be calling Goodell as a witness.

Get some popcorn, kids - this is about to get interesting.
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:25 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, boy. Goodell is sunk. He's got three options, none of them good -

1) Everything stands as is. Tom Terrific rides the pine. Result? The NFL is sued in actual court in an arbitration-hostile venue, and a lot of really dirty laundry is dredged up in discovery from all over the league, and the owners know it's all his fault.

2) Goodell backtracks like a mad, furious backtracking fiend. He's hated with white hot rage by fans nationwide and the ownership of the Patriots' perpetual victims (Colts and Jets most notably) as a tool in the pocket of powerful NFL ownership cliques.

3) Goodell realizes he's in a trap, and appoints a neutral arbiter at the last second, which tells everyone on every side he's an ineffectual bumbler who's utterly incapable of getting out ahead of events.

Prediction: Brady plays, Pats get their pick. The Wells Report looks as dumb and speculative and disingenuous as the Wells Report in Context, which is the point of The Wells Report in Context.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:19 PM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]




The Problem Is the NFL’s Rules

... by John Dean. The circlegate, it is completegate.
posted by Etrigan at 5:03 AM on May 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


“Goodell Should Recuse Himself From Brady Debacle”Olbermann, 18 May 2015


P.S. Goodell Delenda Est.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:55 PM on May 18, 2015


Turns out the Patriots only suspended Jastremski and McNally at the request of the NFL, which clears up the question of "Why did the Patriots suspend those two guys if they did nothing wrong?"
posted by Rock Steady at 4:49 AM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


as i sort of suspected - the patriots aren't appealing - tom brady still is.
posted by nadawi at 11:36 AM on May 19, 2015


here's a link to his whole statement.

for me the telling bit is : at no time should the agenda of one team outweigh the collective good of the full 32.

which i read as, he'll take the slap on the wrist to not endanger goodell or expose how much nickel and dime cheating like this there is in the league.
posted by nadawi at 12:12 PM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Roger Goodell addresses Deflategate: 4 things to know

Among the most compelling statements Goodell made about the scandal was his denial of the report that said the NFL asked the Patriots to suspend the two staffers involved in Deflategate. When asked about that report, which was originally made by ESPN's Adam Schefter, Goodell quickly shot it down.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:30 PM on May 20, 2015




“The New Worst Sports Executive In The World”Olbermann, 03 June 2015

Goodell Delenda Est
posted by ob1quixote at 9:30 PM on June 3, 2015


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