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:
NFL has found that 11 of the Patriots footballs used in Sunday’s AFC title game were under-inflated by 2 lbs each, per league sources.
That report was incorrect. A subsequent letter to the Patriots was also incorrect.
However, when it came to the Colts’ footballs, Mortensen tweeted this:
Yes, they were within regulation and remained within regulation RT @Jeronimo63: Were the Colts footballs ever checked?
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?
“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:
Defense team of Tom Brady was given 4 hours today to present its entire case. Proceedings expected to wrap today, not continue Thursday.
Within 30 minutes, the Aiello refuted that report.
@ProFootballTalk There is no strict 4-hour time limit on the TB team's presentation and it is expected to go beyond that.
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:
The next day, Goodell was asked about this.
Roger Goodell says the NFL did not ask the #Patriots to suspend staffers Jastremski and McNally. Was the team’s call.
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?