Why Write about NFL’s ‘Deflategate’

Exclusive: After release of a tendentious NFL report on “Deflategate,” there is now a rush to the penalty phase with the media and public demanding severe punishment for quarterback Tom Brady — despite any clear evidence that he did anything wrong, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Given all the serious news in the world, some readers have criticized me for writing about the NFL’s “Deflategate” report, which accused New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady of participating in a scheme to under-inflate footballs in a big game. Frankly, when I began reading the report out of curiosity on Wednesday, I had no intention of writing anything.

But the report, authored by NFL outside counsel Ted Wells, reminded me of so many other one-sided reports that I have read in my 37 years in Washington. I felt like the anti-slavery German bounty hunter in “Django Unchained” who, against his better judgment, shoots the vile plantation owner. I couldn’t help myself from pointing out the slanted evidence and selective narrative.

1000px-National_Football_League_2008

The logo of the National Football League.

There was something profoundly unfair about the report, which operated under the theory of “more probable than not” judgments that were then compounded. For instance, the report first applies this 51 percent rule as to whether something actually happened although there was no clear-cut evidence that anything did, i.e., no confessions, no witnesses, no visual proof.

The many variables cold temperatures, rainy weather and the pre-game scuffing up of the balls could have explained all or almost all the pounds per square inch drops that were detected at halftime of the AFC Championship game on Jan. 18, 2015. But Wells decided to brush aside any innocent possibilities and proceed to build a tendentious, circumstantial case.

Wells then judged that two locker room attendants “more probabl[y] than not” conspired to lower the air pressure. Then again without any specific evidence Wells decided that it was “more probable than not” that Brady “was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities.”

In other words, according to Wells, there was a 51 percent chance that something happened and, if it did happen, there was an additional 51 percent chance that Brady knew something about it. If you follow the logic and do the math, that means there was a 26 percent chance that Brady was guilty of something and that would mean that there’s no preponderance of evidence supporting Brady’s guilt, just a one-in-four chance.

But Brady is still supposed to be severely punished. All the pundits and much of the public say so. Whatever you think of Brady, this approach is troubling.

Shoddy Reporting

The shoddy reporting on the “scandal” has made matters worse. For instance, if you ask almost anyone which team the New England Patriots or the Indianapolis Colts played most of the game using under-inflated footballs, nearly everyone would say the Patriots. But the real answer is the Colts, who used footballs under the 12.5 psi minimum in both the first half and the second half.

NFL officials were even aware that one of the gauges used to test the footballs the one that was accurate registered three of the four Colts footballs that were tested as below the legal limit, yet left them in the game because of the higher results from a second inaccurate gauge. The psi numbers for the fourth ball were transcribed inaccurately so we don’t know about that one.

After the game was over, three of the four Colts balls that were checked also were below the legal limit. The fourth was not. By comparison, the four Patriots footballs checked after the game were within the legal parameters. But the conventional wisdom is that the Colts’ footballs were all inflated legally, making the Patriots’ situation more suspicious.

Few people also know what touched off the “incriminating” text messages between the two locker room attendants about football air pressure. It was an illegal act committed not by the Patriots but by NFL officials who over-inflated Patriot footballs for an important divisional game against the New York Jets on Oct. 16, 2014.

After the game, which the Patriots won 27-25, blocking a last-second field goal attempt by the Jets, Brady complained bitterly to John Jastremski, an equipment assistant responsible for preparing the game balls. When Jastremski tested the balls, he found them to be extremely over-inflated, beyond the legal upper limit of 13.5 psi.

“The refs fucked us,” Jastremski wrote in a text message, “a few of them were at almost 16” psi. “They didnt recheck them after they put air in them.” In other words, NFL officials violated NFL rules regarding the proper inflation of footballs and it could have contributed to a Patriots loss to a hated rival.

It makes sense that NFL quarterbacks are particular about how the footballs feel to them, like a Major League pitcher cares about the preparation of baseballs or, for that matter, how a carpenter feels about his tools. These items represent their livelihoods and in the case of an NFL quarterback, he is working before millions of spectators and his performance can have profound consequences for his team’s success and his own wealth.

Dissing Brady

After Brady complained about the footballs used in the Jets game, Jastremski texted Jim McNally, a part-time employee who was responsible for delivering the balls to the officials and overseeing their final check of the air pressure, when the officials might add more air or remove some to get within the 12.5 psi to 13.5 psi parameters.

In effect, Jastremski was chastising McNally for not doing his job properly and McNally responded defensively, threatening to make sure the balls were even more over-inflated in the next game.

“Tom sucks,” McNally texted. “im going make that next ball a fuckin balloon,” adding: “Fuck tom 16 [psi] is nothing wait till next Sunday.”

In another exchange, McNally wrote, “Fuck tom .make sure the pump is attached to the needle. . fuckin watermelons coming. The only thing deflating sun[day] .. is his passing rating.”

According to the Wells report, Jastremski and McNally called these comments joking banter, but Wells detected something more sinister. But these exchanges were about over-inflating balls to punish Brady not under-inflating the balls to please Brady. The comments also occurred in the context of a game in which the only violation was by the NFL officials exceeding the upper limit for air pressure.

In other words, if McNally was already assigned by Brady to under-inflate the balls (as Wells insinuates in his report), McNally wasn’t doing his job very well. Indeed, a fair reading of the text messages would be that there was no scheme to deflate footballs at least not then and that any subsequent tampering (if any happened at all) may have been a reaction to the illegal over-inflating by the NFL officials.

It might make sense that McNally and Jastremski afraid of losing their jobs could have taken steps to prevent some future over-inflation of footballs, as had happened in the Jets game, to avoid Brady’s future wrath, which could cost them their employment. In that case, it’s conceivable that they might have devised a scheme to let air out if McNally witnessed the officials putting too much air in.

Before the AFC Championship game, referee Walt Anderson did add air to some of the Patriots footballs while McNally pleaded with him to keep the levels at around 12.5 psi where Brady liked them. McNally might have thought that Anderson had ignored him.

Precepts of Justice

But whatever McNally may or may not have done to the footballs in the bathroom on the way to the playing field, there’s no particular reason to think that Brady was in on it. While that is possible, a basic precept of American justice is not to punish someone for what may or may not have happened with the further uncertainty that whatever did or didn’t happen, they might have been in on it or not.

Yes, I know, all the talking heads confidently declare that two locker room attendants would not have acted without Brady’s instructions or blessing. But is it normal for a locker room attendant to express in text messages such contempt for the star quarterback and even a willingness to defy his wishes, whether jokingly or not?

Since Brady had made it emphatically clear that he wanted the footballs at the low end of the permissible psi range, around 12.5, is it inconceivable that McNally and Jastremski took it from there? You can speculate otherwise, but that’s a core problem with the Wells report. It piles speculation onto speculation based on a foundation of scientific uncertainty.

There is no hard evidence that anything happened, only the murky scientific analysis of the halftime testing of the footballs in which the many possible variables do not exclude that the deflation of the footballs for both the Patriots and the Colts resulted from the chilly, rainy weather plus the pre-game treatment applied to the balls, not from illegal tampering.

So, there was a fairer way to write the report. Wells might have noted that for something as central to the National Football League as footballs, there are confusing and contradictory protocols for ensuring that footballs are maintained in a way that best serves the game.

Wells could have noted that the careless manner in which NFL officials over-inflated the Patriots balls in the Jets game may have been a contributing factor to whatever may have happened in the AFC Championship game. He could have called on officials to be more careful in this preparation.

It also turned out that one of the two gauges used to measure the psi before and during the AFC Championship game was faulty, overstating the pressure by one-third to nearly one-half psi, a further complication in assessing what happened with the footballs.

But Wells, like so many legal counsels whom I’ve witnessed in government, settled on a conclusion and then arranged the facts to best support that verdict. He “credited” information that he liked and brushed aside evidence that went in another direction.

One of Wells’s “gotcha” moments related to McNally’s explanation for why he used the bathroom, saying he felt the need to urinate before heading out onto the field. While Wells and his investigators found this rationale highly suspicious, it would not be for any guy who has ever gone to a sporting event.

Wells and his sleuths also pounced when McNally said he had used a “urinal.” They noted that there was no urinal in the bathroom, only a toilet. Supposedly, this showed that McNally was lying when he said he had used a urinal and thus he must have been busy deflating footballs, although whichever endeavor he was engaged in he would have seen the toilet. Far more likely, he didn’t remember something as mundane as whether it was a toilet or a urinal, or maybe he just defines the device based on what he uses it for.

In journalism, we call this kind of slanted investigation a “jam job,” stacking the facts to build toward only one conclusion. I don’t like it when I read such “white papers” or “committee reports” from U.S. government officials and it annoyed me to see it in this context, even if we are “just” talking about the reputation of a football player.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

image_pdfimage_print

33 comments for “Why Write about NFL’s ‘Deflategate’

  1. Zachary Smith
    May 8, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    …even if we are “just” talking about the reputation of a football player.

    I beg to differ. In my opinion we’re talking about the reputation of a football team.

    I’m with some of the previous posters that this is a trivial issue in the Big Scheme of things. But it’s also my opinion that the owner of a blog can write about any topic he darned well pleases.

    Climate change is destroying the world. The Obama Administration appears to be playing footsie with a genuine nuclear war. The Big Banks are totally out of control. In 2016 we look to have a choice between Horrible and Considerably Worse Than That.

    With all that going on, having an off-the-wall trivia dispute every now and then might even be viewed as a relief..

    • Lo
      May 13, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      As if one player or coach has cheated means an entire team is guilty of cheating.
      Being known for pushing the envelope on the rules is not equivalent to actual cheating. That’s being competitive and smart. BB plays smart. Like the switching of eligible receivers in a play formation which the whiny Ravens got changed. Keep fixing the rules because some teams can’t compete against the Patriots. Parity. Not supposed to have a dominant team.

  2. Dennis Berube
    May 8, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    I liked the article Robert, nothing wrong with a piece like that every now and then. It also helps show people that all issues of today suffer from some kind of twisting and lack of fact checking.

    Zachary,

    Real people die during the winter because they can’t afford the inflated utility prices caused by renewable energy implementation.

    Even if all of these historical temperature models all 100% true, then a real solution would be heavy investment into 4th generation nuclear power and an extensive maglev 2000 rail network that would practically reduce US oil usage to nothing (not to mention give an enormous boost to the economy). But no, instead we hear, “just use less and put up ridiculous solar panels to replace that closed nuclear plant.”

    Sorry for the rant, but this ideology started hundreds of years ago with Thomas Malthus, it was a ruse then, and it’s a ruse now.

    • Zachary Smith
      May 8, 2015 at 9:29 pm

      Real people die during the winter because they can’t afford the inflated utility prices caused by renewable energy implementation.

      That’s just awful enough to be true. Most of the utility companies are totally freaked out about the threat of renewables, for they’ll render obsolete their huge investment in fixed fossil fuel plants. Photovoltaics, at this very moment, can produce electricity as cheaply as coal. So “arranging” things so real people suffer is what some of the swine would do. I had to get rough with MY utility company on account of the scary lies they were sending with the bills and special mailings. As I told them, I can’t stop them from lying, but I sure don’t want to have to look at their BS. They finally did stop mailing me their crap.

      http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Solar-Energy/Solar-Really-Can-Be-Cheaper-Than-Coal.html

      I’d reluctantly accept nuclear power if it was the only way to avoid killing the world. Fortunately there are alternatives, for nuclear power is not only the most expensive of all electricity-producers, but it’s by far the most dangerous.

      Your point with the return to rails is well taken. They’ve got to become the main method of land transport around the planet. Pipelines can help too, but they have their limits. Smaller rail lines need to branch off from the main ones, and then the only place for “cars” will be to get from the nearest train depot town to home. For that small electric cars and trucks will do just fine.

  3. Lynne Gillooly
    May 8, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    I am glad you wrote about this. It seems as though there is tremendous jealousy when it comes to Tom Brady. When you look at all the “factual” data as well as the myriad of variables (weather, temperature, rubbing the balls, inaccurate readings etc etc ) the whole thing seems to be about NOTHING.
    Now they are calling for Brady to be suspended, some for a whole year based on cherry picked facts. I wonder if this lawyer was a student of talk radio?

  4. hjs3
    May 8, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Sure with what’s going on in the world, the under-inflation of footballs does seem more than a bit menial….But as an old disabled guy, I am visibly charged that a man with Robert Parry’s credentials would pick up the pen in a manner of speaking and address the inequities that exist here. The vile and singular nature of MSM when they smell blood in the water is all to predictable…They are all corporate whores trying to outdo one another. I have Keith Olbermann in first place at the moment although Jon Stewart, a New Jersey resident and no doubt a Jet’s fan made a late day charge when he bounced a “You Cheating Fuck” off of Mr. Brady…See: Here…http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2458350-jon-stewarts-message-for-tom-brady-you-cheating-f-k. Of course the last time the Jets beat the Patriots was via a late game endorsement of a rule by the referees in ’13 that has never been called in the history of the N.F.L before or since..Anyone find that odd? Be it as it may these two team and their constituencies have been at odds a very long time. And let’s not forget that Darth Vader himself, Bill Bellichick H/C and GM of the Patriots left the Jets to join New England….Talk about unpardonable sin….Fast Forward to ’14 prior to the Colt’s AFC Championship game you had the Patriots down fourteen points to the Baltimore Ravens and they employed by the rules a couple of very unconventional but legal receiver formations that totally befuddled both the Ravens defense and coaching staff….Ravens coach Harbaugh called it deceptive and whined to the referees but formations remained, scores stood and Ravens ultimately lost in a close one. At the year end meetings in ’15 those unconventional designated- non designated receiver rules were changed in support of what had to be via a whiny Harbaugh and his organization who had clearly been outcoached and outplayed…….That would be my uneducated guess anyway…So we come to the Colts game and the ensuing drama that Mr. Parry has framed in perfect fashion along with the brouhaha that has resulted from the same….
    But where else in any media apparent on 5/8/15 does this oppositional viewpoint even exist? I for one haven’t found it anywhere on the half-dozen sites I frequent for information…AS such, I have injected his first take and will now the second with the hope of balancing the scales to whatever minute degree for another perspective to this inquisitional paper more closely resembling something straight out of Salem, MA. in the late 1600’s…
    Mr. Parry’s sense of fair play here is some damn rare here it’s downright conspicuous…And I thank him for it…

  5. geri46@yahoo.com
    May 8, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Excellent factual overview of the entire situation, Bob Parry. The facts speak for themselves. Overall, I hope the facts do stand out and Tom Brady is not suspended for doing anything wrong.

  6. isdivc
    May 8, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Couple comments. The standard used by the NFL for determining violations is “more probable than not”. It is not a turn of phrase authored by Wells. Goodell himself wrote that it isn’t necessary for the NFL to meet the standards of a court of law. That is typical of most corporations even if one likes it or not. So that is not an unusual or arbitrary standard. Secondly, I think any fair reading of the emails between Brady and the other two, which is very unusual in and of itself for Brady to participate in, would lead a reasonable person to believe something was going on. Also, a penalty can be called in a game, like off-sides, which has no bearing on the play itself. It is still an infraction and still gets a penalty even though it may not affect the outcome of a game. So saying it really didn’t affect anything is no defense. Lastly, the Patriots have been found guilty of cheating before so it is not reasonable to assume that they would employ this “gamesmanship” again. This is all a diversion from real problems and it is not really worth the passion that seems to consume so many. These are sports corporations trying to bump up their success, and thus their bottom line, by any means necessary. I enjoy football but, at the end of the day, sports are defined as contests in which the outcome is meaningless.

  7. phastphil
    May 8, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Bill Veeck once said: “We don’t break the rules we just test their elasticity”

    • Zachary Smith
      May 8, 2015 at 9:36 pm

      Veeck’s signing of 3 feet, 7 inch tall Eddie Gaedel was definitely such a “test”.

  8. May 8, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    The “Gifting Russia” piece was nearly perfect. I was delayed in my comment since the captcha wasn’t working a couple of days ago. Having said that…

    There’s a reason the report spoke of probabilities. This isn’t a criminal case where the evidence has to show guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s more like a civil case with a requirement for a preponderance of the evidence. Brady did it, no doubt, but covered his tracks skillfully. As the neocons would say, the signs of innocence are sure fire indicators of guilt.

    We have every reason to question Brady. Did you see him urging on Mayweaher before the big fight? What a character reference.

    As for the locker room guys, they were just administering street justice to an arrogant superstar whose narcissism knows no bounds.

    Brady is guilty. Just look at the guy. That means that the Patriots had no business in the Super Bowl and, if follows, that Seattle should be declared the winner. Now that’would be real justice!

  9. May 9, 2015 at 2:35 am

    Though I have no interest whatsoever in American football, I am all for attracting as many people with different interests as possible to blogs with alternative perspectives on today’s most important issues.

    One of the main problems with blogs with views that contradict and challenge the prevailing narrative, is that too many of them preach to the converted, which keeps governments and the corporate media very happy indeed.

    Besides, we all need a bit of light relief if we are not to become the party poopers everyone tries to avoid.

    With my own blog, I am attempting to draw more people from all walks of life, in the hope I can introduce them to websites like consortiumnews through links from time to time. Something I am signally failing to do so far.

  10. curiousaboutmostthings
    May 9, 2015 at 4:05 am

    Mr Parry,
    Let me preface my short comment with a huge congrats for your work and your website. I have tried to share this site with as many people as time has allowed.

    Re the Brady biz: I’m a bit startled by your comments about Brady and am wondering if you are a fan of sorts. Almost all of your articles provide a sense of historical context to the opinions provided and are most enlightening. In this case however, there is no reference to the history of Bradys’ shenanigans.

    If one were to look at the history of his preferences, they date back to at least 2006 when he and Manning helped change the rules for the teams handling there own oblong objects. Most sports NFL people, especially QBs, will tell you he has smaller hands than many and the deflation helped his grip and also helped the catching, the running backs holding onto the ball etc. I would wager that the balls used for kicks and punts where not deflated, hence the discrepancy. This news is not about only one game at one time, and this is very important to learn.

    The science of colder weather and and the effect on pressure is mostly fictitious, especially after one were to read the report of the manufacturer of these leather objects. There is no doubt they were consciously deflated to help out Brady. The legalize language is only a way for the NFL to waffle on the rules as much as they can since it is not in court.

    BTW, it’s ok to be a fan, but a bit of your brilliance of history is needed here. Having said that, let’s please get back to the things that matter most in life on your wonderful site.

    • DB
      May 11, 2015 at 8:52 am

      Yeah it’s actually you that’s revealed a bias, not the author. That Brady lobbied for that rule change means nothing at all, and you’re embarrassing yourself pointing to it going “ah ha!”

      You would accuse anybody who doesn’t confirm what you believe about Brady of being a Patriots fan.

    • dbwsea
      May 13, 2015 at 7:53 pm

      The pressure of a gas in an enclosed space is not affected by temperature?
      Are you kidding, from which hole did you pull that “fact?” Good grief, you don’t need science to tell you that pressure is most certainly affected.

    • RawheaD
      May 15, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      “The science of colder weather and and the effect on pressure is mostly fictitious”

      That’s where I stopped reading.

      OK, I lied, I read the rest. If the cold weather has not effect on pressure, then by that logic, the Colts also illegally deflated their footballs, as they too were under inflated. Did you even read the blog entry?

    • chemistry professor
      May 15, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      ‘The science of colder weather and and the effect on pressure is mostly fictitious”

      LOL,

      Guiles Amontons figured out the pressure/temp correlation of air-filled objects in 1702.

      Yes, 1702, That would be in the time of George Washington’s great-grandfather.

      It is disturbing the level of widespread ignorance about ESTABLISHED SCIENCE.

  11. m
    May 9, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Distractions for idiots

    • Thretosix
      May 15, 2015 at 11:55 am

      You seem like you got distracted.

  12. Ames Gilbert
    May 9, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Robert, I’m sure you enjoy writing about something different than usual from time to time. Good for you! I enjoy the change, too.
    Just about whatever you write about, I appreciate the way you step back and analyze the situation as objectively as possible, and call out bullshit when you see it. And you do the same in this article. You see the propaganda for what it is, and point out the logical fallacies, just the same as you do with ‘more serious’ articles. This is an object lesson in how the MSM works, the very low standards of journalism, the very low standards of the ‘authorities’ who have appointed themselves to oversee our politics and our culture, and to interpret even these more petty events for us. So, thanks for that lesson.

  13. Joe Tedesky
    May 9, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Robert don’t feel bad about Tom Brady. I am a Steeler fan. How would you like to need and defend Ben Roethlisberger? There is no defense of ‘Big Ben’! The NFL is just like many of our American institutions, they are way to BIG. Besides all that, I would rather root for a ‘deflator’ than root for a ‘rapist’. So, enjoy the games the best you can.

    BTW my wife and I really enjoyed watching the movie ‘Kill the Messenger’. Your reporting on this site is truly great. Keep up the good work.

  14. JOHN L OPPERMAN
    May 9, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Hypothetically a “game”, allegedly a “sporting event”, commercial sports are no less a commercialized profiteering as well as political device to avoid serious public attention and responsibility to US criminality at home and around the world.
    As an 81-year old retired Navy veteran, world traveler-worker and resident, mechanic, teacher, artist, I am LOATH to admit being an American/US citizen, anyway connected to such a filthy, racist, torturing, murderous, neo-colonial/neo-fascist, destructive entity as this evermore corporate-capitalist-militarized, bible waving failing state.
    A democrat since birth, the party left me with Truman and has been turning to shit almost continuously ever since.
    Sorry for the rant, but don’t get me started, I may tell you what I really think.
    Just imagine what we COULD have been…something like what we CLAIM to be.
    Free, Fair, democratic.

  15. charles
    May 10, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I am disappointed that RP can’t seem to come to grips with the facts that once McNally gave up those texts the Patriots and Brady refused to cooperate any further in the investigation. That alone is basis enough for any private corporation to discipline a “subsidiary” including the employees of the subsidiary who refuse to cooperate. RP should also be upfront enough to acknowledge that these players agree to rules of conduct and cooperation with investigations as part of a collective bargaining agreement and the individual contracts that each player signs. Those contracts all carry boiler plate about conduct etc. If Brady doesn’t like the terms he’s free to play in other leagues that may have terms more to his liking. His cooperation in the investigation is a contractual matter and the league has wide discretion in determining penalties for non-compliance. Brady, Kraft and RP want to complain after the fact when they knew all along what the contracts, league rules and CBA say about cooperating with a league investigation.

    • DB
      May 11, 2015 at 10:39 am

      It is not true at all that the Patriots or Tom Brady “refused to cooperate,” but the Wells Report certainly goes out of its way to give that impression, which the author could have included in his list of concerns. Frankly, Mr. Parry could have written a multi-volume essay about what’s wrong with how the League, Ted Wells, and most of the media have responded to this, but he didn’t have the time (or desire) to cover everything.

      The Patriots made McNally submit to Wells’ interrogations – and they WERE interrogations – FOUR TIMES. They declined to make him do it again for a fifth time, which is not unreasonable…and McNally is not bound by any Collective Bargaining Agreement forcing him to submit to indefinite interrogations. Tom Brady was grilled by four of Wells’ staff attorneys for an entire day and answered all their questions, he certainly never refused to cooperate. He did refuse to hand over his cellphone, and to characterize that as “refusing to cooperate” is PATHETIC. With all the leaks from the NFL since this witch hunt began, why would Brady even consider letting them have access to his texts and emails? So he can see his private texts with his wife and pictures of his children show up on TMZ? You would refuse that outrageous demand, too.

      The Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Players’ Union obligates Tom Brady to let the League hire a lawyer to go through his private texts messages and emails? YOU LIE. If he refuses such a demand, that’s reason enough to punish him for an allegation nobody ever proved and which a 3+ month investigation can conclude there’s only a less than 50% chance he’s guilty of?

      You’re not disappointed that Mr. Parry can’t come to grips with certain facts. You’re disappointed that he’s not telling you what you want to hear. You want to believe Brady is guilty and you consider anything that doesn’t confirm it to be unacceptable.

    • dbwsea
      May 13, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      Regardless of contracts and business practices Wells and Goodell are publicly declaring people to be liars and cheats. If the league framed it as “we can do whatever we want and just make this stuff up because we can” then that would be different. But they’re not. They’re declaring all this as fact and cavalierly ruining people’s reputations. That’s BS and un-American no matter how you slice it.

    • SR267
      May 17, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      That’s not true. They had the texts before they interviewed Brady and before the last interview with McNally. After the interview with McNally – seven hours long with breaks – Wells then found he had failed to spot one of the texts the first time looking through them and wanted another interview.

  16. PP
    May 11, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    this whole thing strikes me as a psychology 101 “classical conditioning response”, similar to Pavlovs dog. The public is trained to get irate about whatever perceived wrong is put in front of their nose on TV…It reminds me of Orwells 1984, where the crowds were whipped into a frenzy of hate at the behest of the media masters…. This is only practice; the real scapegoats are being lined up in secret.

  17. Lo
    May 13, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Right on PP—not just on this topic but in general. Knee-jerk reactions are just what happens.

  18. JLD
    May 16, 2015 at 10:01 am

    DB wrote: “The Patriots made McNally submit to Wells’ interrogations – and they WERE interrogations – FOUR TIMES.”

    That’s not accurate. McNally was questioned just once by the Wells investigators, He had previously been questioned three times by NFL Security.

    • GailStorm
      May 18, 2015 at 3:24 am

      You are correct….although I doubt McNally could care about the distinction.

  19. Chuck Staples
    May 22, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    The best impartial, objective piece I’ve read about this whole sordid affair. Thanks you.

    People wonder why the big ruckus over this. It strikes a nerve. How would you like your reputation and livelihood to be impuned and impacted in the manner Wells uses (with Goodell’s permission)? I certainly wouldn’t.

    The suspension and fines are “for the integrity of the game”. What we fail to understand is that “the game” is football. It to make money off the masses. After successive failures with head-injuries, treating domestic violence, child abuse, etc., what can we do to distract folks from real issues? Which team do we most like to hate? The Patriots!

    Caesar has looked across the stadium and has decided that to distract the masses from the real issues, we’ll punish the Patriots. So far, it is working.

    The Patriots real sin now (and in 2007) was not submitting to The Man. It hasn’t been cheating (and research Spygate – BB was technically, but not spiritually, correct in ignoring a memo served outside the established official process of rule changes).

    The zeal in which we want to (obtusely) punish Tom Brady and the Patriots on vague, nebulous “evidence” is sad commentary on our society. We’ll get the same from our government if we aren’t careful.

    • Chuck
      May 22, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      Correction: “the game is NOT footfall”

Comments are closed.