The Patriots opened up their preseason schedule last night with a 22-11 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium.

Tom Brady made a surprise appearance, taking seven snaps to open the game for the Patriots offense. He wasn’t able to do a whole lot in those seven snaps, but his very appearance on the field seemed to be a statement. As you would expect, he had plenty of support from the crowd.

Check all the local coverage over at PatriotsLinks.com.

The WBZ broadcast last night was much as it has been the last couple of years. It’s still….different. Dan Roche is enthusiastic, Matt Chatham is informative, and Christian Fauria is goofy. The cuts to my pals Andy Hart and Paul Perillo seem unnecessary.  I actually prefered the Packers Preseason TV network which had Kevin Harlan on play-by-play and Rich Gannon on color. Yes, they were both wearing polo shirts with the Packers logo…

Meanwhile, this was announced last night by NFL Network:

This is different from the America’s Game special which will debut on Tuesday, September 8 at 10:00 PM ET on NFL Network.

Frank Gifford was more than just a jock – Chad Finn has a look at the ex-Giant and Monday Night Football broadcaster who passed away last Sunday.

Finn also touches on this:

Since apparently New England just can’t get enough of simulcasted Sports talk radio shows.

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125 thoughts on “Patriots, Brady Back On The Field

  1. Comments have more context but, hey @mortreport, this is what you do:

    https://twitter.com/HannahStormESPN/status/631983362719227905

    Better than nothing. And, as noted, it’s not her call to “do it on air”.

    However, Hannah isn’t exactly lacking tenure in Bristol. I’m pretty sure that if she wanted to freelance and say this on-air, between a SportsCenter segment, she isn’t going to get one of those fake ESPN suspensions. Maybe some suit would call her down to the principal’s office, but she’s not getting fired for something like this.

    1. She also, I believe, has the upper hand on ESPN’s management because of comments that Kornheiser (I think it was him) made about her several years ago — somewhat sexist in nature — which caused a big kerfuffle and likely opened up the company to a possible sexual harassment or “hostility in the workplace” suit. In fact, after that, many began to notice that her attire became, shall we say, a bit questionable and was clearly aimed at flaunting her female assets — speculation was that she knew she had ESPN over a barrel and they couldn’t say anything to her about it. So, if she wanted to “go rogue” over this, my guess is that the pushback from management wouldn’t be too strong.

      1. Some very “un-PC” realities:

        She fits right in with the mold for females in the news industry: attractive and articulate when reading a teleprompter. Tenure yields credibility, which is a bonus. Providing she doesn’t ask for too much, she’ll be there until retirement.

        The things you mention? In the past but yeah unless she drops the n-bomb on air, she’ll retire in Bristol.

        (I have absolutely no clue if she’s a descent person, etc. She seems like it but I have no clue, since I don’t know her, nor care. For all I know, she’s a Mensa local chair that’d smoke my sorry ass in Jeopardy.)

  2. The only thing ‘Preseason’ means to the insufferable souls at WBZ (Burton chief among them) is ‘Greed.’ Every bit of that broadcast is scripted to vacuum up dollars from sponsors small and large. It’s one big infomercial thinly disguised as a game, with paid-for ‘promotional’ vignettes practically every minute live action isn’t happening. But Roche and Burton need new spinners for their Hummers, no doubt, so this tiresome shilling thankfully lasts only a couple games.

    1. For the life of me I have no idea where you would get this idea from. It could not possibly be from the slickly produced halftime “report” that detailed the 19 HOFers trip to Israel on Bob Krafts dime last May? I mean that was a totally organic piece detailing events that happened 3 months ago. There were even “teases” to more content (the rest of Curtis Martin’s talk in the Jerusalem…which in the 30 second I saw felt exactly like a Jewish Federation final night mission recap fundraiser speech. Surely it deserved 4 minutes of time during the half time of the first Pats pre season fake football game at real prices?

  3. Im hoping that next week the branded onscreen scoreboard is even bigger so that a full third of the field can disappear instead of just the upper left quadrant.

    Also after last nights 98.5 pregame – Beetle has lost license to ever call out anybody as footy-pajama. The session where he went Farley/McCartney on Jonathan’s explanation of stadium “improvements” – including something like a half dozen conseucutive corporate name-drops – was mind boggling.

      1. Dave,

        Had to ask this. The NFL isn’t exactly some guy surveying the 42th Street Station hoping to find a Susan B. when it comes for money. I assume that when you’ve got money, you can at least hire competent lawyers. Maybe not the best, but not some public defender.

        It seems like, at every turn of this, the NFL is clueless. Why? What? How? It seems like there is something.. (hubris?) that is empowering them to continue down this avenue. It seems like every lawyer who has no skin in the game, who lacks a bias, is laughing at how bad the NFL’s case is. I get the CBA/Article 46, but I’ve not heard a compelling argument as to why it’d not be overturned.

        I can tear apart Goodell anyday, having grown up around pricks like him who were the typical born on 3rd and tell everyone they hit a triple, but I have to assume that someone working at 345 Park isn’t this arrogant or dumb.

        Where am I going wrong? I’d just like to understand this. The “disconnect” is up there with the same angle I mock media like Peter King, where they’re so disconnected from the regular people in life, it’s untenable. I just don’t get it..

        1. I hear this quite a bit, and (to be honest) it always puzzles me a little bit. I think that people in general misinterpret the difference between an attorney and a judge or magistrate or arbitrator or other fact-finder in the legal system.

          I agree with you 100% — the NFL has a terrible, terrible case here, that boils down to “we can do this because we think the CBA says we can and you can’t challenge that”. I think, and I believe most other attorneys who have followed the case believe, that the NFL cannot win. To me, it’s absurd to think that a court would uphold an arbitration where the arbitrator was arbitrating his own actions. If that’s not evident bias, then there’s no such thing as bias.

          But it’s wrong to jump from “the NFL has a terrible case” to “the NFL has terrible attorneys.” They don’t — they have GREAT attorneys. That this case hasn’t been dismissed with prejudice against the NFL right now is a testament to the quality of their attorneys. My job as your attorney is to go out and argue your case as fervently and effectively as I can within the bounds of ethics. If it’s a great case, my job is easy. If it’s a terrible case, I earn my money. But either way, my SOLE job is to represent whatever YOU are trying to argue.

          The judge or fact-finder ultimately determines whether or not your case is garbage. But if it is, that’s not necessarily a reflection on me — it’s a reflection on the facts. A poor attorney can certainly turn a good case into a bad one. But a bad case does not mean there’s a poor attorney behind it.

          If you’re getting paid by someone who was born on third and thinks he hit a triple, then by crikey you stand up there and do you best to convince the judge/jury of how terrific that triple was. That’s your job — advocacy. And if you don’t like that — and trust me, a lot of people in all areas of the law don’t — you get out of the business. Or even worse, you fail to competently represent your client and get sued/disbarred.

          Hope this helps!

          (Side note: as I do tax law, I get a good share of bad cases and bad fact patterns. You do you best — that’s all you can do.)

          1. Sometimes a smart and ethical lawyer will advise the client to move in another direction. This should have happened a long time ago in this case. Alas, good/ethical and lawyer are virtually mutually exclusive these days.

          2. How do you know that they didn’t try that? But when you are advising someone and they don’t want to heed your advice, you have two choices: quit in protest or, as Dave outlined, do your best with a crappy hand. If you do the former, you don’t get paid or get that business in the future. If you do the latter, maybe you complete the inside straight on the river, or at least keep yourself in the game for future hands. This wasn’t lost by the lawyers (at least the outside counsel) but by Goodell and his inner circle, all of whom failed to do their jobs.

          3. Disagree…Actually I disagree with a lot that has been said from Dave down. I think the NFL lawyers did do a bad job. I think the Wells report was sloppy. I think the 20 page appeal decision opened the NFL up to a defamation suit. I think racing to file in NY was short sighted. I think not seeing that a judge might release the deposition transcript was short sighted. I think letting Pash (a lawyer) edit the final Wells report…even if it was for language (dubious) was short sighted. I don’t think the NFL’s team has been shown half as bright as Kessler and Co…and it is not like both sides don’t have deep pockets.

  4. Wondering why the Patriots don’t do what other teams have done, simulcast the radio and TV broadcast. I believe Oakland has done this, using their radio team for both the tv and radio sides. The Kraft group is paying everyone anyway. Use Socci and Zo as the primary team with Chatham as the sideline reporter/analysis and Burton or Roche as the sideline/human interest guy. They could even still do their random PFW takes if they really want. Condense a little, improve the broadcast

    1. But I don’t like Socci and Zo. The former’s voice isn’t very distinctive (I guess I was spoiled after listening to the golden pipes of Gil Santos for all those years) and the latter is tedious with his nonsense calls (“Show ponies! Unicorns!”).

      1. I’ll second that… I know some “fans” were complaining towards the end that Gil and Gino were getting old, getting players names wrong, blah-blah-blah.. I’d still take them over Socci and Zo any day of the week… but hell, I still miss Fred Cusick and Johnny Most too

    2. Radio and TV should be entirely different products. Why? TV is you seeing something; and, radio it needs to be described.

      Ever listen to the “Revs Radio” ? It’s a TV product being simulcast on the radio, where Feldman/Paul are clearly addressing their commentary toward folks who can see it.

      Flip that in reverse. It’d be 100x as bad. It’d be like a suck vortex of McCarver/Simms where they state the obvious about what they saw (which is what anyone with eyesight can see).

      It doesn’t work if you want to have a professional production.

  5. Of all the Patriots Trolls, Rob Bradford may have come off as the biggest moron this morning. Just blabbering about NOTHING. Just tied himself into a knot. Made Tanguay seem intelligent.

    1. Apparently, Trollin’ quoted an unnamed NFL owner, “not from Baltimore or Indianapolis”, in the Globe today who says he supports Goodell and who implied the NFL has more evidence against the Pats. Is that you Woody in Florham Park, NJ? Of course, Trollin’ just lets it sit out there as a statement and doesn’t get any details, because that’s the state of journalism today. Accuse and convict in the court of public opinion first, and worry about the details later. I’m sure the “evidence” this unnamed owner has is the same evidence the Colts equipment guy had last January when he sent out his infamous email to the league office: “It’s well known around the league that the Patriots cheat.” Does anyone buy this? I mean, really, the NFL is involved in a freakin’ Federal court proceeding over this b.s., and we’re supposed to believe that they’re STILL withholding evidence so that they can launch an 11th hour sneak attack against Brady and the Pats? I’m sure Judge Berman will appreciate that!! Trollin’ is the new Tomase (or Borges, whichever comparison you prefer).

          1. Benji Trollin got REALLY butt-hurt by the Tiabbi comments and they went back and forth over Twitter. Of course Benny came off as a complete toddler. What a f**king tool. Somebody actually employs this guy. In Boston. Wow.

          2. You’ll notice that in his exchange with Taibbi, Volin never really directly responds to the charge that he engaged in unsubstantiated BS. He claims that if the unnamed source’s comments were in support of Brady, people wouldn’t be complaining. First, he would never include unnamed sources that actually support Brady. Second, it doesn’t matter if people complain, it matters if it’s responsible journalism. Just because an owner talks to you, it doesn’t mean you take what he says as gospel and protect him as an anonymous source.
            Then he claims that Taibbi should keep his mouth shut since he works for Rolling Stone. Again, he’s not responding to the charges. RS should be hammered for the UVA rape story, which was a total breakdown in journalistic ethics and standards. (that story, like Ben’s item, was based on one unsubstantiated, unnamed source). But Taibbi had nothing to do with that story. Should Ben be responsible for the professional ills of Ron Borges, Mike Barnicle, Patricia Smith etc? No. I’m sure that was noted by Taibbi and others in the media. Volin is a thin-skilled bush leaguer.

          3. Volin is a thin-skinned bush leaguer? Oh contraire…that guy from USA Today who trolled Pats fans last week and then got smacked down all over the place says Volin’s the best sports journalist in Boston. See, he has the support of his peers in the journalism business! He’s good I tell ya. He’s the best!

      1. Borges did this kind of gong all the time. “If you only knew what I know…” Its a classic example of irresponsible journalism. If you can tell me the details, and back them up, you shouldn’t be reporting on it.

        1. Yup. He’d talk smack about BB all the time, dropping lines like, “I know some things that other people don’t know….”. All the while, he would publicly deny he had an agenda. He finally let slip his true feelings for BB during the time he was between Globe and Herald jobs, after he was caught plagiarizing. Apparently, he expects us all to forget that he did, in fact, admit publicly that he dislikes BB during those “wilderness” years. Shameless turd.

      2. So I guess something like this passes for “journalism”:

        “My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from
        this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Tom Brady deflate footballs at 31 Flavors last night.”

        Hell I’m just an average guy, but I can “report” rumor, speculation, and innuendo. Where do I get a cushy job where I can watch sports for a living?

        1. I have a copy of the Boston Globe’s application for their sports section:

          1.) DO YOU H8 THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS/KRAFT/BRADY/BB?

          [ ] Y
          [ ] N

    2. Any professional outlet isn’t unaware of who has what biases. It’s the way the world works. I wonder if they did actually say something or if this is another Ben “Stephen Glass 2.0” Trollin and his sources.

  6. So I was driving from Pennsylvania back to RI today and I was streaming the WEEI football show when some guy called in and asked what I think is the $64000 question….

    We know that an NFL executive was fired for stealing a football during the Pats/Colts game. We also know that the Ravens were angry because they thought the Pats were playing games with the K ball during the Ravens/Pats playoff game. They were trying to get their ball in the game and they thought the Pats did something to keep it out. There was an NFL official in charge of the K balls…and he happened to be the one who was fired for stealing the balls meant for Charity. So it stands to reason he stole the Ravens ball…starting this whole mess. The question to be asked is…why isn’t the NFL’s role in stealing footballs being investigated. Why has that whole scandal been swept under the rug while TB12 is being persecuted for the natural deflation of footballs that occurs in cold weather. Why are brighter lights not being shone the NFL and their practices?

    To that I would add:
    Why has Walt Anderson skated in the whole deflate gate mess? He clearly did not do his job. He did not know the ball measurements, he did not know what gauge he used, he did not keep track of the balls as they left the refs room and came to the field. But the biggest one…according to reports the NFL knew prior to the game that the Pats were suspected of tampering with the balls. Why didn’t Anderson put the game under protest when he learned at half time the balls were under inflated?

    1. I just did a quick search on Scott Miller, the former director of NFL Auctions, and his attempted theft of a K ball during the AFCCG. Every article is from February, meaning no one has done any additional research on this topic over the last 6 months.

      The one person who definitely did something wrong in terms of handling the footballs and we don’t much about it. If Kelly Naqi hadn’t run with a story trying to blame McNally for this, we may have never learned that this guy was fired. We don’t know how long Miller was stealing charity auction items for his own gain, how the league found out about it, if he was working with anyone else, nothing. That’s a story that some investigative reporter should look into, if only to hear Miller’s side of things.

      Regarding Walt Anderson, I would really like to see the transcript where Wells & Co convince him he’s really not sure which gauge he used. I’d like to think that the key point in the conversation was Wells pointing out to Anderson that he didn’t document which gauge he used, so it’s possible he used a different one than he remembers. Then Wells goes on to accept everything else Anderson remembers, but didn’t write down.

      1. Thank you for remembering it was Scott Miller. In the meantime…one of the things that struck me by the fall we Fauria and Dickerson’s dismal of it. The guy was just asking that someone look into the allegations. The more I think about it, the more I think this should have been the story…and yet the NFL has avoided any and all scrutiny on it. The guy stole actual game balls during a game.

        1. Dunno if it was the same caller looking for attaboys but the same issue went to dayell n holley Friday and dayell for one saluted it and made it part of the recap at the end of the show. C Price on Sunday tossed it over to the pile of consipiracy stuff and Dickerson chortled that at this point certainly any thing a caller could think up would have been checked out.

    2. Same reason why nobody ever investigated why the NBA, who for 30 years knew of what a piece of trash Donald Sterling is, didn’t do anything until it was forced to do so and had to in order to placate the Twitter Mafia.

      It’s a good q but all of it goes back to what I said about the editorial tone set at any news outfit.

      1. Apples and Oranges. Sterling may have been Evil…but he paid his money to join the elite club. He was chased out because comments he mad, while distasteful were private and never meant to be seen by the public.

        This case…an NFL official stole a game ball during a game.

        I can understand how Sterling skated for 30 years. Let me repeat…Scott Miller stole a game ball during a game.

          1. That’s like saying the Hernandez case and deflate gate are similar because both are scandals that happened to the Patriots. I usually try to and appreciate your points BSMFan but on this one I just don’t see it. In any event…I hope someone starts chasing the Scott Miller story.

          2. Hey! Never need to agree on everything.

            I’d love for that to be explored. I just don’t see it happening.

            Also, I’m going to assume that as part of the NFL ref agreement, they’re bound by confidentiality, except for that “pool reporter” who is allowed to ask the chief crew questions.

            So, I assume the only way we’d ever hear from them would be someone leaking something (and we know what side that favors) or they’re compelled by subpoena, no?

  7. I caught some of Shank’s call-in with T & R this morning.

    Not long ago, Shank was one of the people calling for Brady to concede and accept his punishment without a challenge.

    Now he’s very quietly conceding that Judge Berman will most likely rule against the NFL and the ruling will be appealed…

    1. So I think Steph Stradley is right on this point. If the NFLPA wins the NFL will not appeal unless there is something blatant in the ruling that screams appeal. I think if the NFL appeals then the other owners are going to have to start feeling very uncomfortable with the lengths that the NFL office is going to “get” Brady. It is one thing for this to be in Federal Court. It is quite another to spend $3-5 mill more on an appeal of something as silly as PSI. As it is I think there are going to be serious questions that have to be answered in justifying the expense to “get” Tom Brady in light of the lack of evidence.

      1. This is no longer about PSI. I think the NFL will appeal, because they don’t want a third federal case, now covering two circuits, that explicitly curtails the power of the commissioner’s office vis a vis NFLPA members. This was a poor choice on the part of the NFL to begin with, and they have no choice but to continue to flail on this.

        If the choice is between spending $3-5M appealing this (assuming Brady wins) in the hopes that it gets overturned and ceases to be precedent against their interests, or losing a bargaining chip in the next CBA that could have been flipped in exchange for a cut in revenue sharing that would increase each team’s bottom line by $10m a year… that’s a profoundly easy choice to make.

        1. So I completely agree that you have outlined how a lawyer would look at this. A business person would look at it differently. There is too much risk in a lawsuit. We allowed you to spend $5 mill + when you assured us there was irrefutable evidence against Tom Brady that he was involved in this scheme. Its clear that there wasn’t…so to throw good money after bad in the hopes of overturning the case on a technicality is not only a bad investment and bad PR but what if the league decides to do this to my franchise?

          Often lost in this discussion is that Bob Kraft is still an owner. He has been instrumental in making these guys a lot of money. It was one thing to play “gotcha” with him when it was something silly like a potential rules violation. It is completely different when the issue has become the integrity of the game, impartial outsiders are seriously questioning the honesty and competency of the commissioners office and you looking at losing money.

          The NFL may appeal, but I don’t see it unless there is some glaringly bad rationale used by Berman…which I do not see happening. Although the lawyers think this is much greater than an argument about PSI…some of the owners don’t. That is Goodell’s real problem.

          1. There is ZERO risk in an appeal if the NFL loses, LTD. If they lose, they’re no worse off. If they win, then they potentially have a Federal circuit who permits them to do virtually anything to employees in which they can defend future lawsuits from players.
            This is a simple decision from the NFL from a legal AND a business perspective. It’s the PR perspective that they should worry about. If they spend $10m on an appeal, that’s about .2% of a given gameday’s net profit for the NFL, I’m guessing. The cost of this litigation is TRIVIAL to the NFL. I’m not sure I can adequately convey how trivial it is. (Which is why you should laugh hysterically when the NFL says it would be too expensive to install goal-line cameras to improve the quality of officiating. Your billion-dollar TV contract can’t spare a few pennies for that? Really?)

            The only reason owners would complain about the cost is that the super-rich are, by far, the cheapest bastards you’ll ever meet. Does this expense put cocaine/hookers/private jets/infinity pools into my hands? Then why are we spending it?

          2. Dave….we live in two different worlds. I think I have some understanding of the owners perspective. PR is the entire reason they do not pursue this. They use the money as the “excuse”. The 32 owners can’t have 3 things:

            1) The destruction of Tom Brady. The fact that this has gone on this long and gone to court surprises everyone not working in the NFL office in NYC. As I said before it is one thing to put Brady through the ringer and dare him to sue…especially when the League office is saying…”we have him dead to rights”. It is quite another thing to accuse him of being part of a scheme to defraud with no evidence. The optics suck. They took a pro management player and made him the union poster boy for abuse. If this does not get the players pushing for a complete revamp of the CBA next time around…including guaranteed contracts and outside arbitrators then I do not know what will. If the NFL owners allow Goodell to pursue this on appeal then they are completely tone deaf and I am wrong. However I think there are enough sane owners in the league, who are petrified of what happens if the Brady decision is upheld on appeal. They have as you say two district courts with similar rulings about their ability to police themselves, they will have spent $10 mill…which as you point is negligible but these guys did not get rich wasting money. They watch pennies because they know that is how you stay rich. But most importantly, the optics that they had no evidence and tried to railroad the best player since Montana are just horrid.

            2) They cannot have a commissioner’s office that appears to be out of control. Right now no one is auditing the home office, there is not an oversight committee and the 32 owners let the commissioner and his office be independent for the ‘good of the game”. If they loose the Brady decision and then go out and loose an appeal and look like buffoons while it is happening…the owners will be forced to reign in the office. That in turn will cause them other headaches down the line…especially with the the Anti-Trust exemption. I bring that up because several franchises want to move to LA…and it is going to be interesting to see how the league handles that potential mess. Someone at some point is going to be held accountable for this mess. People losing jobs is the easy part…reorganizing how the league conducts business is the hard part. It will need to get done and no one will like that outcome.

            3) The league cannot have this case drag on two more years. The optics of .3psi causing all of this will eventually come back to bit them in the ass. More importantly, there will be another incident that comes up, and then there will be paralysis because the league will be afraid to do anything while the Brady case is still being decided. It is a horrible position for them to be in. I will go so far to say that the league will create an independent appeal process over the objections of the commish rather than have to deal with this again…while Brady’s case is on appeal. It will be a mess and the optics for that will be even worse because people will say…why didn’t you just have an independent arbitrator in the Brady case (as requested) and then you would have saved us all a lot of time, money and ink.

            Don’t get me wrong…I agree with you completely that every instinct of the people in the NFL office…from Goodell to Pash to Vincent to the other lawyers will be to fight this until the end. But if this decision comes down Pro-Brady…I am not sure that decision is still going to be in their hands. I think the 31 other owners have a different agenda, and more importantly different constituencies they have to placate. The owners do not want a war with the players if they do not need one. They do not want fans thinking the game is rigged or the league is unfairly out to get their franchise. Fear of a runaway commissioners office does not help anyone but Park Ave.

          3. I think we should settle this discussion with a 7-month-long investigation and litigation. Also, if you knew what I knew….

      2. If the league appeals any potential ruling against them by Berman, will Troy Vincent then come out and complain about the legal fees the NFL is incurring — money that could be donated to charity or, I don’t know, used to put cameras right on the goal line, as BB suggested last spring? You know, he was so concerned about the NFLPA’s spending money in court fighting on Brady’s behalf, because that money could have been put to so much better use.

  8. Does Volin have a theory or explanation for why the NFL would hold back any further damaging info on Brady if they had it?? Just makes no sense…

    1. Wonder if they had something setup, if the entire case had continued to go their way, for him?

      Now, they’re looking at being exposed by more pro-Patriots leaks and don’t want to be egged in the face?

      Just a thought.

  9. Breaking news. The nfl is trying to the fbi involved with the Brady case. They are wanting that the fbi charge Brady with the Rico act for running a criminal organization to deflate footballs over state lines

  10. Jones and Felger, buying trollin volin bs that league is holding back more damaging evidence even from a federal court judge. And Brady should take the game because they did something even though no evidence exists. Felger begging for a settlement by judge to prove he was right all along and Brady should take the game and get on with season. It was take 2 games before. Goalpost are moving again.

    1. I’m shocked….shocked I say, that Felger and his echoes would take Volin’s “report” seriously. The shock is similar to the one I experienced after putting my hand on a red-hot stove this morning, and then feeling searing pain. Who knew that hot stoves could make you feel pain? Who could have predicted that? Just like who couldn’t predicted that Felger would snatch up Volin’s trollin’ in yesterday’s paper as if it were a life preserver in the middle of the North Atlantic, and then beat the meme to death? Sarcasm aside, thank you for pointing out that Volin’s story, weak enough as it is given that he cites one unnamed source, completely rings hollow when you consider the fact that for this story to be true, the NFL would have had to withhold pertinent information/evidence from a Federal judge, would they not? I don’t believe that even Roger Goodell’s NFL could be THAT stupid.

      1. The NFL’s position has been so absurd that it defies all reason. Hence the only thing that rationally justifies Goodell’s actions is that there’s a smoking gun somewhere. I’m sure Felger is just trolling, but I suppose this could be his thinking…. Nah, the proper response is that the NFL is just off it’s rocker pursuing this one.

        1. What infuriates me is how turds like Felger have pretty much gone out of their way to ignore the multiple (and I do mean, multiple) lies the NFL and Wells have told during this affair. The lies began with Mort’s erroneous report (likely leaked by Kensil) about the 11 of 12 footballs being “two pounds under the legal limit”, and picked up steam when Dean Blandino lied to the assembled media on the Friday before the Super Bowl, when he said that the league was unaware of any issues regarding the footballs prior to halftime of the AFCCG. He knew damn well that the week BEFORE the AFCCG is when that email from the Colts’ equipment guy about the footballs was CC’d to just about everyone on Park Avenue, Dean Blandino included. Even if the NFL DID have a smoking gun, as Volin’s Sunday article implies, why should anyone believe them at this point? All they’ve done is lie, deflect, parse words and move the goalposts for the last 7+ months. They trumped up the smoking gun that “Brady destroyed his cell phone” right before the appeal was denied by Goodell, and everyone in the media had a field day with that one — until it came out later that not only was it irrelevant information, it was hardly the sinister act that Goodell made it out to be. I still can’t believe the Patriots are losing valuable draft picks over this. Brady’s not going to miss a game, I have believed that ever since the holes in the Wells report became so plainly evident, but the team has little or no recourse to get those picks back, and it’s one of the biggest travesties of sports justice I’ve ever seen in my life — all because a bunch of immature asshats in Baltimore, Indy, and in the league office hate Belichick (let’s face it…this is all about BB hatred, especially for the ex-Jets who work on Park Avenue).

      2. Tony —

        “[T]he NFL would have had to withhold pertinent information/evidence from a Federal judge, would they not?”

        No, actually. The judge isn’t re-trying, and therefore isn’t directly with-the-power-of-judgehood requesting info relating to, the underlying factual situation that triggered the discipline. Withholding info from a judge, as I view it, would be something like: Judge asks what places you drove yesterday. You say to work and home. You fail to mention the trip to the store, although you knew you did. You’re not perjuring yourself, because the judge didn’t explicitly ask you to state ALL the places you drove yesterday. (Crafting proper questions is a big part of lawyering, btw.) But you’re withholding relevant information that’s encompassed by the question from the judge.

        It’s totally fair to say, though, that to believe this means believing the NFL didn’t use all of the factual support it had for its position in a federal case. Which is kinda sorta just as stupid.

        1. I was wondering about that. I wasn’t sure, so I’m glad you clarified it. My guess is — and I think it’s the consensus among Pats fans since Volin’s article came out yesterday — that the unnamed owner’s statement that “not all the facts are out” is merely a vague reference to what many in the league believe to be the Patriots’ “pattern of cheating” that they’ve never been called on before, and not a specific Delfategate reference. These people want the Patriots punished for SOMETHING, regardless of whether or not there’s any evidence to punish them over partially (naturally) deflated footballs. For the most part, these are just vague accusations that GM’s, equipment guys, and owners alike have heard repeated in certain company and are automatically believed to be true by the hater squadrons in and around the other 31 franchises. Those sorts of whispers are what helped launch this entire absurd affair in the first place (“It’s well known around the league that the Patriots deflate their footballs after the refs inspect them”). That was the text of the email the Colts’ equipment guy sent out to the NFL prior to the AFCCG. Was it actually “well known” FACT around the NFL, or was it just some “insider” talk that was totally ignorant of the effects of Ideal Gas Law on cold and wet footballs? Didn’t matter: it was the Patriots, and their “pattern of cheating” going back to the dramatically overblown taping incident of 2007 was an established “fact” among non-Patriots GM’s, owners, fans and other employees. I’m almost 100% sure that is what this unnamed owner in Volin’s story is referring to. I mean, if there is some kind of smoking gun out there vis a vis Deflategate, then why, oh why would you wait THIS long to reveal it? What could the NFL possibly be waiting for? The appeal of what we hope will be Berman’s slap down on September 4th?

        2. Yes, this is the part that makes no sense at all. If there were really more facts out there, why wouldn’t the NFL use them in a case they are vigorously pursuing? And why does this question occur to us and not to the reporter?

    2. What I find fascinating about Volin’s position is that he was asked point blank today if he had any evidence or his supposition and he said no…it was just his opinion. So what I do not understand is why anyone is is running with his now admitted supposition.

      1. Because it’s clear Brady and the NFLPA have a strong case so it’s an easy way to keep the narrative (god i hate that word) going

    3. Real life conversation I had a couple of weeks ago…

      Met up with a friend for dinner and we ran into a friend of his. Someone I had never met. Over drinks, the guy said the following (paraphrasing), “I listen to 98.5 because it is a great listen. Real good radio. They make you think. I love Felger, he is a contrarian, yes for radio’s sake, but he’s so good at it. And he is different than Jones, Bertrand, etc. On WEEI they all sound the same. At least TSH has Felger to change things up from everyone else on that station.”

      I didn’t want to be rude in the face of someone I had just met nor to insult my friend, but the only thing that stopped me from laughing at this asinine comment was the fact that I almost puked in my mouth. All I could think of was that there must be a huge number of people like him to keep their ratings this high. It is the only explanation.

      1. I have been in the exact same position, but it was with a friends wife. She was going on and on about how great Felger was. I just politely said I don’t enjoy his takes and moved on. I mean what are you going to do belittle your friends wife? Not a good look.

        1. 1- It depends on which friend’s wife.
          2- It depends on whether Felger is talking baseball, basketball, hockey or Football.
          3- Why were you talking sports with a chick? Serves you right for having to be polite.

          1. 1. A good friend.
            2. I disagree.
            3. The four of us were going to a concert and somehow sports talk came up. And you may be right.

        2. I still have a number of friends that despite going “wtf?” much more in the past 12 months listen over D+H. Sadly, many take whatever is said as gospel (cap is crap, BB sucks as GM, etc.), but I think that’s with most people with the media. If it’s said on a “formal medium” they accept as truth.

          1. It’s not just Felger, though. The CHB, infamously and unsurprisingly, ripped into Kraft for being “cheap” and “having the third-lowest payroll in the NFL” the day after Rex’s Jets shocked the Pats in that 2010 divisional round game in Foxboro. (Not surprisingly, the coward had kept his mouth shut for most of that season as that young team sprinted to a surprising 14-2 regular season record — he waited for the adversity to arrive before he pounced on his “enemy” in the owner’s box). He based the “third-lowest payroll” claim on one shaky source, of course — the one that fit his narrative the best — and days later he was corrected, several times, by email’ers and other people in the media (turns out the payroll was just above middle-of-the-pack that season). The Globe — not the CHB, but the Globe — generically issued a buried “correction” in the sports page a few days later, but the damage was done. The lie, oh, excuse me, the “reporting error”, became the conventional wisdom and I had numerous conversations with people who kept repeating the CHB’s false claim as they vented their frustrations about how the Pats do business and how they “don’t win more Super Bowls because they’re cheap and don’t spend money.” The CHB’s “third-lowest payroll” line was deeply imbedded in their brains — because people never see the correction; or, if they do see it, the initial false story has already established the narrative, and no amount of corrections will be able to counter said narrative. To wit: how many times since this absurd “scandal” broke in January has a major media outlet repeated the claim that the Pats taped practices, and taped the Rams’ SB 36 walkthrough? Tomase’s false story became the narrative, and no amount of corrections can turn it off at this point. I really, really wish it were easier to sue those people.

          2. Why any semi-knowledgeable sports fan would pay any attention to shank is beyond me. Very little actual sports understanding + marginal integrity = unreadable/unlistenable.

          3. Looked at the latest ratings book and ‘EEI is almost neck and neck with TSH. In fact, they won 2 months and tied another.

          4. Yeah, I saw the same but would like to see slot-by-slot breakdowns. I think the summer book comes out in the middle of September? Unfortunately, they don’t post that and usually Finn or someone else “leaks” it out.

  11. So, the latest from the usual suspects is that because the fans/Brady are tired of Deflategate, aka “Deflategate Fatigue”, he should settle?

    1. “I’m tired of YOU fighting for your innocence and reputation, so YOU should settle. Ya know…for ME.” Incredible.

    2. “Dave, you clearly killed Kennedy. I believe that to be true, so it is.”
      “I most certainly did not! I wasn’t even born in 1963!”
      “Dave, we’re all growing tired of this issue. You should just take a 10 year sentence and be done with this.”

    1. “But tuba player isn’t actually a position in professional football….”
      “Tony, we’ve got Bob Kraft on the phone! Or is it Mike Reiss, his adopted son? I can’t believe how many people in this town swallow whatever comes out of Gillette on the subject of tuba players. I’m just asking a question here. Fact, not opinion.”
      “You’re absolutely right, Mike.”

    1. How long before that USA Today guy comes out and Tweets back something about how Hubbuch is the “best sports journalist in New York”? That was his defense of Trollin’ Volin last week, after all.

  12. Well, this Dombrowsky news should knock Deflategate off the top of the sports page for a couple of days (barring a settlement, that is). First time they’ve hired a guy with an actual MLB track record to run things since Mike Port stepped in as the interim GM after they fired Duquette in 2002. Let the tear-down begin!

    1. Although someone on the MLBTR comments says that he saw that DD wants Frank Wren as GM, I think you’ve gotta believe now that DiPoto wasn’t brought in to “consult”. I think that’s your next GM.

      I’m a bit dubious that Cherington was “given the opportunity” to continue as GM, too. It’s obvious that it was made clear that he was going to now answer to DD, i.e. his power was being curbed. I think he was given the opportunity to stick around and sit in his office and cash checks until DD fired him at the end of the year, and chose to exit gracefully.

      So apparently Henry and Werner are really clearing Lucchino’s people out now….

      1. I agree on Cherington — no way he was going to be allowed to stick around once Dombrowsky got settled into the job. You don’t hire a guy like that and tell him that he’s got to keep the previous GM around. I try not to be too hard on Lucchino, despite his many personality flaws, because he was part of the gang that brought three W.S. titles here. However, I also felt he had an outsized influence on the two money men behind the operation, and that was not a good thing at times (especially over the last few, schizophrenic seasons). Time to move on from Lucchino’s crew and bring in some “outsiders” to clean up the mess. Dombrowsky’s as good a choice as anyone for that job.

        1. Word has it that Dombrowsky isn’t a big Sabermetrics guy and that he’s more “old school” when it comes to talent evaluation. I would hope that Henry took that fact into consideration when he hired DD yesterday, because DD is going to want to do things differently than they were done between 2003-2015. This doesn’t mean you ignore statistical analysis completely. I don’t think DD is one of those guys who dismisses stat-analytics completely, but he’s also definitely not the type of guy who will allow Bill James to convince him that having 4 Mike Timlin types is the same as having one Mariano Rivera in your bullpen, as Theo (Lucchino?) did back in 2003. Should be interesting — one would hope that DD took the job with the understanding that Henry and Werner stay out of his way and just sign-off on the big contracts when he asks them to do so. With Lucchino out of the way, that scenario has a better chance of playing out than it would have if Larry were still around. We’ll see how it goes. I wouldn’t expect DD to hold the job for more than five years anyway. He’s already 59, after all.

          1. I was not particularly impressed with what Dombrowsky did in Detroit. He spent a lot of money on big name bats, he spent on pitching with meh results and traded away most of the farm system. Sound familiar? I am willing to wait and see but I don’t get it. 5 years is a long time…heck the Sox won 2 championships and threatened a third one from 2003-2007. I just am not feeling this.

            On the other hand I am glad they did not wait until the end of the season. Still I think Farrell has to go…its probably not happening but the more I watch the pitching the less impressed I am. So if Farrell stays what does DD do? It becomes a holding year. Great another season over by July.

          2. Cue the hot-take express!

            “So if Farrell stays what does DD do? It becomes a holding year.”

            Yes, because as President of Baseball Operations, Dombrowski will undoubtedly be reporting directly to JF.

            Sigh…

          3. You can only do so much…if the manager is incompetent and not on the same page…it does not matter what you do personnel wise.

          4. “He spent a lot of money on big name bats, he spent on pitching with meh results and traded away most of the farm system. Sound familiar?”

            He was under the orders of the Tigers octogenarian owner who hadn’t seen the Tigers win in his lifetime to win now at all costs.

          5. You could make that argument about his Detroit days, but you have to, I think, take his entire career into consideration. He built one of the best young teams, ever, in Montreal before the Strike of ’94 pretty much wiped it out (Duquette deserves some of the credit for building that team, too). Then he took the Marlins from an expansion team to a World Series win in five seasons. Then he took a Detroit team that hadn’t had a winning season since the late 80s, and had been God-awful for the better part of a decade, and turned them into a perennial contender. He also traded for guys like Scherzer when he was just a prospect. He knows talent, at least his track record says he does.

    2. But wait, I thought Cherrington wasn’t to blame as he doesn’t swing a bat or throw a pitch…

      It’s unfortunate that Farrell is probably going to stick around next year since the Sox will look bad for firing a guy coming off cancer treatments (even though he deserves it).

    3. Why did Dombrovsky let less than 1 PSI out of a football? If not I doubt it will be discussed anything more than in passing today as the NFL and NFLPA are in court for a hearing today. My guess is you will have some DD talk up until the court adjures and reporters can start tweeting what happened in the court room.

      As an aside…I will be shocked if the DD era ends well…it seems to me he is exactly what the Sox did not need. Time will tell if I am right.

    1. Based on what today, he is who we thought who he is: A joke trying to get attention. Have to assume his wares he peddles are on par with that, as well.

    1. It’s totally hilarious, I think, that this guy doesn’t even try to hide his contempt for the Pats and their fans. I mean, he’s supposed to be a journalist, right? I know his job, basically, is to throw red meat to the drooling, troglodytic NYJ fan base, but can’t he still do that without actively trolling another team and its fans? Again, he’s supposed to be a journalist, not a staff writer for the Jets’ monthly fan newsletter. Embarrassing.

        1. Oh, I didn’t realize that. Makes sense then. Being a columnist gives you a license to be a biased douche (and you’re not required to try to hide your biases — reporters are biased as hell, most of them, but they at least have to try to hide it).

  13. So….anyone here wanna take up a pool predicting how long it will take for ESPN’s Lester Munson to say that the NFL “had a very good day in Judge Berman’s court on Wednesday”, and for him to once again predict that Brady and the NFLPA have no chance at winning this thing?

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