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

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