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  • 'Deflategate' appeal could test powers of NFL commissioner

    By The Associated Press
    FILe - In this Feb. 2, 2015, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, poses with NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell during a news conference where Goodell presented Brady with the MVP award from the NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game. Brady wants to call Commissioner Goodell as a witness in the appeal of the four-game suspension he was handed for "Deflategate." (John Samora/The Arizona Republic via AP, File) MARICOPA COUNTY OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES

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    'Deflategate' appeal could test powers of NFL commissio... | AccessWDUN.com


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  • #2


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    • #3
      American Enterprise Institute finds Wells Report 'deeply flawed'

      By Jared Dubin | Staff Writer





      An independent report says the Wells Report was flawed. (Getty Images)
      According to a study conducted by the American Enterprise Institute, the Wells Report – the independent investigation conducted by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP litigation partner Ted Wells upon which the NFL based the punishment that was handed down to the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady for Deflategate – is "deeply flawed."
      The American Enterprise Institute is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank whose mission is "to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism—limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility, vigilant and effective defense and foreign policies, political accountability, and open debate," according its web site.
      The study's abstract (a one-paragraph summary of its findings) is below:
      In the current “Deflategate” controversy, the New England Patriots have been accused of illicitly deflating footballs before the start of their 2015 American Football Conference championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. The National Football League and the lawyers it hired have produced a report — commonly known as the “Wells report” — that has been used to justify penalties against the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady. Although the Wells report finds that the Patriots footballs declined in pressure significantly more than the Colts balls in the first half of the game, our replication of the report's analysis finds that it relies on an unorthodox statistical procedure at odds with the methodology the report describes. It also fails to investigate all relevant scenarios. In addition, it focuses only on the difference between the Colts and Patriots pressure drops. Such a difference, however, can be caused either by the pressure in the Patriots balls dropping below their expected value or by the pressure in the Colts balls rising above their expected value. The second of these two scenarios seems more likely based on the absolute pressure measurements. Logistically, the greater change in pressure in the Patriots footballs can be explained by the fact that sufficient time may have passed between halftime testing of the two teams' balls for the Colts balls to warm significantly, effectively inflating them.
      In an accompanying New York Times article, Kevin A. Hasset and Stan A. Veuger, who authored the study, wrote, "Our study, written with our colleague Joseph Sullivan, examines the evidence and methodology of the Wells report and concludes that it is deeply flawed."
      The conclusion centers mostly on the scientific analysis conducted in the Wells Report. An excerpt explaining some of the flaws is below:
      The Wells report's main finding is that the Patriots balls declined in pressure more than the Colts balls did in the first half of their game, and that the decline is highly statistically significant. For the sake of argument, let's grant this finding for now. Even still, it alone does not prove misconduct. There are, after all, two possibilities. The first is that the Patriots balls declined too much. The second — overlooked by the Wells report — is that the Colts balls declined too little.
      The latter possibility appears to be more likely. The Wells report notes the expected pressure for the footballs at halftime in the Patriots-Colts game, factoring in the decline in pressure to be expected when a ball, inflated in a warm room, has been moved to a cold outdoor field. If the Patriots deflated their balls, their pressure levels at halftime should have fallen below the expected level, while the Colts balls at halftime should have hovered around that level.
      But when we analyzed the data provided in the Wells report, we found that the Patriots balls declined by about the expected amount, while the Colts balls declined by less. In fact, the pressure of the Colts balls was statistically significantly higher than expected. Contrary to the report, the significant difference between the changes in pressure of the two teams' balls was not because the pressure of the Patriots balls was too low, but because that of the Colts balls was too high.
      How could this be? The report's own findings suggest an explanation: At halftime, N.F.L. officials measured the pressure of “only a sample” of the Colts balls (four out of 12) before they ran out of time; the second half of the game was about to begin. This implies that the Colts balls sat in the warm room where they were to be measured — and thus increased in pressure — for almost the entirety of halftime before being measured.
      All of the 11 available Patriots balls, by contrast, were measured at halftime, which suggests that they were measured earlier, when they were colder — and thus lower in pressure. Although this explanation contradicts the Wells report's conclusions, it fits all the evidence.
      The Times article ends with a recommendation from Hasset and Veuger that when the Roger Goodell hears Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension, he does so with the knowledge that the Wells Report is unreliable, though it stops short of suggesting any specific action Goodell should take with that knowledge.
      When Hasset and Veuger presented similar findings about the Bountygate scandal at an NFL hearing in November 2012, the league later vacated all the players' suspensions.

      American Enterprise Institute finds Wells Report 'deeply flawed' - CBSSports.com


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      • #4
        NFL upholds Tom Brady's 4-game Deflategate ban: 5 things to know

        By Sean Wagner-McGough | Staff Writer





        Roger Goodell and the NFL upheld Tom Brady's four-game suspension on Tuesday.
        Brady appealed his suspension last month, but it appears he wasn't able to convince the commissioner that he didn't have a role in Deflategate.





        Now, with Brady's suspension staying put at four games, Brady will miss games against the Steelers, Bills, Jaguars, and Cowboys. Brady will, however, be eligible to take part in training camp and preseason action.
        Here are five things to know about the NFL's decision to uphold Brady's four-game ban.
        1. What's next? Brady likely to appeal: Just because Goodell has finally ruled on Brady's appeal doesn't mean this fight is over. Instead, it's likely just beginning.
        As CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported earlier this month, Brady's "camp is prepared to seek an injunction in a federal court to get a suspension of any sort overturned." Now that the suspension didn't get reduced at all, you can expect Brady to pursue that injunction.
        Here's what La Canfora wrote about a potential injunction and why it's advantageous to Brady:
        "Should it end up in court, all timetables and schedules shift to the whims of the judge and his or her docket. The NFL can dictate an awful lot of things an awful lot of the time, but this isn't one of them. That makes the pursuit of an injunction a logical first step, seeking to have the suspension essentially put on hold until the court can rule on it. Oh, and if that judge ends up to be of the mind that Brady shouldn't be sitting at all, well then you can brace for an NFL appeal to that decision and yadda, yadda, yadda. Because it could easily be until sometime next January before a judge was actually ready to hear this case and we all know by then the Patriots season could be over."
        The important part in all of that: There's a chance that his suspension would be "put on hold until the court can rule on it."
        Again, this is all dependent upon Brady suing, but that appears to be a likely outcome.





        2. The question of Brady's phone: At the center of the NFL's report on its ruling is its claim that Brady destroyed evidence, leading Goodell to uphold his punishment.
        "On or shortly before March 6, the day that Tom Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues, Brady directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed," the league's statement read. "He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone. ‎During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device. The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady."
        Brady, in turn, testified at his appeal hearing that it's common practice for him to get a new cell phone every few months and to destroy the previous one. From the NFL's report:
        "At the hearing, Mr. Brady testified that it his practice to destroy (or give to his assistant to destroy) his cellphone and SIM cards when he gets a new cellphone. Mr. Brady also testified that, based on his typical practice, he would have asked to have the existing cellphone destroyed at or about the same time that he began using his new cellphone. According to records provided by Mr. Brady, he began using a new cellphone -- and based on what Mr. Brady and his counsel described as an ordinary practice, gave his old cellphone to his assistant to be destroyed -- on or about March 6, 2015, the very day that he met with Mr. Wells and his team to be questioned bout the tampering allegations."
        That sounds like one hell of a coincidence.
        3. How this impacts Tom Brady's legacy: And, of course, be prepared for a lengthy fight revolving around the legacy of Brady.
        On one side, you'll have the folks arguing that Brady will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, and they will use Brady's four Super Bowl rings as the primary proof of that claim. And, on the other side, you'll have those who point to Spygate and now, Deflategate, as reasons why Brady should be known as a cheater.
        Whichever side you find yourself on, get ready to bunker down and face the onslaught of attacks from the opposition. Because this fight figures to last a while.
        4. How this affects the Kraft-Goodell relationship: When Robert Kraft, the owner of the Patriots, decided to accept the Deflategate penalties leveled at his team instead of appealing them, some speculated that Kraft's gesture could lead to leniency during Brady's appeal. Well, that didn't happen.
        It's worth nothing that Goodell made it clear that Kraft's decision to accept the penalties -- a $1 million fine and two draft picks -- would not affect Brady's appeal. And Goodell kept his word.
        "The decision that Robert [Kraft] made was his decision," Goodell said at the time. "I admire and respect Robert as you well know. We've had plenty of discussions over the last couple of weeks. This was his initiative and something he wanted to do. And I certainly admire the step he took. We may disagree on things, but that's not unusual. That happens."
        With Brady's suspension remaining fully intact and with the Patriots accepting the harsh penalties thrown their way, Kraft's franchise was hit hard by Goodell and the NFL. Though Kraft has said in the past that he doesn't "want to continue the rhetoric" of Deflategate, it'll be interesting to see how he responds to Goodell's decision to not reduce Brady's supension, especially considering Kraft was willing to put the good of the NFL over the good of his own team when he accepted the penalties back in May.
        Could it ruin their relationship? We'll see.
        5. How this ruling affects the Patriots: The Patriots are now facing a four-game stretch without their most important player. Those four games will come against the Steelers, Bills, Jaguars, and Cowboys. Brady won't make his return until Week 6. Coincidentally, that game will come against the Colts.
        For those games, the Patriots will turn to unproven second-year quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. In Garoppolo's first season in the league as Brady's backup, he completed 19 of 27 passes for 182 yards and one touchdown. Though he posted a 101.2 quarterback rating, we're dealing with a tremendously small sample size. That sample size will increase soon enough.
        Overall, here's what Deflategate has cost the Patriots:
        • Brady suspended four games
        • Patriots fined $1 million
        • Patriots lost a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017

        Good thing the Patriots won the Super Bowl.
        Tom Brady's four-game suspension was upheld by the NFL. (USATSI)


        NFL upholds Tom Brady's 4-game Deflategate ban: 5 things to know - CBSSports.com


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        • #5
          Roger Goodell's manipulation of Tom Brady's testimony leaves NFL on slippery slope

          Yahoo Sports












          At this point it's fair to say the NFL was immediately convinced the New England Patriots deflated footballs in the AFC championship game and then worked backward with great diligence and, at times, great duplicity to conclude it as true.
          The NFL mostly failed, although that doesn't guarantee the Patriots are innocent. New England very well might have deflated the footballs. There was, and there remains, plenty of suspicious acts that demand questioning after a guy nicknamed the Deflator took the footballs into the bathroom just before kickoff. It's just the league has never proven its case.
          No matter where you stand on the guilt or innocence of Tom Brady, et al, the actions of the league office grow more disconcerting and indefensible by the day, especially after Thursday's release of testimony and documents from Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension.
          There is a laundry list of concerns here, starting with the fact no one in the league office knew footballs could naturally deflate. This ignorance lit the fuse of a scandal that is still burning. The NFL was prone to wrongly conclude that any measurement under 12.5 pounds per square inch was an act of cheating.
          From there, pretty much every single action, conclusion or determination was designed to find a path to that original belief of guilt.
          View gallery
          .
          With the flaws in the Deflategate investigation, can teams, players and fans still trust Roger Goodell? (AP)

          But this is about focusing on one curiously inconsistent point because going over all of them would take an entire book.
          So let's look at Roger Goodell's conclusion that conversations between Brady and Patriots staffer John Jastremski after the news of the scandal broke are proof that Jastremski was running a cheating operation and Brady either knew about it, tried to cover it up or both.
          Goodell and his investigator, Ted Wells, were obsessed with the fact Brady and Jastremski had not texted or spoken on the phone for six months until the morning after the AFC championship game, when news hit the league was investigating the Patriots' footballs.
          Then the two started communicating, numerous times over the next few days, including a face-to-face meeting in the quarterbacks room in Gillette Stadium.
          To the NFL, this was proof of guilt.
          That alone was dubious. Why would Brady and Jastremski be automatically guilty for talking after they were suddenly in the middle of a massive scandal and media firestorm?
          With the presumption of innocence, or even impartiality, their actions are quite understandable.
          Once accused of playing with under-inflated footballs, of course Brady would want to find out what the heck was going on and talk to Jastremski. And of course Jastremski would want to profess his innocence – especially if he was really innocent – or theorize with Brady about how such a thing could occur.
          It would have been far more incriminating if Brady and Jastremski never spoke.
          Both Wells and Goodell, for instance, saw no issue in Patriots coach Bill Belichick, upon hearing the news, going to Brady and asking if he knew anything about the footballs. It's completely natural. So not with Brady?
          Furthermore, after the first conversation between Brady and Jastremski, all other communication came under false pretenses. By late Monday morning the NFL had wrongly told the Patriots that their footballs were deflated as low as 10.1 psi – which put the organization on its heels because it was such a significant reduction.
          Hearing such data from the league office would certainly cause Brady and Jastremski to revisit the situation. Let's say Jastremski said early Monday morning he didn't do it, doubted anyone did and couldn't even believe this occurred – something both Brady and Jastremski said occurred.
          Then the NFL put out the false 10.1 psi number. Of course Brady would call back and say, "Well, this is what the NFL found, something must have happened. What's the story?"
          Then later, ESPN, citing league sources, reported that 11 of the 12 Patriots footballs were two pounds or more below the league standard. It was also completely wrong but no one in New England knew that at the time so this looked terrible. Again, Brady would reasonably want to ask more questions.
          The NFL instead said the daily discussions were proof of guilt.
          View gallery
          .
          Tom Brady passes during an NFL football training camp on Aug. 1. (AP)

          So the league created fake duress for Brady via false evidence and then found him guilty for reacting to it in an understandable fashion. This is a rather aggressive interrogation tactic generally reserved for murder investigations, terrorist questionings and "Law & Order" reruns. It isn't how anyone would normally expect the league office to act when trying to determine the inflation levels of footballs. Brady, in his testimony, said the reports – again, erroneously made up, possibly leaked and never corrected by the NFL – framed their discussions.
          Here's one answer when asked about what was discussed during one conversation, why it was discussed and why he was even talking to Jastremski.
          "[Jastremski] was the person that prepared the footballs and like I said, the initial report was that none of the Colts' balls were deflated, but the Patriots', all the Patriots' balls were," Brady testified. "So I was trying to figure out what happened. [It] was certainly my concern [to attempt] to figure out, you know, what could be – possibly could have happened to those balls."
          Does this seem reasonable? Or proof of overwhelming guilt?
          Actually, don't bother answering because it gets far worse for the league office.
          Goodell manages to not just ignore that as reasonable but in making his decision completely misrepresents Brady's appeal testimony.
          When Goodell released his 20-page appeal denial, the NFL was under the impression that all testimony and documents would remain sealed. Brady's lawyer, Jeffrey Kessler, wanted it available for fans to read. The NFL got its way. However, a federal judge ruled nothing should be under seal and suddenly it all came out.
          So now we can see the contrast in how Goodell characterized Brady's testimony and the actual testimony. Here is how Goodell saw it, and, in the process, characterized what Brady said he and Jastremski discussed.
          "The sharp contrast between the almost complete absence of communications through the AFC championship game undermines any suggestion during the three days following the AFC championship game that the communications addressed ONLY [emphasis added] preparation of footballs for the Super Bowl rather than the tampering allegations and their anticipated responses to inquiries about the tampering," Goodell wrote.
          Only? Wait, Brady and Jastremski ONLY discussed the preparation of the footballs for the Super Bowl?
          That certainly could undermine things. It would be incredibly suspicious, incriminating even, if Brady claimed that in the midst of this growing scandal, he and Jastremski spoke repeatedly but ONLY about preparing footballs for the Super Bowl. No one would believe that.
          Which is perhaps why Goodell wrote it as such.
          Like many things from the NFL in this scandal, it's completely incorrect (and actually contradicted within other portions and footnotes of Goodell's own ruling, not to mention the Wells Report). With the release of the transcript, though, the commissioner's claims have misrepresented the evidence.
          View gallery
          .
          The Patriots' fight with the NFL got a lot nastier with the release of Tom Brady's emails. (AP)

          While it is true Brady didn't offer any specifics of those discussions, it is also true that when being questioned under oath people are coached to never be too specific. Goodell and his team of lawyers fully understand this and even a modicum of fairness would require sympathy to the circumstance.
          Besides, Brady was specific enough – certainly specific enough that it's a complete lie to claim he said he and Jastremski ONLY discussed preparing the footballs for the Super Bowl. Brady repeatedly answered the opposite. Here are a couple of examples to go with the one above:
          "I don't remember exactly what we discussed," Brady said. "But like I said, there was two things that were happening. One was the allegations which we were facing and the second was getting ready for the Super Bowl, which both of those have never happened before [Jastremski wasn't in charge of the footballs at prior Super Bowls, and there was no scandal brewing]. So me talking to him about those things that were unprecedented, you know, he was the person that I would be communicating with."
          And:
          "I don't remember exactly what we talked about," Brady said. "But like I said, there were two things happening simultaneously and I really wanted John focused other than what he needed to get accomplished with the footballs, so I was trying to make sure that he was good and that, you know, he felt responsible for, you know, the attacks. And I was trying to make sure that he was composed so that he could do his job over the course of the next two weeks."
          Brady also testified that he directly asked Jastremski if he deflated the footballs or knew anything about it – Jastremski said no every single time. Jastremski told the Wells investigators the same thing. Brady also explained, often repeatedly, that he wanted to make sure Jastremski was mentally focused on the Super Bowl when 100 footballs need to be prepared, among other tasks. He also said he texted and spoke to him to make him feel better as the world collapsed around him.
          While preparing for the Super Bowl was a primary concern – is that surprising? – Brady couldn't have been more clear that other topics were broached, including the scandal, and that they didn't ONLY discuss football prep for the Seattle game.
          All of this was said under oath directly in front of Roger Goodell.
          Forget guilt and innocence, is there any reasonable way that Roger Goodell could hear all of that – spend five weeks reviewing the evidence, including the transcript and despite being surrounded by high-priced attorneys and public-relations consultants – and then still write that Brady ONLY discussed preparing footballs for the Super Bowl and as such is untruthful and guilty?
          Is that a fair and accurate portrayal of what Brady testified? Is that even remotely reasonable? Or is it just an attempt to make Brady appear guilty and thus continue months of conduct that appear designed to justify the original suspicion.
          Perhaps more importantly, how does anyone in the NFL – owner, coach, player or fan – possibly trust the league office to investigate and rule on anything ever again?

          Roger Goodell's manipulation of Tom Brady's testimony leaves NFL on slippery slope - Yahoo Sports


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          • #6
            Judge puts NFL on hot seat as he belittles 'Deflategate'

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            By The Associated Press
            Judge Richard M. Berman, center, briefly stops out of a federal courthouse in New York, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, after the first hearing in the civil suit that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady filed against the NFL in an attempt to get his four-game suspension lifted. During the proceedings, Brennan repeatedly asked NFL lawyer Daniel L. Nash about whether evidence exists that directly links Brady to deflating the footballs used during the AFC championship game Jan. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister)

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            (AP) — A federal judge put the NFL on the defensive over its four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Wednesday, demanding to know what evidence directly links Brady to deflating footballs and belittling the drama of the controversy.
            "What is the direct evidence that implicates Mr. Brady?" Judge Richard M. Berman repeatedly asked NFL lawyer Daniel L. Nash at the first hearing in the civil case in Manhattan federal court as Brady and Commissioner Roger Goodell looked on.
            Nash responded there was "considerable evidence Mr. Brady clearly knew about this," including records of text messages and phone calls between the quarterback and one of two Patriots employees implicated in the scandal known as "Deflategate."
            But he also said there was no "smoking gun" showing Brady had direct knowledge that the balls were underinflated for the first half of the Patriots' 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game Jan. 18.
            Brady and Goodell didn't speak during the hearing, except to introduce themselves to Berman. Brady, his head lowered, looked dour as lawyers spoke for about 1 hour, 20 minutes.
            Immediately afterward, Brady smiled slightly as he signed sketches for two court artists. Berman then met individually with each side for more settlement discussions in private.
            The talks continued more than four hours until about 5 p.m. Afterward, a smiling Brady left the courthouse. Several people shouted "cheater, cheater!"
            Berman could be seen briefly speaking with Goodell inside the courthouse before the commissioner left to a waiting sports utility vehicle about 10 minutes after Brady. Goodell smiled as dozens of photo and video journalists did their work. Neither of them spoke and there was no immediate word on the status of talks.
            Two weeks ago, the NFL asked Berman to declare that its punishment of Brady was properly carried out. The players' union countersued, asking him to nullify the suspension. The judge has signaled from the start that he wants the parties to reach a swift settlement.
            On Wednesday, Berman called it "ironic or not" that Brady's statistics were better in the second half of the AFC championship game, after the balls were re-inflated.
            "You might say (Brady) got no better advantage from the under-inflation," the judge said.
            At one point, the judge also seemed to try to defuse the controversy, saying: "This Deflategate. I'm not sure where the 'gate' comes from."
            When the union got its chance to argue, the judge asked attorney Jeffrey L. Kessler why one of the Patriots employees would deflate balls without Brady's knowledge. Kessler said the union does not believe the balls were deflated but, if they were, the employee did it on his own because he "thought it would be good for his quarterback."
            The judge also questioned why Brady destroyed his cellphone in the midst of the inquiry — a move that the league argues was further proof of his deception. Kessler claimed that the quarterback got rid of the phone on the advice of his agent to protect his privacy but had otherwise cooperated with the inquiry.
            However, in hindsight, "You're right, it could have been done a different way," the lawyer said of the phone.
            Both sides are scheduled to return to court next week.
            In an email after everyone left court, Kessler said: "Sorry, not commenting."
            Lawyers for the NFL did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
            Goodell suspended Brady after concluding he "knew about, approved of, consented to, and provided inducements and rewards" to support a scheme in which a Patriots employee deflated balls on game day. Brady insists he knew nothing about it.
            In a July 28 decision upholding the suspension, Goodell heavily criticized Brady for having an aide destroy a cellphone containing nearly 10,000 text messages from a four-month stretch including the AFC championship game. He accused him of obstructing the NFL probe about a controversy that represented "conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of professional football."
            In court documents, the union's lawyers said the suspension was unfair and violated the labor contract and complained that it would cause irreparable harm to Brady by forcing him to miss games.
            They called a June appeal hearing before Goodell "a kangaroo court proceeding, bereft of fundamentally fair procedures."
            ___
            Associated Press Writer Jake Pearson and AP Sports Writer Jimmy Golen in Boston contributed to this report.

            Judge puts NFL on hot seat as he belittles 'Deflategate... | AccessWDUN.com


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            • #7
              I don't want the Patriots to have any excuses so let Tom Brady play.

              Comment


              • #8
                No worries

                Originally posted by The General View Post
                I don't want the Patriots to have any excuses so let Tom Brady play.
                They won't need any excuses since they aren't going to win the Super Bowl anyway. Last year was gained only because of Pete Carroll's dumb-ass goal-line play and this year the defense won't be good enough. If you don't like New England, suspension or not, you will enjoy this season. :soapbox

                Comment


                • #9
                  I suspect he'll get off with a judge deciding. What evidence is there if assumed innocent.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The General View Post
                    I suspect he'll get off with a judge deciding. What evidence is there if assumed innocent.
                    Judge in the Peterson case said that Goodell doesn't understand the Collective Bargaining agreement. Judge in this case has blessed him out as well ... he is a fucking tool


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                    • #11
                      Legal expert: 'More probable than not' that Tom Brady plays in opener

                      By Jared Dubin | Staff Writer





                      Michael McCann, a legal analyst for Sports Illustrated and the director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire, said in an interview with NESN on Tuesday that he believes Tom Brady will play in the Patriots' season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
                      "I think chances are Brady will play in the season opener," McCann said. "Certainly not a done deal, certainly not extreme likelihood. But I guess you could say more probable than not that he plays in the first game."
                      Judge Richard M. Berman of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is expected to reach a decision soon in Brady and the NFLPA's case against the NFL in the Deflategate saga. It is, however, important to note that Judge Berman's ruling is not determinative of Brady's "guilt" or "innocence" in Deflategate. It's about procedure.
                      If Judge Berman upholds the arbitration award (Goodell's upholding of the suspension), it merely means that he A.) found that the NFL's procedure in administering Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension met the standards of fairness or B.) he lent extreme deference to Roger Goodell's decision as the arbitrator of Brady's appeal, as case law instructs him to do in collectively bargained arbitrations such as Brady's. If Judge Berman vacates the arbitration award, it merely means that he found the NFL's procedure in administering Brady's appeal to be unfair, despite the amount of deference typically afforded to the decisions of arbitrators in collectively bargained appeals.
                      In either case, Judge Berman's ruling is unlikely to be the end of the case. If he rules in favor of the NFL and upholds the arbitration award without caveats, Brady and the NFLPA are almost certain to appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, where they'd seek an injunction that allows Brady to play while that appeal is ongoing. (As Will Brinson wrote on Monday, two of the three most likely outcomes in the current appeal would involve Brady being allowed to play while a subsequent appeal is heard.)
                      If Judge Berman vacates the arbitration award, that would mean the NFL would have to re-try Brady's appeal of his suspension, almost certainly with an arbitrator who is not Roger Goodell. (The NFL is also nearly certain to appeal Judge Berman's decision to the Second Circuit if he vacates the arbitration award, just as Brady and the NFLPA would if the award is upheld.)
                      There would also likely be evidence introduced that was not heard at the first appeal, such as the testimony of Jeff Pash, the NFL attorney that "edited" the Wells Report, among other things. That could lead to a different ruling, or it could lead to the the same ruling.
                      As McCann said, "If Richard Berman issues an order that vacates the punishment, he's really only vacating Roger Goodell's decision to uphold the suspension. So that means it's possible the NFL could reconvene and issue a new investigation, a new punishment. I think it's unlikely that would happen, but it's certainly possible because the vacating of the arbitration award doesn't prevent further discipline."
                      Tom Brady could be in uniform for Week 1. (Getty Images)


                      Legal expert: 'More probable than not' that Tom Brady plays in opener - CBSSports.com


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                      • #12
                        The Judge ruled in favor of Brady.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The General View Post
                          The Judge ruled in favor of Brady.
                          Damn Skippy


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                          • #14
                            Deflategate judge: Roger Goodell invented his 'own brand of justice'

                            By Will Brinson | NFL Writer





                            On Thursday morning Judge Richard Berman vacated Tom Brady's four-game suspension in a 40-page ruling that stunned the NFL world and set the Patriots up nicely for 2015.
                            In his ruling, Berman didn't hold back with his criticism of the NFL, citing a previous lawsuit in stating that NFL commissioner essentially invented his "own brand of justice."
                            Berman cited the "law of the shop" in the NFL to give players advance notice of "prohibited conduct and of potential discipline" and pointed out that the NFL did not do that
                            "Because there was no notice of a four-game suspension in the circumstances presented here, Commissioner Goodell may be said to have 'dispense[d] his own brand of industrial justice,'" Berman wrote.
                            As we pointed out yesterday (via the help of labor attorney Tom Gies, a partner at Crowell & Moring), the biggest argument for Brady winning his case against the NFL was "a lack of notice."
                            This was the crux of Berman's ruling to vacate the NFL's suspension. His No. 1 reason for vacating the suspension was "inadequate notice to Brady of both his potential discipline (four- game suspension) and his alleged misconduct."
                            As a result of Berman's belief that Goodell and the NFL didn't give Brady notice, it appeared to him that the league was dishing out its own brand of justice.
                            In the end, Tom Brady prevailed in his case against the NFL. (USATSI)


                            Deflategate judge: Roger Goodell invented his 'own brand of justice' - CBSSports.com


                            Contact me at dirty@handicappershideaway.com

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                            • #15
                              Jay Feely: I was in similar situation as Tom Brady and didn't get punished

                              By John Breech | CBSSports.com





                              Back in July, when it became clear that the NFL and NFLPA would be going to court over the appeal of Tom Brady's suspension, the NFLPA made an interesting point it its initial court filing.
                              According to the NFLPA, no player had ever been punished for violating the NFL's Competitive Integrity Policy, the policy that Brady's being punished for.
                              One of the specific cases that the NFLPA cited in its late July court filing was an incident from 2009 that involved a Jets equipment employee, who "attempted to use unapproved equipment to prep the K balls prior to" a game against the Patriots.
                              The K balls are the footballs used exclusively by specialists during an NFL game. Basically, the NFL believed that a Jets staff member was doctoring footballs to presumably give the team's kicker a competitive advantage.
                              However, the Jets kicker at the time, Jay Feely, was never investigated for the incident.
                              As the NFLPA noted in its July 30 court filing, "the player who could have benefited from the alleged 'attempt to gain a competitive advantage' was not investigated, let alone disciplined."
                              Feely sees a similarity between his case and Brady's and he just happened to be at Brady's settlement conference on Monday to explain that to Judge Richard Berman.
                              Although the free-agent kicker was in the courtroom because he's a member of the NFL Players Association's executive committee, Feely did get some private time in front of Judge Richard Berman and he used that private time to explain his thoughts on the 2009 Jets situation and how it compares to the current one involving Brady.
                              In an interview on Tuesday with The Doug Gottlieb Show, Feely explained what exactly happened when he met with Judge Berman behind closed doors.
                              "One of the situations I talked about was when I was with the Jets because they had an equipment guy who got in trouble, ironically, playing the Patriots," Feely said. "It was referenced in the NFLPA brief that we sent into the judge."
                              Feely, who will be working for CBS Sports covering college football this fall, explained that the NFL treated both cases differently even though he felt they were very much the same.
                              "We talked about the similarities in that case and the differences in the way the NFL responded. I didn't get into trouble, I had no culpability," Feely said. "The reaction by the NFL was much different [from Deflategate] even though the circumstances were very similar."
                              In Feely's case, the equipment manager got suspended and the NFL never investigated Feely for anywrongdoing. Feely believes that Brady's situation is the same: If anyone's guilty, it's the equipment guys, meaning Brady's innocent.
                              The free-agent kicker thinks that the NFL went hard on Brady because of the Patriots sordid past.
                              "Because of the allegations both with Spygate and the allegations of taping the Super Bowl walk-through and all the history of things that they've had, I think [the NFL] reacted to something," Feely said.
                              Even if Brady did do something though, Feely believes that a four-game punishment is excessive.
                              "If anything happened -- I don't believe it did and Tom Brady maintains his innocence that nothing happened -- but if something had happened, it would've been a speeding ticket and [the NFL] reacted like it was a homicide," Feely said. "That's the metaphor I can give you."
                              Jay Feely isn't sure why the NFL is coming down so hard on Tom Brady. (USATSI)

                              Jay Feely: I was in similar situation as Tom Brady and didn't get punished - CBSSports.com


                              Contact me at dirty@handicappershideaway.com

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