TB Suspension: Cheater free to play again

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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My recollection is that Wells interviewed them only once. NFL security interviewed them 3 times.
I found this on the wellsreportincontext.com site:

Excerpt from email dated 2/5/15 @ 3:53 p.m. from Daniel L. Goldberg to Ted Wells and Lorin Reisner:

“Scheduling of witness interviews: You have requested new interviews of those already interviewed, as well as interviews of a number of other individuals. We will work to accommodate all those interviews. The interviews will be arranged so that, barring unanticipated circumstances, there will not be future multiple interviews of the same person.”

Excerpt from email dated 3/9/15 @ 4:47 p.m. from Dan Goldberg to Ted Wells and Lorin Reisner:

“As to Jim McNally

No time limits were put on his prior interviews, three by League Security and one, full day interview, by you. Among the reasons for my disinclination to ask that he come for yet another interview are:

We had an agreement from the outset that, barring extraordinary or unexpected circumstances, each person would be subjected to only one interview by you.

if you want some added information from Jim McNally, let me know what it is and I will consider the best way to get relevant information to you.

Excerpt from email dated 3/17/15 @ 10:35 a.m. from Dan Goldberg to Ted Wells and Lorin Reisner:

“For the various reasons previously identified, coupled with what you have now seen on video, I remain disinclined to ask him to appear again.”

(I have also pointed out to you that the “new” areas explored in the fourth Jastremski interview that you requested did not address issues that could not have been covered in an earlier interview.

For all these reasons, I remain disinclined to ask him to return again. If there are truly unanticipated fact areas that you believe are relevant to whether there was tampering with the balls at the AFC Game for which you need his input, let me know what they are and I will see how best to get you that information. Certainly were we in litigation you would not get the relief you now seek without disclosing specifically what it is that has triggered the request for a fifth deposition of the same witness and what it is you plan to cover. I do not feel I am asking you for anything out of the ordinary by making this request.”


Excerpt from email dated 3/17/15 @ 4:59 p.m. from Dan Goldberg to Lorin Reisner and Ted Wells:

“We will certainly let you know if the position changes. And please let us know if we can assist you in getting any information you believe you are in need of in some other fashion -- whether in the nature of interrogatories or the like.”
 

phenweigh

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Aug 8, 2005
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I feel I'm living a zombie horror flick where the bloodied cadaver emerges from the grave where I'd interred him, and starts stumbling towards me again.

Anyway, two things linger with me:

1. The destruction of the phone. Nothing explains this. I'm sorry. Every first-year lawyer knows that the moment litigation (or a parallel proceeding, like this) threatens, you put the destruction of all records and data on hold. That is, all records and data, not whatever your client thinks is relevant. That's not to be decided unilaterally. If Tom was truly relying on a prior Wells' statement, Yee should have confirmed this with a letter or email to Wells. Then, you have a very different picture.

2. The refusal to permit an additional interview with McNally. Presumably, Kraft and his outside counsel know the NFL rules about cooperation. Why stonewall? Because, I'm afraid, in the meanwhile they had discovered something likely to turn up on a further interview that spelled trouble, and the choices were between bad (stonewalling) and impossible (encouraging a lie). Then, you roll the dice and hope for the best.

I can easily see how these facts can bother the disinterested observer. For clarity's sake, I'm 100% an NEP/Brady fan (except for the Trump friendships), and they bother me.
I agree on #1, but not #2. Simply put, I think Kraft wanted to put a stop to the NFL harassing a low-level employee. The NFL interviewed McNally three times and Wells interviewed him once. I find it hard to categorize denying a FIFTH interview stonewalling. At some point a good boss needs to stand up for his employees.
 

Stitch01

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Jesus, we're still litigating this?

Tom and the Pats lost. It sucks. Anyone who thinks the league acted properly or that Brady should have been suspended are morons whose opinions can safely be disregarded on all topics.

Other than that, time to move on.
 

djbayko

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I agree on #1, but not #2. Simply put, I think Kraft wanted to put a stop to the NFL harassing a low-level employee. The NFL interviewed McNally three times and Wells interviewed him once. I find it hard to categorize denying a FIFTH interview stonewalling. At some point a good boss needs to stand up for his employees.
If you read the emails on this point at The Wells Report in Context, it was lawyers talking to each other. I remember one of the lawyers here explained it this way: during these negotiations, the lawyers on each side were clearly talking in their language and operating in their mode. They reached an agreement on what level of cooperation was necessary, which is important so that investigators don't walk all over you and endlessly waste your time. When it suited the NFL, they turned it against the Patriots in the court of public opinion as evidence they were not cooperating. For whatever reason, both sides had agreed that the conversation was to take place between lawyers, but then the NFL wanted to pretend that it was supposed to be buddy-buddy.
 

edmunddantes

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And in lawyer speak "an extraordinary or unexpected circumstances" doesn't usually count as you had all the texts in your hands, but you failed to search them properly till after the interviews and now you want a new bite at the apple since you think you may have found something now that your other fishing expeditions went nowhere.
 

TheoShmeo

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One point:

Yammer refers to a Princeton professor's conclusion that there was enough to believe that the balls had been tampered with. Aside from the many issues about controls, starting measurements, etc., a group of many other professors from a series of shiny and fancy Universities across the land submitted an amicus that concluded just the opposite. That there was no indication scientifically that the balls had been messed with. So yeah, Princeton is a very impressive address and has a gorgeous campus. But why exactly are we entertaining this conclusion? It flies in the face of basic logic regarding controlled experiments and what a large group of other professors not tied to Tom Brady had to say on the topic.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Jesus, we're still litigating this?

Tom and the Pats lost. It sucks. Anyone who thinks the league acted properly or that Brady should have been suspended are morons whose opinions can safely be disregarded on all topics.

Other than that, time to move on.
I hear you, but think many of us still find this to be an absolutely fascinating topic. The mods obviously have the authority to close this discussion down, but if a lot of people still like discussing it, why should we "move on"? Again, if the mods close it, fine, that's cool. If they don't, maybe just not paying attention to this, while letting others who still like this conversation actually keep talking about it, is your best course of action?
 

phenweigh

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If you read the emails on this point at The Wells Report in Context, it was lawyers talking to each other. I remember one of the lawyers here explained it this way: during these negotiations, the lawyers on each side were clearly talking in their language and operating in their mode. They reached an agreement on what level of cooperation was necessary, which is important so that investigators don't walk all over you and endlessly waste your time. When it suited the NFL, they turned it against the Patriots in the court of public opinion as evidence they were not cooperating. For whatever reason, both sides had agreed that the conversation was to take place between lawyers, but then the NFL wanted to pretend that it was supposed to be buddy-buddy.
Lawyers represent their clients. IMO if Kraft wanted to cooperate, he wouldn't have asked his lawyers to fight the NFL on the request.
 

djbayko

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Lawyers represent their clients. IMO if Kraft wanted to cooperate, he wouldn't have asked his lawyers to fight the NFL on the request.
Didn't they try that approach early on, and things got out of control? Based on what we know now, they should have lawyered up from t=0 so I don't know how anyone in their right mind can fault the Patriots for being by-the-book. That's insane. Every bit of information was used against the Pats in the most negative interpretation possible. If anything, they were far too naive.
 
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phenweigh

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Didn't they try that approach early on, and things got out of control? Based on what we know now, they should have lawyered up from t=0 so I don't know how anyone in their right mind can fault the Patriots for being by-the-book. That's insane. Every bit of information was used against the Pats in the most negative interpretation possible. If anything, they were far too naive.
I'm not sure what point you're trying to make ... that a consistent approach must be taken? Yes, early on the Pats cooperated. Then Kraft/his lawyers decided the NFL was going too far, and politely told them that 4 interviews was enough. My only point is that I wouldn't call that stonewalling.
 

djbayko

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I'm not sure what point you're trying to make ... that a consistent approach must be taken? Yes, early on the Pats cooperated. Then Kraft/his lawyers decided the NFL was going too far, and politely told them that 4 interviews was enough. My only point is that I wouldn't call that stonewalling.
It seemed like you were arguing the Pats should have been more cooperative. I misinterpreted your post.
 

Section15Box113

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Inside Lou Gorman's Head
BB: "He's got a gaping head wound. The doctors will take a look at it."
You think he'd acknowledge that the issue was with his head?

"He got dinged up. I couldn't really see what happened - I'm sure it will be more clear when we look at the tape. The doctors will take a look at it."

"And Cronkite. He will probably let us know. You know how that works."
 

AB in DC

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And in lawyer speak "an extraordinary or unexpected circumstances" doesn't usually count as you had all the texts in your hands, but you failed to search them properly till after the interviews and now you want a new bite at the apple since you think you may have found something now that your other fishing expeditions went nowhere.
The problem is, nobody cared about lawyerspeak.

Wells himself wasn't serving in the capacity of a lawyer, anyway -- nothing about the investigation required someone with a law degree. So you can't just transpose lawyer rules to a non-legal setting just because Goodell hired a law firm rather than, say, an auditor.
 

kenneycb

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You think he'd acknowledge that the issue was with his head?

"He got dinged up. I couldn't really see what happened - I'm sure it will be more clear when we look at the tape. The doctors will take a look at it."

"And Cronkite. He will probably let us know. You know how that works."
Well if he didn't address the head injury right away, the Pats would now be subject to additional loss of draft picks.
 

derrotehahn

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The problem is, nobody cared about lawyerspeak.

Wells himself wasn't serving in the capacity of a lawyer, anyway -- nothing about the investigation required someone with a law degree. So you can't just transpose lawyer rules to a non-legal setting just because Goodell hired a law firm rather than, say, an auditor.
i may be misinterpreting your post but i'm not sure what your point is. it was wells and his team that missed the texts before their one agreed upon interview and it was wells and his team that refused to give a reason for their request for a second interview. the patriots probably refuse another interview anyway, in which case any critism may well be warranted. But to claim that another crack at mcnally should be a given is ridiculous. he had been questioned multiple time already, both by the NFL and Wells, and his personal information had been leaked to ESPN. its wasn't unreasonable for the pats to tell wells to pound sand, especially given the way the organizations concerns were ignored. the patriots saw the writing on the wall by the time the second interview was requested and rightfully told the NFL to get fucked.
 

geoduck no quahog

not particularly consistent
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The "tests" (I use that term loosely because they were not tests in any scientific sense of the word) neither proved nor disproved that the balls were tampered with. Mr. Princeton is a piece of shit.

It's as plausible that Brady disposed of his cell phone out of fear that private and personal (and perhaps embarrassing) messages would be made public by the untrustworthy investigators than any other explanation, meaning his intent can not be proved or disproved.

McNally's (or the Patriots') refusal to interview again neither proves nor disproves guilt.

Grigson's complaint was based on a Colt's game played indoors at his home stadium, where the Colt's ball boys handle the balls, indicating extreme prejudice against the Patriots.

No one should confuse the issue of proof (including that of general awareness) with the issue that the CBA gives the Commissioner unlimited power to arbitrate guilt and assign punishment. It was never a matter of whether or not the Patriots tampered with footballs (which they most likely didn't).
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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One point:

Yammer refers to a Princeton professor's conclusion that there was enough to believe that the balls had been tampered with. Aside from the many issues about controls, starting measurements, etc., a group of many other professors from a series of shiny and fancy Universities across the land submitted an amicus that concluded just the opposite. That there was no indication scientifically that the balls had been messed with. So yeah, Princeton is a very impressive address and has a gorgeous campus. But why exactly are we entertaining this conclusion? It flies in the face of basic logic regarding controlled experiments and what a large group of other professors not tied to Tom Brady had to say on the topic.
It doesn't though, unless that is what you really want it to say. There were - despite the belief you hold - a ton of science types who stood up and said "Yeah, the numbers look weird and merit further review."

Let's move to the investigation.

The Patriots are a buttoned up organization, can we all agree on this? They are not the Patriots of the late 80s/early 90s where all kinds of banana-pants shit would happen. They aren't the Mets of the 80s where some "whacked on blow" clubhouse attendant would get bats mixed up.

So why, for the biggest game of the year in their stadium, would the person who was not supposed to be the ball attendant for the game:

- Be touching the balls at all. It is either because he was doing it for purpose of deflating, or the Pats run fast and loose on their gameday prep.........the latter of which strikes me as very unlikely.
- Be the guy who was found, through texts, to be referred to as "the deflator?" and have made inferences in texts to having deflated balls at Brady's behest in other occasions?
- Have walked the balls into a bathroom for over 90 seconds?

You may say that:

- This doesn't prove that the balls were deflated, and/or
- This doesn't prove that Brady ordered it

But realistically, the logical contortions you have to put yourself through to assume that the longtime QB of the NE Patriots would run fast and loose on how the balls are handled before the biggest game of the year in Foxboro, and that this guy just randomly showed up and disappeared into a bathroom with the balls, only to do nothing with them........seem pretty ludicrous.

This time I really am done on this. Go bananas.
 

tims4wins

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Without getting into a point by point rebuttal, your first bullet point is flat out incorrect. McNally always handles the balls on game day and always brings them down to the field.
 

Ed Hillel

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Note he also didn't cite to these "ton of science types." I was hoping we'd at least get a Bill Nye or NDT mention, both of whom were and have continued to work from the false data Mort reported. Alas, Yammer's trolling skills have dulled with his time away.
 

simplyeric

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It doesn't though, unless that is what you really want it to say. There were - despite the belief you hold - a ton of science types who stood up and said "Yeah, the numbers look weird and merit further review."

snip

So why, for the biggest game of the year in their stadium, would the person who was not supposed to be the ball attendant for the game they do anything different than they always do?

snip
Which I guess could be followed with "well then, they must always do that", but then they'd be playing half of their games (home) with deflated balls, and half (away) with non-deflated ones, which seems dumb.
 

Hoodie Sleeves

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Didn't they try that approach early on, and things got out of control? Based on what we know now, they should have lawyered up from t=0 so I don't know how anyone in their right mind can fault the Patriots for being by-the-book. That's insane. Every bit of information was used against the Pats in the most negative interpretation possible. If anything, they were far too naive.
Yup. Saying they needed to cooperate more is just absurd to me. Pretty much every moment they cooperated hurt them here.

Every one of the investigations the NFL has done has followed the same pattern - they've generally made a decision before things start, and start leaking things as soon as they get access. Cooperation just gives them more to leak to turn public opinion, and doesn't seem to affect punishment at all.

If the Patriots had given them a 5th interview with McNally, there would have been a request for a 6th.
 

dhappy42

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Oct 27, 2013
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There were - despite the belief you hold - a ton of science types who stood up and said "Yeah, the numbers look weird and merit further review."
Don't know what "ton of science types" you're referring to, but the numbers did "look weird." They looked weird because the goofballs measuring ball psi at halftime didn't follow anything even close to scientific method and the NFL's "science expert," Exponent, cooked the numbers to make them look weird.

So why, for the biggest game of the year in their stadium, would the person who was not supposed to be the ball attendant for the game...
Others have addressed this. It's just wrong. McNally was the ball attendant.

...Be the guy who was found, through texts, to be referred to as "the deflator?"...
Once, in a joking context. And his job was, apparently in part, to deflate game balls... to 12.5 psi, the lower regulation limit. Also to let the officials know that's where Brady wanted them and to ask them not to pump them up to 13 or 16 psi, as happened in at least one instance.

Have walked the balls into a bathroom for over 90 seconds?
100 seconds. About the time it takes a normal person to take a piss.


But realistically, the logical contortions you have to put yourself through to assume that the longtime QB of the NE Patriots would run fast and loose on how the balls are handled before the biggest game of the year in Foxboro, and that this guy just randomly showed up and disappeared into a bathroom with the balls, only to do nothing with them........seem pretty ludicrous.
You should worry less about logical contortions and more about grammatical ones. Not to mention basic facts. McNally, the Patriots ball attendant, did not randomly show up or "disappear" into a bathroom.
 

TheoShmeo

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The notion that any human could single handedly enter a bathroom, remove 12 footballs from a bag, deflate them with any level of precision, put them back in the bag and then emerge from the can within 90-100 seconds seems like wishful thinking to me. Not that the bathroom theory has to be right for Brady to be guilty. But if that's the premise, it seems like a pretty large stretch to me.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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The notion that any human could single handedly enter a bathroom, remove 12 footballs from a bag, deflate them with any level of precision, put them back in the bag and then emerge from the can within 90-100 seconds seems like wishful thinking to me. Not that the bathroom theory has to be right for Brady to be guilty. But if that's the premise, it seems like a pretty large stretch to me.
I fully agree with you. But he *could* have gone into the bathroom and quickly tested 2-3 balls, just to make sure they were properly inflated, found out they were, and then went about his business.

That would still technically be breaking the rules, because you can't do any of that after the refs have checked them.

Of course, the only people we KNOW FOR CERTAIN did something like this was.....

The Colts.

When they tested the intercepted ball on the sideline.

The key question would be: What if McNally found a ball to be overinflated or under inflated? What would he have done?

We will never know that, and even if we knew he tested the ball it doesn't mean he would have done anything in addition to that. Maybe he would have simply put that ball aside so it wouldn't be used. Who knows.
 

86spike

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BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Possible scenario: Goodell suspects that Brady has been violating the NFL's rules in terms of communicating with teammates, etc., during his suspension. He initiates and investigation and demands that Brady turn over his personal cell phone. Brady, unless he wants to be suspended another four (or eight or more) games, basically HAS to turn it over, no matter what, right?

I mean, that's the power Goodell has now.
 

jsinger121

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Possible scenario: Goodell suspects that Brady has been violating the NFL's rules in terms of communicating with teammates, etc., during his suspension. He initiates and investigation and demands that Brady turn over his personal cell phone. Brady, unless he wants to be suspended another four (or eight or more) games, basically HAS to turn it over, no matter what, right?

I mean, that's the power Goodell has now.
Brady should be smart and use a burner phone
 

Bleedred

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I look forward to the discovery of an equipment staffer who refers to himself as The Peeler (which of course is a common term for trying to lose weight).

Also, maybe Brady cut his hand scraping off the decal.
No wonder he dropped the appeal, he had this bit of subterfuge up his sleeve. He really showed Goodell with this one, didn't he?
 

DJnVa

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How is that a distraction?

My alma mater has a picture of a player on a huge banner. It's what teams do.