#DFG: Canceling the Noise

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


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Hendu for Kutch

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pappymojo said:
The comments on the Sally Jenkins article are amazing. 
 
I've never seen such rampant and inappropriate use of the word "technicality" as I have the past week.  Brady's going to get off on the "technicality" that nothing actually happened.
 

Section15Box113

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tims4wins said:
 
Awesome. She has risen above all other media on this topic.
Makes me wonder if eventually Jenkins, Florio, et.al, turn their attention to the draft picks. After all, if there is no scientific evidence of deflation and a judge rules in TB's favor...

Of course, I understand fully that there is no formal mechanism for the team to get its penalty overturned. Kraft stepped away from his lone avenue - presumably because it was a case his lawyers told him he couldn't win - and accepted the sanctions. No appeal. We're done. Picks gone.

However, one wonders if the science is clarified and Brady's ban is overturned in part on that basis (or even if a court ruling is more narrow, but it references the questions in the AEI report), will the media beat the drum?

I will say that getting the level of attention on that part is probably a pipedream and I've already written off the first rounder in 2016 and the fourth in 2017.

But after hearing my dedicated lifetime Jet fan college roommate's reaction to the AEI piece ("Ugh: actual facts. That article just ruined my night."), I can certainly imagine there being enough chatter in certain pockets of the media and with fact-based fans that some degree of pressure is actually brought to bear on Goodell, forcing him to justify his harsh punishment of the team. Which in light of the AEI piece, may be hard to do.

Again, probably unlikely.

But beyond getting Brady back on the field sooner rather than later, we're playing the long game. And the commissioner could revisit the team punishment any time between now and the 2016 draft.

Pass the popcorn.
 

Section15Box113

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Hendu for Kutch said:
 
I've never seen such rampant and inappropriate use of the word "technicality" as I have the past week.  Brady's going to get off on the "technicality" that nothing actually happened.
Hmmm. Maybe the "fact-based fans" are few and far between.
 

Valek123

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Section15Box113 said:
Hmmm. Maybe the "fact-based fans" are few and far between.
 
I think it's more that the fact-based fans aren't trolling stories with factual data, many I've talked to reply that this whole thing was vendetta based and it's proving to be just that.  It's only those who want it so desperately to be true that reply in the comments sections, their very fandom and understanding of how the Pats have been successful depend on it.  It's by and large the fans we should care the least about.
 

Ed Hillel

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Most of the comments are pretty good, that Jason McNaughton guy appears everywhere; every Patriots article, every official Pats Facebook page, it's kind of sad. The article is fantastic, and absolutely 100% on point. If Brady/Kessler bring in 10 statistical studies that counter Wells, what is he going to do? That will all be on record in a subsequent appeal. He's boxed himself in, he really has little choice but to stick with the Wells Report to the end. I think reducing the suspension would actually hurt his case down the road. What reason would he give to reduce the suspension? The report is faulty? If so, a court will hammer him for any punishment. The punishment is too harsh? Well, what's changed between now and the time you made the decision in the first place? He believes Brady now, but is going to punish him for "lack of cooperation?" An innocent guy not handing over his phone is now worthy of 2 games suspension? That won't work, either. Law of the shop. He's going to have to tough it out, imo, stand by the Wells report, and Brady's camp is going to be sure to introduce as much stuff as possible to get on record in front of the judge. I don't believe we're even going to know the evidence that goes before Goodell until Kessler writes up his motion to the court, as these are considered private. Maybe someone will leak it, we'll see.
 

phenweigh

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JimBoSox9 said:
it's a good point, but i dunno why it deserves multiple quotes and applause.
Me neither.
 
For the record, since I rarely post about the Pats and that post may be interpreted that I'm not a Patriot supporter:
 
  • I am a Pats fan and have been since the early 1970s.
  • As a mechanical engineer I'm more of a fact/science kind of guy than a perception/motive kind of guy, so since the science shows no deflation occurred Brady should serve no suspension.
  • I'm glad he's apparently going to fight this until there is no penalty.
  • I'm quite pissed at the NFL for creating a ridiculous distraction leading up to the Superb Owl.
  • Roger Goodell should lose his job.  I understand the owners are making tons of money, but is it really so hard to understand that wouldn't change with another commissioner?
  • The NFL has been the only sport that I'd happily watch non-Boston based teams.  No more.  I'll only watch Patriots games as long as Goodell remains commissioner.
 

Hagios

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Hendu for Kutch said:
 
I've never seen such rampant and inappropriate use of the word "technicality" as I have the past week.  Brady's going to get off on the "technicality" that nothing actually happened.
 
If the science is shit, you must acquit.
 

amarshal2

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I've thought about Goddell's position and this is how I think it will play out:
 
Assumptions
-Goddell now knows that the report is flawed and that there probably shouldn't have been a punishment
-The majority of owners are not paying close attention and believe that the Pats are probably guilty (otherwise I think Krafts mini-rebellion doesn't lose steam so quickly...all we heard was owners say that they respect him but he should drop it)
-If the other owners truly understood that this was a sham designed to railroad an innocent team draft picks would be returned and Roger's job would be in jeopardy
-Roger Goddell will save his job above all else
 
Kessler and the NFLPA have so much red meat that the appeal is very dangerous for Goddell.  The NFLPA will do everything in their power to get Goddell to confront the obvious logic that this whole thing is wrong.  
 
This leaves Goddell with 2 choices:
1) Allow for an appeal where he is backed into a corner and forced to grant to some degree that the Wells report is flawed/unreliable
2) Run a total kangaroo court of a hearing where he makes a ton of missteps he may pay for later but that keeps him from having to admit any flaw in Wells
 
My contention is that Goddell will choose #2 every time.  The last thing he wants to do, I think, is admit any sort of weakness in the Wells report.  If he does that then he allows it to become the narrative.  And once it's the narrative, the other owners may take notice and you follow the logical chain until the Pats have their draft picks back and Goddell looks very stupid to his bosses.
 
Instead, Goddell will act like a clown in this appeal, stand his ground, and hope for a favorable judge in court.  Even if/when he loses in court he still has the ability to influence the narrative.  He can say something like, "I'm disappointed in the courts findings.  We here in the NFL apply a different standard of proof."  Essentially, he can find a way to maintain the existing narrative and keep the draft pick penalties in place.  
 
Result: The other owners will not be forced to reconcile the findings of the court with the actual innocence of Brady and the Patriots -- something highly dissonant that they actively do not want to do. Goddell lives to fight another day.
 
edit: I can't think of scenario 1a. where Goddell admits some flaw in Wells but still maintains the narrative and the draft pick punishment.  I think the evidence is too strong all the way around that they are innocent and that admission to risky for RG.
 
The only alternative to all of this is that the other owners already know it's a sham and don't care.  I can't believe they are collectively that stupid and short sighted.  However in that case Goddell will still just maximize his public perception and the rest of the logic applies.
 

TheoShmeo

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I know this is not the media forum but Sally Jenkins' article totally disgusts me.  Not that I don't think it's excellent.  I do.
 
But how could it be that NO ONE in the Boston media is making the points that Ms. Jenkins makes?  In fairness, Mike Reiss immediately linked the report and while he means well, I frankly would not expect that level of analysis from him.  He's not an opportunistic Ben Volin type, but he just doesn't attack a subject like Jenkins did.
 
Putting aside Reiss, it remains a horrible indictment that not one mediot in Boston or NE came out with an article like that.  Or did I miss it?  I doubt it in that I would assume anything along those lines would have been linked here.
 
One could speculate on why the locals so thoroughly failed here.  Lack of talent, focus on clicks, the desire not to appear like a Pats Toadie and laziness all likely fit in.  Whatever the cause, it sucks. 
 
PS: I don't mean to malign Matt Chatham and Tom Curran either.  Both have been very good on this story.  That doesn't eliminate my question but I didn't want to paint with a brush that gave a faulty impression on those two.
 

dabombdig

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TheoShmeo said:
I know this is not the media forum but Sally Jenkins' article totally disgusts me.  Not that I don't think it's excellent.  I do.
 
But how could it be that NO ONE in the Boston media is making the points that Ms. Jenkins makes?  In fairness, Mike Reiss immediately linked the report and while he means well, I frankly would not expect that level of analysis from him.  He's not an opportunistic Ben Volin type, but he just doesn't attack a subject like Jenkins did.
 
Putting aside Reiss, it remains a horrible indictment that not one mediot in Boston or NE came out with an article like that.  Or did I miss it?  I doubt in that I would assume anything along those lines would have been linked here.
 
One could speculate on why the locals so thoroughly failed here.  Lack of talent, focus on clicks, the desire not to appear like a Pats Toadie and laziness all likely fit in.  Whatever the cause, it sucks. 
 
PS: I don't mean to malign Matt Chatham and Tom Curran either.  Both have been very good on this story.  That doesn't eliminate my question but I didn't want to paint with a brush that gave a faulty impression on those two.
Tom E. Curran has done a fairly decent job of attacking this subject and so has Micheal Hurley of CBS Boston.
 

allstonite

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There are a few lesser known people out there doing just that. Tom Curran, as you mention, is the most prominent pro-Patriots writer I can think of in this ordeal. But also Chad Finn has been pretty great. He's not necessarily doing a point by point take down but more pointing out what a farce the entire thing is. Doug Kyed at NESN has, in my opinion, been completely neutral and curious about every new item that comes out. He's been leaning pro-Patriots but I think that is more based on the facts being in their favor than any bias. Michael Hurley has been great basically being FJM-lite attacking a lot of the trolling articles that have come out. The trolls will always get more of the attention. 
 

Reverend

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troparra said:
 
That's their only recourse. Reporters are supposed to report new information. When that information is already provided (such as the public release of the Wells report), then all they can do is paraphrase the executive summary.   
When a subsequent conflicting report is released publicly, then they can still paraphrase the report, but how do they reconcile the difference between the two reports? They can't critically appraise the report because they don't have those skills, so they fall back on the old adage that you can pay experts to say what you want.  As a result, they look for bias.  End of story.
 
If this had always been the case, we might still be in Vietnam. Reporters have lots of other tools to go digging with. Like interviewing people who know stuff and shit.
 
 
 
lambeau said:
https://forums.footballguys.com/forum/index.php?/topic/231975-head-lawyer-of-nfl/

While Roger would seem to have great latitude, apparently by labor law he really doesn't. Sal Pal really emphasized the NFLPA legal position that discipline has to be consistent--and by that standard, neither cell phone withholding (Favre), chatter not resulting in on-field transgressions (Bountygate), nor
even ball-tampering (fine set at $25K)can justify suspension.

So why isn't Roger's brain (Pash, above) telling him this? I can only think Roger, after the Rice debacle, was desperate to look tough, and overplayed this.
 
Important correction: The ball tampering fine is set with a $25k minimum. That's an important distinction.
 
Of course, we have some interesting back ground from Jos Posnaski about this--a guy who does some actual research like a real reporter might even though he's a columnist:
 
Do you know why it’s even a $25,000 fine? Believe it or not it used to be less than that – they raised it to $25,000 in 1999 but not because of quarterbacks. They raised the fine because KICKERS were doing all sorts of things to the footballs – baking them, overinflating them, putting Harry Potter charms on them etc.
 
 
So while technically on paper the fine can be set higher, we know from past practice of actual ball tampering what the expected standard for punishment was considered.
 
 
dcmissle said:
Yes, to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, where the AP case is now.

People need to realize that as strong as TB's legal position is, it is weaker than AP's and certainly weaker than Ray Rice's. RG fought nonetheless.
 
I was going to point out the same. Do we have any sense of when the appeals will be heard and ruled upon? Or what possible influence rulings of procedural violations or, even better though perhaps less likely, inadequate and unfair procedures might have for Brady's case, both in the lower court and on the NFL's likely inevitable appeal?
 
 
snowmanny said:
In the other cases the procedural errors on the part of the NFL/Goodell were clearer. I have no clue why the NFLPA agreed to a process that allows Goodell to set the punishment and the do the appeal.
 
Well, because it's increasingly clear that the NFL ate the NFLPA's lunch at the negotiations. What's really incredible though is that in the Rice and Peterson cases, as dcmissile points out, Goodell still manages to violate the rules that gave him near unlimited power. That's impressive.
 

danlmac

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned, painfully, throughout this whole stupid, insulting, infuriating ordeal, it’s that whenever I expect common sense to prevail, it won’t. Every single damn time. It’s sort of surreal.
 
At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Goodell increased Brady’s suspension to six games.
 

Harry Hooper

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Regarding Sal and the $25K fine for ball tampering, he noted the other point being stressed by the NFLPA/Brady team is that this fine on the books is a team fine. In this case Brady (as a player) is being fined, and the fine has mushroomed from $25,000 to nearly $2 million (lost pay).
 

Sportsbstn

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I hope when this is all said and done Kraft turns to Goodell and says:  "why the fuck did you fine us again?" and really calls out Goodell one more time.   I wonder if Kraft is regretting the decision to drop the appeal the more definitively the Wells report looks Goodell's inept uncle wrote it, because I know many fans are fuming he did.
 

Bleedred

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If this is an annoying sidebar, then disregard, but I'm really interested in what Ted Wells thinks at this point.  Does he follow something like the AEI report and realize that his report has been shredded and that it threatens his reputation, at least with objective, fair-minded folks?  Or does he simply not care, because he can blame exponent, the NFL paid him $5 million and will likely continue to pay him, and it's not his problem.   
 

ivanvamp

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TheoShmeo said:
I know this is not the media forum but Sally Jenkins' article totally disgusts me.  Not that I don't think it's excellent.  I do.
 
But how could it be that NO ONE in the Boston media is making the points that Ms. Jenkins makes?  In fairness, Mike Reiss immediately linked the report and while he means well, I frankly would not expect that level of analysis from him.  He's not an opportunistic Ben Volin type, but he just doesn't attack a subject like Jenkins did.
 
Putting aside Reiss, it remains a horrible indictment that not one mediot in Boston or NE came out with an article like that.  Or did I miss it?  I doubt it in that I would assume anything along those lines would have been linked here.
 
One could speculate on why the locals so thoroughly failed here.  Lack of talent, focus on clicks, the desire not to appear like a Pats Toadie and laziness all likely fit in.  Whatever the cause, it sucks. 
 
PS: I don't mean to malign Matt Chatham and Tom Curran either.  Both have been very good on this story.  That doesn't eliminate my question but I didn't want to paint with a brush that gave a faulty impression on those two.
http://www.patsfans.com/blogs/vampatella/2015/06/13/a-thorough-look-at-deflategate-how-did-we-get-to-this-point/

Ain't gonna lie... It's long, but pretty thorough.
 

Tony C

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danlmac said:
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, painfully, throughout this whole stupid, insulting, infuriating ordeal, it’s that whenever I expect common sense to prevail, it won’t. Every single damn time. It’s sort of surreal.
 
At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Goodell increased Brady’s suspension to six games.
 
heh..yep.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Sportsbstn said:
I hope when this is all said and done Kraft turns to Goodell and says:  "why the fuck did you fine us again?" and really calls out Goodell one more time.   I wonder if Kraft is regretting the decision to drop the appeal the more definitively the Wells report looks Goodell's inept uncle wrote it, because I know many fans are fuming he did.
He's not regretting dropping it, because he had no avenues to achieve anything, based on the system he is a part of and the agreement he signed when he bought the team.

He's likely not happy about that, but there's really nothing he could do. He doesn't have the avenues that Brady has available to him.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Bleedred said:
If this is an annoying sidebar, then disregard, but I'm really interested in what Ted Wells thinks at this point.  Does he follow something like the AEI report and realize that his report has been shredded and that it threatens his reputation, at least with objective, fair-minded folks?  Or does he simply not care, because he can blame exponent, the NFL paid him $5 million and will likely continue to pay him, and it's not his problem.   
Wells is smart enough to know what he was doing as he did it. His opinion of the matter will be decided by how his bosses and clients react, specifically how it impacts his bank account.
 

geoduck no quahog

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I'm gonna duck immediately after posting this, but...
 
 
What if McNally's gone to the NFL and admitted to deflating footballs at Brady's insistence? Do we know for sure he hasn't?
 

ivanvamp

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geoduck no quahog said:
I'm gonna duck immediately after posting this, but...
 
 
What if McNally's gone to the NFL and admitted to deflating footballs at Brady's insistence? Do we know for sure he hasn't?
 
He may have.
 
But if so, then he sure didn't deflate them in the Pats-Colts game.  Because the science tells us he didn't.  Or if he did, he deflated just a few footballs, and those by like 0.1-0.3 psi.  Which would be…..utterly ridiculous.
 

Super Nomario

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ivanvamp said:
 
He may have.
 
But if so, then he sure didn't deflate them in the Pats-Colts game.  Because the science tells us he didn't.  Or if he did, he deflated just a few footballs, and those by like 0.1-0.3 psi.  Which would be…..utterly ridiculous.
I think this is too strong a characterization of the physical evidence. Anderson might have used the non-logo gauge before the game, in which case there would still be a discrepancy in the PSI drop that could potentially be explained by tampering. The Wells report is wrong that the evidence necessarily implicates the Patriots, but that doesn't mean it exonerates them - I don't think there's enough data to conclude anything 100%.
 

geoduck no quahog

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Yeh, the part that stands out is the variability in the Patriot's measurements. Theoretically the readings from 1-11 should have shown a consistent increase in pressure as the balls warmed up - which they would have if initially inflated to the exact same pressure and everything had been done in laboratory conditions. Doesn't prove anything given that:
 
a. there's no indication that the ball numbers correspond with the sequence of testing (although logic says they do)
b. there's no time constraint to apply the gas law as the balls regain heat (although they should do so at a predictable rate)
c. Most Critically: there's no indication that the initial (pe-game) readings were accurate, even assuming the correct gauge, as these device are outside the margin of error (see the 3 readings of the intercepted ball, all taken by the same gauge within seconds of each other and recorded on masking tape). Same goes for the gauges used to measure at halftime.
 
The Patriot's balls seemed to be all over the place at halftime on both gauges. Maybe if they'd gotten to more than a couple of Colt's balls the refs would have found the same variance in them...but Kensil would have been outraged. 
 

DJnVa

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ivanvamp said:
 
Interesting in that article it quotes an NFL rule about the balls:
 
In the event a home team ball does not conform to specifications, or its supply is exhausted, the Referee shall secure a proper ball from the visitors and, failing that, use the best available ball. Any such circumstances must be reported to the Commissioner.
 
 
That says, right in the NFL rulebook, that if (for some strange reason) every single ball there was not conforming to specifications such as, say PSI, they would simply use the "best available ball". Which means that, in certain circumstances, the NFL allows "illegal" balls to be used. Which means, they clearly can't be this huge affront to the sanctity of the sport.
 

djbayko

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Yeah, law enforcement loves confessions because it makes their job easier. The NFL is not hiding anything.
 

ivanvamp

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DrewDawg said:
 
Interesting in that article it quotes an NFL rule about the balls:
 
 
That says, right in the NFL rulebook, that if (for some strange reason) every single ball there was not conforming to specifications such as, say PSI, they would simply use the "best available ball". Which means that, in certain circumstances, the NFL allows "illegal" balls to be used. Which means, they clearly can't be this huge affront to the sanctity of the sport.
Good point. I bet that's pretty rare, and we can be sure the NFL doesn't normally (if ever) test balls throughout the game to see if they comply with regulations.

There's no doubt that in some games, because of frigid temps, every single ball played is outside NFL regulation air pressure.
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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There is no Rev said:
Important correction: The ball tampering fine is set with a $25k minimum. That's an important distinction.
 
<...>
 
So while technically on paper the fine can be set higher, we know from past practice of actual ball tampering what the expected standard for punishment was considered.
 
The PatsFans article gets to this, laboriously, on page 5:
 
Let’s first talk about the penalty for illegally tampering with the football.  The rulebook, as we have seen, says the following:
 
“Once the balls have left the locker room, no one, including players, equipment managers, ball boys, and coaches, is allowed to alter the footballs in any way. If any individual alters the footballs, or if a non-approved ball is used in the game, the person responsible and, if appropriate, the head coach or other club personnel will be subject to discipline, including but not limited to, a fine of $25,000.”[38]
 
If anyone alters the footballs, the penalty includes, but is not limited to, a fine of $25,000.  I must reiterate here that there is one interesting twist to this.  The Wells report itself states that the Colts, after intercepting a Brady pass in the second quarter, took the football and inserted a gauge into it.  By definition, air was let out of the football and into the gauge.  Even though it is a slight amount, the Colts did alter the football.  The Wells report states this unequivocally.  Yet the Colts, who absolutely violated the rule, have not received any punishment whatsoever.
 
Let us revisit the $25,000 fine aspect for a moment.  Recall that the fine for excessive swearing is $20,000.  So a $25,000 fine is an incredibly minimal penalty.  It is still a penalty, and it is still something worth talking about and enforcing, but it is a minimal penalty.  It shows that tampering with a football is not a particularly serious issue.  It would be like receiving a $250 fine for speeding – certainly not nothing, but not the same thing as spending months in prison.
 
When the rules say that the fine is not limited to $25,000, that means, of course, that the penalty can be more.  And that’s fine.  Maybe the Patriots, if they truly orchestrated this scheme, should be penalized more.  Maybe even $25,000 per football tampered with.  That would come to $325,000 – a very serious amount for a minor infraction.  That would be like giving a person going 60 in a 55 a $3,250 fine instead of a $250 fine.  A very serious penalty given the nature of the infraction.
 
But that’s not what Goodell gave the Patriots.  They received, as a team, a $1 million fine, the loss of their starting quarterback for 4 games (at the cost of $2 million to him), and the loss of a 2016 first-round, and a 2017 fourth-round draft pick.  This is like sending a guy doing 60 in a 55 to prison for months.  The penalty is completely out of whack with what the rules suggest.  That the rules say “including, but not limited to, a fine of $25,000” does not give Goodell the freedom to hit the Patriots with whatever penalty he desires.  The $25,000 figure is there for a reason – to show the level of seriousness of the infraction.  And it simply is not that serious a crime.
 
We know this to be true because, as we have seen already, two other teams were actually caught tampering with the football.  The Chargers in 2012 used a sticky towel to apply adhesive to the footballs.  They were given no penalty whatsoever for this.  The Panthers in 2014 – just weeks before the AFC Championship Game – heated up cold footballs on the sideline during a game in order to get more air into them.  They were caught on television doing this and all the NFL did was send them a message not to do that.  There was no investigation and no penalty at all.  The NFL saw it happen and did nothing.
 
I'm not sure if the bolded is true literally, but it's certainly true normatively.
 

Reverend

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Yeah, it almost certainly doesn't under actual, like, law law, involving the law of the shop. But I agree, as thorough as the piece is, it should have been more precise on that distinction.

So basically, to put an even finer point on it, the NFL rules as governed by the CBA would allow it, but that is all trumped by the law of the land, which does not, even if said CBA and rules were voluntarily agreed to, if the auction taken under said rules violate established practices within the agreement.
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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Right, the penalty includes, but is not limited to, $25k.  Accordingly, the NFL has fined Tom Brady $25k and he also will be eaten by a tiger, live and on-screen, for the viewing pleasure of most of the rest of the league.  It's in the league's best interests.  Hey, if you didn't want that on the table, you shouldn't have collectively bargained for it.
 

ivanvamp

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MentalDisabldLst said:
Right, the penalty includes, but is not limited to, $25k.  Accordingly, the NFL has fined Tom Brady $25k and he also will be eaten by a tiger, live and on-screen, for the viewing pleasure of most of the rest of the league.  It's in the league's best interests.  Hey, if you didn't want that on the table, you shouldn't have collectively bargained for it.
Heh. Let's see how the appeal goes. Maybe this penalty is still in Brady's future.

But seriously, it HAS to be evident to most sane people that the penalty given Brady and the Patriots is way over the top given the alleged infraction (which we can be pretty confident did not actually happen, but assuming it did...), and what the rule book and precedent call for, doesn't it?
 

TheoShmeo

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ivanvamp said:
Heh. Let's see how the appeal goes. Maybe this penalty is still in Brady's future.

But seriously, it HAS to be evident to most sane people that the penalty given Brady and the Patriots is way over the top given the alleged infraction (which we can be pretty confident did not actually happen, but assuming it did...), and what the rule book and precedent call for, doesn't it?
That is clear to anyone who reviews the entire circumstances objectively and who does not have a preconceived bias against the Patriots.
 
Unfortunately, getting anyone who is not a Patriots fan to do that is near impossible.  People either don't care enough or simply enjoy the anti-Pats/Brady conclusion too much to spend the time necessary to understand the lunacy of this situation.
 

ivanvamp

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Jul 18, 2005
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TheoShmeo said:
That is clear to anyone who reviews the entire circumstances objectively and who does not have a preconceived bias against the Patriots.
 
Unfortunately, getting anyone who is not a Patriots fan to do that is near impossible.  People either don't care enough or simply enjoy the anti-Pats/Brady conclusion too much to spend the time necessary to understand the lunacy of this situation.
Sadly, I think you're right.

I can understand thst when it comes to fans. But when the decision-makers at the highest levels of the NFL are ALSO like that, we have a serious, serious problem.

I'd like to think that, at some point, the owners would wake up to this. The Sherriff has now hammered two franchises (New Orleans and New England) with utterly excessive penalties. The Saints' penalty was overturned by Tagliabue in a scathing judgment against Goodell. That didn't seem to faze the commissioner, who went right back out and did it again to the Patriots.

What has to give owners pause is that they have to see that he could just as easily do this to THEM. How will they like it then?

Unfortunately, they don't seem to be thinking any of these things. They'd rather see the Pats take a huge hit than have a more fair and just system.

And that, too, is a very serious problem. It doesn't speak well to the other owners, and it probably gives us a little insight as to how powerless Kraft was to fight this, and why he chose the course of action that he did.
 

TheoShmeo

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I think that what we are seeing with the other owners is based on (1) the perception that the Pats are always bending or outright breaking the rules, (2) the view that they got off too easy on SpyGate and this is a bit of frontier justice (sort of like OJ's harsh larceny penalty after beating the murder rap), (3) perhaps most importantly, a reaction against the team and Brady not being totally cooperative with the investigation ("they must have something to hide!"), (4) lazy thinking, along the lines mentioned above, (5) unwillingness to expend political capital or rock the boat on an issue that does not affect their teams directly and (6) jealousy.
 

ivanvamp

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Jul 18, 2005
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I have said this before and I'll say it again. This is really all about spygate. If that never happens, the reaction to this isn't remotely as bad.

And i contend that spygate, while clearly an infraction, is one of the most overblown things in league history. So the Pats are, in effect, STILL being punished for that.

And if, as the recent report strongly suggests, the Pats actually did nothing wrong in the deflate gate situation, then they're going to be even further paying for both of year things, when the actual punishment should have been small right from the start (spygate).

I mean, how can the Broncos have actually been caught taping opposing practices, be a repeat offender, and only be hit with a nominal fine, just three years after spygate, if taping opponents is so bad? And note: yes it was under McDaniels' watch in Denver. That should have made the penalty a LOT worse if they want to connect it to the Patriots.

The whole thing is sooooooooo aggravating.
 

Average Reds

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ivanvamp said:
Sadly, I think you're right.

I can understand thst when it comes to fans. But when the decision-makers at the highest levels of the NFL are ALSO like that, we have a serious, serious problem.

I'd like to think that, at some point, the owners would wake up to this. The Sherriff has now hammered two franchises (New Orleans and New England) with utterly excessive penalties. The Saints' penalty was overturned by Tagliabue in a scathing judgment against Goodell. That didn't seem to faze the commissioner, who went right back out and did it again to the Patriots.

What has to give owners pause is that they have to see that he could just as easily do this to THEM. How will they like it then?

Unfortunately, they don't seem to be thinking any of these things. They'd rather see the Pats take a huge hit than have a more fair and just system.

And that, too, is a very serious problem. It doesn't speak well to the other owners, and it probably gives us a little insight as to how powerless Kraft was to fight this, and why he chose the course of action that he did.
You are correct of course, but the reaction of the owners to these events is a bit more complicated than this.

The punishment handed down to the Saints came at a time when the NFL was looking to give themselves leverage in litigation against retired players on the issue of player safety. So which scenario would Goodell (and the owners) choose? Acknowledge that the language and culture of on-field violence demonstrated by the Saints was normal within the confines of the NFL? Or declare that this was a rogue franchise acting outside of the norms with an NFLPA activist (Fujita) at the heart of the scandal?

With the Pats, the choice is between acknowledging the failed sting operation (which actually does cast a shadow over the integrity of the game) or conclude that the balls were deflated, pin it on Brady and some underlings and slap down the Pats? If "protecting the shield" is the actual guide for the NFL, there really isn't a choice, since even if/when Brady manhandles the NFL on appeal or in court, no one will be talking about the sting operation.

The risk taken by the owners in keeping Goodell at the helm is that he is out of touch and surrounded by incompetents, which makes him unpredictable. But if he's a stooge, at least he's their stooge. (Or, as LBJ said about Hoover "better to have him inside the tent pissing out.")
 

ivanvamp

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Jul 18, 2005
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Good points, but I'd the NFL Ewalt cared about the integrity of the game, they'd have contacted the Patriots from the outset and said, look, we hear there might be some shenanigans with the footballs...just don't do it - we will be watching very carefully.

They STILL wouldn't have understood the ideal gas law and so they still may have flown off the handle, but at least they could point to that to say they cared more about the integrity of the game than they did catching the Patriots in an act of wrong doing.

Never mind, of course, that an entire room full of officials say and watched as McNally took the bags of balls and walked right past them out the door, unaccompanied by any NFL official. Nobody said boo.

Moreover, they had all kinds of options to make sure they were using regulation footballs of they were so worried. Anderson simply could have said, we are gonna test the Pats balls now (at the start of the game, when he realized McNally had gone missing), and that we are starting using only Colts' balls.

Or he could have used backup balls. Any number of things.

Instead.....nothing.

It's very, very difficult to take the "integrity of the game" issue seriously. And protecting the shield here simply means a major case of CYA.
 

Average Reds

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The NFL is a ruthless business guided by ruthless individuals dispensing "justice" in a self-interested fashion. Integrity has nothing to do with it.
 

RIFan

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geoduck no quahog said:
I'm gonna duck immediately after posting this, but...
 
 
What if McNally's gone to the NFL and admitted to deflating footballs at Brady's insistence? Do we know for sure he hasn't?
I don't discount the possibility of something like that having come up since the Wells Report. The flip side is that it is equally likely Kessler has been able to get his hands on some leaked docs that implicate members of the commissioner's office in a deliberate scheme to take down the Patriots / or cover up their own ineptitude. If given 100-1 odds on either Goodell sitting on direct evidence against Brady and the Pats or Kessler producing evidence against the league, I put the money on Kessler all day long.
 

ivanvamp

captain obvious
Jul 18, 2005
6,104
Average Reds said:
The NFL is a ruthless business guided by ruthless individuals dispensing "justice" in a self-interested fashion. Integrity has nothing to do with it.
 
Apparently.  Just want to make sure everyone knows that the phrase "integrity of the game" is utterly vapid.
 

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On a plane yesterday, I had a conversation with a Bears fan and a Chiefs fan.. we all were strangers before the flight. I know a SSS, but the conversation reinforced my fear that no matter what.. the public has already convicted.   Both hated the Patriots and considered the org "dirty."  They knew of the holes in the Wells report yet dismissed the science rebuttal of the AEI report.. they cling instead to the "deflator" texts and Brady not releasing his phone text records. 
 
For them, Brady "looked and sounded guilty" during the press conference and Brady's comment about "know the rules" after the Raven's game sealed their conviction that the Patriot try to manipulate the rules to their favor and they should be pounded to the ground every opportunity they are discovered to be in any violation regardless of the severity of the infraction.
 
They both felt any science (like statistics) can be manipulated to meet any argument.  Somehow the fact that because MIT, Harvard, Tufts and other "hoity toity" colleges are in NE, they believe the Patriots think they are smarter then everybody else.   Football to them is a blue collar game, not to be manipulated by professors or mad scientists. 
 
The only hard evidence are the texts, by regular guys who are too stupid to cover their tracks.  If Brady was innocent he would have turned over his phone, naked pictures of his wife and all.
 
To these two, nothing that happens in the appeal process short of full confession by Kensil that  he (or someone else) deflated the Patriot's ball and set up a sting knowing the effects of the cold on PSI, would change their minds.  The Patriots are and always were and always will be CHEATERS. 
 
Asked them about Rice/Peterson.. neither knew anything about appeals or what happened and that was off the field stuff that to them the NFL doesn't really have jurisdiction.  They had no real opinion on Goodell and think he is "trying" at least in an era of quick fire media and stuff that was kept out of the press, is now blasted online at all hours..
 
During that long walk to my connecting flight at O'Hare, I realized that there is no chance the Patriots and Brady will escape an * next to their records in many people's eyes regardless of the outcome of the forthcoming appeal process.  The brand has been burned permanently and will probably last past the era of BB and TB. 
 
So, I say, Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead to Federal Court and take out a few more chink's in Goodell's armor..
 

ivanvamp

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Jul 18, 2005
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Can any of us name a single fan that wouldn't trade places with the Patriots, though?  That is, if THEIR team was accused of these things, but won four Super Bowls in 15 seasons, and was far and away the best franchise in the NFL over that period of time, that they wouldn't happily take the crap that comes with it?
 
I can't imagine any Falcons or Jets or Chargers or Broncos or Dolphins or Bears or Lions or Cowboys (or pick a team) fan saying, "I'd rather have OUR last 15 years than yours."
 

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ivanvamp said:
Can any of us name a single fan that wouldn't trade places with the Patriots, though?  That is, if THEIR team was accused of these things, but won four Super Bowls in 15 seasons, and was far and away the best franchise in the NFL over that period of time, that they wouldn't happily take the crap that comes with it?
 
I can't imagine any Falcons or Jets or Chargers or Broncos or Dolphins or Bears or Lions or Cowboys (or pick a team) fan saying, "I'd rather have OUR last 15 years than yours."
Agreed.. especially armed with the knowledge that the Patriot's/Brady were targeted. 
 
This sort of headline, though harmless and "fun" just infuriates me that the so called major Sports Network attaches -gate to everything Patriot related. From the front page right now: 
"

DanceGate: Tommy not-so-terrific
Tom Brady had all the wrong moves during the Patriots' Super Bowl ring ceremony earlier this week ... but he's owning it in a hilarious Facebook video.
http://espn.go.com/
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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On the flip side of that, I've recently had conversations with both a Jets fan and a Bills fan who are utterly contemptuous of the idea that the Pats did anything wrong. Both called the scandal a bunch of bullshit, and both indicated that they'd happily trade their right kidneys for the type of success the Pats had.
 
So it varies from fan to fan.
 

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I just heard Buster Onley on the radio and he of course poo-pooed the Cardinal scandal after he raked Brady over the coals. That guy has his mouth so tightly puckered to the Cardinals' front office asshole he can tell you what they ate last night.
 

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Leaving in a bit to the studio :)
ivanvamp said:
Can any of us name a single fan that wouldn't trade places with the Patriots, though?  That is, if THEIR team was accused of these things, but won four Super Bowls in 15 seasons, and was far and away the best franchise in the NFL over that period of time, that they wouldn't happily take the crap that comes with it?
 
I can't imagine any Falcons or Jets or Chargers or Broncos or Dolphins or Bears or Lions or Cowboys (or pick a team) fan saying, "I'd rather have OUR last 15 years than yours."
Benigno or Roberts (mid-day guys on WFAN) emphatically made that exact point ~3-4 weeks ago:  he'd trade his team's past 15 years for the Pat's past 15 years, baggage and all, without hesitation. "What fan wouldn't?!?"