Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How did a guy with a chronic neck injury start so many games in a row?

We've all heard the allegations about Peyton Manning, along with his angry denials, and the media's rush to defend him. There's been such a hoopla that you may have missed something:

Peyton never actually denied that his wife Ashley has been prescribed HGH.

He's denied taking it, sure. It was four years ago; there'd be no trace of it in his system now, even if he were to be tested. No one will ever be able to prove that he took it. However, it is possible to prove that HGH was prescribed to his wife--there will be written records of that--and, sure enough, neither Peyton nor his paid representative, Ari Fleischer, will confirm or deny that Ashley was prescribed HGH. Why?

"It's an invasion of his privacy," you say. But it's not an invasion of privacy to say what you haven't done. If someone accused Peyton or Ashley of doing crack or crystal meth, he would have denied it immediately. And yet, when it comes to Ashley and HGH, all we get is silence. Perhaps Peyton ought to 'fess up and tell us the truth. If the whole thing is so innocent, why wouldn't he?

It would be a pretty huge coincidence, wouldn't it, if Ashley were doing HGH right exactly at the same time that Peyton was recovering from four neck surgeries? And that HGH is commonly used by NFL players who are recovering from major injuries?

Oh, and before you tell me that HGH is used for fertility treatments, you might want to do some research. HGH can only legally be used for three purposes, and three purposes only:

1. Childhood growth-hormone deficiency;
2. Short-bowel syndrome (for cancer patients who have had a section of their colon removed);
3. HIV wasting.

It is illegal, as in it is a CRIMINAL ACT, to prescribe HGH for anything other than the three ailments listed above. This means that, if Dr. Guyer was prescribing HGH for Ashley Manning, and if she does not have any of those ailments, then the doctor has committed a crime.

But never mind all of that. I just made a simple observation, so simple that I can't believe I didn't think of it before.

Peyton's neck condition is extremely serious, so serious, in fact, that his brother Cooper, who suffered from the same thing, never played a down in the NFL because of it, and yet Peyton started in 227 consecutive games! How could that be? Let's take a look at some figures:

Look at the disparity between Peyton Manning, an immobile pocket passer with neck issues, and the rest of the QBs on this list. For all my stat geek friends out there, there is only a 0.75% chance that this huge differential occurred by chance. This HGH thing is looking more plausible by the minute.

Unless, of course, Peyton would like to clear this up and go on the record, saying once and for all that his wife was never prescribed HGH.

We're waiting...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Operation Spoilsport: ESPN's 11,500-word temper tantrum

I'm sure it's a total coincidence that the NFL suffered a humiliating defeat in Judge Richard Berman's courtroom less than a week ago, and now there's a full-length article up on ESPN.com which basically says, "Well, the Patriots are rulebreakers anyway!"

Never mind that 90% of the article rehashes old allegations that were published eight years ago. Never mind that it contains a total of thirty-seven unattributed quotes and one unnamed source after another. Never mind that the star witnesses for ESPN's case are:

  1. Matt Walsh, a disgruntled former Patriots employee, who was fired not for poor performance as the authors claim, but for surreptitiously recording a conversation with his supervisor without permission. Walsh strongly implied that he had a videotape of the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough prior to Super Bowl 36, then admitted he was lying--and yet, our friends at ESPN accept his every word as infallible gospel;
  2. Arlen Specter, who is dead; and,
  3. A bunch of people who refused to allow their names to be used.

A few key points from the analysis below:

ESPN makes a Federal case (chuckle) out of the Patriots' use of stolen defensive signals, and tries mightily to imply that these signals helped them win games. But of course, this type of assessment is completely subjective, and ESPN itself presents evidence that signal stealing isn't very effective. And even if the signals DID make a difference, this does not prove impropriety. Stealing signals is legal and quite common. Even videotaping signals is allowed, but it must be done from approved locations; sideline taping was banned by a league memo in 2006. Yes, a memo, not an actual rule.

The authors paint a picture in which the other 31 NFL teams are pious, churchgoing old ladies, and the Patriots are lawless hooligans. Any evidence of other teams' rulebreaking is ignored, even though it provides valuable context of what it's like to run an NFL team in 2015. Eric Mangini was caught videotaping at Gillette Stadium in 2006, and the NFL did nothing. The Miami Dolphins purchased tapes of the Patriots offense and used them to decipher their offensive signals, leading to an important win against New England. The NFL refused to even investigate. The Baltimore Ravens, and specifically Ray Lewis, bragged that his defense knew what all of the code words in Brady's one-word offense meant, and no one accused him of spying or cheating. The Patriots also reported that they were being watched during their practice for Super Bowl 36, and to my knowledge, neither the NFL nor our friends at ESPN have looked into it. Funny, right?

ESPN knows very well how football works. You are allowed to try to figure out what your opponents are doing. You are allowed to try to decipher their signals and calls from the line of scrimmage. It's not against the rules in any way. Every single team in the NFL does it, and if they do not, they lose. But ESPN is searching high and low for raw brains to feed to the zombied masses, who need to believe that the Patriots aren't as good as they seem to be. Any allegation, however ridiculous or unfounded, will do: No one is reading past the word "cheater" anyway, which is probably why it appears about 372 times in ESPN's article.

Point is, trying to figure out what your opponents are doing can sound pretty damn ominous if you don't tell the full story. If you're willing to tell just half the truth, and hide the other half, you can make a team look really bad. Welcome to the ESPN - the National Enquirer of sports.

The article carefully quotes unnamed members of the Eagles and Steelers who suspect that the Patriots somehow spied on them, though they provide zero evidence, but they ignore, or bury, quotes from Jeff Lurie, Eagles owner, Andy Reid, Eagles coach, Art Rooney, Steelers owner, and Bill Cowher, Steelers coach, all of whom say that the Patriots' wins over their teams were fully legitimate.

The few new allegations contained within this article are supported only by anonymous quotes and zero evidence. They are nonetheless presented as hard facts.

The purpose of the ESPN article is not to find the truth: It is to further smear the reputation of the greatest franchise in NFL history. It's impossible to beat Belichick and Brady on the football field consistently, and those who dislike them grow more frustrated about that by the day.

There are some formatting issues here, but I wanted to get this out as soon as possible. It may be a bit hard to follow in parts. But I have a feeling you'll like it anyway.

Date Allegation Source(s) Against NFL Rules? Y/N Anonymous Source? Y/N Notes
9/9/2007 Matt Estrella caught on sideline, "illegally taping Jets coaches' defensive signals" Undisputed N N Scouting opponents' defensive signals is legal and quite common. Videotaping signals is also allowed from certain locations. The Patriots were penalized for videotaping from their own sideline, which violated a memo sent by Ray Anderson in September 2006. The NFL cannot create new laws via memo; they must be voted on by owners, and this was not.
September, 2007 League investigators found a scouting library containing videotapes and handwritten notes of opponents' signals and diagrams of formations unspecified N Y Scouting libraries are not against the rules. Handwritten notes and diagrams are not against the rules. Videotaping from your own sideline is also not illegal, but it violates a memo that was sent in 2006.
September, 2007 "League executives stomped the tapes into pieces and shredded the papers inside a Gillette Stadium conference room." unspecified N Y This is strikingly similar to the furor over Brady's cell phone. In both cases, no one has come forward claiming to know what was on either the tapes or the phone, but the destruction has caused widespread accusations that Someone Must Be Hiding Something.
Was this destruction of evidence in keeping with prior NFL practices? And why didn't you admit that some/all of these tapes were shown to the media before being discarded?
2006 "At least two teams had caught New England videotaping their coaches' signals in 2006, yet the league did nothing." unspecified N Y Eric Mangini was caught videotaping in 2006 also, and the league did not discipline him either. We only know about this because it was reported by the media, who were struck by the irony that Mangini was the one who turned the Patriots in to the NFL.
How many others besides Mangini were caught?
2006 "NFL competition committee members had, over the years, fielded numerous allegations about New England breaking an array of rules." unnamed competition committee members ?? Y There are no specifics listed as to what is included in this "array of rules"
2015 "Goodell deemed the Patriots and Brady "guilty of conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of football," the league's highest crime, and punished the franchise and its marquee player." Roger Goodell Y N "Conduct Detrimental" applies to teams, not players. Players cannot be punished under this clause per the CBA. Further, per Judge Berman's ruling, it was improper to invoke conduct detrimental over football inflation, when there were already equipment violation rules on the books.
2015 "After Goodell had upheld Brady's punishment, on the basis mainly of his failure to cooperate by destroying his cellphone…" Undisputed N N Ted Wells did not ask for Brady's cell phone. He only asked for the information FROM the phone, which Brady provided. Roger Goodell refused this information because it would have been "impractical" to follow up with the 28 NFL-related people with whom Brady had been in touch.
2007 "...the NFL's stonewalling of a potential congressional investigation into the matter…" authors' opinion N N In a June 16, 2008 interview with the Philadelphia Daily News, Specter said he "had gone as far as he could" with the matter, and would not request a senate hearing. You can't stonewall an investigation that no one is pursuing.
2000 ...before a Patriots preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jimmy Dee, the head of New England's video department, approached one of his charges, Matt Walsh, with a strange assignment: He wanted Walsh to film the Bucs' offensive and defensive signals, the arm waving and hand folding that team coaches use to communicate plays and formations to the men on the field.  Matt Walsh N N The article goes into great detail with respect to how the videotaping was done, in the Tampa game and others. Again, videotaping opponents' signals is legal; only doing so from a team's own sideline is prohibited by the 2006 memo. Even if we assume (wrongly) that a memo is a rule, most of the incidents described pre-dated this memo, and were therefore completely legal in any case.
2008 Walsh recalled to Senate investigators that [Ernie] Adams told old stories from the Browns about giving a video staffer an NFL Films shirt and assigning him to film the opponents' sideline huddles and grease boards from behind the bench.  Matt Walsh N N Belichick left the Browns in 1995, 11 years before the Ray Anderson memo prohibited sideline videotaping. Everything described here was legal. Incidentally, the authors do not claim otherwise, and in fact rarely comment on the legality of any act, despite the ominous tone of the article.
c. 2004 "an entire system of covert videotaping was developed and a secret library created…" unspecified N Y The videotaping wasn't covert. It was conducted on the Patriots' sideline in front of tens of thousands of spectators. And no, taping over your Patriots' logo doesn't make it covert.
Of course the library was "secret". Did you expect them to post their scouting videos on patriots.com?
c. 2004 "Sources with knowledge of the system say an advance scout would attend the games of upcoming Patriots opponents and assemble a spreadsheet of all the signals and corresponding plays. The scout would give it to Adams, who would spend most of the week in his office with the door closed, matching the notes to the tapes filmed from the sideline" unspecified N Y This type of scouting is 100% legal today and always has been. All 32 NFL teams scout their opponents.
c. 2004 "the Patriots' videographers were told to look like media members, to tape over their team logos or turn their sweatshirt inside out, to wear credentials that said Patriots TV or Kraft Productions. The videographers also were provided with excuses for what to tell NFL security if asked what they were doing: Tell them you're filming the quarterbacks. Or the kickers. Or footage for a team show" Matt Walsh N N A-HA! Lying! There must be an NFL rule against that! And, BTW, why do we automatically assume that Matt Walsh's testimony is so completely unassailable? This is a man who was first disciplined for poor job performance, then fired outright for surreptitiously taping a conversation with his boss without permission. A disgruntled former employee with an axe to grind could be making things up or embellishing his story out of spite.
Unspecified "sometimes the team would add recently cut players from upcoming opponents and pay them only to help decipher signals, former Patriots staffers say" "Former Patriots staffers" N Y It's common practice to sign a player who's been cut from an upcoming opponent in order to collect scouting information. Legal and common.
Unspecified "A former Patriots employee who was directly involved in the taping system says "it helped our offense a lot," especially in divisional games in which there was a short amount of time between the first and second matchups, making it harder for opposing coaches to change signals." Former Patriots employee N Y Great, except another employee says that Ernie Adams was "horrible" and that the tapes weren't useful at all. Besides, if this "former employee" worked for the Patriots pre-2006, then the tapes were 100% legal.
Unspecified "Several of them acknowledge that during pregame warm-ups, a low-level Patriots employee would sneak into the visiting locker room and steal the play sheet, listing the first 20 or so scripted calls for the opposing team's offense. (The practice became so notorious that some coaches put out fake play sheets for the Patriots to swipe.) " Former New England coaches and employees Y Y Let me make sure I understand.
Opponents left their play sheets out in the open, unattended, and a low-level employee was able to sneak in and out of the locker room undetected, knowng exactly where the play sheets were being stored. And even though there were no windows to peer into to verify that the locker room was empty, he just barged right in anyway.
 And these opponents, after finding that their play sheets had been stolen, chose not to report it to anyone, and instead left fake play sheets. Even now, when it's open season on the Patriots, and when one major scandal would probably mean the end of Belichick's career, no one is speaking up.
This would be a huge scandal by any measure. Why wouldn't / didn't the opponents say anything to anyone about it, ever?

Lastly, as we all know by now, there are security cameras at Gillette Stadium. Why would the Patriots order one of their employees to do something like this, which would be clearly captured on video?
Unspecified "Numerous former employees say the Patriots would have someone rummage through the visiting team hotel for playbooks or scouting reports. " Numerous former employees N Y How does one "rummage through" a hotel? Do you mean the garbage? If so, that's been going on since the days of George Halas and probably before. Believe it or not, Bill Belichick did not invent this. IF your anonymous sources are even telling the truth.
Unspecified "Walsh later told investigators that he was once instructed to remove the labels and erase tapes of a Patriots practice because the team had illegally used a player on injured reserve" Matt Walsh Y N Common across the league. Maximum penalty is a monetary fine. Do you pretend that this had ANY effect whatsoever on a game? (If Matt Walsh is even telling the truth)
Unspecified "At Gillette Stadium, the scrambling and jamming of the opponents' coach-to-quarterback radio line -- "small s---" that many teams do, according to a former Pats assistant coach -- occurred so often that one team asked a league official to sit in the coaches' box during the game and wait for it to happen. Sure enough, on a key third down, the headset went out." Former Pats assistant coach Y Y Since the authors don't dispute that many teams do this, I'm going to assume that’s true. The Bill Walsh 49ers were accused by Bill Parcells (for one) of turning off their opponents' radios during the 49ers first 15 scripted plays, for example. And, since the NFL official was right there, surely he took action, right? And yet we've heard nothing about this story. Sounds like BS to me.
Also the authors conveniently forget to mention that, when one team's radios go out, the other team must turn theirs off as well, so I'm assuming that happened in this game. 
2001-2006 "A former member of the NFL competition committee says the committee spent much of 2001-06 "discussing ways in which the Patriots cheated," even if nothing could be proved" former member of the competition committee ?? Y How do they know the Patriots were cheating, if nothing could be proved? What kind of cheating are we talking about here? This article is one vague generality after another. No substance.
2007 "There were regular rumors that the Patriots had taped the Rams' walk-through practice before Super Bowl XXXVI in February 2002" unspecified Y Y The Boston Herald reported this story, then ran a front- and back-page retraction and apology. Seven years ago. ESPN themselves apologized for reporting the same thing last month. Now, after apologizing, ESPN is back on the same story again?
2007-8 "If it had passed, defensive signals would have been unnecessary. But it failed. In 2007, the proposal failed once again, this time by two votes, with Belichick voting against it. (The rule change passed in 2008 after Spygate broke, with Belichick voting for it.)" unspecified N Y Wow! Belichick voted one way one year, then changed his mind the next year? Clearly illegal!!!
9/6/2006 "The allegations against the Patriots prompted NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson to send a letter to all 32 team owners, general managers and head coaches on Sept. 6, 2006, reminding them that "videotaping of any type, including but not limited to taping of an opponent's offensive or defensive signals, is prohibited from the sidelines."" public records N N You only listed part of the quote. Here's the full one:
"videotaping of any type, including but not limited to taping of an opponent's offensive or defensive signals, is prohibited on the sidelines, in the coaches' booth, in the locker room, or at any other locations accessible to club staff members during the game."

Oct-06 ". In November 2006, Green Bay Packers security officials caught Matt Estrella shooting unauthorized footage at Lambeau Field. When asked what he was doing, according to notes from the Senate investigation of Spygate that had not previously been disclosed, Estrella said he was with Kraft Productions and was taping panoramic shots of the stadium. He was removed by Packers security. That same year, according to former Colts GM Bill Polian, who served for years on the competition committee and is now an analyst for ESPN, several teams complained that the Patriots had videotaped signals of their coaches" Senate investigation notes N N We don’t need notes from a Senate investigation to tell us that the Patriots were taping other teams' signals. The Patriots readily ADMITTED this when they were asked. They made no effort to conceal the videotaping; it was done out in the open, in front of 80,000 people. These facts were established 8 years ago, and severe punishments were issued. Unless you have something new, why are we rehashing this?
You left off everything after "sidelines", because you know full well that, the way the rule is written, no team could ever tape anything at a game. But every single team takes coaching video of every single NFL game, without exception. So obviously, there is some interpretation that all teams do when it comes to this rule, and just as obviously, the NFL is not interpreting their own rule to the letter. If a "club staff member" is taking video, then whatever location s/he is in would obviously be "accessible to club staff members", and therefore that person would be breaking the rule.
You cut off the quote because to leave the whole thing intact would prove that this was a selective enforcement of a memo that wasn't even an actual rule in the first place.
2006 "The tension was raised later that year, when the Patriots accused the Jets of tampering and the Jets countered with an accusation that the Patriots had circumvented the salary cap. " unspecified Y Y The Patriots have never been found guilty of circumventing the salary cap.
2007 "Mangini saw it as a sign of disrespect that Belichick taped their signals -- "He's pissing in my face," he told a confidant" unspecified N Y Mangini was caught taping the Patriots in 2006 in Foxboro, something you forgot to mention. Was Mangini "pissing in Belichick's face" by taping him?
2007 "They took him into a small room off the stadium's tunnel, confiscated his camera and tape, and made him wait. He was sweating. Someone gave Estrella water, and he was shaking so severely that he spilled it. "He was shitting a brick," a source says." unspecified N Y I wonder where it's written that NFL security employees can confiscate team property and force an employee of an NFL team to come with them. Are these law enforcement officers?
2007 ""Goodell didn't want to know how many games were taped," another source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation says, "and Belichick didn't want to tell him."" unspecified N Y At some point during the investigation, Bill Belichick told Goodell that he had been taping signals throughout his time in New England. Roger Goodell had a very good idea of how many games were affected, despite your efforts to make this sound like new information.
2007 "the Patriots told the league officials they possessed eight tapes containing game footage along with a half-inch-thick stack of notes of signals and other scouting information belonging to Adams, Glaser says. The league officials watched portions of the tapes. Goodell was contacted, and he ordered the tapes and notes to be destroyed, but the Patriots didn't want any of it to leave the building, arguing that some of it was obtained legally and thus was proprietary. So in a stadium conference room, Pash and the other NFL executives stomped the videotapes into small pieces and fed Adams' notes into a shredder, Glaser says. She recalls picking up the shards of plastic from the smashed Beta tapes off the floor and throwing them away." Jay Glaser N N Not sure who the "she" referred to here is. No mention of how much of the tapes the league officials watched. 90%? 20%? It matters, and no one is saying.
2007 "Sources with knowledge of the investigation insist that the Patriots were "borderline noncompliant." And a former high-level Patriots employee agrees, saying, "The way the Patriots tried to approach it, they tried to cover up everything," although he refused to specify how. " A former high-level Patriots employee N Y So you have an anonymous source, who, despite being anonymous, still won't tell you what the Patriots did wrong. And you included it in your story. Wow.
Jay Glaser adamantly denies that assertion, saying all the Patriots' evidence of stolen signals was turned over to the league that day. On Sept. 20, Glaser says the team signed a certification letter promising the league that the only evidence of the videotaping of illegal signals had been destroyed two days earlier and that no other tapes or notes of stolen signals were in the team's possession. The letter does not detail the games that were recorded or itemize the notes that were shredded.
2004 "The Panthers now believe that their practices had been taped by the Patriots before Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. "Our players came in after that first half and said it was like [the Patriots] were in our huddle," a Panthers source says. During halftime -- New England led 14-10 -- Carolina's offensive coordinator, Dan Henning, changed game plans because of worries the Patriots had too close a read on Carolina's schemes. And, in the second half, the Panthers moved the ball at will before losing 32-29 on a last-second field goal. "Do I have any tape to prove they cheated?" this source says. "No. But I'm convinced they did it." A Panthers source / Dan Henning Y Y So a coordinator from the Panthers, who lost to the Patriots in Carolina's only Super Bowl appearance, is going to give you a neutral, unbiased opinion of the team that beat him? Do you think there's any possibility of bitterness there?
Another parallel to the Wells Report: Automatically assuming that rulebreaking occurred as a sort of diagnosis of exclusion. "Well, it couldn't have been anything else, so they must have cheated". There is zero evidence that any practice was taped by the Patriots, ever. Which practice was supposedly taped? When? Where? Aren't these practices closed? And even IF a practice is videotaped, what good is it if you don't know which play is going to be run at which time? How could a videotape of a practice even be used in game preparation?
Oh, and by the by, funny story: Carolina's longest drive of that game was an 8-play, 95 yard TD drive--in the SECOND QUARTER, when the Patriots were supposedly "in their huddle". The first two drives of the second half, after the game plan was changed, were both punts. "Moving the ball at will", indeed. Yes, they had three TDs in the 4th quarter, but the first of these drives featured a 33-yard run for a score, and the second, an 85-yard TD catch. Big, impressive plays, yes. Moving the ball at will, no.
2002 "[Hines] Ward told reporters that Patriots inside information about Steelers play calling helped New England upset Pittsburgh 24-17 in the January 2002 AFC Championship Game. "Oh, they knew," Ward, now an NBC analyst who didn't return messages for this story, said after Spygate broke. "They were calling our stuff out. They knew a lot of our calls. There's no question some of their players were calling out some of our stuff.""
Some of the Steelers' defensive coaches remain convinced that a deep touchdown pass from Brady to Deion Branch in the January 2005 AFC Championship Game, which was won by the Patriots 41-27, came from stolen signals because Pittsburgh hadn't changed its signals all year, sources say, and the two teams had played a game in the regular season that Walsh told investigators he believes was taped. "They knew the signals, so they knew when it went in what the coverage was and how to attack it," says a former Steelers coach. "I've had a couple of guys on my teams from New England, and they've told me those things."
Hines Ward / "sources" / A former Steelers coach Funny how you mention Hines Ward, and some anonymous people, but you don't mention the coach, Bill Cowher, who said: "We didn’t lose the game because of any 'Spygate,' because of them having any additional things. [If] they’re guilty of anything they’re guilty of arrogance because they were told not to do something but it was something everybody does. They got caught doing it with a camera.”
“Stealing someone’s signals was a part of the game and everybody attempted to do that. We had people that always tried to steal signals,” said Cowher. “What happened when we lost that game is they outplayed us. It had nothing to do with stealing signals or cheating or anything else.”
2004 "How did New England seem completely prepared for the rarely used dime defense the Eagles deployed in the second quarter, scoring touchdowns on three of four drives? The Eagles suspected that either practices were filmed or a playbook was stolen. "To this day, some believe that we were robbed by the Patriots not playing by the rules ... and knowing our game plan," a former Eagles football operations staffer says." former Eagles football operations staffer Y Y Moreover, Ray Lewis bragged before the 2012 AFC Championship Game that the Ravens had figured out the Patriots' one-word offense, and knew what all the various QB calls meant. Were they spying?
2008 "When Specter pressed Goodell on the speed of the investigation and his decision to destroy evidence, Goodell became "defensive" and had "the overtone of something to hide" according to notes taken by Danny Fisher, a counsel on Sen. Specter's Judiciary Committee staff and the lead investigator on the Spygate inquiry. "No valid reason to destroy," Specter wrote in his own notes." Danny Fisher N N Or what about Miami in 2006? Several players from that team admitted to purchasing tapes of the Patriots offense that allowed them to decipher Tom Brady's audible and line-blocking calls. The NFL's reaction? Nothing to see here--move on. Why didn't Goodell help his "friend", Bob Kraft? Was this illegal, or wasn't it? I'll bet you a dollar that, if the Patriots "purchased a tape" of another team, it would be front-page headlines. But for another team, it's not even against the rules.
2008 In his 2012 book, "Life Among the Cannibals," Specter wrote that a powerful friend -- he wouldn't name the person -- told him that if he "laid off the Patriots," there could be a lot of money for him in Palm Beach. Specter told the friend, "I couldn't care less."" Arlen Specter N N Do any the witnesses in this case have names?? Does he pretend that this offer was made on behalf of the Patriots? And why DID Specter "lay off the Patriots" eventually? Was it because Matt Walsh gave him nothing?
2002 "the public didn't know the great lengths that video assistants were told to use to cover up the videotaping of signals. Belichick had insisted that it was done openly, with nothing to hide." Matt Walsh N N Covering up videotaping is not against the rules. If the Patriots were videotaping from the press box, for example, no one from the other team would even see them, and therefore would not know about the taping at all, and it would be completely legal. Is there something sinister about that?
A man who is videotaping from a sideline, with 80,000 people in the stands, IS doing it openly--whether the videographer has turned his sweater inside out or not.
So WHAT if they were trying to conceal their videotaping? How is that a congressional matter?
2003-2005 "Walsh told Specter that the taping continued in the years after he left the team, by Steve Scarnecchia, his successor as video assistant, whom Walsh claimed to see taping opposing coaches' signals at Gillette Stadium from 2003 to 2005. Specter asked whether he had told Goodell about it. "No," Walsh said. "Goodell didn't ask me about that."" Matt Walsh N N Goodell probably didn't ask Walsh about it because Belichick already admitted to Goodell that he had been taping for his entire career in New England. And the years of 2003- 2005 were all pre-memo anyway, so it was 100% legal at that time.
2002 Walsh reported what he had seen to Patriots assistant coach Brian Daboll, who asked an array of questions about the Rams' formations. Walsh said that Daboll, who declined through the Patriots to comment for this story, drew a series of diagrams -- an account Daboll later denied to league investigators." Matt Walsh N N Daboll would have no reason to deny this. The event described is 100% legal. Employees are allowed to describe something they saw at a practice to their coaches.
Interesting, isn't it, how we start out with the allegation that Walsh had a videotape of the entire practice, and we end with a little sketch on a piece of paper. And oh, BTW, I noticed you forgot to mention Willie McGinest's allegation that the Rams were actually spying on the PATRIOTS' practice before the Super Bowl. When are you releasing your 11,000-word expose on that?
2002 "Faulk had returned only one kickoff in his career before the Super Bowl. Sure enough, in the second quarter, he lined up deep. The Patriots were ready: Vinatieri kicked it into a corner, leading Faulk out of bounds after gaining 1 yard." unspecified N Y Yeah, because there's no way they could've looked down the field and seen Marshall Faulk standing there waiting to receive the kick. Wow. Really dude?
2002 "When they ran the same plays late in the Super Bowl's fourth quarter, the Patriots' defense was in position on nearly every down" unspecified Y Dude. You just admitted that your star witness, Matt Walsh, had nothing. Now you're building a case that the Pats had something. Which is it?
2002 "The Patriots' game plan had called for a defender to hit Faulk on every down, as a means of eliminating him, but one coach who worked with an assistant on that 2001 Patriots team says that the ex-Pats assistant coach once bragged that New England knew exactly what the Rams would call in the red zone. "He'd say, 'A little birdie told us,'" the coach says now." a coach who worked with an assistant on the 2001 team Y Do you, or do you not, think the practice was taped? If so, how and by whom? Sounds to me like they played a hell of a defensive game and you're trying to attribute it to cheating.
2002 "But in his handwritten notes the day before, beneath Matt Walsh's name, Specter jotted the phrase, "Cover-up."" Danny Fisher N …even though, when asked directly, Specter denied there was a cover-up, just an enormous amount of haste.
2008 "Martz also recalls that Goodell asked him to write a statement, saying that he was satisfied with the NFL's Spygate investigation and was certain the Patriots had not cheated and asking everyone to move on -- like leaders of the Steelers and Eagles had done." Mike Martz N Now Martz says he didn't write the statement with his name on it. He says he had more questions, but he "got in line". So basically he's admitting to lying in a written statement released to the public, and now we're supposed to believe him, because now he's telling the truth?
2015 "Another legacy of Spygate -- consequences for failing to cooperate with a league investigation -- was used against the Patriots and, ultimately, Brady. " authors' opinion Y N Are you saying that Brett Favre would not have been punished for non-cooperation had it not been for Spygate? Was the entire concept of non-cooperation completely foreign to the NFL prior to 2007?
2015 "That, in fact, was the only notable similarity between the two investigations: the order to destroy evidence." authors' opinion N N Wrong. The cell phone itself was not evidence. The data contained on it was, and Brady offered this to Goodell. Goodell refused, because it would have been "impractical" to track down the 28 NFL-related parties that Brady had been in touch with, even though Ted Wells had just completed a 4-month, $5M investigation. Cool.

Monday, September 7, 2015

...In fact, I'm pretty sure the brontosaurus was jealous of Eli...

I enjoy watching people defend Eli Manning.

He's mediocre. You know he's mediocre. But, for a few reasons, Eli's got friends all over the place, lustily rooting for him through every three-and-out and bonehead interception. It's a sad kind of funny when people cheer for someone who sucks--whether you're clapping for your kid's wounded-duck trumpet solo in a middle school band concert, or yelling, "Good answer!" on Family Feud after your teammate's cringe-worthy response, you're lying to yourself, and you look ridiculous.

Oh, yes, many of you will go through the silly charade of propping Elisha (yeah, that's his real name) up, so I'll prove my point with statistics in just a minute. The point is, Eli Manning is not an elite quarterback, and never has been, and he doesn't deserve to be the highest paid player in the game.

Eli's got a couple of major things going for him, however, and though neither one of them has to do with his current skill level as a player, he's got a lot of support for the obscene contract terms he's demanding from the Giants through his agent nonetheless:

He's a Manning. I've learned that sports fans don't like feeling inferior to their heroes. Sure, Michael Jordan could mop up the floor with any of us on a basketball court, but he gave us moments like this, in which, after winning his first championship and being named Finals MVP, he says he'll play a lot of golf, "If [my wife] lets me". See? He needs permission from "the boss", like the rest of us guys do!

The Mannings excel at that kind of stuff. The "aw, shucks" thing is programmed in their DNA, like blinking. Neither of them has uttered a syllable of trash talk in their lives. They don't insult their opponents, even in retaliation to one who's insulted them. They don't date supermodels; in fact, they even have the courtesy of being as ugly as basset hounds, so as not to give the rest of us a complex. 

The end result is that Peyton and Eli are likeable guys, easy to root for. 

He beat the Patriots in huge games. Twice. The past six months has taught me how deep Patriot hatred runs across NFL nation. If you live outside of New England, you probably can't stand the Patriots--and I'm not talking about ordinary, "Ohh, I hate this song!" hatred, either: Football fans are way more passionate than that! This level of loathing is normally reserved for Islamic terrorists, or techno versions of "Stairway to Heaven".

Think about it. The Greatest Show on Turf couldn't beat the Patriots. Rex Ryan, after a brief period of success, can't beat the Patriots. The Ravens actually beat the Patriots twice in the playoffs--and seemed to have their number--until this past season, when the Ravens blew not one, but two 14-point leads en route to a 35-31 loss at New England in the Divisional Playoff. Baltimore has never beaten the Patriots without Ray Lewis on the field, and now that he's long gone, it's easy to doubt their future chances, especially given their aforementioned collapse. 

Even the almighty Peyton Manning, Eli's brother, who some claim is the best QB ever to play the position, has an abominable 7-12 record vs. the Brady-Belichick machine. So what's a Patriot hater to do?

Eli is the only guy who's succeeded consistently in huge games against the Patriots without a dropoff. True, we're only looking at a two-game sample size. And true, the Giants have lost more games every year since their last title, and have gone 22-26 overall since then. But, quite simply, Eli is the last, best hope that someone can actually beat the Patriots.

If Eli has the cojones to ask for a higher salary than any other QB in the NFL, then his performance ought to be better than the league's best at that position, or at least comparable, no? With this in mind, I put all emotions aside and pulled together some stats to find out where he stands.

Exactly 20 NFL quarterbacks have started 50 or more games over the last five seasons. If we're trying to find the best QB in the game today, we'll likely find him on this list. Yes, Eli is there--but where does he rank among his peers?

Let's take a look at where Eli stands among The Big 20 in the major QB categories:

Not too impressive, is he? Manning only cracks the top ten in six out of the 14 categories listed. And he's dead last in both interceptions and interception percentage--and 19th out of 20 in games lost.

But who knows? Maybe all the elite quarterbacks have similar numbers! Let's compare Manning to Tom Brady, last year's Super Bowl MVP:


Brady is in the top 10 in all but one of the 20 categories, and even then he's only 12th! (And let's face it: No one pretends Brady is a running QB anyway.)

Also remarkable is the huge difference in average rank between the two QBs. Brady is clearly one of the league's best--not bad for a man who was being fitted for a casket last year at this time.

Is Brady the only one who beats Manning that clearly? What about some of the other superstars? Let's take a look:

(click for enlarged view)

Rogers, Brees, and Eli's brother Peyton all clearly outpace Eli by a wide margin. For example, there's exactly one last-place finish in any category by the other four QBs combined, and Eli has two by himself.

I know what you're saying: "So Eli's not as good as Brady, Peyton, Brees, and Rodgers. Those are probably the four best QBs in the league. Eli is still better than everyone else besides those four."

I'm glad you brought that up. Let's see just exactly who Eli beats!

Here are the only QBs in the Big 20 whose average rank is lower than Eli's:

  • Andy Dalton (12.2)
  • Matt Schaub* (14.3)
  • Cam Newton (13.7)
  • Carson Palmer (15.1)
  • Mark Sanchez (15.4)
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick (16.7)
  • Josh Freeman** (16.9)
* Currently playing as a backup to Joe Flacco
** Currently out of football

Fun fact: Of the seven QBs shown above, all of them are younger and have less experience than Eli, and two of them have lost their starting jobs! Ryan Fitzpatrick would have been the third, but he'll be starting in Week 1, thanks to Geno Smith's broken jaw. That leaves four quarterbacks out of 20 who averaged lower than Eli Manning and still have a starting job in the NFL.

"But Eli really turned things around last year," you say. "He had one of the best seasons of his career!"

First off, what does it say about a player who has to "turn things around" at age 34? Is he still trying to figure this whole NFL football thing out?

But more importantly, we've apparently all forgotten that the Giants installed a new offense with Ben McAdoo in 2014. McAdoo had never served as an offensive coordinator, at any level, prior to last season, so the Giants' opponents were unfamiliar with his style. As you might expect, Eli's numbers looked good early in the season; but as time wore on, and their opponents got used to the new offense, Eli looked more like, well, Eli:

Eli Manning - 2014 Statistics

Yes, his completion percentage was 1% higher in the 2nd half of the season as compared to the first half, and he did throw for more yards in the last eight games than in the first eight. But, in every other major category, Manning's performance declined--and he had identical 3-5 records in each half of the season.

Oh and BTW, under McAdoo and Manning, the Giants treated us to a seven-game losing streak in weeks 6-12. Let me say that again:

A seven-game losing streak.

Forget everything else I've said for a moment. Just explain to me how an 11-year veteran can lead his team to that many losses in a row, and then become the highest-paid QB in league history.

I'm waiting.

"But what about those two Super Bowls?" you ask.

Ah yes, of course, those two Super Bowls, in which the Giants defense held their playoff opponents to an average of 15 points per game (over the 2007 and 2011 playoffs). In fact, the 2011 Giants held their opponents to 14 points per game, which was the lowest number since 2002.

Look, give Eli all the credit in the world for leading his team on TD drives, under huge pressure, with less than 2:00 left in each one of those games. He earned it both times. But the defense, and specifically, the defensive line, was able to keep those games close for Eli. Now that the defensive linemen are playing like mere mortals, the Giants haven't sniffed the playoffs, nor even a .500 record, since then. Do you think Eli is going to swallow a can of "spinachk" and win another championship next season? Or the one after that, when Tom Coughlin will likely be retired, and the Giants will be starting over under a new regime?

The Giants have problems, and with the huge salary Eli wants, they'll have less money to solve them. Players like Brady, who want to win championships, take one for the team and accept far less than their market value. But Eli is a man with a surprisingly big ego, a man who, as a college senior, had the brontosaurus-sized scrote to tell an NFL franchise that he didn't want to play for them. Are you shitting me?! 

We could ask Eli why he did such a thing, but... he can't remember why he didn't want to play for San Diego. Yes, of course. Any other player would have been hounded about such a thing until his dying day. But Eli is a Manning.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Why would Roger Goodell go after Tom Brady?

From the first pages of the Wells Report, it's clear that Tom Brady was in the NFL's crosshairs. It took a logical stretch, but Mr. Wells was sure to hang that "more probably than not... generally aware" label on old number twelve, opening the door for Troy Vincent and Roger Goodell to slap him across the teeth with a good, hard punishment.

The suspension itself proves that Brady must be guilty, some people say. Why would Roger Goodell go after Tom Brady, maybe the most recognizable face in the NFL, a man who has done nothing but promote good sportsmanship and class for the past decade and a half? Why would he punish him so severely, unless he had no choice?

The answer is deceptively simple, and you're on the right track with the "no choice" bit.

The outcome of this case was determined at 1:15am on the morning of January 19, 2015, just a few hours after the AFC championship game ended, and it was no more in doubt than the 45-7 final score. The Patriots were being investigated for tampering with their footballs, Bob Kravitz wrote, and just like that, an entire nation made up its mind. The Patriots were cheating. Again.

It's pretty funny how we Pats fans talk about "evidence" and "due process", as if this were America or something. Most of us fail to realize the condition the rest of the football world is in when it comes to our Patriots. 

Here in New England, the Patriots deserve to be innocent until proven guilty. They deserve to have a neutral party carefully study the facts and draw reasoned conclusions. 

Here in New England.

In anyplace but New England, it's no longer the United States. It's not even the Wild West. In the Wild West, at least you could carry a gun, and if you went down in a hail of bullets,  you could take a few of the bad guys with you. We're way past that.

Non-New England football fans live in an alternate universe. Patriot haters have undergone more systematic abuse than Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs. Brady has a winning record against every single team in the NFL. He collects AFC East titles the way the rest of us collect 5-cent deposit cans. He seems to be in the Super Bowl every couple of years, and has already tied Joe Montana for the most championships by a QB, ever. And, most horrifyingly of all, he seems not to have gotten the memo that he's supposed to be in wind-down mode. 

In short, Tom Brady simply refuses to stop winning.

There's no weakness, no chink in the armor, nothing for a spiteful adversary to sink his teeth into. He's got the chiseled features of a Hollywood actor, and his wife, the woman he falls asleep next to every night, has appeared about 10,000 times in the Victoria's Secret catalogs that every high school boy hides under his mattress.

So no, when it comes to Tom Brady, there will be no due process. There will be no reasoned conclusions. There will be no logic. Now that they finally smell blood, there will only be Hell to pay.

The facts are irrelevant. The evidence was gathered in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2014. The irrefutable proof lies in Brady's four "rings", which look more like WWE championship belts. Unless you're a Patriots fan, January 19th felt like Christmas morning to you--and when you rip that package open, you're not going to settle for an argyle sweater from grandma.

This presents a problem for our pal Roger, who's got all the swagger of a substitute teacher. He couldn't persuade you to jump in a pool if your socks were on fire. He's not an innovative thinker or an engaging speaker. About all he can do is find out which way the wind is blowing and point his sails accordingly.

After the January 19 story, Goodell had to find the Patriots guilty. If he looked into it for three days or a week, then said,"Everything's fine--nothing to see here!" there would've been a tsunami of criticism:

"Goodell went easy on Ray Rice--now he's doing it again with the Patriots. He's gone soft on us!"
"Roger's burying another scandal for his BFF, Bob Kraft!"
...and so on.

He had to put the wood to the Patriots to satisfy the masses, and once he committed to that, he had to do the same to Tom Brady. How would it sound if he said, "Well, the Patriots were tampering, but Brady, the guy who handled the footballs on every play, knew nothing about it"? Again, the angry mob would never go for it.

Goodell's smear campaign against Brady was really just typical NFL media relations at work: Nothing is more important than getting the first headline. Striking first in the media allows you to set the narrative, to control the storyline. Maybe he didn't intend to harm Brady, but that was most definitely the result.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Roger and Me

Roger Goodell, Commissioner
National Football League
345 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10154


Dear Commissioner:

As a lifelong NFL fan and customer, I have taken a great interest in the Wells Report and the penalties issued pursuant to it by your office.

After a thorough review of the report, and the transcript of Tom Brady's appeal hearing, serious questions remain with respect to which gauge was used by Referee Anderson for the pre-game inspection. I understand that you have accepted Attorney Wells' theory that Anderson used the Non-Logo Gauge, but no matter how ironclad it seems to be, it is still just a theory, not a fact, and can and should be subjected to a higher level of scrutiny than it has been--especially in light of three facts:

  1. Referee Anderson reconstructed the pre-game inspection in great detail from memory, including the minor variations in the PSIs of each teams' footballs. He also recalled that he used the Logo Gauge for the pre-game inspection. True, he did say he could have been mistaken, but it's unclear whether he offered this caveat on his own because he was truly uncertain, or rather simply admitted under questioning that he was not 100% positive.
  2. The football intercepted by D'Qwell Jackson was measured in the officials' locker room by NFL Director of Game Day Operations James Daniel, using the Patriots' game-day gauge, just as halftime was starting. The resulting three readings amount to a halftime measurement of a Patriots football using the Patriots' gauge, which provides a valuable comparison point to the other 11 Patriot footballs. The average of the three measurements of the Jackson football was 11.52 PSI, nearly identical to the 11.49 average of the other 11 balls on the Logo Gauge--and far above the 11.11 average on the Non-Logo Gauge. This strongly suggests that the Patriots' gauge matches the Logo Gauge, and therefore that the Logo Gauge was used pre-game.
  3. Mr. Wells testified at the appeal hearing that he could not find either team's game-day gauge. Wells' firm was hired five days after the game, and frankly, it strains credulity to suggest that both teams' gauges disappeared without a trace so soon after the conclusion of the game. 

Sadly, the Wells Report hasn't exactly enjoyed universal acceptance since it was released. A long line of researchers, amateur and professional, have loudly questioned all of its major conclusions. Given the harsh punishments issued by your office, and in the interest of transparency and full disclosure, you can, and should, endeavor to increase the comfort level of NFL fans everywhere by releasing all materials related to this investigation.

Failing a full release of all materials, I hereby respectfully request the following:

  1. Transcripts, notes, and any other documentation pertaining to all testimony of:
             Walt Anderson
             James Daniel
             Sean Sullivan
             John Jastremski
  2. A list of individuals who were questioned about the whereabouts of the teams' gauges, and any transcripts, notes, and other documentation related to their testimony, if not included in item 1 above.

Certainly, it would be expected and appropriate for your office to redact any portions of the above materials that are obviously sensitive, but I hasten to add that the NFL is not a government agency dealing in state secrets, or any other clearly confidential information. Your primary goal, and the goal of everyone you employ, should be to serve the fans--those who spend hard-earned money on tickets and merchandise, and who faithfully watch your games--without whom there would not be a National Football League. To those fans, sir, you owe a debt, not just of gratitude, but of transparency. In short, you must tell us everything you know, not just because it might change our minds, but because it is right--and because it would prove to the world that you had nothing to hide.

While it is true that the facts of the case have been judged, and are no longer available for review on their merits, a level of doubt remains. It is therefore beneficial to make as much of the truth as possible available for review by any interested parties.

I thank you in advance for your time and cooperation on this most critical matter.

Kind regards,
Dave Garofalo

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Troy Vincent, man who suspended Tom Brady, may possibly have not read the Wells Report

On the integrity-of-the-game issue, let's start with Brady. Why did you decide to suspend him for four games?
Troy Vincent:
As with all cases regarding on-field discipline, we conduct due diligence, make a determination and write up the recommendation on the discipline for the violation. There were a lot of factors considered inside of that recommendation.
Like what?

Troy Vincent:
The commissioner has all of the information, and, as he has previously stated, he's going to evaluate it and make a decision.

Why is Troy Vincent unable to articulate even one factor that was considered "inside of that recommendation"? He is the one who signed the letter to Tom Brady. He is, supposedly, the one who decided on the punishment that was later approved by Roger Goodell. Any man who is going to suspend a QB for 25% of the season ought to understand those 243 pages inside and out. And instead, he punted on a simple question.

No one asked him who "had the information", though Vincent had damn well better have it, since he is the one who issued the suspension. No one asked about the appeal that Brady filed on June 23, which presumably is the "decision" Vincent refers to above. Vincent simply stated that "there were a lot of factors considered inside of that recommendation", which refers to the original suspension of Brady. Vincent easily could have, and should have been able to, explain why he recommended such a severe punishment. But he chose not to do so. Why?

I will contact Troy Vincent at the NFL offices tomorrow and ask why he refused to answer the question above. Stay tuned.
In a 60 Minutes interview on February 3, 2015, Troy Vincent admitted that he DID NOT READ the report submitted by Robert Mueller. Mueller was hired by the NFL to investigate whether anyone at the NFL had actually seen the Ray Rice video before it was released by TMZ.

Mueller, you will recall, determined that no one at the NFL offices saw the Ray Rice video. No punishments were issued. Even at that, it's inexcusable that someone in Vincent's position couldn't be bothered to read the report, regardless of its conclusions.

In this case, however, Vincent HIMSELF issued a massive fine and took draft picks from the Patriots, and suspended Brady for four games. And the more I delve into this, the more it seems that Troy Vincent, the Executive Vice President for football operations, didn't read any of the Wells Report.

And by the way, what does he mean, "The crime had already been committed"? Apparently Mr. Vincent only reads reports for crimes that have not occurred yet!

I really hope he has an explanation for me tomorrow.

I just emailed Jeffrey Kessler, Brady's attorney, and updated him on my research. How amazing would it  be to get Vincent under oath and watch him squirm??

UPDATE 8/3/2015:
I called Troy Vincent's office at the NFL and was referred to a media rep who hasn't returned my call yet.

Friday, July 31, 2015

SOURCE: Exponent used a hand-held spray bottle to simulate a torrential rainstorm

A source very close to the Exponent research team has informed me that Exponent used a hand-held spray bottle to simulate the heavy rains that were falling at Gillette Stadium on January 18.

The researchers would squirt the football with the spray bottle, then immediately towel it dry. They then waited 15 minutes and repeated the procedure again.

Because the "on-field" portion of the simulation lasted about two hours, this would mean that the balls were only sprayed and dried a total of nine times.

Exponent claims that this spraying/drying at 15 minute intervals somehow is the same thing as the sheets of cold rain that poured from the January skies in New England.

Even this light amount of moisture caused the footballs to lose a significant amount of pressure, and it's entirely likely that a higher degree of moisture would cause the balls to lose even more pressure. We cannot say for sure, because Exponent did not test varying degrees of moisture; they only tested the light spraying and drying described above.

For all we know, heavier levels of moisture would have caused the PSI in the test footballs to drop even further, which would have given us a more accurate idea of how much pressure the footballs should have lost that day.

Remember, the Ideal Gas Law assumes DRY footballs. The widely-publicized expected pressure range of 11.32 - 11.52 does not take moisture into account in any way, and would be significantly lower if it did.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My analysis of Roger Goodell's decision

I have completed my review of Roger Goodell's decision, issued yesterday. Here, I destroy all of the most ridiculous bits:

“...the Patriots advised me that the club had indefinitely suspended two of its employees, John Jastremski, an assistant equipment employee, and James McNally, a gameday employee who served as the attendant in the Officials’ Locker Room.”
-The Patriots claim this was ordered by Commissioner Goodell. Interesting that he chooses not to address that claim here.

“…resulting in a transcript more than 450 pages long…and more than thirty summaries of interviews conducted by NFL security representatives prior to the retention of Paul Weiss.”
-Can we have a look at this material? If not, why not?

Both before and after the hearing, Mr. Brady’s attorneys and agents submitted additional correspondence, including phone records from Mr. Brady’s cellphone carrier.
-So Brady provided you with his cell phone information. Yet you accuse him of non-cooperation.

“The most significant new information that emerged in connection with the appeal was evidence that on or about March 6, 2015—the very day that he was interviewed by Mr. Wells and his investigative team—Mr. Brady instructed his assistant to destroy the cellphone that he had been using since early November 2014, a period that included the AFC Championship Game and the initial weeks of the subsequent investigation.”
-Was this cellphone under subpoena by a court of law? Neither you nor anyone else at the NFL has the rights to a player’s personal cell phone. It’s not evidence just because you say it is. What precisely convinces you that there is evidence on that phone? Your suspicions do not qualify as “evidence”.
You already have the cell phones of Jastremski, McNally, and Dave Schoenfeld, and you read (and even quoted) messages from Brady to Jastremski and vice versa. According to you those are the only 3 people involved. What else is on Brady’s phone?

“Despite repeated requests for that information, beginning in mid-February 2015 and continuing during his March 6, 2015 interview by the investigators, information indicating that Mr. Brady might have destroyed his cellphone was not disclosed until months later, on June 18, 2015, and not confirmed until the day of the hearing itself.”
-You asked him for his personal cell phone. He said no. His decision was final. Then he destroyed his phone. His PERSONAL cell phone, which you have no rights to. What’s the issue?

 “He told the Patriots’ equipment staff that he wanted the footballs inflated at the lowest permissible level;”
-Brady never used that specific terminology. He requested that his footballs be inflated to 12.50 PSI after the 10/16/2015 game vs. the Jets, in which the footballs were measured at 16 PSI after the game, in clear violation of league policy. According to the Wells report, this overinflation was done by the officials during the pre-game inspection of the footballs. Brady was understandably very angry about this error by the officials, and to prevent future errors, he instructed his equipment managers to show the rulebook to the officials of future games so they would not make the same mistake again.

“On the day of the AFC Championship Game, Mr. McNally told referee Walt Anderson that Mr. Brady wanted the balls inflated to a pressure of 12.5 psi. He told the investigators that “Tom ... always has me pass a message to the Official’s [sic] that he likes the balls at the minimum permissible PSI of 12.5, ... I know this is what Tom wants, and I have been personally told by him of the ball weight preference.”

-I take it that, based on your use of “sic” that this was this a written statement? If so, why was he submitting written statements? Can we see a copy of this, and all other testimony? If not, why not?
Also, would you please explain the logic, which is repeated in the Wells Report, that because Tom Brady has expressed a preference for 12.50 PSI footballs, that he must actually like them below that level? On what evidence do you base this conclusion?

“Mr. McNally left the Officials' Locker Room with the Patriots’ footballs and went into a bathroom where he remained, behind a locked door, for approximately one minute and forty seconds.”
-Would you please explain to me how it is strange that a man went into a one-person bathroom and locked the door? Do you leave the door unlocked when you use a one-person bathroom? Can you find me anyone who does?

“Mr. McNally’s unannounced removal of the footballs from the locker room was a substantial breach of protocol, one that Mr. Anderson had never before experienced.”
-…and if this were a hearing for Mr. McNally, that would be interesting information. But it isn’t. And why do you use the word “protocol” instead of “rule”? Is it because it’s not an actual rule? By the way, was Mr. McNally, or anyone else in the history of the league, ever notified in writing, trained or tested on this “protocol”?

he had not engaged in similar conduct in the games that they had worked at Gillette Stadium.”
-In other words, this has never happened before. Correct?

“Fifth, based on a complaint from the Colts during the first half of the game, which echoed concerns that the Colts had expressed on the day before the game…”
-“Concerns that the Colts expressed on the day before the game”, which you failed to notify anyone about…why?

“New England’s footballs were tested at halftime; all were below the prescribed air pressure range as measured on each of two gauges. Four of Indianapolis's footballs were tested at halftime; all were within the prescribed air pressure range on at least one of the two gauges.”
-Why weren’t the Colts investigated? Why did you dismiss the below-standard measurements for their footballs, especially in light of the fact that you didn’t measure all of the Colts’ balls? Where did the “at least one of two gauges” standard come from?

“These communications between Mr. Brady and Mr. Jastremski were their first significant cellphone communications (calls or texts) for at least the prior six months. Mr. Brady thought they would have spoken by phone no more than once or twice during the prior six months. Neither Mr. Brady nor Mr. Jastremski could recall exchanging any text messages during the prior six months. And Mr. Jastremski was clear that he had never before met with Mr. Brady in “the QB room.” This pattern of multiple conversations and text messages continued on January 20 and 21.”
-Another weak allegation copy-pasted from the Wells Report. Could you explain to me why phone calls and text messages (which you have copies of, from Jastremski’s phone, and which contain no smoking guns) are automatic proof of guilt? The Patriots had advanced to the Super Bowl. Brady’s friend and equipment manager was being implicated in a story that had erupted into a huge media firestorm. Are you saying they had nothing else to talk about except their supposed guilt? Even if they were discussing the case, how can you conclude that they were discussing their so-called guilt?

“Mr. Brady, through his attorneys, declined to provide the investigators with access to highly relevant electronic information, such as emails and text messages.”
-Has any player, in the history of the NFL, ever handed over a personal cell phone in connection with an investigation of himself?

By the way, it’s come to MY attention that neither Roger Goodell, nor any other NFL employee, handed over their personal cell phones during the Robert Mueller investigation. Why? This investigation involved allegations that an NFL employee illegally colluded with law enforcement officials to get a copy of the Ray Rice video. It’s pretty obvious that any employee doing this would not be dumb enough to conduct such negotiations over a work cell phone, and yet work cell phones are all that Robert Mueller examined. Why are you demanding Brady’s cell phone, yet giving yourself and your colleagues a free pass in this area?
Ted Wells says he proved his case without the cell phone. Why do you need it so badly? Is it just the principle of the matter? Then why didn’t you punish Stephen Gostkowski, who also refused to hand over his cell phone?
By the way again—why did Gostkowski fail to hand over his cell phone? According to Ted Wells, Gostkowski is completely innocent. So why?
On Page 1, and elsewhere in your document, you state that Brady provided you with electronic records. Why do you now find fault with his previous attempt to do so?

“He did so despite the very substantial protections offered by the investigators to maintain the privacy of his personal information. On this basis, as well as the Wells Report's conclusion that Mr. Brady’s denials of involvement in the tampering scheme were not credible, I found that Mr. Brady had failed to cooperate with the investigation.”
- Did these “very substantial protections” include guarantees of privacy, including the promise of a full investigation of any leaks coming from the NFL offices? Did they include penalty clauses for any unauthorized leaks of Brady’s information?
By the way, has the NFL ever investigated a leak from its own office? Has any NFL employee ever been punished for media leaks? Does the NFL even have a policy for internal employees regarding leaks?

“As noted above, on June 18, 2015, shortly before the hearing and nearly four months after the investigators had first requested information from his cellphones, Mr. Brady’s counsel submitted correspondence and other materials indicating that the cellphone that Mr. Brady had used from November 6, 2014, through March 5 or 6, 2015, was unavailable because it had been destroyed, and that the text messages exchanged on that cellphone could not be retrieved.
-You already have cell phone data from Jastremski and McNally, Brady’s alleged co-conspirators. You have reported extensively on the communications between Brady and Jastremski based on what was recovered from Jastremski’s phone. You have also examined the cell phones of Dave Schoenfeld, Berj Najarian, and other Patriots employees and found nothing of interest. The Wells Report clearly states the opinion that no other Patriots personnel other than Jastremski, McNally, and Brady knew anything about this “scheme”. Brady mentioned absolutely nothing whatsoever to Jastremski or McNally about a plot to deflate footballs; who do you think he was talking to about it?

“…based on what Mr. Brady and his counsel described as his 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 about the tampering allegations.”
-Why do you think this date is significant? Brady could have stuck his cell phone in a safe and locked it up if he wanted to hide it from the world. The phone wasn’t under subpoena. It wasn’t like Wells was going to wrestle it from his hands.

“…neither Mr. Brady nor his counsel ever advised Mr. Wells that the cellphone that Mr. Brady had used during the key time period had been destroyed.”
-Again, you assume that Brady’s personal property is any of Ted Wells’ – or your – business. It’s not.

“During the four months that Mr. Brady used that cellphone, he exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages with a wide range of individuals.”
-…which you know because of information provided to you by Tom Brady. Who you still accuse of not cooperating.

“It includes text messages between Mr. Jastremski and Mr. McNally in which Mr. McNally refers to himself as “the deflator”
-Big fat guy with a bloated belly uses the word “deflate” and you can’t understand it. Try Google.

“…that expressly refer to inflation and deflation of footballs and “needles” in the context of deflating footballs”
-All of the messages came after the 10/16/2015 game, during which the Wells Report admits that the footballs were grossly OVER-inflated. By the way, how did the footballs get over-inflated during the Jets game, if “The Deflator” was on duty?
Please show me a reference where McNally or Jastremski specifically refer to deflating footballs. You’re reaching.

“Mr. McNally’s requests for cash, shoes, clothing and items autographed by Mr. Brady.
-Brady signs memorabilia for employees just about every day. He’s never refused a request in his entire career. Try again.

“…cannot be fully explained by environmental factors or scientific principles such as the Ideal Gas Law.”
-Check out emailwagon.blogspot.com/2015/06/top-5-myths-of-wells-report-blown-up.html . Exponent committed gross errors in their analysis. Once these errors are corrected, none of the Patriots’ footballs are below the expected pressure range per the Ideal Gas Law.

“This finding is buttressed by the opinion of Professor Marlow, whom I found to be highly credible at the hearing, and who testified that he “was highly impressed with the level of detail, thought, planning and execution” of Exponent’s work…”
-Marlow put his name on the report. His name was on it before it was released, and before any third parties examined and completely debunked all of its major conclusions. By then it was too late to reverse his position. Marlow had no option but to double down and give a full-throated endorsement.
Why do you care how credible he was? Did the report stand up to scrutiny, or didn’t it? If a “credible” man told you 2+2=5, would you believe him?

“…that it was “really a first-class piece of work”; and that “the conclusions are correct.” When viewed as part of the complete evidentiary record, Exponent’s conclusions support my finding that the deflation of the footballs was the result of human tampering.”
-A “first-class piece of work” that used the same 12.50 starting PSIs for both gauges, even though the Wells Report itself states they differ by 0.38 PSI, and which simulated a torrential downpour with a couple of squirts from a hand-held spray bottle at 15-minute intervals.

“Neither Mr. Jastremski nor Mr. McNally appeared as a witness at the appeal hearing. At the close of the hearing, the parties were asked whether the record should be held open to permit testimony from these two individuals, so that I could directly evaluate their credibility, before making a decision on the appeal.”
-McNally was questioned three times by the NFL, and then was questioned for seven hours by four attorneys from Ted Wells’ firm. Jastremski was also questioned multiple times on the record.
And by the way, why do you need to “directly evaluate their credibility”, when later in the document, you say “most of their statements to the investigators are not credible, as the Paul Weiss investigators found.” If most of their statements are not credible, then you’ve already assessed their credibility.

Mr. Brady described Mr. Jastremski as a “friend” and both would presumably have firsthand knowledge of the facts relating to Mr. Brady’s denials and other aspects of his testimony.”
-So Ted Wells’ team couldn’t break Jastremski, but Roger Goodell was going to?

“Further, as noted in the Wells Report, there are important topics about which Mr. McNally has not been interviewed…”
-Ted Wells, who you designated to investigate this issue, agreed in writing to interview Jim McNally ONCE, since he had already been interviewed three times by the NFL. He got that one interview, with four attorneys, for seven hours. Perhaps he should have negotiated better terms for himself, but he did not. The Patriots are not under any obligation to produce either of these employees for additional interviews that were not agreed upon beforehand.

“I have drawn upon my experience of more than thirty years with the National Football League, including nearly nine years as Commissioner.”
-Did you “draw upon” your previous performance in the past four discipline cases, all of which were overturned by neutral third parties?

 “The NFLPA and Mr. Brady also did not dispute the finding in the Wells Report that, based on experiments conducted by Exponent, this period was more than enough time for Mr. McNally to have released air from each of the Patriots' footballs.”
-It was also more than enough time to take a piss.

I have carefully considered Dean Snyder's testimony, along with that of three experts called by the Management Council, all of whom had been involved in the underlying scientific and engineering analysis reflected in the Wells Report: Dr. Robert Caligiuri of Exponent, an expert in mechanical and materials engineering; Dr. Duane Steffey of Exponent, an expert in statistics; and Professor Marlow of Princeton.”
-That’s a lot of brain power. Did any of these geniuses explain to you the decision to buy 50 Non-Logo Gauges at sporting goods stores, compare them to Anderson’s Non-Logo gauge, then proudly proclaim that they read similarly?

I find that the full extent of the decline in pressure cannot be explained by environmental, physical or other natural factors. Instead, at least a substantial part of the decline was the result of tampering.”
-I find that you are full of shit.
Only three Patriot footballs were below the expected range per the Ideal Gas Law, and those were only short by an average of 0.29 PSI. Did McNally only tamper with three balls?
How much air did McNally let out, Roger? And can a human being even detect such small differences in pressure?

In reaching this conclusion, I took into account Dean Snyder's opinion that the Exponent analysis had ignored timing, i.e., the fact that the Patriots’ footballs, which were tested first, had less time to warm at halftime than did the Colts' footballs. Dr. Caligiuri and Dr. Steffey, however, both explained how timing was, in fact, taken into account in both their experimental and statistical analysis; they concluded, based on physical experiments, that timing of the measurements did have an effect on the pressure, but that timing in and of itself could not account for the full extent of the pressure declines that the Patriots' game balls experienced.”
-Did the good Doctors give you an estimate of how much of the difference in timing did account for? Looking at the correct figures, there is only 0.65 PSI difference in the pressure losses between the teams’ balls, and that’s before the adjustment for the timing of the measurements. I’m pretty sure even you would not be able to claim tampering if the difference was, say, less than 0.20 PSI, so all we would need is a 0.46 figure for the timing differential, and Exponent has no case. So what was their estimate? Oh, they didn’t give you one! What a surprise.

I also considered Dean Snyder's other two “key findings,” as well as the arguments summarized in the NFLPA's post-hearing brief, including criticisms of the steps taken in the Officials' Locker Room at halftime to measure and record the pressure of the game balls.'”
-What were these two key findings? Why so shy?

“I was more persuaded, however, by the testimony of Dr. Caligiuri, Dr. Steffey, and Professor Marlow and the fact that the conclusions of their statistical analysis were confirmed by the simulations and other experiments conducted by Exponent. Those simulations and other experiments were described by Professor Marlow as a “first-class piece of work.””
-Was it a “first class piece of work,” Roger? It must have been, because you’ve said it twice already. Not only are you copying directly from the Wells Report; you even copied their habit of repeating themselves!
What statistical analysis are you referring to? The one that was debunked by AEI (and The Sports Police)?

“On these issues, the testimony of Professor Marlow, who had been retained by the Paul Weiss investigators to evaluate, critique and second-guess Exponent’s work plan and conclusions, was especially persuasive and credible. Professor Marlow described his role as that of the “designated skeptic.” His endorsement of Exponent's conclusions and his rebuttal of Dean Snyder's criticisms carried substantial weight.”
-His endorsement of Exponent’s conclusions, which were subsequently debunked by everyone who read them?

“It bears emphasis, however, that my finding of tampering with the game balls is not based solely on the Exponent study and the testimony of the scientific experts, but instead on consideration of all of the evidence in the record, including the conduct, text messages, and other communications discussed in both the Wells Report and at the hearing.”
-Again, copy-pasting from the Wells Report. Why, exactly, did it take you a month to respond, Roger? Didn’t somebody tell you that you can use CTRL-C and CTRL-V?
And BTW, you’ve painted yourself into a corner just as Ted Wells did. You, on the one hand, claim to have an airtight case, and in the same breath kvetch that Brady wouldn’t share the “critical” information from his cell phone. Did you prove your case, or didn’t you? If so, you didn’t need his cell phone, and if not, you shouldn’t be punishing him.

“This full record establishes that the reduction in the pressure of the Patriots footballs was due at least in substantial part to tampering.”
-How much pressure was reduced due to tampering? Why no numbers here, Roger? You’re absolutely positive that it’s true, but not positive enough to put a number on it.

“'There was argument at the hearing about which of two pressure gauges Mr. Anderson used to measure the pressure in the game balls prior to the game. The NFLPA contended, and Dean Snyder opined, that Mr. Anderson had used the so-called logo gauge. On this issue, I find unassailable the logic of the Wells Report and Mr. Wells's testimony that the non-logo gauge was used because otherwise neither the Colts' balls nor the Patriots' balls, when tested by Mr. Anderson prior to the game, would have measured consistently with the pressures at which each team had set their footballs prior to delivery to the game officials, 13 and 12.5 psi, respectively. Mr. Wells's testimony was confirmed by that of Dr. Caligiuri and Professor Marlow. As Professor Marlow testified, “There’s ample evidence that the non-logo gauge was used.””
-I’m beginning to think Roger and Professor Marlow have something going on! Isn’t it cute how he keeps quoting him?
So you find the logic “unassailable”, do you, Roger? “Otherwise, neither the Colts’ balls nor the Patriots’ balls would have measured consistently with the pressures at which each team set their footballs prior to delivery to game officials.”
Allow me to translate. The Patriots set their balls at 12.50 before the game, using a gauge that belonged to them. The Colts set their balls at 13.00 before the game, using their gauge. They then brought their footballs to Anderson, who used one of his two gauges to check the pressures of all the balls, and his readings matched those of the two teams. This means that the gauge used by Anderson read similarly to the gauges used by both teams.
Exponent could have solved this very easily by simply getting one or both of the teams’ gauges and testing them alongside Anderson’s gauges, to determine which one matched. But not only did they fail to do so; they only even mentioned the Patriots’ gauge once in passing (in a footnote), and did not mention the Colts’ gauge at all.
Instead, Exponent went out to sporting goods stores, bought “multiple dozens” of Non-Logo Gauges, tested them alongside Anderson’s Non-Logo Gauge, and then concluded that, since the Non-Logo Gauge read so similarly to all of the “test gauges” (which were really just dozens of copies of itself), that it must also have read similarly to both of the teams’ gauges. Even though no one knows what type of gauges the teams used.
All you are really saying here is, “It must have been Non-Logo, because Logo would not have read similarly to the teams’ gauges.” How do you know this? Tell me Roger, what is this “ample evidence” you speak of?

“*For similar reasons, I reject the arguments advanced in the AEI Report. The testimony provided by the Exponent witnesses and Professor Marlow demonstrated that none of the arguments presented in that report diminish or undermine the reliability of Exponent’s conclusions.
-So the entire statistical analysis of the Wells Report is crap, but that didn’t undermine the reliability of Exponent’s conclusions. Wow.

Mr. Wells testified that Professor Marlow was expressly engaged as a “double-check” on the work performed by Exponent. He further testified, and Dr. Caligiuri confirmed, that all of the experts who participated in the investigation were instructed to act as if they were “courtappointed” experts and to provide “objective science.””
-So why didn’t they?

“the unusual pattern of communication between Mr. Brady and Mr. Jastremski in the days following the AFC Championship Game cannot readily be explained as unrelated to conversations about the alleged tampering of the game balls.
-Did you examine Brady and Jastremski’s pattern of communication prior to the last Super Bowl the Patriots were in?
Seriously dude, are you trying to tell us you know what they were talking about?? And even if you did, why does talking about it automatically make them guilty? Do you think Richard Jewel talked to his lawyers after he was accused?

“Dave will be picking your brain later about it. He's not accusing me or anyone. Trying to get to the bottom of it. He knows it’s unrealistic you did it yourself.””

“The sharp contrast between the almost complete absence of communications through the AFC Championship Game and the extraordinary volume of communications during the three days following the AFC Championship Game undermines any suggestion that the communications addressed only preparation of footballs for the Super Bowl rather than the tampering allegations and their anticipated responses to inquiries about the tampering.”
-Again, Swami Goodell knows what they were talking about. And again, even IF they were discussing the allegations, why does that automatically make them guilty of what they’re accused of?

“Mr. Brady’s phone bills, provided by his agent shortly before the hearing, indicate two short calls (3 minutes duration in total) between Mr. Brady and Mr. Jastremski on October 11, 2014”
-Phone bills, provided by the uncooperative Tom Brady?
And oh, by the way, I see Commissioner Goodell has adopted the Wells Report’s habit of burying the good stuff in the footnotes, where no one will ever find it.

“There were multiple, lengthy phone conversations between Mr. McNally and Mr. Jastremski over the next several days.
-I noticed you didn’t suggest that this was out of the ordinary for them. McNally and Jastremski spoke regularly all the time. If you don’t know this, you should.

In short, the available electronic evidence, coupled with information compiled in the investigators’ interviews, leads me to conclude that Mr. Brady knew about, approved of, consented to, and provided inducements and rewards in support of a scheme by which, with Mr. Jastremski's support, Mr. McNally tampered with the game balls.”
-Apparently you know more than the Wells Report, which could only muster the cojones to say that Brady was “at least generally aware” that there was “more probably than not” a scheme to deflate footballs.

“In addition, investigators requested the production of “text messages or other communications between Mr. Brady, John Jastremski, Dave Schoenfeld and Jim McNally from September 1, 2014 to the present regardless of subject, as well as a log of the above calls between Mr. Brady and those individuals since January 17, 2015.””
-Roger, buddy, why don’t you read the Wells Report? John Jastremski, Dave Schoenfeld, and Jim McNally all provided their cell phone data to the NFL. If Brady communicated with them, you already know about it. In fact, you have, in some cases, mentioned it earlier in this document.

“he offered no explanation of why, on March 5 or 6, 2015, he replaced the cellphone that he had been using since November 6, 2014. (Mr. Brady testified that he did not have a schedule for periodically changing cellphones.)”
-How about this: “I’m a rich SOB with more money than God. I felt like getting a new phone.”

“Had Mr. Brady followed what he and his attorneys called his “ordinary practice,” one would expect that the cellphone that he had used prior to November 6, 2014 would have been destroyed long before Mr. Maryman was hired. No explanation was provided for this anomaly.”
-I’m pretty damn tired of all this innuendo, all of these “A-HA!” moments that supposedly prove something. People are not always flawlessly consistent in what they do 100% of the time, and when they are not, it’s not automatic proof of wrongdoing.
I also have a problem with lines like, “No explanation was provided for this anomaly”. What were his exact words, Roger? When it suits you, you quote testimony; when it doesn’t, you paraphrase. What was the question, and what was the answer?

“"After the hearing and after the submission of post-hearing briefs, Mr. Brady's certified agents offered to provide a spreadsheet that would identify all of the individuals with whom Mr. Brady had exchanged text messages during that period; the agents suggested that the League could contact those individuals and request production of any relevant text messages that they retained. Aside from the fact that, under Article 46, Section 2(f) of the CBA, such information could and should have been provided long before the hearing, the approach suggested in the agents’ letter—which would require tracking down numerous individuals and seeking consent from each to retrieve from their cellphones detailed information about their text message communications during the relevant period—is simply not practical.”
-Another footnote gem, and this one is huge. So basically, what you’re telling me now is that you refused a list of all the people Brady communicated with during that period. You keep throwing around the 10,000-text-message figure, but certainly they weren’t sent to 10,000 different people. Why didn’t you give us a count of how many “numerous individuals” we’re talking about here? Didn’t you just pay a law firm $5 million to investigate this stuff? Why not throw them a couple hundred thousand more to track down the cell phone data you’re looking for? Unless you don’t want to lose your “Brady won’t cooperate” ace in the hole.

Rather than simply failing to cooperate, Mr. Brady made a deliberate effort to ensure that investigators would never have access to information that he had been asked to produce, Put differently, there was an affirmative effort by Mr. Brady to conceal potentially relevant evidence…”
-It’s not “evidence” just because you say it is. You don’t know what was on that phone. You know the full extent of his communications with Jastremski, McNally and Schoenfeld (he had none with McNally or Schoenfeld), and he said nothing that could even remotely be considered incriminating. So he wasn’t dumb enough to give himself away when talking with his co-conspirators, but he was dumb enough to do it when talking to someone else? Even though you have no idea who that someone else even is?

“Neither the NFL nor any NFL member club has subpoena power or other means to compel production of relevant materials or testimony. Nonetheless, the NFL is entitled to expect and insist upon the cooperation of owners, League employees, club employees and players in a workplace investigation and to impose sanctions when such cooperation is not forthcoming, when evidence is hidden, fabricated, or destroyed, when witnesses are intimidated or not produced upon reasonable request, or when individuals do not provide truthful information.”
-Again, you assume, with no basis, that this phone contained important information about this case. I don’t care that Ted Wells asked for it. Brady already said he wasn’t handing it over. It was his cell phone and he had the right to destroy it whenever he wanted, and this destruction is not proof of some nefarious conspiracy against you. Stop watching the X Files.
And Brady did cooperate. He spent an entire day being interrogated by Ted Wells and his team of lawyers. He patiently answered every question. And yet you spit on him because he won’t hand over a cell phone that YOU think contains evidence, but which probably does not. And even at that, Brady has offered you a full list of everyone he corresponded with, and you have refused.

The evidence fully supports my findings that (1) Mr. Brady participated in a scheme to tamper with the game balls after they had been approved by the game officials for use in the AFC Championship Game and (2) Mr. Brady willfully obstructed the investigation by, among other things, affirmatively arranging for destruction of his cellphone knowing that it contained potentially relevant information that had been requested by the investigators. All of this indisputably constitutes conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of professional football.”
-What about lying about not seeing the Ray Rice video? Does that constitute conduct detrimental to the integrity of football?
The evidence doesn’t “fully support” anything. You’re reaching. You can’t prove a damn thing.

“*I do not accept the argument, advanced by NFLPA counsel on Mr. Brady’s behalf, that in failing to provide information from his phones to the investigators, Mr. Brady was acting on the advice of counsel. Even if I were inclined to accept that argument, there is no evidence that Mr. Brady’s counsel advised him to destroy his phone and thereby preclude recovery of potentially relevant electronic information exchanged during the key time period.”
-How can you “not accept” an argument, from Brady’s counsel, about what his counsel advised him to do?? What do you mean there is “no evidence” that they advised him to destroy his phone? Have you ever heard of attorney-client privilege? What makes you think they would tell you if they advised Brady to do such a thing?
By the way, don’t think we don’t notice how you keep dropping that word “potentially” into everything about this phone. Because you have no idea what was on it.

“As noted above, I am very much aware of, and believe in, the need for consistency in discipline for similarly situated players.”
-Oh, absolutely! Here’s my favorite example of your consistency:
Punching your fiancée in the face: 2 games
Punching your fiancée in the face on video: Indefinite suspension

“No prior conduct detrimental proceeding is directly comparable to this one.”
-No, because you’ve never had a proceeding on such a ridiculous issue before now, and when San Diego was caught doctoring footballs, and lying about it, and concealing evidence to boot, all you did was issue a fine. And yes, I’ll be mentioning that again, because you apparently forgot to mention them in your report.

“Here we have a player's uncoerced participation in a scheme to violate a competitive rule that goes to the integrity of the game. Unlike any other conduct detrimental proceeding of which I am aware, and certainly unlike any cited by either party, this scheme involved undermining efforts by game officials to ensure compliance with League rules.”
-If a DB grabs a WR’s jersey at an angle where the official can’t see it, isn’t he “undermining efforts by game officials to ensure compliance with league rules”? And, unlike this case, isn’t there indisputable video proof whenever this happens?

“The scheme, which sought to secure a competitive advantage on the playing field, was coupled with not only (i) a failure to cooperate with the League’s investigation, but also (ii) destruction of potentially relevant evidence with knowledge that the evidence had been sought in the investigation.”
-Is it just me, or does Roger get more and more confident about this “scheme” as he goes along?

“The bounty program was largely developed and administered by the coaches, and the pressure on the players extended to “obstruction of the original investigation [which was] directed by Saints’ officials.” There is no evidence of any such pressure on Mr. Brady here.”
-You mean that bounty program in which the Saints were actually well below the league average in injuring their opponents, and in which Tagliabue reviewed your decision and basically said you suck?
Also, no one claims there was any pressure on Brady. Not even Ted Wells said that. Why do you bring it up?

“Mr. Jastremski warned Mr. Brady that Mr. Schoenfeld would be asking him about the condition of the footballs that had been used in the AFC Championship Game.
-“Just giving you a heads up” Not much of a warning, was it? Again trying to assign ominous undertones to everything. Give me your evidence and leave the editorial BS out.

The conduct at issue here is also very different from the ball-warming incident in Minnesota last year, in which a Carolina Panthers ball attendant was observed warming a ball on the Vikings’ sideline; there was no evidence of any intentional attempt to violate or circumvent the rules, no player involvement, and no effort to conceal the ball attendant’s conduct. As Mr. Vincent testified, the ball never got into the game and the matter “was addressed immediately.””
-Let me make sure I understand. You use the “No employee / ball boy / low-level peon would ever do anything to game balls without the QB knowing” logic to punish Tom Brady, but when a Carolina ball boy was trying to warm balls that were to be used by his QB, there was “no player involvement”? So this lowly ball boy just took it upon himself to warm the balls, without anyone telling him to, and the quarterback knew nothing about it? Wasn’t the QB standing on the same sideline?
Did you conduct an investigation, Roger? Did you ask the quarterback point blank if he ordered the ball boy to warm the footballs? Did you “collect video evidence” from the game and have forensic experts estimate the distance between the QB and the hand warmers, to determine if it was realistic that the quarterback didn’t see what was going on? Did you demand access to his cell phone and download all of his text messages to see if he spoke to anyone about this? Did you interview past Panthers opponents to see if anything anomalous had taken place in previous cold games?

I noticed you completely forgot the most relevant example: San Diego’s stickum incident. This was an example in which team personnel were caught with towels covered in stickum, which is illegal in the NFL and is not supposed to be anywhere near the sidelines, and when the NFL asked about it, the team concealed the towels and lied to the league officials. Here we have:
a)    A deliberate attempt to circumvent the rules;
b)    A situation in which common sense tells us the quarterback either ordered this to be done, or would soon find out about it, since the footballs would be covered in stickum;
c)    An attempt to cover up the infraction;
d)    Lying to league officials.

Effectively, this case matches up very well with everything you accuse Tom Brady of, and, unlike the Brady case, there is incontrovertible evidence (i.e., the towels with the stickum on them). The penalty assessed: $20,000. No suspensions. No investigation. Nothing else.
You had no clever excuse for how that was different, so you simply left this example out. Not to worry—rest assured, Brady’s team will raise the issue in court, and you’ll have to answer for it then.

The conduct at issue here is also very different from the incident involving the Jets' equipment staff member who “attempted to use” unapproved equipment in plain view of the officials to prepare kicking balls prior to a 2009 game against the Patriots. There was no evidence of any player involvement.”
-Again, another rogue employee preparing kicking balls illegally and the kicker who would be kicking the balls, and who undoubtedly told this employee exactly how he wanted the balls prepared, knew nothing about it. Obviously you waited until the last half of the report to sneak the really crappy stuff in. You’re ridiculous.

In terms of the appropriate level of discipline, the closest parallel of which I am aware is the collectively bargained discipline imposed for a first violation of the policy governing performance enhancing drugs; steroid use reflects an improper effort to secure a competitive advantage in, and threatens the integrity of, the game.”
-The difference here is that a positive drug test is incontrovertible proof that the rules have been broken. There is no such proof here, so the analogy fails.

“The four-game suspension imposed on Mr. Brady is fully consistent with, if not more lenient than, the discipline ordinarily imposed for the most comparable effort by a player to secure an improper competitive advantage and (by using a masking agent) to cover up the underlying violation.”
-First off, let me ask you a question, Commissioner. How is a ball that is slightly below 12.50 PSI a competitive advantage? Has there been any study that you are aware of that proves that this ball is easier to throw or catch? That is the conventional wisdom, but has it actually been proven? And even if it has, why is there an upper limit of 13.50 PSI? Are balls above 13.50 easier to throw and catch also? How can you be so sure these tiny puffs of air provide such a competitive edge? Is a human being even capable of detecting a PSI difference of less than 0.50 PSI?
Let’s assume for a second (though there is zero proof of this) that Tom Brady’s preferred inflation level is 12.00 PSI. We know for certain that Andrew Luck’s preferred level is 13.00, which means that, if we enforce the rules and keep all footballs between 12.5 and 13.5, Andrew Luck can have a football at his preferred level, and Brady cannot. If, hypothetically, Brady lets 0.50 PSI out of his footballs to bring them down to 12.00, both men would then have footballs at their ideal level. How is this an unfair advantage for Tom Brady?

he had taken steps in the past to call the relevant provision to the attention of game officials”
-Why would Brady call the officials’ attention to this rule if he knew he was going to break it? Why would he arouse the officials’ attention this way?

“The four-game suspension is also consistent with the suspension recently imposed on the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns for a first violation of a league rule intended to maintain fair competition and the integrity of the game. The length of that suspension reflected, and was explicitly mitigated by, the General Manager's self-reporting and transparency in acknowledging wrongdoing. There are no such mitigating factors here.”
-One is a General Manager who has no game-day responsibilities, and does not belong to the union; the other is the greatest QB in the history of professional football, and is the most important player on his team. Yep, same thing.

“Moreover, the conduct at issue here—specifically the willful destruction of potentially relevant evidence—goes well beyond Mr. Brady’s failure to respond to or fully cooperate with the investigation.
-This argument potentially smells like a dirty diaper.
By the way, the word “potentially” appears seven (7) times in this document.

“Indeed, a player of Mr. Brady's tenure in the league and sophistication, and who was represented by highly experienced counsel (both personal and NFLPA-engaged), cannot credibly contend that he believed that he could, without consequences, destroy his cellphone on or about the day of his interview with the investigators when he knew in advance of the interview that the investigators were seeking the cellphone for the evidence that it contained.”
-And, of course, a player of Brady’s sophistication also wouldn’t be stupid enough to send text messages about a conspiracy to deflate footballs. And yet you cling to the absurd belief that there is some kind of smoking gun on his cell phone. Which you have no right to.

“And the belated attempt by his representatives to remedy this failure to cooperate—ultimately by asking the NFL to track down nearly 10,000 text messages sent to or received from a substantial number of other individuals—is simply insufficient. The NFLPA and Mr. Brady’s representatives have identified no instance in or outside the NFL in which such conduct has been deemed satisfactory cooperation with an investigation.”
-No one asked you to “track down nearly 10,000 text messages”. Brady’s representatives offered to provide you a list of every person he communicated with during the period in question. You fail to provide a count of how many people are included in that list, and instead repeat the 10,000 figure (which, by the way, you repeat four times in this document) for maximum dramatic effect. Tell me, Roger, did you write this, or did your attorneys write it for you?
And why is it okay for Ted Wells to spend 103 days and 5 million dollars on a 243-page report, but following up with Tom Brady’s text buddies is too much for you to handle?
Lastly, why is it Brady’s job to “identify an instance in which such conduct has been deemed satisfactory cooperation”? I thought every situation was different?

“First, as made clear in my opinion of June 22, 2015, I did not delegate my authority as Commissioner to determine conduct detrimental or to impose appropriate discipline. I was directly involved in the assessment of Mr. Brady’s conduct that led to his suspension and in determination of the suspension itself; I concurred in Troy Vincent’s recommendation and authorized him to communicate to the club and to Mr. Brady the discipline imposed under my authority as Commissioner. Second, there was no delegation of any authority to the investigators.”
-So basically, you played a key role in the disciplinary decision, and then served as an arbitrator to your own decision.
And if you didn’t delegate any authority to the investigators, then why didn’t you investigate the leaks coming from your office after Ted Wells failed to do so?

“Nor is there any basis for the NFLPA's suggestion that the Wells Report was not the product of an independent investigation.” The Report itself makes clear, and the hearing testimony of Mr. Wells confirmed, that the investigation and report represent solely and entirely the findings and conclusions of the Wells investigatory team.”
-Yes, we know that the Ted Wells’ Report was independent, because Ted Wells told us so. Because, you know, he totally would have confessed to us if it wasn’t independent.

I accuse you, Commissioner, of crafting your decisions based on the effects they will have on your own personal popularity. If you don’t live in New England, you probably hate Tom Brady and can’t wait to see him suspended so that other teams will have a chance to win. There is hatred, yes, hatred, towards Brady and the Patriots across much of the country, and there will be great joy if his suspension holds—not to mention a nice bump in popularity for any commissioner who delivers such a punishment. You lack the fortitude to defy public opinion and live only to justify your own existence for another year—and another paycheck.