- Dec 8, 2005
The way I read Vincent's explanation of why Brady was suspended, there are three elements:AB in DC said:
You're thinking about this too logically. Perception is reality.
Remember what Goodell said about the 2007 case at the time. The punishment came because the Patriots "avoid long-standing rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition". Not that the Patriots actually violated fair play or worked against honest competition, mind you -- just that the rules were there for that reason. How many people actually noticed that distinction? Basically no one. And to this day everyone says that the team illegally spied and cheated to help them win. Smoke and mirrors -- the rest of the sports world is happy that the Patriots got caught and punished, but the weasel words are written just carefully enough to avoid any real scrutiny.
So fast forward to 2015 and Goodell says that, because the Wells investigation dug up a lot of dirt that had nothing to do with the science itself. the NFl finds that Patriots did not adhere to rules about football preparation "designed" to protect the integrity of the game, yada yada yada. Regardless of where he ends up with Brady personally, would that surprise anyone? No matter what the science says, the rest of the world thinks that the Patriots cheated with deflated balls. It's a classic case of misdirection. The whole thing started off with accusions of deflated balls, and it's going end up with "well, we're not sure the balls were actually underinflated, but we found some other reason to punish the Patriots instead."
Yes, it's all nonsense, but that's the NFL's m.o. Bread and circuses all the time -- who cares about right and wrong when we're making a bazillion dollars every year!
1) The balls were deflated through some breach in pre-game protocol and we know this because of our scientists and
2) Brady was "generally aware" of this activity and we know that because of the texts and
3) The punishment is greater because of lack of cooperation.
I assume you would actually need elements 1 & 2 to both be pretty much clearly true in order to justify a punishment. Really all we may have is a text and "deflator" and a bathroom break and the rest of it is actual crap, but as you say that will probably be enough for them to leave some punishment and enough for the rest of the world to believe everything else. As for element three who knows what multiplier that gave to the punishment and how they determined four games at all.
The activities of the Patriots' employees were thoroughly documented in the report, including through a series of text messages and telephone communications, as well as evidence of a breach in pre-game protocol. In addition, the conclusions were supported by extensive scientific analysis, as detailed in the report.
With respect to your particular involvement, the report established that there is substantial and credible evidence to conclude you were at least generally aware of the actions of the Patriots' employees involved in the deflation of the footballs and that it was unlikely that their actions were done without your knowledge. Moreover, the report documents your failure to cooperate fully and candidly with the investigation, including by refusing to produce any relevant electronic evidence (emails, texts, etc.) despite being offered extraordinary safeguards by the investigators to protect unrelated personal information, and by providing testimony that the report concludes was not plausible and contradicted by other evidence.