By Dan Snapp

Peter King in successive weeks:

July 13th:

“My best guess: Officials will chart the weights of all footballs before the game, then spot-check some at halftime and after the game.”

July 20th:

“Basically, depending on which physics expert you believe, it’s either a stretch to think the Patriots’ footballs deflated as much as they did by halftime of the game against Indy Jan. 18, or a perfectly normal occurrence.”

July 27th:

“When footballs are pressure-gauged before games, they will still have to measure between 12.5 pounds per square inch and 13.5 psi. If they do not, the officials will be instructed to put the air in the football at 13.0 psi. So if one team is trying to get an edge by having the pressure right on the border near 12.5 or right on the border near 13.5, and it’s either under or over by a tenth of a pound, it will backfire. In the past, maybe a crew would measure and say, “Close enough.” Now, that crew will have to put the psi at the halfway point between high and low, exactly 13.0. In other words, it’s a decision soft-ball lovers or hard-ball lovers really won’t like.”

This is, if not the pre-eminent NFL writer today, then the most ubiquitous. He’s the bad penny showing up everywhere, regurgitating bad science. He still thinks they’ll be charting the weight of the balls? He still thinks the physics is a coin toss? He still thinks a couple tenths of a pound per square inch is motive enough for teams to try to sneak something past the officials?

I get it, not everybody can accept science on faith alone. They need proof. So perhaps if King wakes up to find the Logo Gauge AND the Non-Logo Gauge under his tree this year, maybe then he can truly BELIEVE. Yes, Peter, there IS an Ideal Gas Law!

King has been dutifully floating Roger Goodell’s help-me-find-a-way-out-of-this-shit trial balloons the past few weeks, gauging* public response to a host of Tom Brady fates. How does two games sound? One game? No? How about forestalling Brady’s punishment for a year while we study the science just a little bit longer? Then can Roger keep his job?

* And recording? Probably. The league’s pretty diligent when it comes to Rog’s Q-rating.

Following up on one of King’s “hunches”, the league announced plans to update football inspection. They won’t “chart the weights” of the balls, sadly, but pregame they will be numbering the balls, they’ll be gauging and recording the PSI of each respective ball, they’ll “spot check” during “designated games” (i.e. “Patriots games”), and there will be a dedicated chain of custody, with the Kicking Ball Coordinator escorting the balls to the field under the watchful eyes of both an official AND league security. Go ahead and try to crack THAT nut, Dorito Dink!

This is all well and good, and does at least provide a level of standardization that might have aided the Patriots back in January when this whole ridiculous episode commenced. And the spot check measurements – assuming the league is gracious enough to share them this time – could also serve to vindicate the Patriots.

But look at some of the other details of their announcement:

Each team will be required to supply 24 footballs to the officials’ locker room – 12 primary and 12 backup – 2 hours and 15 minutes prior to the game.

At designated games, selected at random, the game balls used in the first half, will be collected by the kicking ball coordinator (KBC) at halftime and the league’s security representative will escort the KBC to the locker room.

Also, at the end of any randomly selected game, the KBC will return the footballs to the officials’ locker room, where all game balls from each team will be inspected and the results will be recorded.

Do you see the problem? Every single time they measure the balls, it’s still going to be in the climate-controlled atmosphere of the officials’ locker room. And there’s no mention in the article of recording the temperatures of the locker rooms and out on the field, the climate conditions, or the respective times each football gets measured.

They still don’t understand the science!

What’s the point of all this trouble, effort, time and procedure if they’re still going to be introducing balls that won’t be at regulation within minutes at any game where on-field temperatures are 10 degrees colder or hotter than in the officials’ locker room?**

** Assuming an officials’ locker room temp of 71 degrees, and a ball set at 13.0 PSI with no other variables out of spec.

It sure will be comforting to know,  say during December home games in New England, Buffalo, Green Bay and Minnesota, we can be assured those footballs will be at regulation up until kickoff. But hey, at least now we’ll be dead certain nobody will be tampering with already under-inflated footballs. Integrity! Shield! Nobody touch a slice ‘til Rog does!

Do they not yet realize how many games in league history have been played with balls that weren’t within their silly arbitrary PSI parameters? Not just iconic games like the Ice Bowl or the Freezer Bowl, or even the Patriots/Ravens divisional game this past season (when game-time temp was 22 degrees), but multitudes of games throughout the decades.

And the same goes for those early September games played in the sweltering heat in say Miami. If the balls were checked inside, they most likely were over regulation within minutes on the field. That’s just science.

The truth is the NFL cares not one iota about getting it right, and certainly doesn’t care about vindicating the Patriots. They do care, however, about trying to look good. And adding more arbitrary regulations to an already arbitrary standard makes it look – at least to the general populace – like they’re doing something productive. Before you look a little deeper, of course.

What should they do? Logically, they could do the preliminary ball-checks on the field. At least then there’s some consistency between the environment where the ball is measured and the environment in which they play. But that still doesn’t assure anything because, well, weather isn’t a constant.

What they really should do is go back to not giving a damn about ball pressure, like they did the 70 some-odd years since they first set the standard. They should just return to that blissful ignorance that served them so well for so long, before Ryan Grigson and Mike Kensil got their panties in a bunch.

The NFL has to worry about two audiences alone: the 32 owners whom it enriches; and the nation of flat-earthers eager to sop up any story that incriminates the team they hate. Neither group cares a whit about science.

This is why you never hear tales of Roger Goodell going on a cruise: Sure, sure, they all say the Earth is round, but why take the chance? But we could always sail Ted around the world a dozen times, just to be sure.

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70 thoughts on “The Flat Balls Society

  1. Bruce hit on something I hadn’t thought of yet (and I’m sure I’m not the first to think of this.)

    The balls in Miami may over inflate due to weather conditions. Where has Brady had more road struggles than Miami? DRAFT PICKS! I want DRAFT PICKS! All of…er…Mother Nature’s picks! Every. Single. One. And a season long suspension for her qb too…whomever the hell that may be.

    Kidding aside, look at some of the warm weather climates they have played in. If the balls are inflated to Brady’s liking of 12.5 and they become like a relative balloon due to the heat, wouldn’t it make sense it’s because of the ball’s psi? Last year in Miami was 89 at kickoff and likely hotter on the field. Why has he been so successful in domes? Climate controlled fields. The ball’s PSI doesn’t change from the room where they are inflated. A snow storm in Chicago a few years back? He’s money.

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  2. Seems to be a number of people hedging their “they’re guilty” with this reduced games settlement stuff now. If you’re so confident in the guilt and everything that went on, why would you fear it going to court? (since I don’t think they understand how it’d be challenged on the application of discipline)

    Massarotti: If Brady Is Offered Two-Game Suspension, He Should Take It

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    1. Someone needs to call up Mazz and ask him if he’d accept a reduced sentence of 5 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, down from the 15 years the judge initially handed out? Like any of those mediots, if placed in the same situation as Brady, would just sit back and admit guilt if they truly believed they’d done nothing wrong.

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    1. I’m so crushed. Not.. It took me two hours and forty five min last week to drive twenty miles from mattapan sq.to home on the north shore. Image if the beautiful ass people were on the road at the same time going to their events lol

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      1. So instead of there being an event that would force Beacon Hill to spend money on drastic infrastructure upgrades to the roads/bridges/public transportation in the city — and “being forced to” is the only way anything gets spent on infrastructure in this state, as we all know — now there’s no political or economic imperative to do it whatsoever.

        To paraphrase Orwell, the future of the Commonwealth is now a boot stamping down in frustration at the 2:45 drive from Mattapan to the North Shore, forever.

        Enjoy!

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          1. I worked in the State House in 1989 for a summer. The only major infrastructure project this state has done since I worked there is the Big Dig (which was one of the issues I worked on in my summer, incidentally). Twenty five years. The bridges and road artery / rail infrastructure was near capacity and approaching obsolescence then. A quarter of a century ago.

            Criticize the Big Dig’s finances all you want; they were a mess. But without that project, this city would be unlivable and in major decline. Major businesses aren’t going to put up with a 3-hour drive from the airport to downtown because 8 lanes of traffic have to fit into a 2-lane tunnel via surface streets.

            So you tell me: why not spend that money to do necessary upgrades? We’ve had 25 years, and the only thing that got done is a source of endless bitching and moaning. Twenty five budgets; seven governors; both parties in control. Tax cuts? Sure! Outsourcing? Sure! Pet projects? Sure! Emergency funding for snow removal? Sure! Infrastructure improvements? (crickets)

            Sausage only gets made when you put a gun to a pig’s head. That’s the reality of politics in this state.

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          2. But, what you describe is the sad state of modern politics.

            I’ll blame the politicians, but the voters there also have the power to do something.

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        1. Thank God. I work all over the place and have taken that trip many other times but usually it’s a hour and a half trip.

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        2. I have given a lot of thought to this. The IOC makes a ton of money licensing the Olympic name, from dues and from all of the rights fees generated during the games. We have discussed this before…they have a racket. Every 4 years (or every 2 years now that the games alternate) the IOC gets some city to publicly finance a world wide spectacle, the IOC reaps millions if not Billions of dollars and the host city barely breaks even.

          I am very supportive of the idea of having the Olympics in Boston. What I do not understand is how an Olympics Games cannot be held while being privately financed by the IOC…not the individual host city but the IOC. I do not understand why municipalities are willing to run deficits to host games while the IOC makes money. Its counter intuitive to me. As such I think Boston or any city is foolish to want to host an Olympics until the IOC becomes the financing partner and not the taxpayers.

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  3. The Italian biscuit is lying. Fact not opinion. Augusta golf course. Peter king was the caddy for Roger the Dumb. And the Italian cookies.

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  4. I feel like the Patriots are Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the hill only to have it then roll back down. Each time I think someone is starting to understand what happened they demonstrate they do something to either show they don’t understand 8th grade science, the basic idea of what constitutes a witch hunt or loyalty. It is so frustrating as a fan to watch this train wreck as it happens in slow motion. Each time I hear Felger say…but I believe they did something I want to reach through my radio and strangle him because its clear they did nothing. Each time Mazz says they are not being punished for deflating the footballs but rather for the way they acted during the investigation I want to reach through the radio and while strangling him ask…how were they supposed to act you self righteous prick? Each time I hear someone float a potential way for the commissioner to get out of this fiasco while saving face I want to know why he should be able to find a way out of this mess. Now the NFL has come out with new ways of handling the footballs…tell me a game that was effected by the old way? Oh wait…there were none. In that case…put this whole thing in perspective and move on to something important.

    In any event…this will not end until a Federal Judge comes down hard on the NFL. The sad thing is there will be no monetary damages so no lesson will be learned. If Brady could sue for defamation then maybe there could be some change to the way the NFL works. Like MLB and its never ending quest to avoid the PED plague, the NFL will never…at least in my life time be run as something other than an organized crime racket.

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  5. Roger Goodell has been a joke for years. I have always hated how he randomly suspended and fined players and how he ignores what the fans want. Having said that, as A Patriot’s fan, Robert Kraft is getting what he deserves for backing this clown. Half the league office are former Jet’s employees and they along with Goodell have destroyed his legacy and the teams accomplishments among the majority of NFL fans. It is pretty sad when a Jet’s fan(Duane Munn) runs the NFL’s social media and uses his control of Facebook to make jokes at your expense. If you have the time, check out the link Bobby Kraft.
    http://uproxx.com/sports/2015/05/nfl-social-media-accounts-new-england-patriots-jets-fan-deflategate/
    Step down Bobby and let your son Jonathon take over. He has the balls to defend the team without worrying about his personal legacy in the Billionaires Boy’s Club that you supported by backing down from a fight over deflategate. They have your back Bobby K? How is that working out for you Bob?

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  6. Man, it almost sounds like someone gave SalPal a left hook to the face in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/07/27/paolantonio-says-owners-arent-pressuring-goodell/

    “I think I was wrong to say what I said, because clearly it sounds like
    Steve Bisciotti doesn’t care. And what I was able to find out pretty
    clearly is that the owners are not pressuring Roger Goodell, at all. So I
    never would have reported that. And the other thing too is that it was
    not a report. It was just me talking on a radio station. It was my
    opinion, and it was speculation.”

    From:

    . and you’re undermining the authority of the very Commissioner making
    the ruling, since he was the one that signed off on the initial
    four-game suspension in the first place. Not only that, you’re angering
    some of the hard core owners out there, And I know who they are, and I’m
    gonna name them right now. Jim Irsay of the Colts, Steve Bisciotti of
    the Ravens and others in the AFC who believe that the Patriots have
    gotten away with murder for years and have not been publicly punished
    properly.”

    beep.. beep… beep…. can you hear the truck backing up?

    Sal, who got to you in Bristol? Get a little nudge on the shoulder that not issuing a retraction meant Fall Sundays for you at home, instead of the sidelines reporting live?

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    1. And I thought D&C made an excellent point…48 hours after Sal Pals comments he is retracting them. It is now 6 months later and Chris Mortensen’s report is still up, there is no retraction, ESPN will not comment and Mort will not come on the air anywhere in the country and answer questions.

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    2. Irsay, Bisciotti, Gregg Doyle, and Bob Kravitz were all waiting for Sal Pal in the parking lot in Bristol.

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  7. SaS on FT just now according to Twitter:

    “I’m hearing that Tom Brady actually destroyed his cell phone.”

    And they’re going to uphold the 4 games.

    (Have to wonder if the phone thing is a nice PR stunt?)

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    1. What’s even left to say about this @ssclown at this point? First Take is worse than TMZ and ESPN as a whole is just laughable. I legitimately feel bad for a guy like Adam Schefter. I hope gets away from that circus and goes to FOX Sports or back to NFLN when he can. He deserves better than to be associated with that circus.

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    2. If he “destroyed” his cell phone, what good would it do him? Those text messages are still out there in cyberspace, or whatever they call the cell phone portion of wireless communications, are they not? If anyone wanted to find them, they probably could, and Brady — not a dumb guy — would likely know that. I’m telling ya, he MUST sue the NFL for defamation over this. Getting the suspension retracted isn’t enough. The NFL has, through its smear campaign, the details of which have been dutifully passed along to the public by its paid media enablers — as Bruce said several weeks ago in a post here — turned Brady into a criminal….over absolutely, positively nothing, and without a shred of credible evidence.

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      1. It would be great if he would sue for defamation but it will not happen. In 2-3 years when Tom retires, still able to walk and talk, and he sits on the veranda of the 8000sqft house in Costa Rica or the 10000sqft house in Newton, or the 9000 soft mansion in San Paolo or the 4000sqft condo in NYC…(you get the drift) he will look over at Gisele and the kids…and nary a thought about Roger Goodell, PSI or the NFL will ever cross his mind. When he decides to get on the private jet and fly to Pebble Beach to then play 36 holes with MJ or Tiger or some other Royal…the NFL will long forgotten.

        The only ones who are going to carry a grudge forever are us fans. We however will never get vindication or closure. No one of importance will ever look at how minor spy gate was or how stupid deflate gate is and say…holy crap did we screw this up…Pats fans you are deserved of an apology. So I guess in the end the joke is on us.

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      2. I cannot think of a single athlete in my sports fan lifetime (near 30 years) that has been the subject to this much mud slinging by the commissioner of the league they play in. It is absolutely stunning.

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      3. Yes.

        Cellphone companies, more or less, deny logging them still to this day since they don’t want a PR nightmare.

        Your texts, numbers called and location are all logged and maintained. The actual calls (voice) is still a debate but the recent years of NSA stuff blew a hole in that.

        However, if you do not provide them, they’d only release any of these via a legal court order.

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    3. If we wait a little longer, SaS will assure us that Tom Brady is the one who slipped the drugs into those women’s drinks — the Patriots are trying to cheat Bill Cosby!

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    1. Apparently the league even has a date…”on or about March 6″…for when this nefarious act on Brady’s part took place. Of course, “destroyed” in the NFL’s dictionary could just mean “accidentally dropped it into the pool at Gisele’s Costa Rican compound,” but all the media needs to hear is “destroyed”, and the NFL knows this. OK….time for Kessler, et al, to respond I guess.

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      1. Brady needs to get out there and give his side of this. He is going to get creamed in the court of public opinion, which is what the NFL wants.

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        1. His agent issued a blistering rebuttal this afternoon, including language about a large amount of “personal information” that Brady apparently shared with Wells during the investigation…..information that Yee (Brady’s agent) says that Wells and the NFL chose to ignore, and that will now be made public by the Brady camp. Interesting. God, I hope TB12 annihilates those morons in court….and then, outside the courthouse after the verdict, tells the assembled media to go eff themselves and that he never speaks to them again, ever. (Pull a Marshawn Lynch on them…”I’m just here so that I won’t get fined.”)

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      2. “Directed it be destroyed” huh? directed who?
        “10,000 messages cannot be recovered from that device” ok, where else can they/cant they be recovered from?
        Plus wait til camp to release this… PR smear campaign personified

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        1. By filing a motion in court asking them to uphold the suspension (based on what legal grounds, I have no idea, since the NFL is not the aggrieved party here), Goodell and his minions have now confirmed that this is, without question, a personal matter to them. They’re simply out to get Brady because he wouldn’t play nice with them and wouldn’t take their b.s. prosecution lying down. And they know they can get away with it in the court of public opinion because Brady is despised in 44.5 states (CT counts as half, I think). Unlike Favre, who, despite his despicable behavior vis a vis that sideline reporter, Brady isn’t a beloved figure outside of his own fan base, which is why got a $50K fine for not handing over his cell phone; and Favre had the added benefit of being the media’s favorite player not named Peyton Manning. I simply cannot believe that a petty, small, incompetent and clearly biased fool like Roger Goodell is allowed to run a multi-billion dollar enterprise like the NFL. The mind boggles. And Mr. Kraft….what do you think of your pal Roger and “the other 31” now?

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    2. Odds that “Corpus delicti” gets invoked in Federal court? Still waiting for that evidence the balls were tampered with…

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    3. Dave…I have so many questions and you being the resident smart person…I am going to ask.

      – If it is deemed there was no crime (rule violation etc) then can you actually be guilty of obstruction? Isn’t American jurisprudence built on the idea that there has to be probable cause and not just a made up accusation? I understand the NFL is a private company governed by its By-Laws and the CBA but I thought you cannot have your rights abridged just because you have a personal service agreement.

      – Why does the NFL get to try and go to court in NYC to force acceptance of the judgement? How do they have standing? They are not the aggrieved party?

      – How does the NFL legally justify a suspension of a player for not turning over personal property? The fact that Brady may or may not have intentionally destroyed the phone should not play into this because there should not be a way for his employer to compel him to turn it over. If there was a way employers could do that then Big companies would be doing it every day I would think. Further, if there was no crime, how can the NFL justify in a court of law their need to compel Brady to turn over the phone so they can investigate a non crime? I am so confused.

      Thanks, I will sit back and ponder more as I am convinced the NFL office can’t help but continue to leak, sully, and character assassinate.

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      1. In order:

        (1) Criminally, you mean? Yes, you can be found guilty of criminal obstruction even if no crime occurred. The action arises if you unreasonably impede a law enforcement official from effectuating their actions in the due course of their job, or something like that. Generally, I think prosecutors view obstruction as something you charge if you don’t have anything else to charge someone with; i.e. it’s your last resort if you can’t sustain a conspiracy or accessory charge.

        (1a) “[Y]you cannot have your rights abridged just because you have a personal service agreement.” Well… yes and no. There are some rights you can’t contract away — you cannot enter into a valid contract to have yourself murdered, for example — but you can certainly bargain away rights in many cases. But I think what you’re getting at is — yes, players and their employers have enumerated rights in the CBA, and those can’t be unilaterally revoked.

        (2) Venue shopping. And while it’s not common, it’s not unusual for a party to petition a court to render a judgment in a bona fide dispute even if they’re not the nominal plaintiff in the suit, where the elements of the likely cause are known. I think there’s even a word for it, although I can’t for the life of me remember it.

        (3) Under the “conduct detrimental to the game” clause. That’s really, really effing broad language in the CBA. And it’s why the NFLPA has let down its members in their negotiations over the years.

        Employers can force you to turn over your phone — if it’s employer provided. That’s why the two jamokes from the locker room had to turn over their phones: they were Patriot phones, not personal ones.

        But the phones and all that are red herrings (or MacGuffins, if you prefer) here. Brady’s not being punished for failing to turn over his phone. He’s being punished for conduct detrimental to the game in the form of being “aware” of a scheme to deflate footballs behind the referees’ backs. That’s what the union needs to attack: that “awareness” is now apparently a discipline violation, and the everall lack of evidence that the underlying “crime” even occurred.

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        1. Thanks Dave:

          Just so I understand this because deep down my wife will tell you I am a moron. Regarding your last paragraph if there was no crime can you be found guilty of being aware of a crime…if nothing happened? Further, in a private contractual arrangement governed by a CBA or private bylaws, can you be held accountable for tangental actions if the primary action did not occur? Further in cases like this isn’t there a ton of employee rights legislation on the books specifically so that an employer can’t do this to an employee?

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          1. LTD — there’s probably a longer explanation here that I just don’t have time to write up for you, alas. But I’ll give you some quick hits: (HOTTAKEZ!!!!)

            — In the abstract, yes, you can be found guilty of a crime if nothing happened. Those are “attempt” crimes. With some crimes, the definition makes it impossible or difficult to have an attempt crime (e.g. manslaughter, which is recklessly causing a homicide — you can’t attempt to be legally reckless; it’s a status that is either there or not). But again, this isn’t a crime situation; it’s a disciplinary action by an employer. Which leads to your second question…

            — In a union/CBA situation, everything is defined by the agreement and the law of the shop. If the agreement gives the employer the power to discipline the employee for any action the employer feels is detrimental to the business (which is broad language), the ee can be held accountable for tangential actions if the primary action didn’t occur, or for wearing a purple shirt to a press conference, or for having a silly haircut. Because the agreement gives the employer that authority. If you don’t like that, negotiate a different agreement.

            — There are employee rights laws on the books (the recently-enacted MA right to sick days, for example), but honestly there aren’t many, and the ones that are there are mainly designed to curb early Industrial Revolution-era abuses (e.g. minimum wage laws, overtime laws, child labor laws, etc.) There is not, and has never been, any intrinsic right to employment. You have almost no rights as an employee-at-will, only the rights negotiated as a contract employee, and only whatever rights have been collectively bargained for you as an employee subject to a CBA.

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    4. I dont usually associate mouthing off with breaking the story and being right about it – give the mouth his due.

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    1. My god, even his statement reeks of a butthurt child. His thin-skinned anti-Patriots rhetoric shines through to the bitter end.

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  8. If the Wells Report was the basis for punishment, why was the destruction of the phone not mentioned, and why is new evidence being presented at this point in time?

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    1. Irony AND oblivious idiocy! I look forward to John’s story about how he’s seen the tape of the cellphone.

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        1. “But John, the phone was only six months old, and the Super Bowl was 15 years ago…”
          “I STAND BY MY SOURCE!!!!”

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    2. Don’t worry John, I’ve seen plenty of references on social media today to the Patriots recording the Rams AND Eagles’ walk throughs. Your work is still fresh in people’s minds.

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    3. What a complete effing moron. Remind me again how he still has a job in this town? Or any other town for that matter? Hey John, a wise man once said that it’s best to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. Every time you open yours, you remove the doubt.

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  9. Contrast:

    Tom Brady’s effort to stop the suspension in court is doomed, says legal expert Lester Munson:

    Funny excerpt:

    second, Goodell produced a decision on Brady that is brilliantly
    reasoned, meticulously detailed, and well-written.
    Goodell’s recitation
    of the evidence of the tampering with game balls is powerful, and his
    description of Brady’s attempt at a cover-up is persuasive.

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/13332578/new-england-patriots-quarterback-tom-brady-nflpa-likely-come-short-court-challenge-roger-goodell-decision?ex_cid=espnTW

    Sports litigator Alan Milstein explains why NFL’s preemptive suit against Tom Brady may backfire, via Sports Law Blog

    http://sports-law.blogspot.com/2015/07/deflategate-round-ii.html

    McCann said something similar on D+H:

    http://media.weei.com/a/107788942/michael-mccann-on-bradys-suspension-0728.htm

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    1. How many articles can Lester Munson run saying that Brady has no chance in court? WE GET IT LESTER. You work for ESPN, who is in bed with the NFL and can’t say anything bad about Roger.

      But plenty of people disagree with you. Just because you say it doesn’t make it true.

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    1. Right. How has everyone arguing the “Brady didn’t cooperate” angle not realize this from the first? Personal electronics need not be submitted, per CBA. I think Matt Chatham was the only local to mention this. Nationally? Maybe Florio, once he reformed his opinion. Any others?

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    2. Interesting there’s no mention of support from Kraft or the Patriots organization.
      Nice job, Bob.

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        1. That seems huge to me. I don’t know, of course, because this story has had more twists and turns than a Swiss mountain road. But the only words that come to mind after hearing Kraft’s statement are: gauntlet, thrown down. The NFL may try to strip him of the franchise now, you never know, but how bad would it make the owners look if they did that? I think even some of the biggest Pats haters in the media would say the NFL had gone too far in that case. Nobody, on a national level, ever mentions hating Kraft when they mention hating the Patriots.

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        2. Back when he folded, Kraft implied that we’d find out why he did it at some point. Many assumed he had some assurances from Rog on reducing the suspension. So did Rog go back on a deal? Shocking.
          I know there’s some belief here and elsewhere that the NFL could strip the franchise from Kraft if he doesn’t/didn’t fall in line on this. They probably could, but that is a huge step to take against someone who has been one of the most influential and successful owners in the league, who also has the reputation for helping in the community. Especially with miscreants like Haslam and Irsay as past of the vaunted 32.

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        3. Talk is cheap. I need to see action before I believe this is anything other than a try-to-have-it-both-ways sleazy PR move from Bobby K.

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          1. Yes, he had to do this to try to appease fans and Brady. But maybe he’s sufficiently pissed that he had a handshake deal to reduce suspension that Roger ignored.

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          2. Mind you, when I say “action” I don’t necessarily mean a lawsuit or anything. I’d be happy with an explicit calling out of Roger, i.e. “Roger Goodell’s actions and behavior in all of this has forced me into the unescapable opinion that Roger Goodell is fundamentally unfair and untrustworthy and thus is utterly unfit to be commissioner of the National Football League”.

            And then some other verbiage about Roger being unwelcome in Gillette stadium and that if being commissioner gives him the right to be in the stadium he would not be blocked but would receive no team cooperation other than the minimum required by the NFL bylaws. Likewise, they should do what they can to screw up whatever the NFL has planned for any season opener ceremonies. And Kraft should blast Roger during that, too.

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  10. Is Bill going to give a soliloquy on phones and texts and proper disposal techniques, or stonewall the whole Brady suspension topic? Something else?

    Or, “We’re on to training camp. Anyone want to talk about training camp? We’re on to training camp.”

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    1. No question it will be Bill just being Bill. “It’s a league matter and a legal matter; we have a season to prepare for; Tom will be with us in training camp and we’ll prepare all of our players for the season; some will be there from the start, and some will be there later, due to injuries or whatever; but, our job is to get them all ready for Pittsburgh.” Of course, the mediots will push and push and push, asking the same questions they know BB won’t answer, and he’ll just trail off, as he always does. Personally, I really don’t know what other options he has. Even if he wanted to say something and play the media’s game, he’s in a tight spot since his owner, basically, is now one of 32 defendants in this case.

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