#DFG: Canceling the Noise

Is there any level of suspension that you would advise Tom to accept?


  • Total voters
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dcmissle

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I've said on occasion that one of the most difficult things to do is write about the law. Even some of the best reporters just don't get it. Those that do have a really challenging job conveying "it" to the general public.

This is borne out here, where we have a much more educated slice of the public.

The Wells report was a hose job as these things go. But it plainly is so far from the greatest atrocities I have seen. If working on it warranted disbarment, there would be no licensed lawyers left to order the disbarment. Also, people don't understand that circumstantial evidence is sufficient to get you hung in this country. Literally.
 

ivanvamp

captain obvious
Jul 18, 2005
6,104
Ed Hillel said:
That, and the absolute garbage paragraph about having found no evidence of NFL improprieties when they, well, were specifically asked not to look for any. That's the biggest evidence of bias to me.
 
I know, right?  Hey, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
 

Doctor G

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Jan 24, 2007
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RetractableRoof said:
For the legals in the room:
 
I read the pieces by Stephanie Stradley and they are interesting.  The part that was referenced above about direct vs circumstantial evidence is curious to me.  Generally speaking, it would appear to me there is little direct evidence in this case and most of it centers around the gauges and how they were used.  Clearly it is of questionable quality though - Exponent/Wells create bunches of assumptions about actual pre-game values (including contradicting the person who says he's pretty sure what gauge he used), half time values didn't include the full Colts balls which are still erroneously used as a control of sort.   Video footage showing McNally going into the bathroom would appear to be direct evidence at first, but since we don't see what he does in there - it is really circumstantial evidence.  All the text messaging is circumstantial evidence - plausible reasons can be offered for much of it, and no smoking gun.
 
In the interview Wells stated the direct evidence supported his conclusions and met the standard of proof necessary.  Is this really true?  People are (IMO validly) ripping the 'scientific proof' which is based on assumptions balanced on top of flawed choices piled on top of more assumptions fed into formulas which require precision.  Absent scientific proof all that is left is a conclusion about some time in the bathroom and text messages between two people who clearly didn't care what kinds of things they texted on company phones and yet there is still no smoking gun - they all have to be read negatively to get to a guilty place.
 
All that said, my question is this. If Wells were being peer reviewed (don't know if the profession even does this) would he be getting slammed by his legal brethren?  If this report were his work at the age of 25 (and he didn't have a long reputation, etc.) and he was looking to move firms, would it hurt him, help him, neither?  It was claimed to be an independent report, does it read that way to legal minds?  I'm just trying to get a handle on the actual report from the perspective of legal eyes.  Thanks for any discussion in this direction.
 
Edit:  Is his use of the term direct evidence in the press conference sneaky smart or sleazy given how little direct evidence is actually present?
Wouldn't it have been useful to Wells to have someone in his shop produce a report that comes to the conclusion that the evidence exonerates the Patriots?
Where I think his staff got lazy was in the cherrypicking of the text messages. Admittedly it is probably a bit mind numbing for someone who graduated from a prestigious law school and works in a big time law office to attempt to read  hundreds of  puerile texts from two guys who could be characters in a Farrelly brothers movie. however you can bet your ass someone in the Patriots camp is doing that and that whoever  translates these into a plausible narrative the most effectively is likely to win the argument as to what any individual text message means.
 

DJnVa

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Dec 16, 2010
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aksoxfan said:
One simple question that I don't want to take time to research; were the game balls pressures measured at the end of the game? 
 
Bad form.
 
Yes, a random sample from each team was measured.
 

ivanvamp

captain obvious
Jul 18, 2005
6,104
Doctor G said:
Wouldn't it have been useful to Wells to have someone in his shop produce a report that comes to the conclusion that the evidence exonerates the Patriots?
Where I think his staff got lazy was in the cherrypicking of the text messages. Admittedly it is probably a bit mind numbing to attempt to read  hundreds of  puerile texts from two guys who could be characters in a Farrelly brothers movie. however you can bet your ass someone in the Patriots camp is doing that and that whoever  translates these into a plausible narrative the most effectively is likely to win the argument as to what any individual text message means.
 
A truly independent effort to get at the truth absolutely tries to make the case for the other side.  It forces Wells (or anyone involved in such an undertaking) to ask questions like, 
 
"What evidence is there for the other side?"
 
"What assumptions am I making that could turn out to be wrong?"
 
"How does this evidence read in light of a different assumption?"
 
"What are some alternative theories that make sense of the evidence?"
 
"How confident am I of my conclusion, and why?"
 
"What if I'm wrong?"
 

ivanvamp

captain obvious
Jul 18, 2005
6,104
dcmissle said:
I've said on occasion that one of the most difficult things to do is write about the law. Even some of the best reporters just don't get it. Those that do have a really challenging job conveying "it" to the general public.

This is borne out here, where we have a much more educated slice of the public.

The Wells report was a hose job as these things go. But it plainly is so far from the greatest atrocities I have seen. If working on it warranted disbarment, there would be no licensed lawyers left to order the disbarment. Also, people don't understand that circumstantial evidence is sufficient to get you hung in this country. Literally.
 
Yes, but it has to be, you know, *good* circumstantial evidence.  One reference to himself as "deflator" (whatever THAT means) does not mean that it is logical to conclude that he was literally saying that he deflated footballs after the referee checked them, under the 12.5 psi level, at the behest of Tom Brady.
 

garzooma

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Mar 4, 2011
126
Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
 
 
Fwiw, the more I read about Bountygate the more the whole thing stinks.  Does this sound familiar (quote from Drew Brees)?
 
Quote
 
 
“The most disturbing thing is the process, the process by which this whole thing was unveiled. The intentions were never made clear from the very beginning.  I think coaches and players alike were kind of brought in to talk to the Commissioner and the league under false pretenses, and all of a sudden it’s just like a media firestorm and evidence and things are getting leaked to the media, things are being reported that are proven to be untrue in a lot of cases.  And yet it’s out there.  The perception has been created nationally for fans and all those that love our game that there was something illegal going on here.  And that’s everything against what we stand for.  And that’s why we fought so vehemently to prove that’s not the case.”
 
 
A while back someone pointed out that Brady received a letter from "Roger" inviting him to a ceremony at next year's Superbowl honoring previous Superbowl MVP's to celebrate the 50th Superbowl, and that it wasn't too likely that Brady would care to attend.  Think there's a chance that Super Bowl XLIV MVP Brees also decides he has better things to do than attend a Goodell party?
 

geoduck no quahog

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I'm still surprised that I haven't seen a point-by-point rebuttal against Exponent by a qualified engineering agency. I'm not qualified. This is what I see from some preliminary reviews:
 
1. I understand the conclusion that the Non-Logo Gauge was used by Warren. Exponent has couched the conclusion in seemingly good logic. Think of it this way:
 
- You inflate your tires to 32 psi and don't move your car. You've used your own gauge.
- A mechanic comes by and measures your tires. He uses one of 2 gauges (A & B) that he has. His gauge reads 32 psi.
- After driving the car around, you go back to the garage to have the pressure checked. Physics says that due to the new (higher) temperature inside the tire, the pressure should now be 35 psi. 
- The mechanic measures the tires with both gauges. Gauge A says 35 psi, Gauge B says 36 psi. He keeps trying as the tires cool, and Gauge B is always 1 psi higher than Gauge A.
- Exponent's conclusion: Gauge A must have been used in step 2, because Gauge B would have read 33 psi.
 
There's something really misleading about this conclusion, and it wholly relies on the relative accuracy of the gauges, which assumes that (a) Your own gauge was accurate - that you didn't actually inflate to 33 psi, and (b) the accuracy between the mechanic's gauges is greater than the combined difference, as well as the difference with your gauge.
 
Can someone else please rebut the seemingly "correct" conclusion that the official's gauge closest to the "Master Gauge", the Colt's Gauge and the Patriot's Gauge (which Exponent concludes must have been set at 12.6 and 13.1 respectively) is the gauge used by Warren - i.e the non-Logo Gauge? The conclusion smells rotten.
 
2. Someone asked up thread about some figures.
 
Figure 21: shows experimental results of pressure change with temperature over 6 hours
 
- Why was Chart based on a 69 F start? There is a huge assumption made by Exponent that the balls stored in the shower room were at 69 F and not 72-73 F because the shower room was colder than the locker room (where the balls were re-measured). This is a big and important leap. Their conclusion is based on no heating elements in the shower room. I assure you there was air exhaust in the shower room that would have drawn warmer air in from the locker room.  How many people were in the shower room? Had the shower's been recently used? It's just as conceivable (or inconceivable) that the temperature in the shower room was a humid 80 F as a dry 69 F!
 
- Even so, Exponent states that per this chart, pressure "gradually" rises towards its initial state, which is patently false as demonstrated by their own chart. It exponentially rises towards its initial state. Why do they make this obviously wrong statement?
 
3. Figure 22: Shows experimental results of wet and dry footballs from minutes 240 to 254 - apparently a blow-up taken from chart 21.
 
- Why does Exponent assume that a theoretical 12.5 psi ball enters the locker room at 11.28 wet and 11.37 dry? Do they show this data anywhere? (same for a 13.0 ball) Those data points would be taken from chart 21 and are based on an initial temperature of 69 F and a halftime indoor temperature of 72 - 73 F. On page 48 Exponent theorizes initial (stabilized) temperature at 67 - 71 F and re-measurement room temperature of 71 - 74 F. What actual temps did they use?
 
4. Figure 23: Illustrative only. It's only used to establish their conclusion and is not based on real data.
 
5. Table 12: The assumption is that all Pats balls were re-inflated before Colts balls were measured, pushing the start of Colt measurements to the latest (warmest) possible time. Consider this: The Pats balls started re-measurement at the earliest (lowest pressure) possible time. They were then re-inflated (presumably no measurements going on with Colts balls - is that inferred?) and only after that were Colts balls re-measured, which commenced at the latest (highest pressure) possible time. 
 
6. Range of Accuracy: Figure 24 shows expected outcomes with everything translated to "True Pressure".
 
- Something's not right about that translation. Exponent claims the Logo Gauge reads 0.34 psi lower than true pressure and the Non-Logo Gauge reads 0.02 psi lower than true pressure. They then use "True Pressure" data to create this graph.
 
- I don't believe they address the accuracy of the gauges anywhere. On page 27 they state, "0.04 [psi] which is within the reading resolution..." What IS the reading resolution? Why say something is "within" it but not say what "it" is? They must know.
 
So many assumptions
So many data points used to serve the conclusion
So little critical review
 
I can believe the Non-Logo Gauge was used...but why should I?
 

amarshal2

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Oct 25, 2005
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Personally I thought the Patriots revelation that their balls were kept in a bag that exposed them to the elements and the Colts balls were in a trash bag protecting them from the elements was all the information I needed to throw out the Exponent conclusions. My recollection is that Ecponent fit both sets of balls to the same warming curve while also demonstrating that the dry balls and wet balls have different warming curves. Clearly, if we're making intellectually honest assumptions, they should have been set to different warming curves. At this point the discrepancy between the balls is probably (I haven't done the math) down below 0.2 PSI which is explainable in a multitude of ways that do not involve manipulation.
 

sonofgodcf

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Jul 17, 2005
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The toilet.
garzooma said:
 
A while back someone pointed out that Brady received a letter from "Roger" inviting him to a ceremony at next year's Superbowl honoring previous Superbowl MVP's to celebrate the 50th Superbowl, and that it wasn't too likely that Brady would care to attend.  Think there's a chance that Super Bowl XLIV MVP Brees also decides he has better things to do than attend a Goodell party?
 
I feel pretty good that Brady will be in attendance for this.  Brees, not so much...
 
Jul 15, 2005
310
ivanvamp said:
What's so tough is that you have media people who ought to know better (-cough- Francesca -cough-) saying things that simply aren't true. It's almost as if people on the airwaves driving the sports conversation around the country haven't even really been following the story. I mean I heard the other day a talk show host - not a caller - ask incredulously, well why didn't the Colts' footballs deflate?

When these morons are driving the sports conversation, and when you have Franceaca actually shouting down callers who are trying to explain the science, telling them, "Don't give me formulas! We KNOW they tampered with the footballs!!" Then it's pretty difficult to undo the damage.

Not that they should just accept it, but holy cow.

What we need is a judge ruling on this, saying that the Wells report was a farce, that the league went after the Patriots despite knowing the evidence wxpnerated them, Goodell should be fired, and the Patriots are completely exonerated here. The entire penalty is rescinded.

That is what we need. I hope we get it.
The problem with the media is they are so busy saying things that they never shut up long enough to find out what the pesky facts are.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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geoduck no quahog said:
I'm still surprised that I haven't seen a point-by-point rebuttal against Exponent by a qualified engineering agency. I'm not qualified. This is what I see from some preliminary reviews:
 
1. I understand the conclusion that the Non-Logo Gauge was used by Warren. Exponent has couched the conclusion in seemingly good logic. Think of it this way:
 
- You inflate your tires to 32 psi and don't move your car. You've used your own gauge.
- A mechanic comes by and measures your tires. He uses one of 2 gauges (A & B) that he has. His gauge reads 32 psi.
- After driving the car around, you go back to the garage to have the pressure checked. Physics says that due to the new (higher) temperature inside the tire, the pressure should now be 35 psi. 
- The mechanic measures the tires with both gauges. Gauge A says 35 psi, Gauge B says 36 psi. He keeps trying as the tires cool, and Gauge B is always 1 psi higher than Gauge A.
- Exponent's conclusion: Gauge A must have been used in step 2, because Gauge B would have read 33 psi.
 
There's something really misleading about this conclusion, and it wholly relies on the relative accuracy of the gauges, which assumes that (a) Your own gauge was accurate - that you didn't actually inflate to 33 psi, and (b) the accuracy between the mechanic's gauges is greater than the combined difference, as well as the difference with your gauge.
 
Can someone else please rebut the seemingly "correct" conclusion that the official's gauge closest to the "Master Gauge", the Colt's Gauge and the Patriot's Gauge (which Exponent concludes must have been set at 12.6 and 13.1 respectively) is the gauge used by Warren - i.e the non-Logo Gauge? The conclusion smells rotten.
 
2. Someone asked up thread about some figures.
 
Figure 21: shows experimental results of pressure change with temperature over 6 hours
 
- Why was Chart based on a 69 F start? There is a huge assumption made by Exponent that the balls stored in the shower room were at 69 F and not 72-73 F because the shower room was colder than the locker room (where the balls were re-measured). This is a big and important leap. Their conclusion is based on no heating elements in the shower room. I assure you there was air exhaust in the shower room that would have drawn warmer air in from the locker room.  How many people were in the shower room? Had the shower's been recently used? It's just as conceivable (or inconceivable) that the temperature in the shower room was a humid 80 F as a dry 69 F!
 
- Even so, Exponent states that per this chart, pressure "gradually" rises towards its initial state, which is patently false as demonstrated by their own chart. It exponentially rises towards its initial state. Why do they make this obviously wrong statement?
 
3. Figure 22: Shows experimental results of wet and dry footballs from minutes 240 to 254 - apparently a blow-up taken from chart 21.
 
- Why does Exponent assume that a theoretical 12.5 psi ball enters the locker room at 11.28 wet and 11.37 dry? Do they show this data anywhere? (same for a 13.0 ball) Those data points would be taken from chart 21 and are based on an initial temperature of 69 F and a halftime indoor temperature of 72 - 73 F. On page 48 Exponent theorizes initial (stabilized) temperature at 67 - 71 F and re-measurement room temperature of 71 - 74 F. What actual temps did they use?
 
4. Figure 23: Illustrative only. It's only used to establish their conclusion and is not based on real data.
 
5. Table 12: The assumption is that all Pats balls were re-inflated before Colts balls were measured, pushing the start of Colt measurements to the latest (warmest) possible time. Consider this: The Pats balls started re-measurement at the earliest (lowest pressure) possible time. They were then re-inflated (presumably no measurements going on with Colts balls - is that inferred?) and only after that were Colts balls re-measured, which commenced at the latest (highest pressure) possible time. 
 
6. Range of Accuracy: Figure 24 shows expected outcomes with everything translated to "True Pressure".
 
- Something's not right about that translation. Exponent claims the Logo Gauge reads 0.34 psi lower than true pressure and the Non-Logo Gauge reads 0.02 psi lower than true pressure. They then use "True Pressure" data to create this graph.
 
- I don't believe they address the accuracy of the gauges anywhere. On page 27 they state, "0.04 [psi] which is within the reading resolution..." What IS the reading resolution? Why say something is "within" it but not say what "it" is? They must know.
 
So many assumptions
So many data points used to serve the conclusion
So little critical review
 
I can believe the Non-Logo Gauge was used...but why should I?
 
Unless that qualified engineering firm is run by rabid Patriots fans who care more about football than making money, this is never going to happen.  Furthermore, it won't matter.
 
I am following this thread and story because its amusing.  However the reality is that outside of we here basement dwellers, nobody cares anymore about Deflategate.   The trial has been held, the verdict rendered and the rest of the sports-following country has moved on.  Very few, if any, read the Wells report.  Fewer read the Patriots rebuttal.  To the extent that anyone outside of fanatical Patriots fans are paying attention, they are getting all their information on this story from second hand sources replete with bias which often is against New England.   
 
I live out of market and my informal, unscientific poll of sports fans here and in other cities where I do business suggests that while some fans think the punishment was a bit too harsh, nobody is crying for the Patriots/Brady and almost every person I've spoken with about it thinks the Patriots are guilty.   Not that I've tried but I am reasonably certain there is no changing anyone's mind on this either.  Even if experts came out with an independent, point-by-point refutation of Wells or Exponents findings.  
 

Leather

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Jul 18, 2005
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accidentalsuccess said:
The problem with the media is they are so busy saying things that they never shut up long enough to find out what the pesky facts are.
Media are interested in good stories. If they have to twist some facts to make the story better, they go ahead and do it. Big bad cheaters is about as good a story as you get in sports.
 

Reverend

for king and country
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dcmissle said:
You can make a very rational case for everything that has happened based on the undeniable fact that the NFL prizes parity above everything else. It would be an extravagant way to achieve more parity to be sure, but logically it is coherent.
 
In abstract theory, sure. But in practice, the last time the Patriots were docked a number one pick they nearly ran the table.
 
 
SeoulSoxFan said:
 
Nice. I like D-Lew's too:
 
 

Ferm Sheller

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drleather2001 said:
Media are interested in good stories. If they have to twist some facts to make the story better, they go ahead and do it. Big bad cheaters is about as good a story as you get in sports.
The need for accuracy/fairness is directly proportionate to the significance of the subject matter at hand. Unfortunately for us sports fans, sports ain't life and death.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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geoduck no quahog said:
I'm still surprised that I haven't seen a point-by-point rebuttal against Exponent by a qualified engineering agency. I'm not qualified. This is what I see from some preliminary reviews:
 
1. I understand the conclusion that the Non-Logo Gauge was used by Warren. Exponent has couched the conclusion in seemingly good logic. Think of it this way:
 
- You inflate your tires to 32 psi and don't move your car. You've used your own gauge.
- A mechanic comes by and measures your tires. He uses one of 2 gauges (A & B) that he has. His gauge reads 32 psi.
- After driving the car around, you go back to the garage to have the pressure checked. Physics says that due to the new (higher) temperature inside the tire, the pressure should now be 35 psi. 
- The mechanic measures the tires with both gauges. Gauge A says 35 psi, Gauge B says 36 psi. He keeps trying as the tires cool, and Gauge B is always 1 psi higher than Gauge A.
- Exponent's conclusion: Gauge A must have been used in step 2, because Gauge B would have read 33 psi.
 
There's something really misleading about this conclusion, and it wholly relies on the relative accuracy of the gauges, which assumes that (a) Your own gauge was accurate - that you didn't actually inflate to 33 psi, and (b) the accuracy between the mechanic's gauges is greater than the combined difference, as well as the difference with your gauge.
 
Can someone else please rebut the seemingly "correct" conclusion that the official's gauge closest to the "Master Gauge", the Colt's Gauge and the Patriot's Gauge (which Exponent concludes must have been set at 12.6 and 13.1 respectively) is the gauge used by Warren - i.e the non-Logo Gauge? The conclusion smells rotten.
 
MacKinnon made a very good and succinct argument about this, which boils down to the logic of the Wells report in this respect assuming no measurement error.  They assume the Patriots really did submit balls at 12.5, that the Colts really did submit balls at 13, and that Anderson's measurement and recollections about the pressure of each ball were fully accurate.
 
The most damning evidence against this idea, and really one of the more damning sets of evidence against the entire logic of Exponent in terms of their drawing conclusions from the data, is that the halftime recordings are so variable and make no temporal sense.
 
If every Patriots ball really started at 12.5 and if only the Ideal Gas Law affected their relative changes in temperature, then what we would see is that the 1st ball measured would have the lowest pressure and then pressure would steadily climb over the next 10 balls since each successive ball had been exposed to a longer time inside at halftime.  The fact that there is not even a remote semblance of this pattern (in fact the lowest recording is one of the last balls measured) basically shows that there were massive sources of error somewhere in the process.  Those errors probably make the entire enterprise useless.  But they also make it largely fruitless to infer which gauge was originally used based on assumptions regarding the absolute accuracy of pre-game ball readings.
 

yazamataz

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May 14, 2015
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Thanks, Ivan, for the best summary I've read of the issues in question. I agree wholeheartedly with your conclusions as well. With regard to question #1 - I think one of the most salient issues raised by the Patriots rebuttal was Wells' failure to accept Anderson's recollection about which gauge he used. Why would they accept his recollections on other, more difficult to remember things but reject his clear recollection on this vital fact? There is no clear answer to this other than Wells liked the other data better and it fit his theory better. Thus the foundational piece of evidence in Wells' report is highly questionable and likely erroneous being the result of Wells' confirmation bias. If this is the case, kiss the rest of the report goodbye.
 
 
ivanvamp said:
The three salient points any competent defense of Brady and the Patriots needs to address are these.
 
1.  Did McNally and Jastremski do anything wrong?  I.e., did they illegally tamper with the Patriots' footballs after the officials checked the balls?  If the answer is no, then this issue is over.  If, however, the answer is yes, move to point 2.
 
2.  Did Tom Brady or Bill Belichick tell them to do it, or did they do it on their own?  If the answer is no, TB or BB didn't direct or ask them to do it, then the discipline goes to these two guys and maybe the organization as a whole should take a small hit as well, since they are ultimately responsible for their employees.  But Brady should get nothing.  If the answer is yes, TB and/or BB were involved, move to point 3.
 
3.  What should the punishment for TB and/or BB be?  We can factor in issues like "cooperation" and "repeat offenders" if the situation actually warrants.
 
 
My replies to these questions.
 
1.  There is certainly a little suspicious evidence that suggests that McNally and/or Jastremski *MIGHT* have done something illegal with the balls.  But the fact of the matter is, when Walt Anderson's memory is approached consistently, the use of the logo gauge tells us that the Patriots' footballs were perfectly consistent with what the laws of physics tells us they *should* be given the conditions and initial measurements.  So if they tampered, there's really no evidence of it.  Occam's Razor tells us not to multiply entities unnecessarily.  If a natural cause is sufficient to explain a phenomenon, we don't need to attribute anything else, unless there's overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  There certainly is nothing resembling overwhelming evidence, and a natural explanation works perfectly fine.  So it's actually more probable than not that they didn't do anything against the rules here.  
 
2.  There certainly is NO evidence AT ALL that Brady or Belichick had anything to do with this.  In fact, the direct evidence we do have vis-a-vis Brady is that he was crystal clear that he wanted the footballs at 12.5psi.  Never do they refer to him wanting it lower than that.  Never does Brady mention any number below that.  Never.  Ever.  The Wells report, after 103 days and 243 pages, could only claim that it is more probable than not that Brady had a "general awareness" of the actions of McNally and Jastremski.  That's it.  
 
3.  As we've discussed, the penalty meted out to Brady and the Patriots wasn't even CLOSE to what the rulebook or precedent called for.  Again:
 
- Tampering with the football?  The Chargers got no penalty.  The Panthers got no penalty.  The Vikings got no penalty.  The rulebook only calls for a $25k fine.  
- Not cooperating?  Favre got $50k.  The Chargers got $20k.  New Orleans cooperated fully and still got hammered.  This is a non-issue.
- Repeat offender?  The Jets were disciplined by the NFL three times from 2010-2015, and the lightest penalty they were given was for the last one (the Revis tampering).  Denver was a multiple time offender and were hit with a total penalty of $100,000 for their own Spygate infraction in 2010.  And that Spygate infraction was worse than what NE did, AND it came just three years after the Patriots' issue, so you'd think that the league would come down very hard on them for that.  Nope.
 
In other words, no matter how you slice it, the Pats got hammered WAY, WAY outside the bounds of what's reasonable.  Tagliabue made this point to Goodell in the Saints' case a few years ago.  There was just no justification for Goodell's punishments.  Just as there's no justification for these as well.
 
Any semi-competent judge should see these points clearly.  And a fully competent judge will see how this was a railroad job from the beginning, and will issue discipline to the NFL for how they've handled this.  The entire thing could have been stopped right at the beginning if Goodell had said, look, the readings of both teams' footballs were consistent with the laws of physics, the whole issue would have gone away.
 

Shelterdog

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Bongorific said:
My biggest take away from the report is that it's a pure advocacy piece, not an independent investigation.

If I represented the NFL asked one of our younger attorneys to write a motion to the court arguing our position in support of a request for punishment, I would say he/she did a good job with the limited evidence available.

However, if I asked for an internal memo weighing the strengths and weaknesses of the case to best determine what likely occurred, I would be pretty disappointed in the work product.

I would also be pretty upset that he/she failed to ask critical questions of key witnesses during interviews/depositions and claiming he/she didn't have enough time to review key pieces of evidence prior to the interview/deposition.
 
It's possible that Paul, Weiss hasn't read the Deflator text when McNally was interviewed but that's pretty unlikely.  I think it's more likely than not that they were keeping the big deflator emails in reserve.
 

Super Nomario

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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
 
If every Patriots ball really started at 12.5 and if only the Ideal Gas Law affected their relative changes in temperature, then what we would see is that the 1st ball measured would have the lowest pressure and then pressure would steadily climb over the next 10 balls since each successive ball had been exposed to a longer time inside at halftime.  The fact that there is not even a remote semblance of this pattern (in fact the lowest recording is one of the last balls measured) basically shows that there were massive sources of error somewhere in the process.  Those errors probably make the entire enterprise useless.  But they also make it largely fruitless to infer which gauge was originally used based on assumptions regarding the absolute accuracy of pre-game ball readings.
In fact, Exponent suggests that this variability is evidence of tampering (Exponent page 61-62).
 

dcmissle

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Dejesus is correct, I'm afraid, in the post above. This time WE are living in a bubble.

Flipped on sports radio yesterday while shaving:

"He ought to get another 2 games for lying ... He lied, then doubled down on the lie ..."

(Click)

Understand what while I am 40 miles from Baltimore, I might as well be 4000 miles away. This is not an anti-Pats hotbed. If anything, there is admiration for the team here, particularly among the radio sports jockeys, who drive opinion probably more than anyone else.

People are not digging into the nitty gritty on this because they have no incentives to so do. The idea that the Pats' 20,000 word would sink in and change opinion is charmingly optimistic, but almost certainly wrong.

Nothing short of a genuine inside whistle blower is likely to reshuffle the deck on this now insofar as the public is concerned. If TB gets off, it will be attributed to a technicality.
 

I12XU

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dcmissle, you hear the same from half of the sports radio guys in Boston. The other half just want Tom to confess and move on.
 

geoduck no quahog

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Try living in a place where the average schmuck is saying "If the Patriots hadn't cheated in Arizona we would have won the Superbowl".
 

dcmissle

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I12XU said:
dcmissle, you hear the same from half of the sports radio guys in Boston. The other half just want Tom to confess and move on.
I don't doubt that, save for the two afternoon drive shows. One I imagine is pro, the other vehemently anti.

I was not suggesting a Boston bubble. I was suggesting a SoSH bubble. People here are smart and invested on this. Elsewhere, no
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Super Nomario said:
In fact, Exponent suggests that this variability is evidence of tampering (Exponent page 61-62).
 
Right, I forgot to include that part, which is obviously important!
 
Unfortunately, the Colts balls also differed by up to .8 psi and showed no semblance of a pattern of increasing pressure over time.  And who knows how much more they might have differed if they had bothered to test all 11.
 

Super Nomario

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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
 
Right, I forgot to include that part, which is obviously important!
 
Unfortunately, the Colts balls also differed by up to .8 psi and showed no semblance of a pattern of increasing pressure over time.  And who knows how much more they might have differed if they had bothered to test all 11.
Yes, it's ridiculous because of that. It's also ridiculous because when they did a dry run to see if they could deflate 13 balls in 90 seconds, their standard deviation was just 0.1 PSI or so. I don't have a great explanation for the variance in the PSI of the Patriots' footballs, but tampering seems a pretty far-fetched explanation.
 

Bongorific

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Shelterdog said:
 
It's possible that Paul, Weiss hasn't read the Deflator text when McNally was interviewed but that's pretty unlikely.  I think it's more likely than not that they were keeping the big deflator emails in reserve.
Agree 100%. Which is why I don't blame the Pats counsel for their approach. "He was interviewed 3 times by the NFL investigators, and you had a full day with him. No need for new evidence was revealed. You had everything you needed to properly question him. If there's something specific you need, let us know and we will try to provide it. Otherwise, my client has procided more cooperation than was necessary."

I assume PW know how to conduct a a thorough deposition. They didn't forget to ask. They hoping during round 3 he would provide some inconsistent testimony.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Wells said he discovered the deflator text after the interview, because he had only checked the messages pertaining to the season up to then.
 

Section15Box113

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Nick Kaufman said:
Wells said he discovered the deflator text after the interview, because he had only checked the messages pertaining to the season up to then.
So he is saying that his team was unprepared and incompetent.

If I were his client, I'd much prefer the alternative.
 

garzooma

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Mar 4, 2011
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Section15Box113 said:
So he is saying that his team was unprepared and incompetent.
 
No, no -- he had a list of questions prepared based on the messages before the start of the season, but the dog ate them.
 

Myt1

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Nick Kaufman said:
Wells said he discovered the deflator text after the interview, because he had only checked the messages pertaining to the season up to then.
Yeah, he was lying.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Nick Kaufman said:
Wells said he discovered the deflator text after the interview, because he had only checked the messages pertaining to the season up to then.
Is it not obvious to run some keyword searches on the whole batch of texts? Or would that have cost the NFL an extra million?
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Eddie Jurak said:
Is it not obvious to run some keyword searches on the whole batch of texts? Or would that have cost the NFL an extra million?
 
Even if they hadn't, there just weren't that many texts between McNally and JJ.  People have talked about them being "in the hundreds" which probably means like < 10 pages if printed out all together.
 
So these are the key witnesses and this is potentially the most important source of evidence in the entire investigation and Wells is basically claiming that he read up to page 5 and then decided, "Ah fuck it, we can read the rest of these after the interview."
 
Sure.
 

Shelterdog

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Nick Kaufman said:
Wells said he discovered the deflator text after the interview, because he had only checked the messages pertaining to the season up to then.
 
I know a lot of folks who've worked with Wells over the years.  The concept of Wells discovering any document in a document production is beyond comical. He's an amazing, hardworking lawyer but he's not exactly a guy who's doing a ton of document review.
Myt1 said:
Yeah, he was lying.
 
Or using some misleading hyperliteral reading ("Oh I hadn't seen the document" but he saw it's full text in deposition outline or something).

There is some small chance the associate doing the document review is a total moron and they didn't find it.  A good percentage of junior associates at great firms are, despite the clerkships, law review, great schools and all, complete fucking idiots when it comes to working a case. 
 

caesarbear

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Jan 28, 2007
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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
 
(in fact the lowest recording is one of the last balls measured) 
Are you assuming that the Patriots footballs as numbered in the Wells Report were numbered in order of testing? There's no indication of that in the report itself? Where do you get that?
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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caesarbear said:
Are you assuming that the Patriots footballs as numbered in the Wells Report were numbered in order of testing? There's no indication of that in the report itself? Where do you get that?
 
That's my assumption.  The Wells Report may not say this explicitly but I think its a fair assumption unless there is information provided to the contrary, especially given that the report stresses in general how orderly the testing process was and how many people were involved in recording and verifying the measurements.  What is the alternative?  That they wrote down 11 sets of numbers on different scraps of paper so they didnt know the order in which the balls were tested?  Or that they wrote them down in order and then jumbled them up in the report for some reason?
 

Investor 11

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Do we know when Walt Anderson was interviewed and if he was interviewed multiple times?

Also, when does Wells receive the Exponent report?

Because we know the Exponent report basis the numbers on the non logo gauge. I wonder whether there was a second interview of Anderson after Wells received the Exponent report where wells presses Anderson as to whether it's possible he used that gauge because he knows it's the only one that will supports the desired findings.
 

Shelterdog

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Investor 11 said:
Do we know when Walt Anderson was interviewed and if he was interviewed multiple times?

Also, when does Wells receive the Exponent report?

Because we know the Exponent report basis the numbers on the non logo gauge. I wonder whether there was a second interview of Anderson after Wells received the Exponent report where wells presses Anderson as to whether it's possible he used that gauge because he knows it's the only one that will supports the desired findings.
 
The way these things normally go is that Exponent would be running experiments and doing new models and shifting their answers and assumption in close conjunction with Paul, Weiss from early on in the case and would only press print on the final report once they and Paul, Weiss were satisfied with it.  So sure, if they wanted to Paul, Weiss could have gone back to reinterview people to get testimony to support Exponent's results.
 

caesarbear

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Jan 28, 2007
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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
 
That's my assumption.  The Wells Report may not say this explicitly but I think its a fair assumption unless there is information provided to the contrary, especially given that the report stresses in general how orderly the testing process was and how many people were involved in recording and verifying the measurements.  What is the alternative?  That they wrote down 11 sets of numbers on different scraps of paper so they didnt know the order in which the balls were tested?  Or that they wrote them down in order and then jumbled them up in the report for some reason?
Why assume that Farley kept them in order? No one in that room knew about the effect of temperature at the time. He could have written out the pairs of pressure for each ball tested and placed it next the ball and then only collected them later. There's no mention of any significance given to the ball numbers in the Wells report, in fact the post-game measurement footnote says they are random.
 

Harry Hooper

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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
 
Even if they hadn't, there just weren't that many texts between McNally and JJ.  People have talked about them being "in the hundreds" which probably means like < 10 pages if printed out all together.
 
So these are the key witnesses and this is potentially the most important source of evidence in the entire investigation and Wells is basically claiming that he read up to page 5 and then decided, "Ah fuck it, we can read the rest of these after the interview."
 
Sure.
. And we ran out of time to measure all the Colts' balls.
Sure