More Corrupt – FIFA or NFL?

It’s hard to imagine a sports organization more corrupt and lacking integrity than FIFA, but Roger Goodell and the NFL seem determined to give the Fédération Internationale de Football Association a run for its money.

When someone like Mike Florio is making statements like Goodell Underling(s) Were Out to Get the Patriots you know things are out of control. (It’d be nice if he said this stuff on his own website.)

BUT – the NFL is getting away with it. Why? Because it’s the Patriots. Everyone hates the Patriots and wants them to be guilty. They want to believe.

Smarmy Boston columnists and talk show hosts like to troll Patriots fans by saying they think everyone is out to get them. Mike Florio is about as far from a Patriots fan as you can get.

Florio said that given the evidence they had, it was incumbent upon Wells and his team of $1,000/hour white shoe lawyers to get Jim McNally and/or John Jastremski to crack, which they failed to do. “If these guys didn’t crack, if they didn’t confess, maybe there’s nothing to confess to,” he said. “Either way it’s incomplete. The science is bad, the non-scientific evidence is incomplete, and it was all cobbled together in a 243-page report that I believe that Ted Wells believed he was expected to reach. Regardless of whether he was expressly told that, or it was implicit, I believe that Ted Wells thought he was expected to find the Patriots were guilty, and he did the best that he could to come to that conclusion, and ultimately I think what he did wasn’t good enough.”

He did this in part, with his wording of the summary at the start of the report, knowing that would be enough for the majority of people to believe that the Patriots cheated.

Another issue continues to be the leaks.

Remember, no matter how much Bob Kravitz loves to say that he broke this story, it really didn’t take off until this:

That report was incorrect. A subsequent letter to the Patriots was also incorrect.

However, when it came to the Colts’ footballs, Mortensen tweeted this:

By one of the gauges at least, this was incorrect also. Also never corrected. So they put it out there that the Patriots footballs were grossly underinflated and that the Colts footballs were perfectly fine. Neither was actually true.

Why was this done?

Florio:

“I think that they deliberately delayed the process of getting the real numbers out because having the false numbers out there kept the Patriots feeling like they were on the ropes when the reality was that they were on ropes that weren’t even there,” Florio said. “We didn’t get the truth until May. That is the one fact that bothers me more than anything in this entire ordeal, and that’s the one fact that causes me to believe that someone was out to get the Patriots. The false information was put out there, or deliberately not corrected.”

In the story that Mortensen filed, the official NFL reaction was this:

“We are not commenting at this time,” said Greg Aiello, the NFL’s senior vice president of communications.

It’s funny. Remember the other day during the Brady appeal when Adam Schefter tweeted the following:

Within 30 minutes, the Aiello refuted that report.

Schefter then called the league’s bluff by producing a letter from the NFL to the Brady side saying there was the four hour limit, but would generously stretch it to five if needed. (the hearing eventually lasted 11 hours)

But you see, the NFL was quick to correct a report that could potentially make itself look draconian, but remained silent for months about the (intentionally?) incorrect Mortensen report. Further, they did – months later – reveal the actual readings to the Patriots, but made them say they would not give them to the media. Why?

They were letting them twist in the wind.

It was a little surprising to me that Schefter went somewhat nuclear on the league by tweeting the letter. But then I remember this:

Adam Schefter

The next day, Goodell was asked about this.

I’m guessing Schefter was not happy with this. and the next time he made a claim in this case, he produced the evidence.

There’s just item after item here that points to the NFL as the corrupt entity here.

  • The clandestine actions of the gameday operations staff after getting the email from Ryan Grigson.
  • “The ineptitude of the officials in measuring, recording and keep track of the footballs.”
  • The actions of Kensil during the game. (“We weighed the balls you’re in big trouble.”)
  • The Colts staffer sticking a needle into the intercepted ball.
  • Troy Vincent overseeing the halftime measurements, being used as a witness by Wells, and giving out the punishment.
  • The leak to Kravitz within hours of the game being over.
  • The leak to Mortensen to stoke the flames. Never corrected or even denied.
  • The letter to the Patriots with the incorrect measurements.
  • Goodell’s denial that he knew anything prior to the game being over.
  • Dean Blandino lying and saying the issue was first raised during the first half of the game, not before the game.
  • Ted Wells, who represents NFL in concussion case, tasked with investigating case.
  • Wells using Exponent for their scientific analysis.
  • Wells Report and its flawed science and shaky circumstantial evidence.
  • Goodell’s denial that the league told Patriots to suspend McNally and Jastremski.
  • Robert Kraft’s complete capitulation.
  • The hints from Wells and the NFL that Brady has not been truthful, but no details in report about what the truth was and what Brady has said other than the McNally name/nickname.

And there’s more, I’m sure. That’s just off the top of my head.

And the Patriots are the ones being punished and branded as corrupt and cheaters – even when it has been proven by science that their footballs were perfectly in line with where they should’ve been?

Ted Wells Is A Cheater, And Other Monday Thoughts

As we prepare for the Tom Brady appeal tomorrow, I’m hoping the irony isn’t lost on people that, in trying to prove that Brady and the Patriots were cheating, Ted Wells and his team, (Exponent) cheated by presenting incomplete and misleading results from their scientific analysis.

I honestly have no idea what is going to happen at the appeal tomorrow. The way this thing has gone, would anyone be surprised if Roger Goodell increased the suspension on Brady?

“We will show in this hearing that the NFL mismanaged this incident from the very start, and then spent $5 million on a bag job report which was slanted to favor the league.”

“The suspension is now six games.”

“Further, we will show that the Commissioner of the NFL failed to uphold the integrity of the game, and instead by his incompetence allowed this matter to grow in scale to the point where it led nightly national newscasts.”

“Ten games.”

“For the record, we renew our objection to Commissioner Goodell sitting in any position of authority in this hearing and our participation should not be viewed as in any way agreeing with his presence, any rulings he may make or any decision he may issue.  We reserve all rights to all legal remedies available.  Please, Commissioner Goodell, continue”

“Entire 2015 season.”

I still cannot believe we are at this point, and that so many are willing to just accept the conclusions that have been reached by the league and Ted Wells. This includes not just fans of other teams, I can see how that would happen, but media. Media people who should be interested in finding the truth, not enjoying what they believe is comeuppance for a perceived slight against their industry by a football coach.

The science of the Wells Report has been blown out of the water. What’s left is an ambiguous text message and an unrecorded phone call. Tom Brady did not “obstruct” the investigation, no matter what sports radio or television hosts may say. Even the Wells Report states that Brady was cooperative.

The more ridiculous take is that Goodell will take some time off the suspension and that Brady should just accept that, “for the good of the team.”

How exactly is Tom Brady missing ANY time, in anyway good for the team?

“His case will be a distraction for him and the team.” The Patriots have had a number of high-profile incidents around them over the years. When precisely was that the last time any so-called distraction actually impacted the results on the field? Never.

Stupid.

So Stupid.

Speaking of, I’m reminded of Ben Volin and this bit from his column yesterday:

One source believes Brady won’t get the suspension bumped down at all, with the thought that the four-game punishment was lenient on Brady to begin with.

Right. Because of the preponderance of evidence that indicates that something happened. Oh wait. There isn’t any.

*****

I haven’t watched much golf over the last few years (I actually miss when Tiger Woods was good at golf and everyone else was chasing him.) but last night’s final round of the U.S. Open was amazing. The drama was off the charts. Having it live, in prime time was almost too good to be true.

To me, golf is the sport in which the announcers are the least important. That said, the wrong announcer can ruin a telecast. Letting the scene play out, enjoying the visuals, and the inherent drama of a tight match are what makes great golf on TV. I hardly even pay attention to the broadcasters of a match.

The views from this weekend on FOX were stunning. Joe Buck was tolerable. The golf was tremendous.

*****

As a followup to last week and the Bob Hohler expose column in the Globe which revealed that, after much investigation, Salem State University paid Tom Brady $170,000 to speak there, the Globe published shortly thereafter that Brady donated the entire sum to charity.

The event was painted as a greedy money grab in which all Brady did was deflect questions about the Wells Report.

*****

I loathe to acknowledge his existence, but can anyone tell me what Shaughnessy is trying to say here?

 In December of 1964, Red Auerbach became the first NBA coach to start five black players: Bill Russell, Tom Sanders, Sam Jones, K.C. Jones, and Willie Naulls. On Sept. 1, 1971, the Pittsburgh Pirates became the first team in big league history to feature a starting lineup with nine players of color. The Red Sox last week featured a lineup with six players of color.

Sox Still Scuffling, Patriots on Vacation

Braves 5, Red Sox 2: Minor lapses add up to an eighth loss in nine games – Tim Britton looks at the latest Red Sox loss which included a John Farrell ejection.

John Farrell needs to be tougher on Red Sox players – Peter Abraham says that the manager needs to be more like Bill Belichick when he had Malcolm Butler sit out OTA practices. Wait, no, he doesn’t actually say that…

It’s a good overall look at the current state of the team, though.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington disappointed with his own performance – Jen McCaffrey has the Sox GM trying to get back on track.

James Young working to silence the doubters – Chris Forsberg has an encouraging piece on the 2014 first round pick, who basically went through a redshirt season as a rookie.

The Patriots are officially on summer vacation until training camp starts in about five weeks or so.

What we learned from Bill Belichick’s final minicamp news conference – Mike Reiss with a look at what the coach had to say before heading out to his boat.

Five predictions for the 2015 New England Patriots season – Kevin Duffy with a nice look ahead.

Foes will shoot for Patriots more than ever – Karen Guregian says that the team will have an ever-present target on its back in 2015.

Chorus of Deflategate skeptics getting louder – Tom E Curran looks at the noise starting to pick up against Roger Goodell.

The Wells Report In Context website continues to be updated, as two pages on the site are collecting articles critical of TWR:

Wells Report Critical Articles

Wells Report Critical Science Articles

Chris Gasper wants you to thank your local beat writer:

6. Media members are often subject to criticism and derision. Sometimes we deserve it. But I hope Patriots fans appreciate the yeoman work being done by the Patriots beat writers to chronicle practice sessions and provide them with updates during OTAs and minicamp while contending with players who have no identifiable numbers on them. If going sans numerals really does boost team bonding, the Patriots will win the first-ever Nobel Prize for team chemistry.

While the Patriots did this last year as well, it seems like it’s been a much bigger deal this year. (I think last year there was still a small number on the helmet.) Some have insinuated that it is done purposely to make the media’s job more difficult.

Consider what Ben Volin wrote last year when this was a novelty:

Belichick has the players practicing without numbers on their jerseys, and it’s more than a way to build team chemistry or needle reporters trying to watch practice. There’s an unspoken message that the players are all parts of one machine, working together to win a Super Bowl trophy.

Since that’s exactly what happened, should Belichick be awarded that Nobel Prize for team chemistry, Chris Gasper?