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BREAKING NEWS: Tom Brady suspended 4 games; Patriots fined $1m, lose first-round pick over Deflategate

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  • #2
    Contact me at dirty@handicappershideaway.com

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    • #3
      Tom Brady suspended 4 games by NFL; Patriots lose 2016 first-rounder

      By John Breech | CBSSports.com





      Tom Brady has been suspended for four games. (USATSI)
      When the 2015 NFL season kicks off in New England, Tom Brady won't be there to enjoy it.
      The NFL announced on Monday that Brady has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season without pay for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the league.
      Along with Brady's suspension, Patriots Robert Kraft also announced that locker attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski have been indefinitely suspended from the team.
      The Patriots have also been docked a 2016 first-round pick and a 2017 fourth-round pick. The team has also been fined $1 million. Although Brady didn't get fined, he'll miss out on about $2 million in salary during his four game suspension.
      The announcement of the punishment comes just five days after Ted Wells released his 243-page report on Deflategate.
      Tom Brady won't get to suit up for the first four games of 2015. (USATSI)
      During an investigation that spanned over 100 days, Wells found that Brady was "at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls."
      The report also found that "McNally (the Officials Locker Room attendant for the Patriots) and John Jastremski (an equipment assistant for the Patriots) participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee."
      In the report, Wells also noted that Brady refused to turn over his cell phone and other personal information for investigative purposes.
      "We reached these decisions after extensive discussion with Troy Vincent and many others," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "We relied on the critical importance of protecting the integrity of the game and the thoroughness and independence of the Wells report."
      NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent sent a letter to Brady explaining that the suspension was handed down in part because of Brady's "failure to cooperate" in the investigation.
      "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," Vincent wrote. "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."
      Brady can appeal the suspension, but if it holds, then the Patriots quarterback will miss games against the Steelers, Bills, Jaguars and Cowboys, with the Buffalo and Dallas games both coming on the road.
      As for Brady's return, it's scheduled to come in Week 6 against -- you guessed it -- Indianapolis.
      The Deflategate investigation originally started when Colts general manager Ryan Grigson emailed the NFL about deflated footballs before the AFC Championship game in January.

      Tom Brady suspended 4 games by NFL; Patriots lose 2016 first-rounder - CBSSports.com
      Contact me at dirty@handicappershideaway.com

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      • #4
        Roger Goodell Is A Shit-Eating Moron

        45,285


        26 Drew Magary

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        Drew MagaryFiled to: nfl


        5/11/15 8:26pm





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        Now you know. Now you know that, in Roger Goodell’s batshit crazy universe, the greatest crime of all is defying authority. Tom Brady just got locked in the attic for four games this fall, and it wasn’t REALLY because he dicked around with the ball (a crime that, as already noted in many other places, has been met with a relative slap on the wrist elsewhere), but because—and here I will use the wording of the letter Troy Vincent had dictated to him by Goodell—the Patriots QB “failed to cooperate fully with the investigation.”
        That’s what costs you four games and $2 million in salary in today’s NFL. This is because Roger Goodell is a shit-eating moron. Under his watch, the NFL has adopted the very American legal tradition of manufacturing crime out of crime. You can take a small crime—any crime, really—and you can inflate it by making the PROCESS of pursuing that crime utterly sacrosanct, to the point where an entity like the NFL says, with a straight face, that “The extent to which the club and relevant individuals cooperated with the investigation” is somehow one of the most important factors in determining if a man—even one as wildly successful and wealthy as Tom Brady—should be allowed pursue his livelihood and collect his paycheck.
        Brady’s crime isn’t that he doctored balls, it’s that he didn’t SUBMIT. In fact, it doesn’t even matter if Brady DID doctor the ball or not, because the NFL would still carry out the investigation like so:
        NFL: Hey, give us your phone.
        Brady: Um, no.
        NFL: Whoa! Sounds like you got something to hide, buddy boy!
        You see how that works? The original crime becomes irrelevant next to the NFL’s insistence that—if under investigation—you bend over and let them drip hot wax all over your balls, or else. Making everyone obey every last protocol of a bullshit internal probe is a hell of a way to invent new powers for yourself. This is how Sean Payton found himself out of the league for a YEAR strictly for the crime of “ignorance” during Bountygate ... a satellite offense so far removed from the original crime as to be applicable to your grandma as well.
        The NFL is now in the business of punishment, and with the completely arbitrary and stupid machine they’ve put in place, they can pretty much punish anyone for any reason in any way now. In the case of the Patriots, I find all this hilarious because the Patriots and their fans are entitled assholes and I want them to fail. But of course, it won’t be so funny when my team accidentally farts on a ref and tries to cover it up and then Goodell moves them to Alaska as punishment. There is no stopping this shit-eating moron anymore. You never know when he’ll strike or why. He’s almost like an act of God. Yes, yes I think he’d enjoy thinking of himself in precisely that way.
        Contact me at dirty@handicappershideaway.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dirty View Post

          This story is so ridiculous and sad. Those that known better hardly pay attention to stupid shit like this and there's no way that this guy should be suspended for something he shouldn't have been able to influence in any way to begin with. The league should have complete control over the game balls and if there were any improprieties with the balls- they are just as responsible as the party who did the act. :faceslap

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          • #6
            What is lost in all this is one fact. The Referees touched the balls before every play on the sidelines when a new ball was thrown in and after every single play on the playing field. If there was a discrepency big enough to notice in the footballs they would have noticed. This is a non-issue and Goodell is sticking it to the Patriots because they run their ship how they want and tell him to fuck off in very nice ways.
            Contact me at dirty@handicappershideaway.com

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            • #7
              And you are correct Known... no excuse in the NFL letting any teams be in charge of footballs before the start of the game. This is not rocket science. They pump up how many games they will use during the game and put half on one sideline and half on the other and let a NFL official be in charge of them. It is rather simple.
              Contact me at dirty@handicappershideaway.com

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              • #8
                Report: Roger Goodell Has Pissed Off Robert Kraft

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                16 Barry Petchesky

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                Barry PetcheskyFiled to: robert kraft


                5/12/15 9:13am





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                Roger Goodell has been untouchable because he has the strong support of the most powerful owners in the NFL: the Rooneys, the Maras, Jerry Richardson, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, by all accounts a personal friend. After handing down an unduly harsh punishment for Ballghazi that will hurt the Patriots both this season and in the future, Goodell needs to wonder if he’s still got Kraft in his corner.
                A report from Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, who spoke to an NFL owner who agreed with the discipline:
                The owner said he believes (but made it clear it’s just his opinion) that the relationship between Goodell and Kraft is “pretty much dead.”
                “I can’t say for certain but it sure seems that way to me,” the owner, who knows both men well, explained. The owner added: “Some of us (owners) are waiting a little nervously to see what Robert does next.”
                Tom Brady can appeal his four-game suspension, and has announced his intentions to do so. But Kraft has no internal recourse to fight the Patriots’ two docked draft picks and $1 million fine, because arbitration is something contained only within the CBA negotiated with players. The NFL Constitution and Bylaws classify Goodell’s disciplinary decision here as “final, conclusive, and unappealable.”
                It is unlikely because of the precedent it would set (or more accurately, revive; Al Davis was the last owner to sue the NFL, and won), but if Kraft is furious enough with this ruling, he could go outside the league altogether and file a lawsuit against the NFL. But in Kraft’s statement on the penalties, he appears to have backed off his earlier promise to accept the league’s imposed discipline:
                “Despite our conviction that there was no tampering with footballs, it was our intention to accept any discipline levied by the league. Today’s punishment, however, far exceeded any reasonable expectation. It was based completely on circumstantial rather than hard or conclusive evidence.
                “We are humbled by the support the New England Patriots have received from our fans throughout the world. We recognize our fans’ concerns regarding the NFL’s penalties and share in their disappointment in how this one-sided investigation was handled, as well as the dismissal of the scientific evidence supported by the Ideal Gas Law in the final report.
                “Tom Brady has our unconditional support. Our belief in him has not wavered.”
                (Brady’s agent, Don Yee, released his own statement, declaring that “the discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis...there was no fairness in the Wells investigation whatsoever.”)

                Despite the Patriots schadenfreude (the last pure sports emotion), the punishment is a fucked-up overreaction from a league hyperdesperate to protect its image—it’s no accident that the NFL cited “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the game of professional football.”
                The league threw the book at the Patriots for the worst and most absurd reasons. Two specifically named in the statement announcing the discipline was Brady’s and the team’s failure to self-incriminate, as if any employee should ever cooperate with an investigation of himself;and the fact that the Patriots are considered repeat offenders for something that happened eight years ago, even though the NFL went out of its way to make clear that Ballghazi didn’t extend to the echelons of the organization that would have been involved with Spygate.

                Goodell has been getting away with his arbitrary and unjustifiable judgments for a long time, because he’s always known he has the backing of the handful of owners that matter. Now he’s going after one of them, and that bears close watching. It’s still early in this farce, but no marionette has ever been well-served by attacking its own puppeteer.
                Contact me at dirty@handicappershideaway.com

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                • #9
                  Is Tom Brady a victim of fuzzy math in his Deflategate penalty?

                  1h - NFL Tom Brady +1 more

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                  • Jackie MacMullan, ESPNBoston.com columnist



                  Let me get this straight.
                  Tom Brady was suspended Monday for four games because he "more probably than not" had general knowledge the New England Patriots were deflating footballs.
                  That is the same penalty for NFL players who get busted for performance-enhancing drugs.
                  That punishment is two more games than Ray Rice initially received for knocking his fiancee unconscious and dragging her out of an elevator like she was a football dummy.
                  Rice was later suspended indefinitely by the league, but only after the shocking video was obtained by TMZ and released to the public. (A video, incidentally, a law enforcement official claimed was sent to the NFL offices). NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted in hindsight that he got the Rice suspension wrong and conceded he was influenced by interviews he conducted with Rice and his fiancee, Janay Palmer, in the wake of the incident.
                  That's what seems to float Goodell's boat, after all: transparency. Pull up a chair, tell me everything, and I'll go easy on you.
                  But the Patriots aren't very adept at being forthcoming, and they are paying the price.
                  The repercussions from Spygate were harsh because Patriots coach Bill Belichick knew the league had explicitly forbidden the videotaping of opponents' defensive signals, and he thumbed his nose at Goodell and went out and taped the Jets anyway.
                  According to NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent, who handed down Brady's suspension, Spygate amounted to a "prior,'' so the Patriots were fined $1 million for Deflategate and docked a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017. You have to give it to Vincent, Goodell and the boys in New York. They know where to hit Belichick where it hurts: his coveted draft picks and his coveted quarterback.
                  When investigators asked for Brady's emails, text messages and cell phones, they were denied. When they wanted to meet with locker room attendant Jim McNally (who referred to himself as the "deflator") for an additional interview, the Patriots told them to forget it.
                  That lack of cooperation and transparency (there's that word again), more than the actual deflation of the footballs, is what has Brady and his team mired in this mess.
                  Let me be clear: Brady and the Patriots deserve to be punished. They circumvented the rules on the proper inflation of the balls, then they flopped into a bunker like Sgt. Schultz ("I know nothing!") once the balls were confiscated and tested at halftime of the AFC Championship Game.
                  The Patriots have once again proven to be their own worst enemy and most formidable opponent, playing loose with the rules to provide an advantage that is negligible at best.
                  If you are wondering how much those deflated footballs aided Brady, simply look at the numbers he posted in the second half of the AFC championship, when he outscored the Colts 28-0 with balls he probably thought felt "like bricks.''
                  The balls used in Super Bowl XLIX were guarded more closely than a Brink's truck brimming with gold bullion, but Brady still managed to engineer one of the most exciting comebacks in recent NFL history to beat the Seattle Seahawks.
                  That's the shame of it. Neither Brady nor the Patriots needed deflated balls to achieve greatness.
                  As the days dragged on and no Wells report was issued, there was growing dread among New England officials that a significant punishment for the Patriots and their Super Bowl MVP might be forthcoming.
                  But four games? That's a quarter of an NFL season and a gross overreaction to the PSI of a football.
                  It was as if Goodell instructed his underlings to release the report, then stuck his finger up to see which way the wind was blowing. The court of public opinion matters to him, and the overwhelming sentiment was that Brady and the Patriots deserved to be punished and punished severely because they were repeat cheaters.
                  Fair enough. But with all the major issues that have dogged the league -- among them the devastating impact of repeated concussions on players and a wave of domestic violence -- Goodell chose to take a hard line on this?
                  Brady will appeal and will likely get his suspension cut in half. As his agent, Don Yee, noted in his statement Monday night, "The NFL has a well-documented history of making poor disciplinary decisions that are often overturned when truly independent and neutral judges or arbitrators preside, and a former federal judge has found the commissioner has abused his discretion in the past, so this outcome does not surprise me.''
                  Deflategate is yet another mark on a horrible year for the NFL, which continues to print money, despite scandals involving pumping in crowd noise (Atlanta Falcons) and the illegal heating of footballs on the sidelines (Minnesota Vikings).
                  Both current players and potential draft picks continue to be regulars in the police blotter. Goodell has taken steps toward a stronger domestic violence policy; suspending Greg Hardy for 10 games was a promising development. But when you have a minute, Mr. Commissioner, can you explain to me why you haven't taken a closer look at your Super Bowl runner-up, the Seattle Seahawks, who took Frank Clark with the 63rd pick in the draft?
                  In case you missed it, Clark was thrown off the Michigan football team following an incident in an Ohio hotel for which he originally was charged with two first-degree misdemeanors of domestic violence and assault against his former girlfriend, Diamond Hurt. Clark later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of persistent disorderly conduct. Seahawks general manager John Schneider claimed the team did their due diligence on Clark and wouldn't have drafted him if they thought Clark had struck his girlfriend.
                  The Seahawks insisted they did their homework, but strangely enough, they failed to interview two witnesses who heard screaming in Clark's room and went to investigate, according to the Seattle Times.
                  Explain how Clark is free to play football in the NFL under the umbrella of the precious "shield" Goodell is so fond of protecting, but Brady isn't.
                  That just doesn't work for me. If you insist on being heavy-handed, Mr. Commissioner, go after Frank Clark with even more gusto than you did your Super Bowl MVP. If you are preaching integrity in your game, that's the least you can do.
                  Brady has not yet commented on the Wells Report or his suspension. I'm sure he knows his reputation has absorbed a major blow. Regardless of what happens in the appeal process, he won't change the perception through much of the country that he played a role in the deflation of those footballs.
                  He is still one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, like Aaron Rodgers, who recently informed reporters he likes his balls overinflated.
                  Look out, Green Bay. They're coming for you next.


                  Deflategate penalty for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady a gross overreaction
                  Contact me at dirty@handicappershideaway.com

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                  • #10
                    What will be interesting to me is how he performs when he returns. Obviously the balls will be up to par then so if he performs the same this whole thing will be forgotten. Maybe he started deflating balls because as he is getting older with wear n tear his hand grip is weaker?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hangover View Post
                      What will be interesting to me is how he performs when he returns. Obviously the balls will be up to par then so if he performs the same this whole thing will be forgotten. Maybe he started deflating balls because as he is getting older with wear n tear his hand grip is weaker?
                      He didn't seem to have any problems in the second half, when the balls had been corrected.

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                      • #12
                        Patriots attack Wells Report in rebuttal: Three things to know

                        By Jared Dubin | NFL Writer





                        Incomplete. Incorrect. Lack of context.
                        The Patriots issued their response to Ted Wells report on Thursday with a lengthy rebuttal that confronts the scientific evidence and the conclusions drawn by Wells.
                        The lawyer who represented the team during all of the interviews of Patriots personnel conducted at Gillette Stadium -- Daniel Goldberg, a senior partner in the Boston office of Morgan Lewis -- released an annotation of the Wells Report in which he responded to the various claims. The opening statement of the response was as follows:
                        The conclusions of the Wells Report are, at best, incomplete, incorrect and lack context. The Report dismisses the scientific explanation for the natural loss of psi of the Patriots footballs by inexplicably rejecting the Referee's recollection of what gauge he used in his pregame inspection. Texts acknowledged to be attempts at humor and exaggeration are nevertheless interpreted as a plot to improperly deflate footballs, even though none of them refer to any such plot. There is no evidence that Tom Brady preferred footballs that were lower than 12.5 psi and no evidence anyone even thought that he did. All the extensive evidence which contradicts how the texts are interpreted by the investigators is simply dismissed as “not plausible.” Inconsistencies in logic and evidence are ignored.
                        The rebuttal comes in the wake of Wells' independent report on the Deflategate incident last week, coming to the conclusion that it was more probable than not that the Patriots deliberately violated league rules concerning the proper inflation of footballs, and that it was more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the violations. Brady and the organization were issued a firm punishment a few days later: Brady was suspended for four games without pay, while the team was docked a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick, and fined $1 million.
                        In the days since, many people inside and outside New England have given their thoughts on the incident and the punishment levied by the NFL. Just a few examples:
                        • Rob Gronkowski stood up for Brady
                        • Rex Ryan did not feel sorry for anyone
                        • Michael Bennett said Brady's a cheater
                        • Jets fans said he's shady, on billboards
                        • Dez Bryant said it wasn't a big deal and the Pats won the Super Bowl fair and square
                        • Colin Kaepernick defended Brady on Twitter
                        • Browns coach Mike Pettine lost respect for some people
                        • A college in New Hampshire decided to offer a class on Deflategate
                        • Shannon Sharpe took a strong stance against Brady

                        Robert Kraft ripped into the report, stating that there was no hard evidence of wrongdoing. In addition, Brady's agent, Don Yee, went on the offensive, blasting the Wells Report multiple times. Wells himself then responded to Yee's comments (as well as anyone else who took umbrage with the report), stating that the Patriots should publish whatever notes they had that contradict evidence in said report.
                        Now, the Patriots have done so.
                        Her are the key things to know about how the Patriots and their lawyer responded to the Wells Report:
                        1. Debunking science of Wells Report
                        Below are two excerpts from the annotation related to the science of the Wells Report, which concluded that the Ideal Gas Law would not explain the lower psi in New England's footballs.
                        The first focuses on the two different gauges used to measure the psi in the footballs, specifically how they each returned different readings, and how after a Colts football measured below regulation on one of the gauges, the league stopped using that gauge and instead relied on the other one, which measured the Colts' footballs to be at or above the lowest regulation level. It also notes the post-game psi measurements of the footballs of both teams.
                        “Using two different gauges (one of which was used for pre-game psi measurements), the League tested only four Colts footballs at halftime. Three of those footballs measured below regulation on the so-called “non-Logo” gauge. Four measured at or above regulation on the so-called “Logo” gauge. One Colts football averaged below regulation when taking into account both gauges. As soon as that fourth Colts football was measured, League personnel stopped any further gauging of Colts footballs. Relying on the higher Logo gauge measurements of the Colts football, League officials decided not to add air to any of the Colts footballs. Additional measurements using the same two gauges were made post-game. Post-game, each of the four Patriots footballs measured were well above the required level of 12.5 psi on both gauges (including one that had been overinflated to 13.65 on the Logo gauge). Three of the four Colts footballs measured below 12.5 psi on the non-Logo gauge (a violation of League rules), one measured below 12.5 psi on both gauges (also a violation), and three Colts footballs measured above 12.5 on the Logo gauge.”
                        The second section related to the science focuses again on the two different gauges, and also on referee Walt Anderson and his recollection of which gauge was used at which time.
                        "The most fundamental issue in this matter is: DOES SCIENCE EXPLAIN THE LOSS OF PSI IN THE PATRIOTS FOOTBALLS? That issue turns on what psi numbers are used for the psi levels pre-game and at halftime. Those numbers will show the amount of lost psi. Given the gauges varied from each other, the only relevant halftime psi measurements are those shown by the gauge that was used pre-game. One gauge, referred to as the Logo gauge, was consistently .3 to .45 psi higher in its measurements than the non-Logo gauge. Referee Walt Anderson, who was alerted to psi issues before the game, has a detailed recollection of the unrecorded psi levels of the 48 footballs he gauged pre-game — essentially 12.5 for the Patriots footballs and 13.0 or 13.1 for the Colts footballs. His Recollection of those pre-game psi levels is one of the foundations of this report. MR. ANDERSON SPECIFICALLY RECALLS THAT HE USED THE LOGO GAUGE FOR THESE PRE-GAME MEASUREMENTS (pg. 52). (This is the only recollection of Mr. Anderson that the report rejects.) Therefore, the Logo gauge numbers are the correct numbers to use for halftime psi. The investigators did rely on those Logo gauge halftime psi numbers in dealing with the Colts footballs. Using that gauge, all the Colts footballs were within regulation. That justified the officials not adding air to them. However, when assessing the Patriots footballs, the investigators reject Anderson's best recollection that he used the Logo gauge pre-game, and instead look to the larger psi drop that is shown by the lower psi, non-Logo gauge."
                        Basically, the responses state that the gauge which gave higher measurements was used as the definitive measurement for the Colts' footballs, while the gauge that gave lower measurements was used as the definitive measurement for the Patriots' footballs, because the league rejected Anderson's assertion that he used the higher-measuring gauge.
                        The Patriots also included within the response a scientific report from Professor Roderick MacKinnon, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry. "Professor MacKinnon has no business or personal relationship with the Patriots. When news of the investigation became public, he offered his scientific expertise to the team," the report states in its introduction. That report can be read here.
                        The Patriots have released a response to the Wells Report. (Getty Images)
                        2. Evidence of a Sting Operation
                        The Patriots and their lawyer, much like Brady's father, asserted that the Deflategate scandal essentially amounted to a sting operation. First, they laid out the league's pregame knowledge of Indianapolis' concerns about football inflation.
                        The League had advance notice of the Colts concerns about game football psi. They also knew there would be inclement weather at the game (pg. 53, fn. 31). League personnel never considered the inevitable impact of the colder temperatures outside, which would inevitably drop footballs set at 12.5 psi pre-game to below regulation soon after being moved to the field.
                        This assertion comes in connection with the widely-held belief that Colts general manager Ryan Grigson informed the league before the AFC title game of possible deflation of footballs by the Patriots, and New England's reponse alleges that the league did nothing to stop it, instead lying in wait in an attempt to catch them in the act.
                        Rule 2 goes on to state that the footballs shall remain “under the supervision of the referee until they are delivered to the football attendant just prior to the start of the game.” (pg. 32). The report concludes that “football attendant” refers to the ball boys. Nowhere in the report, however, is there any discussion about whether the referee or other League officials failed to properly maintain this supervision, which one would have expected to have been particularly vigilant in the wake of the Colts expressed concerns. The report acknowledges that game officials specifically allowed Mr. McNally to take the game footballs from the dressing room of the Officials' Locker Room (where the referee was) into the separate sitting room (pg. 55). No one told Mr. McNally that he could not then proceed to the field with the footballs. When the NFC Championship Game ended abruptly in overtime and Mr. McNally started from the back of the sitting room towards the door to the hallway, he walked by numerous League officials in the sitting room. As the report states (pg. 55), the sitting room was crowded with “NFL personnel, game officials and others gathered there to watch the conclusion of the NFC Championship Game on television.” Mr. McNally had to navigate this crowd of officials to make it through the sitting room with two large bags of footballs on his shoulders. Mr. McNally, a physically big man, hoisted two large bags of footballs and lumbered past all these League officials and out the door of the Officials' Locker Room. As is clear from the report, no one objected; no one told him to stop; no one requested that he wait to be accompanied by a League official; no one told him that a League official had to carry the footballs to the field. After he walked past all of these League officials and out the door of the Officials' Locker Room to the hallway, he then walked past James Daniel, an NFL official and one of the people who had been alerted to the Colts psi concerns pre-game (pg. 45). Mr. Daniel, as seen on the security video, looked at Mr. McNally carrying the bags of footballs toward the field unaccompanied by any League or game official, and made no objection to Mr. McNally continuing unaccompanied to the field. In short, if officials lost track of the location of game footballs, it was not because Mr. McNally stealthily removed them. (Omitted from the investigation were interviews with all those League officials whom Mr. McNally walked past with the bags of footballs on his shoulders.) Even after halftime, when obvious attention was being paid to game footballs and psi issues by League and game officials, who took control of the footballs at halftime, the security video shows Mr. McNally, with no objection, taking the footballs from the Officials' Locker Room back to the field totally unaccompanied by any League or Game official. Mr. McNally's removal of the footballs from the Officials' Locker Room before the game began was simply not unauthorized, unknown, unusual, or in violation of some protocol or instruction. The report nonetheless portrays Mr. McNally's departure from the Officials' Locker Room before the game as a step in secretly taking the footballs for nefarious reasons.
                        There's also this:
                        If the League were concerned about this issue, and wanted to be sure that footballs met the 12.5 to 13.5 psi requirement, one would think they would have put protocols in place for recording pre-game psi levels and for checking psi once footballs were on the field. It would have been easy enough to adopt such protocols that ensured all footballs throughout the game were within regulation psi.
                        And this:
                        This appears to have been the first time in the history of the NFL that footballs were measured during halftime. No protocols existed for such measuring. NFL Rule 2 (pg. 32) provides that it is the referee who shall be the sole judge of whether a football complies with the Rule. However, the League did not have the referee (who dealt with the pre-game gauging) do the gauging at halftime.
                        3. Debunking Brady's knowledge of what was going on
                        New England's reponse here focuses on the text messages between John Jastremski and Jim McNally, which they categorize as "jocular" and note how only one text in the "relative handful of text strings" refers to "deflator," yet the report refers to McNally with that moniker throughout.
                        First, the report ignores the information the investigators gathered that Mr. Jastremski's duties in football preparation in fact routinely involve deflating every football at least twice. Every team in the League has developed a standard operating procedure for the preparation of new footballs for game play. The Patriots standard procedures are described in part on pgs. 37-40. Omitted from that description, but as Mr. Jastremski explained, is that the very first thing he routinely does when he opens a new box of Wilson footballs is to take a bit of air out of them. That makes them easier to prepare. The second time he takes air out of footballs is when he sets them for Mr. Brady's pre-game review and selection. (pgs. 39-40). Prior to the Jets game in 2014, Mr. Jastremski set the footballs at 12.75-12.85 for Mr. Brady's pre-game inspection and selection, since that is the range that had been used by Mr. Jastremski's predecessor. Curiously, the report does not credit this statement, although no witness or other evidence contradicted it, and apparently no game official reported that, in any games prior to the Jets 2014 game, footballs from the Patriots did not routinely arrive at the Officials' Locker Room precisely as Mr. Jastremski described. Nonetheless, the report states disbelief to the statement because it does not support the report's assumption that Mr. Brady cared about psi levels long before the Jets game over-inflation fiasco. The report discredits this information – about which there was no reason to lie and which could have been checked in all events — solely because of (i) Mr. McNally's May 2014 text reference to himself as the “deflator” (which had nothing to do with what psi the footballs were set at for Mr. Brady's inspection); (ii) Mr. Brady's involvement in the 2006 Rule change (which, as explained elsewhere, dealt with tactile feel and football consistency, not psi levels); and (iii) Mr. Brady's “apparent longstanding preference for footballs inflated to the low end of the permissible range” (although setting footballs at 12.75-85 is not much different from setting them at 12.6, which is what Mr. Jastremski did following the very first time Mr. Brady focused on actual psi numbers). In short, not “crediting” the evidence that footballs were historically set at 12.75-85 demonstrates mostly how the report lets its interpretation of the texts then control how it views all other evidence. In all events, there is no question that Mr. Jastremski had to deflate footballs a second time just before Mr. Brady's selection. To get them to the desired (and permissible) level, one adds air and then releases the air to the desired psi. After mid-season in 2014 — i.e., after the Jets game issues with vastly over-inflated footballs — he set them at 12.6 for Mr. Brady's inspection and selection — again adding air and releasing it to get down to the desired psi. So deflation of footballs cannot be presumed to refer to post-referee inspection conduct. Indeed, Mr. Jastremski does not even have possession of the footballs once they go to the Officials' Locker Room for pre-game inspection.
                        There was a second way that Mr. Jastremski and Mr. McNally used the term “deflation” or “deflator” which the report disregards. The Wells investigators had the May 9, 2014 “deflator”/espn text string in their possession several weeks before their full day, four lawyer-staffed interviews with each of Mr. McNally and Mr. Jastremski. They came to the interviews with laptops, documentation and had obviously prepared extensively for each interview. They never asked either of them about that May 9 “deflator”/espn text. Perhaps that is not surprising since the word “deflator” appears in only ONE text from among many hundreds of texts that were made available to the investigators. The Report then takes this one word, in this one text, and uses it throughout the Report as a moniker for Mr. McNally. Is this true objectivity? Further, when they sought their additional interview with Mr. McNally, they never candidly said they had overlooked this text and therefore wanted Mr. McNally back for another interview to ask him about it. They never asked Mr. Jastremski about it in his interview. Had they done so, they would have learned from either gentleman one of the ways they used the deflation/deflator term. Mr. Jastremski would sometimes work out and bulk up — he is a slender guy and his goal was to get to 200 pounds. Mr. McNally is a big fellow and had the opposite goal: to lose weight. “Deflate” was a term they used to refer to losing weight. One can specifically see this use of the term in a Nov. 30, 2014 text from Mr. McNally to Mr. Jastremski: “deflate and give somebody that jacket.” (p. 87). This banter, and Mr. McNally's goal of losing weight, meant Mr. McNally was the “deflator.” There was nothing complicated or sinister about it.
                        The response also notes how the NFL relied on Brady's giving gifts to the McNally and Jastremski as the only evidence of tampering and that Brady knew about it, and that this was in fact a regular practice for a popular player who never turns down requests for autographs when made by team personnel.
                        The report relies on three autographs Mr. Brady signed for Mr. McNally and gifts he gave to Mr. Jastremski as supporting its conclusions there was tampering and Mr. Brady knew of it. As to the autographs for Mr. McNally, Mr. Brady explained that he does not recall signing them, but may well have since he routinely does so when asked. Such requests are made multiple times almost every day in the team locker room or equipment room, even on game day. Mr. Brady believes he has never turned down such a request. If receiving an autograph from Mr. Brady is evidence that you are being rewarded by him for nefarious conduct, then hundreds or even thousands of people must be part of a scheme of wrongdoing. What is not disputed is that Mr. Brady, other than signing three items that Mr. McNally handed to him, has never gifted anything to Mr. McNally. That fact cuts against the existence of the scheme the report hypothesizes.

                        As to gifts to Mr. Jastremski, as Mr. Brady explained, Mr. Jastremski is one of about 15 non-player personnel to whom he annually gives holiday gifts in addition to what they get from the players' Holiday Gift pool. Mr. Jastremski's gifts are consistent in amount with the gifts to others.
                        In addition, the response noted that there was only one text that supposedly showed Brady's "general awareness" of the scheme, and that it relies on multiple assumptions to come to that conclusion.
                        This single text and the reference to “him” and “he,” which the investigators concluded must refer to Mr. Brady, is the lynchpin of the investigator's conclusion that Mr. Brady was probably “generally aware” of a scheme to release air from the footballs. (pg. 78). There are two levels of speculation here. First is the speculation that the references are in fact a conversation Mr. Jastremski had with Mr. Brady and not with someone else. Second is the speculation that, even if it does refer to a conversation with Mr. Brady, any expressions of concern about Mr. McNally's level of “stress” had to do with Mr. McNally's improper deflation of footballs. Neither the sender nor the recipient of this text supported the report's interpretation. Nor does the language of the text. Nor is there any other corroborative evidence.
                        It being a reference to Mr. Brady is also inconsistent with Mr. Brady's expressed testimony that he never had any reason to — or did — express concern over any “stress” Mr. McNally had. Mr. Jastremski frequently sent texts which did not relate to either a prior text that he sent or the prior text that he received — the investigators have extensive texts from him to various people on numerous subjects and this pattern was apparent. Numerous examples were called to their attention. This pattern of Mr. Jastremski's texting is disregarded in the report.
                        The “him” and “he” was in fact Mr. Jastremski's friend, as the investigators were told, and the conversation involved issues relating to Mr. McNally's stress relating to reselling family tickets. As Mr. McNally explained, his sister is in charge of the family's long-held Patriots seasons tickets, and she has developing health issues. Keeping track of what was being done with the tickets when not being used by the family was getting stressful. Using the team's Ticket Exchange program provides no opportunity for reselling tickets at a profit, but using services like StubHub can result in season ticket revocations. These issues had been discussed by Mr. McNally with Mr. Jastremski and shared with Mr. Jastremski's friend, who stayed over at Mr. Jastremski's house the night of the Jets game and knew of Mr. McNally's family issues with his tickets. In conversation that evening, he expressed concern to Mr. Jastremski about Mr. McNally's situation and shared information about another friend who had similar stress about reselling tickets. That was the conversation that Mr. Jastremski explained the text was referring to. After the conversation with Mr. Jastremski's friend was explained by Mr. Jastremski, the investigators did not request the opportunity to interview the Mr. Jastremski friend to determine whether any such conversation had in fact happened. The Patriots tracked down Mr. Jastremski's friend, who is a professional fraud investigator and whose livelihood depends on his honesty. They arranged for a telephone interview with the investigators in which the individual explained in great detail the timing (the night of the Jets game), place (Mr. Jastremski's house) and content of the conversation (dealing with Mr. McNally's sister, suffering some early onset memory loss, trying to sell the family game tickets). The investigators, rather than take further steps to check out this information, simply chose to disbelieve input that did not square with their conclusions.
                        Mr. Brady, when asked about this text, said that not only did he never have any such conversation with Mr. Jastremski but that, at the time, he did not even know how footballs got from the Officials' Locker Room to the field — whether game officials took them, whether League officials took them, etc. That is simply not a matter he needs to focus on as the game is about to start.
                        In sum, the keystone link that the investigators rely on to implicate Mr. Brady is that he is the individual being referred to in this text as “him” and “he” even though all four people in any way involved in or related to this text have rebutted this interpretation. The investigators made up their minds that “him” and “he” referred to Mr. Brady, and dismissed all contradictory evidence as “not plausible.”
                        The speculation about what the texts all refer to is also based on unsupported speculation that, because Mr. Brady preferred footballs at 12.5, he really wanted them to have even less psi. There is no evidence that Mr. Brady wanted footballs below 12.5 psi. To assume that wanting footballs set at the low end of the permissible range really reflects a desire they be even lower is mere speculation. No evidence exists that Mr. Brady wanted footballs below 12.5 psi — and the investigators were told quite clearly that footballs that are too soft do not roll off his hands as desired. Nonetheless, they assumed Mr. Brady actually wanted footballs to be below 12.5, that Mr. Jastremski and Mr. McNally knew that, and that they went through an elaborate plan all designed to remove about .5 psi beyond what weather would do naturally.
                        The full response makes multiple other points in its annotation of the Executive Summary of the Wells Report. It also contains a sidebar with links to a letter to the Patriots from T. David Gardy, the league's Sr. Vice President, which notified the Patriots of the investigation on January 19; correspondence with Jeff Pash, Executive Vice President at the NFL; and the Patriots' cooperation memo. It can be read in its entirety here.

                        Patriots attack Wells Report in rebuttal: Three things to know - CBSSports.com
                        Contact me at dirty@handicappershideaway.com

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