could always keep going back to Square One: Forget about reports
of 11 of 12 footballs, the truth was and always has been that
the league has no idea if the footballs were even unnaturally
deflated in a scandal about unnaturally deflated footballs.
Even the Wells report – buried deep, but still – essentially
says as much.”
Wetzel -- “The arrogance of Roger Goodell”
really having troubles with the NFL lately. Wetzel does an outstanding
job of going over how foolish this case has truly been. (You can
also check out my two articles… “The
NFL needs to stop digging” and “Tom
Brady… a follow up”… for some thoughts.)
there are deeper issues involved. There easily could be things
in New England that cross the lines that exist between playing
the game strictly by the rules, applying some gamesmanship or
slightly twisting interpretations to allow for some questionable
actions, and flat out breaking the barriers between fair play
and cheating. Those issues certainly might be applicable in accusations
directed at New England… and they may be applicable for other
organizations. But this particular scenario has been screwed up
by the NFL since it began… and their solution appears to be applying
stupidity and distractions that keep screwing things up even more.
Every day they appear dumber… every action seems more pointed
toward bias, trying to force fit a square peg of evidence into
a round hole of targeting the Patriots, and finished off with
a ribbon of whining. I said it before, and I’ll say it again…
everyone focused on blowing up New England about the footballs
needs to stop digging.
may have heard the NFL pretty much immediately appealed the decision
that handed them a loss in the seemingly-never-ending football
inflation pressure story, and that the decision wiped out Tom
Brady’s suspension and put him on the field for the first game
of the season.
something you might not have caught initially (or even forgot
about as this dead weight story dragged on and on)… this case
that the NFL lost is one they brought to court.
reason this particular judge presided over the case was because
the Roger Goodell announced that Tom Brady’s appeal was being
denied, and then league officials sprinted into a court they selected
to make sure they filed in a setting more likely to be sympathetic
to their version of the details before Brady and the union could
make an attempt to bring the case to court some place in the United
States more likely to support Brady’s side.
Sure you are. In many ways, we all are. But basically it works
like this… the NFL rushed to make sure they had home field advantage
in the courtroom, rushed to get the best possible results with
a strike first approach, and they still got taken to school with
thing is… absolutely no one should be surprised. As least, no
one with an ounce of objective reasoning available for sound judgment
and evaluation should be surprised. (Seriously… go
read Wetzel’s column and then come back.)
am not going to try and tell you that Tom Brady did nothing.
that quite possibly wouldn’t do any good, since if you’ve been
following the story and have any strong feelings about it, there’s
a really good chance you’ve already made up your mind and it could
be that you don’t plan on facts or reality ruining your good time.
You already believe Tom Brady provided the inspiration for the
song from The Lego Movie, or, you believe that if he
flew to Orlando right now he would be a bigger snake on the loose
than that king cobra currently in hiding.
second… we don’t have to even try researching the history of sports
for examples of organizations and professional athletes pushing
the very limits of the rules (and often crossing the line) for
advantages. (Just three months before the Patriots and the Colts
met, there were reports of the ground crew of the San Francisco
Giants being charged with overly
watering the infield in an attempt to slow
down the players from the Kansas City Royals. So… you know… championship
conspiracies in baseball. There have been plenty of stories of
other NFL teams doing things like heating footballs on cold days
and wiping footballs with towels covered in sticky substances.)
for the most part, Brady’s reputation is ruined regardless of
whether or not we ever learn the truth in this situation… the
NFL doesn’t seem even the slightest bit inclined to admit their
procedures were at best laughable and of little use, even though
they changed them for future seasons… and plenty of other instances
have come and gone without a league, other teams, and plenty of
fans carrying pitchforks and torches through the village the way
they have over these footballs.
of this brings us to a really interesting question… why?
did the NFL pursue this with such intensity? Why do they keep
piling on, driving bad press about New England, and move ahead
with a case that isn’t just sinking… it’s already hundreds of
feet below water and still dropping quickly?
that is something we may never know.
there are all sorts of possible reasons.
there is information that hasn’t made it out for public inspection.
The Patriots settled without much of a fight. The league pushed
and pushed hard to keep an incredibly strong punishment in place
for one of its most celebrated players.
other teams are jealous. New England has been consistently successful
for quite some time, during the regular season and playoffs, during
a time frame with big money involved and most organizations varying
from no success at all to short streaks.
there is a contest going on between very big egos. Perhaps personal
issues are being played out with territory being defended.
there are all sorts of possible reasons. And… there are all sorts
of problems and concerns and weaknesses to see (in big, huge,
at the foundation of it all is… well… absolutely no foundation.
The Wetzel piece one more time:
truth was and always has been that the league has no idea if
the footballs were even unnaturally deflated in a scandal about
unnaturally deflated footballs…”
reasonable, responsible, unbiased reading of all the material,
evidence, and information collected arrives at the same place.
There is nothing in this case that conclusively and definitively
proves beyond a reasonable doubt that footballs were intentionally
can’t just say “yeah, but” here and expect it to stick.
you… I am not saying that nothing happened. I’d like to be open-minded
and approach this with my interests off to the side. (I know that
isn’t completely possible.) And yet…
NFL brought the circus to town. They tried to build a case out
of playing cards, doing so on a twisted, unbalanced surface with
gale-force winds swirling.
Brady said he was innocent… in the beginning and throughout.
NFL said as a professional he probably was aware of it… then said
he likely organized it… ultimately arrived at claiming he hand-polished
a needle to be used and while he was at it also personally influenced
the weather… and made all of these ever-increasing-in-severity
accusations as if they were statements of uncontested fact even
though “…the league has no idea if the footballs were even
unnaturally deflated…” and cannot even produce accurate measurements
they can stand behind.