NFL’s War Against Science and Reason

Exclusive: As a powerful corporation and cultural icon, the NFL expects to always get its way whether muscling aside concussion scientists or ignoring science in a witch hunt against one of its best quarterbacks and teams, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Perhaps it’s because I just watched the movie, “Concussion,” which tells the story of the National Football League’s haughty denial of the science proving football-related brain damage – and the NFL’s abuse of the truth-tellers – but I still can’t understand why so many people side with Commissioner Roger Goodell in the absurd “Deflategate” case against Tom Brady.

Surely, the NFL’s four-game suspension of the New England Patriots quarterback on the charge of tampering with the air pressure of footballs is not as serious as the NFL covering up the dangers from concussions (reminiscent of how the cigarette industry long denied links between smoking and cancer), but the Brady case is a microcosm of how power works and how checks and balances, including the major news media, fail.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

What seems to have happened behind the scenes of Deflategate is that once the controversy got started with a leak from the NFL, followed by intense coverage before the 2015 Super Bowl game, the NFL didn’t want to admit its own stupidity, since none of the officials involved knew the basic physics of how environmental conditions can affect the air pressure of a football, a piece of knowledge that might have stopped this nonsense in its tracks.

However, as the controversy dragged on, another factor arose. Rival team owners – sitting on the NFL Management Council – saw an opportunity to diminish the Patriots who have been a dominant team in the NFL since Brady emerged as a starter in 2001. Goodell admitted as much in his ruling rejecting Brady’s appeal of the suspension. Goodell said he allowed the Management Council to weigh in, urging certain facts be viewed in a hostile way against Brady.

In other words, owners who had suffered painful losses at the hands of Brady and the Patriots were permitted inside the process for deciding whether the Patriots star quarterback would be banned for a quarter of a season, thus giving these rival teams a better chance to climb over the Patriots and possibly win a Super Bowl.

Goodell said the Management Council, which controls his $35 million salary, urged him to view the absence of two Patriots equipment employees at the appeal hearing as proof of Brady’s guilt (even though the employees had testified repeatedly in other venues and had consistently denied tampering with the game balls).

Recognizing how fiercely competitive — and how thoroughly unscrupulous — some of these team owners are, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they would exploit any chance to hurt a rival.

But what that means is that Goodell’s protestation about him punishing Brady and the Patriots over Deflategate “to protect the integrity of the game” is just another NFL lie. Indeed, the opposite is the truth: the entire episode has been an assault on the integrity of the game, already partly implemented by stripping the Patriots of a first-round pick in the recent NFL draft.

Media Failure

The major U.S. news media also bent to the power of the NFL or gave in to a bias against Brady and the Patriots. Despite all the attention that the “Deflategate” saga received, ESPN, the nation’s top sports network which has a cozy multi-billion-dollar relationship with the NFL, failed to conduct any serious assessment of the dubious science behind the charges that the Patriots deflated footballs for the AFC Championship game on Jan. 18, 2015.

New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady.

New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady.

Over the past 16 months, ESPN essentially ignored the findings of many reputable scientists who disputed the NFL’s calculations. ESPN’s “Sport Science” did do a segment showing how miniscule the effect would be from a slight reduction in pounds per square inch of a football. But ESPN’s investigative unit “E:60” waited until the past few weeks before allowing on a cute spot showing how a seventh-grader named Ben Goodell (no relation to Roger) won a science-fair prize by demonstrating that weather conditions explained the drop in the footballs’ internal pressure.

But ESPN wasn’t alone in its journalistic negligence. Pretty much every mainstream news outlet, including The New York Times, has overwhelmingly taken the NFL’s side in this dispute. Yet, in doing so, the mainstream media ignored an interesting underlying story about how a giant corporation can do almost anything it wants even to one of its brightest stars (deeming him a perjurer and a cheater based on virtually no evidence) and there seems to be nothing anyone can do to stop it – although Brady is still placing some hope in the federal courts.

After Goodell oversaw the entire NFL investigation – from the accusation to the finding of guilt to the appeal – Brady did win one round when U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman reviewed the case and found the process so arbitrary that he rescinded the suspension. However, because the NFL had maneuvered to put the case in a notoriously management-friendly federal court district in Manhattan, the league prevailed 2-1 before a U.S. Court of Appeals panel.

This week, Brady’s lawyers, led by prominent attorney Theodore Olson, filed a motion seeking a rehearing before the full Court of Appeals. The motion condemned “Goodell’s biased, agenda-driven, and self-approving ‘appeal’ ruling,” noting that Goodell had altered the reasons and logic for punishing Brady, thus denying Brady his legal rights.

The filing also said the court’s 2-1 ruling in favor of the NFL “will harm not just NFL players, but all unionized workers who have bargained for appeal rights as a protection — not as an opportunity for management to salvage a deficient disciplinary action by conjuring up new grounds for the punishment.”

Olson noted, too, that the NFL officials didn’t know the physics of footballs. “As NFL officials later admitted, no one involved understood that environmental factors alone — such as the cold and rainy weather during the game — could cause significant deflation,” the filing said.

“Nor did any NFL official claim that the underinflated balls affected the game’s outcome, particularly since Brady’s performance in the second half of the AFC Championship Game — after the Patriots game balls were re-inflated — improved.” (The Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 and then went on to win the Super Bowl.)

But Brady’s lawyers and the seventh-grader with his science project weren’t the only ones to recognize the weakness of the NFL’s grasp of physics. In support of Brady’s request for a rehearing, a legal brief was filed this week with the U.S. Court of Appeals by 21 professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of California, Berkeley; University of Michigan; Stanford University; University of Southern California; University of Delaware; Purdue University; University of Pennsylvania; Boston College; and the University of Minnesota.

Noting that deflation happens naturally whenever a ball is moved from a warm to a cold environment, the scientists said, “This is not tampering. It is science. And it pervades the NFL. Games routinely are played with footballs that fall below the league’s minimum pressure requirement.”

The scientists added that “Courts should not be powerless to consider the absence of scientific proof when a proceeding is so interlaced with laws of science.” However, so far, the courts have only addressed procedural issues regarding the scope of Goodell’s powers, avoiding a full-scale testing of the NFL’s evidentiary case.

If a court did undertake an assessment of the case’s merits, a number of interesting facts might come out that the major media has largely ignored. For instance, Olson’s filing noted that the work of the NFL’s consultants “hired to deny that environmental factors accounted for the pressure levels has been derided by independent physicists as junk science.”

The NFL hired Exponent, the same “science” consultant that took on the task of “disproving” the links between second-hand smoke and cancer. Exponent also has been the hired-gun for companies fighting accusations of toxic waste, asbestos exposure and car malfunctions.

In evaluating the NFL’s halftime football pressure tests of Jan. 18, 2015, Exponent accepted the parameters dictated by the NFL’s lawyers, including key ones regarding the sequencing of the halftime tests on a cold and rainy night in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The sequencing was important because the longer the balls were returned to a warm and dry room for examination the more the air pressure would go back up.

The timing distorted the comparative tests on several footballs used by the Indianapolis Colts which were tested later during halftime. Those footballs also registered below the legal level of 12.5 PSI on the one gauge that the NFL determined was accurate, but the drop-off was not as much as with the Patriots’ footballs that were tested earlier.

Ironically, the Colts, who were the ones who instigated the tests after intercepting a Brady pass and noting its below-12.5-PSI measurement, were allowed to continue using underinflated balls for the second half, meaning they played with underinflated footballs for both halves of the game while the Patriots’ footballs were pumped back up to above 12.5 PSI.

A Slanted Case

After the game, some NFL official leaked the initial finding of the Patriots having underinflated footballs in the first half but lied about the Colts’ footballs, claiming that they did not fall below the 12.5 PSI level. That falsehood, which was only corrected months later, led many football fans to jump to the conclusion that Brady and the Patriots must be

In evaluating the halftime data, Exponent only took into account the field’s chilly temperature (not the rain and the pre-game conditioning of the balls which also could have contributed to a lower PSI), but concluded that all or virtually all of the loss in PSI occurred naturally. Still, that slight uncertainty gave the NFL the space it needed to conclude that something else (i.e. intentional tampering) had occurred.

Goodell and his team then seized on innocuous actions (such as the ball boy Jim McNally stopping in a bathroom on his way to the field) or innocent gestures (such as Brady autographing a football for locker-room attendant John Jastremski ) as proof of a vile conspiracy.

The NFL also twisted text messages between McNally and Jastremski out of context. For example, one exchange about why footballs in an earlier game against the New York Jets had been over-inflated by NFL officials (above 13.5 PSI) was cited as proof of a deflation conspiracy. But the import of the exchange was actually the opposite, since neither party made any comment about why they had failed to deflate the balls below the legal limit, which would have been a natural expectation if indeed there was a deflation conspiracy.

In denying Brady’s appeal, Goodell acknowledged as much stating that the only time that the Patriots could have deflated footballs was before the 2015 AFC Championship game because only then did McNally carry the balls unattended to the field (and stopped briefly in a bathroom).

While that admission by Goodell knocked the legs out from under the larger conspiracy theory of the Patriots routinely deflating footballs, it also left out a key fact: the reason that McNally was unattended was because the earlier NFC Championship game had gone into overtime, forcing a delay in the start of the AFC game.

When the NFC game ended abruptly, there was confusion and urgency in the referees’ lounge. Since it was the responsibility of McNally to get the balls to the field, he took them there without waiting for a referee to accompany him.

The point, however, is that this situation was an unanticipated anomaly. It’s absurd to think that Brady and the Patriots were counting on the NFC game going into overtime, which would then delay the start of their game and cause McNally to be left unattended so he could then slip into a bathroom and – instead of relieving himself as he testified that he did – deflate a bag full of game balls so they could have a miniscule effect on Brady’s passing game.

But the absurdity of the conspiracy theory only underscores the unrestrained power of the NFL as an institution. If it says up is down, then it must be believed.

If some court would require a full presentation of the evidence, the process might open the door to the NFL’s motives in pursuing this silly case with a Javert-like zeal – whether to cover up the league’s incompetence or to give rival owners a competitive edge over the Patriots.

The CTE Scandal

The NFL showed similar arrogance and disrespect for science in its handling of the concussion issue. As the movie “Concussion” shows – and a PBS documentary further demonstrates – the NFL tried to silence early discoverers of the brain damage caused by routine football contact.

Dr. Bennet Omalu

Dr. Bennet Omalu

Though the movie adds a few fictional flourishes, it is essentially a true story about Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Pittsburgh pathologist from Nigeria who was assigned to examine the body of former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster and discovered a previously undiagnosed disease now known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE.

When Omalu’s findings were published, the NFL handpicked three doctors to refute his findings and demand that they be retracted. It was a classic case of a powerful corporation trying to destroy a little-known scientist who uncovered an inconvenient truth. The personal attacks on Omalu and other doctors who built on his initial findings grew so ugly that Omalu has said he regretted ever being assigned Webster’s autopsy.

As the evidence of a CTE epidemic among NFL and other football players continues to mount, the NFL still keeps trying to rig the scientific investigation, according to a congressional report released this week.

“Our investigation has shown that while the NFL had been publicly proclaiming its role as funder and accelerator of important research, it was privately attempting to influence that research,” the study said. “The NFL attempted to use its ‘unrestricted gift’ as leverage to steer funding away from one of its critics.”

For its part, the NFL rejected the charge by Democratic members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce but added “There is no dispute that there were concerns raised about both the nature of the study in question and possible conflicts of interest,” an apparent reference to the fact that Dr. Robert Stern was a neurologist at Boston University, which spearheaded studies that confirmed Dr. Omalu’s initial findings.

After Dr. Stern was awarded the CTE project, the NFL reneged on its commitment to provide $16 million for the work, the congressional study said.

“The NFL’s troublesome interactions with the NIH fit a longstanding pattern of attempts to influence scientific understanding of degenerative diseases and sports-related head trauma,” said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-New Jersey, who oversaw the study.

In other words, the arrogant NFL remains at war with science and facts, a reality underscored by its cover-up of concussion dangers and by its witch hunt against Tom Brady.

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

21 comments for “NFL’s War Against Science and Reason

  1. June 3, 2016 at 03:49

    The NFO might be partially right, but do not know it yet… This typically takes a few hours to explain, but an intro to why is found below.

    What is interesting, is that per Dr Martha Shenton (Harvard) when she testified at Congress, said that only 10 percent or less of those with TBI get CTE. And, she showed a slide during her testimony where CTE looks exactly like Alzheimer’s (using side by side scans). There is an important new consideration with AD that might also explain SOME, not all, CTE (and this is very big news). See and watch the video titled
    Alzheimer’s Stops Here
    and for a great presentation on the overlapping science, go o to the Media Tab, and see video tiled: MS End of story.

    Both Youtube links are here:

    MS End of Story (best video to watch first)

    Alzheimer’s Stops Here

    Again, the NFL might be partially right, but they do not know it yet.

    When read the book titled WHILE SCIENCE SLEEPS and the following research publication related to that announcement. The key research paper (just again in another publication in early 2016) is this:

    Titled: Formaldehyde as a trigger for protein aggregation and potential target for mitigation of age-related, progressive cognitive impairment.
    Su T, Monte WC, Hu X, He Y, He R1.

    If you want the key supporting docs, just email myself or Dr Monte.

    Do you, without a bio chem degree, See any news there that the main stream press does not understand. Oh, Again, I have all the research papers in hand if you want me to mail them to you that supports the declaration in the research paper, and the video above.

    Per AD, below is an interesting email string of late that spells it out better… again, have a ton of published research that supports the Devil in the Details, being Methanol in Food, Drink, and Smoke (and in the air due to pollution, higher in some areas vs others).

    Dr Monte response to NY Times Article email…
    NY Times – Could Alzheimer’s Stem From Infections? It Makes Sense, Experts Say

    — On Mon, 5/30/16, Woodrow Monte wrote:
    > From: Woodrow Monte
    > Subject: Re: NY Times – Could Alzheimer’s Stem From Infections? It Makes Sense, Experts
    > To: “CEST MOI MY”
    > Date: Monday, May 30, 2016, 8:15 PM
    Hi Silas
    I had seen that Harvard piece and frankly I have no idea how the heck they got it
    published….even in “that” journal. Have the authors ever heard of the Blood Brain Barrier?
    The mild infections these researchers are talking about are impossible in all but the terminal
    Alzheimer’s brain. They are an artifact of Alzheimer’s not its cause. Which came first the
    damage to the blood brain barrier from Alzheimer’s or the attack of the fungi.Yes one would
    suspect that all those with terminal Alzheimer’s would potentially be found to have their brains
    colonized by such microorganisms after the BBB has been torn apart by the crystallized Tau and
    activated macrophages.
    Woodrow Monte PhD
    Emeritus Professor of Nutrition

    On Tue, May 31, 2016 at 11:17 AM, CEST MOI MY wrote:
    Dr Monte (and others),
    I think I figured it out.
    Stimulus for thought:
    NY Times – Could Alzheimer’s Stem From Infections? It Makes Sense, Experts Say
    They are so close, as they stipulated something is seeping out of the blood vessels.
    Duh, Methanol goes thru the blood brain barrier, becomes formaldehyde at ADH-I found only
    in blood vessel walls in brain, mixes with water, most becomes formaldehyde hydrate that seeps
    out and does what they are looking for. An autoimmune response, or the effect of the
    formaldehyde on Tau.
    My updated guess is it is formaldehyde that methylates with Arginine (in collagen) that is part
    of the TAU maintenance construct in the neuron, where that collagen is important because “that”
    holds together the microtubules, etc… and the alteration of that critical attachment structure, or
    drastic reduction in ATP, with the full effect of the formaldehyde… due to the methylation
    (additional carbon atom or atoms), is what starts the ball rolling to what we are seeing (in Dr
    Monte and China teams monkeys that got AD fed low amounts of methanol in their water, and
    what these other searchers will be seeing as well). Oh – formaldehyde disabling mitochondria in
    the area is not a good thing either.
    The entire support team for the neuron is affected (and it dies as the result, tau is also released,comes in contact with formaldehyde hydrate, becomes tangles (due to formaldehyde hydrate).
    So, those in the NY TImes article, they are so close, but so far away. They are trying to pin a tail
    on the donkey, almost have it, but since they can not see METHANON, ADH-I, Formaldehyde,
    they are lost.
    See entire of the attached slide show/video (has an interesting look from this vantage point) –
    Sorry for the low quality, but at the 1 minute point, when the video starts, it gets better…
    Also – Full Times article below.

    The above could be what CTE is as well and would explain why only 10% get CTE who have brain injury (albiet, there might be some effect on the blood brain barrier that allows MORE Formaldehyde damage vs one with no sports injury? Those are the real questions that science needs to address.

  2. NBrady
    May 31, 2016 at 22:14

    Curious: you are entitled to your opinion of course. “Brady disposing of his cell phone the very day of his meeting with the NFL”. Please.

    Brady gave the investigation all it requested from the cell phone while under no obligation to do so. He and his team offered more from his cell phone than requested by the investigation. It was all made available. Yes, it looks extremely bad that he destroyed the old phone after buying a new one, but that in no way makes him guilty of the nonsense he is charged with and there is still zero evidence to support the league’s decision. Generally aware is not guilty as charged unless you are Goodell as judge jury and executioner.

    In full disclosure I am a fanatic from Boston who suffered through the embarrassment the Pats were in the 70s, 80s and 90s, pre-Duane Parcels. The genesis of this deflation nonsense stemmed from Harbaugh of Baltimore after coming unglued during the prior playoff game because he didn’t know the rules. He dropped a dime about under inflated footballs to the Colts coaches and the NFL. League higher ups, one formerly in the Jets organization, were eager to harm anything Patriot in any way possible – conflict of interest at least. Belichek was the target as he is despised and he would’ve been suspended or banned possibly for life, to the extent that said league official ran onto the sidelines during the delay at halftime to gloat that they had the proof (the footballs) to get Belichek. To protect Belichek, Brady was left to take the hit – face of the league, mvp, etc., – he got hung out to dry by his own. Finally, Brady did nothing wrong and has been railroaded by the league as a result of taking the bullet for his coach.

  3. Bob
    May 29, 2016 at 00:16

    Great article. I wanted to point out the league has experience with ball tampering. It was being done to kicking balls, so they successfully fixed that by taking control of those balls. Why they never thought to control game balls is something I suppose only they know. Even if they let the teams control the balls they use, it only takes a couple of seconds to check PSI. I don’t understand why they don’t do this on the sideline before a ball is put in play. The league seems to be covering up its own lax procedures if you ask me.

  4. David G
    May 26, 2016 at 17:17

    “The New York Times, has overwhelmingly taken the NFL’s side in this dispute.”

    The Times in fact did eventually publish an article taking apart the case against Brady in much the same way Robert Parry does, and as far as I know they haven’t backslid since then. I guess it’s a bit analogous to their sheepish, unacknowledged correction on the supposed evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, which we have read about on

  5. DB
    May 26, 2016 at 15:54

    I find it odd that now that 21 scientists from various colleges across the country have scientifically proven that the footballs were naturally deflated by the environment, and not illegaly tampered with, rather than saying “Wow, They really did not break the rules,” what do people say? “Despite no tampering let’s switch arguments to destroying a phone.”

    Then when it is pointed out that the chief investigator himself, Welles told Brady that he did not need Brady’s phone and Brady believed Welles, do you think that people would say, “Oh, no illegal football tampering occurred, Welles said he did not nee Brady’s phone, it is unrelated to any wrong doing let’s drop this and move on,” No.

    Now they say “Regardless of the fact that Brady is innocent, the NFL and NFLPA signed the CBA,and unfair as it is, a contract is a contract so punish Brady with a 4 game unpaid suspension.”

    What incredibly focused jealousy, hatred and ignorance.

  6. Fred
    May 26, 2016 at 08:51

    Hmm, you should probably support your case a bit better with facts and science before you go around labeling others with pejorative terms like “stupidly” and “basic science”. It seems your own piece here fails those tests. Ouch.

  7. May 26, 2016 at 07:32

    The most inflated things here are the egos involved.

  8. Curious
    May 26, 2016 at 04:22

    Mr Parry,

    I agree with most of your argument about the NFL covering up science that would tarnish its value and they certainly are a bunch of arrogant privileged jerks (mostly). If one were to read the contract for what the host city must provide to even have a ‘Super Bowl’ (which I have read) it is incredible that any city would put itself at such a financial risk. The perks alone (3 golf courses open only for NFL personnel for only one example) would bankrupt a city. And to have the NFL itself as non-profit as a 501(c)6 is laughable, and then add on the security issues and it’s a mess for any city, yet a goldmine for the brass.

    We are also in a silly culture that will have taxpayers pay for a stadium that sits mostly empty for 40 weeks out of the year, and they don’t seem to mind this for some odd reason.

    For the players, football is still a dream come true mostly although it is known that the injury level is about 100%, but they have invested almost 20 years of their young lives already in the process of getting to the highest level. That alone is a process I respect, but it is hard and often unrewarding. But I also know, being behind the scenes for more than 20 years, that there are rules that need to be followed and in this case they were not. Please don’t trivialize a ball boy taking all the game balls into a bathroom with no cameras. This did not happen by accident, in my opinion. If he had to pee he had plenty of chances before to take care of his nature calls.These two stories of yours are two very separate issues.

    Unfortunately though, I think it is still a mistake to conflate the issue of the NFLs credibility concerning the health of its players with the Brady situation. You say there is no proof as to his influence in the pressure of the balls and yet what is not mentioned is Brady disposing of his cell phone the very day of his meeting with the NFL. You call this a vial conspiracy? The text messages between the underlings talking about Brady approaching them was made up or fabricated? They were badmouthing Brady for a very good reason.

    I will not say it effected the outcome of the game as the game was already in confusion because of Belichicks’ use of eligible and ineligible receivers that bent the rules already by that time. But that is a different story of course.

  9. Bill Bodden
    May 25, 2016 at 23:23

    From a moral point of view there doesn’t appear to be much difference between antebellum plantation owners and current NFL team owners.

    • Zachary Smith
      May 25, 2016 at 23:48

      I don’t suppose I agree. The slaves had no choice at all, while the professional football players have plenty – assuming they can resist the lure of the money for their usually short-lived careers.

      My main concerns are for the “farm” teams at the public school and university levels. A vanishingly small percentage of them will reach the ‘pros’, and the brain damage they’ll do at these lower levels will cause them to have shorter and distorted lives. All without anybody noticing.

      • incontinent reader
        May 26, 2016 at 09:46

        Many who support the NFL position share your thoughts about Brady and the Patriots, especially with reports of other incidents where the Patriots were found, or were alleged, to have blatantly cheated. But if your notion of American justice is finding someone guilty of something of which there is no valid proof just because they were guilty of some other violation or crime for which they were (or were not) held accountable, then something is very wrong. Maybe that’s the way our justice system has evolved, but if so, it’s a sad prospect.

  10. Zachary Smith
    May 25, 2016 at 20:05

    NFL’s War Against Science and Reason
    May 25, 2016

    Exclusive: As a powerful corporation and cultural icon, the NFL expects to always get its way whether muscling aside concussion scientists or ignoring science in a witch hunt against one of its best quarterbacks and teams, writes Robert Parry.

    So far, so good. The NFL is surely an arrogant collection of rich ****** who expect to get their way at every turn.

    But so far as I’m concerned, the essay went downhill fast from there.

    The Brady business is about an arrogant and wealthy football player who most people believe is as dishonest as the day is long. The whole affair is of interest only to football fanatics.

    The concussion issue is about destroying human lives for a profit to those arrogant rich ****** who pay the players of this extremely violent “game” to entertain the drooling masses who watch the mayhem on their cheap big screens.

    Not even in the same league, these two issues.

    • Bob in Portland
      May 25, 2016 at 21:33

      “The Brady business is about an arrogant and wealthy football player who most people believe is as dishonest as the day is long.”

      I think you betrayed yourself here, Zachary. Brady is a millionaire. NFL owners are billionaires. Here is an essay that demonstrates that the NFL lied about football inflation and has lied about their industry destroying hundreds, probably thousands of their employees’ health. And you have it out for Brady. Your moral compass is broken.

      • Zachary Smith
        May 26, 2016 at 00:02

        I believe I’ve remarked in earlier essays about ‘deflategate’ that I’d never heard of the name “Tom Brady” before the headlines about him started appearing on Google News. I don’t watch football at any level, and have been to precisely two games in my life. That’s because I was with some family and friends at Purdue and they had already purchased the tickets and I had nowhere else to go. I was perfectly miserable for however many hours each game took before it was over. Were the Superbowl across the street with free box seats for me, I’d be at the park, public library, or shopping mall. But not there!

        However, once I started researching the subject of Tom Brady and footballs, I became convinced the man is a cheater, part of an organization of unusually successful cheaters. Except for a vague interest in bad guys getting their just deserts, I really don’t care to follow the adventures of Brady or Manning or any of the others.

        • sanford sklansky
          May 28, 2016 at 10:27

          Don’t read about it then.

    • dennis
      May 27, 2016 at 15:38

      “Most people believe”, Believe= accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth.
      But does it make it make it true?

  11. David G
    May 25, 2016 at 19:29

    While it may be frustrating, as a legal matter I think I support the decision of the court of appeals to let the NFL’s discipline stand, despite the many problems Robert Parry points out. I just don’t think there’s public benefit to the courts getting too deep into the merits of a dispute a like this that is, when all is said and done, part of show business.

    I haven’t read the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, of course, but if it at all supports the court’s having left it up to the league’s discretion (even if poorly reasoned), then that result is ok with me. The players’ association can toughen up the procedures when they negotiate their next CBA.

    Robert Parry’s larger cultural critique—about how phony narratives get implanted in the public’s minds, and can’t be dislodged despite all evidence to the contrary—is entirely valid, however.

    • Skip Edwards
      May 25, 2016 at 23:56

      Yea, look at the warnings on pacts of cigarretts. Smoke ’em and bear the consequences. Hospitals display signs reading, a successful birth does not mean a successful life. And every military recruit is required to read the warning “join up and risk the possibility of death”. Of course I am being very satirecle (sp) here. In today’s society in the USA there are no guarantees. In the world’s most draconian purveyor of winner take all capitalism, it’s everyone for themselves. Parents beware, this is a sick world.

  12. Bill Bodden
    May 25, 2016 at 19:28

    Donald Trump Calls Football “Soft,” Wants to Make Violent, Head-On Tackles “Great” Again –

  13. May 25, 2016 at 18:07

    Excellent piece in every way. Goodell should be fired and the case thrown out. Kangaroo court shenanigans is the poster child here with the NFL as the lead dog in this travesty of a court case.

  14. hjs3
    May 25, 2016 at 18:07

    Wow! Think that about covers it succinctly if that’s even possible..
    A railroad job by a laughable multi-million dollar Wells Report to collusion with certain owners to a buy in and then out with the CTE travisty all the while measuring the public’s confusion. Going to be intersting to see and hear how Brady makes out with the 2nd Circuit….

    Thank you once again to Mr. Parry for his continued interest and amplification on a subject lost or being intentionally ignored by national sports media outside of the New England area…

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