After most self-respecting East-coast folks had gone to bed, ESPN issued an on-air apology last night for some misinformation they’ve been reporting on the air.

Well, OK. They even got their apology wrong, but hey, it’s a start. Good job good effort, ESPN.

The events of the report were said to have taken place in 2002, but the actual report was in 2008. Now in 2015, we’re still talking about it.



Thanks again, John.

Wait, you thought ESPN did this on its own? Because they were feeling guilty about the misinformation they’re spreading? That’s cute.


Speaking of corrections about the Patriots from ESPN, the network is creating quite a list.

ESPN Corrections

Patriots reports

August 19, 2015 9:52 PM

On two occasions in recent weeks, SportsCenter incorrectly cited a 2002 report regarding the New England Patriots and Super Bowl XXXVI. That story was found to be false and should not have been part of our reporting. We apologize to the Patriots organization.


Stadium employee

February 19, 2015 9:30 PM

A Feb 18 story on and ESPN incorrectly listed the job status of a man working at Gillette Stadium. He was a game-day employee. Updated story


Patriots fine

February 10, 2015 6:20 PM

A Feb 8 story on incorrectly reported details around New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s NFL punishment in 2007. Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team was fined $250,000 for spying on an opponent’s signals. Updated story

Is there anything missing in that list?


Mortensen deleted the Tweet, and his story was updated, but no formal mention of this has ever been made.

What is the term that is always used about the Patriots? Pattern of behaviour? 


114 thoughts on “ESPN APOLOGIZES…at 12:30 am…because the Patriots asked them to.


    “Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team was fined $250,000 for spying on an opponent’s signals.”

    NO HE WAS NOT. He was fined/team was fined for RECORDING an opponent’s signals. The signals were being made OUT IN THE F—-ING OPEN IN FRONT OF 60,000 PEOPLE. You defintionally CANNOT spy on something that’s open and visible to the public. To spy, you have to intercept/read/view something…. THAT IS HIDDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    /rant off


    1. I’d also mention that there is and never was any reference at all to taping opponents’ signals in the NFL rulebook of 2007, or in the 2007 NFL Game Operations Manual. Goodell and Co. simply invented the “no taping of signals” thing out of whole cloth and stuck it in a memo. This doesn’t excuse BB’s stupidity for continuing the practice, figuring (correctly) that he had the wording of the actual rule book on his side, but it at least points out how farcical that entire episode was, too. The Pats were hammered and forever tarred as cheaters for violating a rule that, technically, didn’t even exist (memos from the league office cannot override or change what’s written in the rule book — that can only be done by the Competition Committee or by a vote of the owners can implement a new one, as far as I know).


    2. I might be mistaken but I don’t think videotaping is (was?) illegal, it just had to be done in designated areas. So what they got so heavily penalized for was not for illegal taping but for doing the filming in the wrong location.


      1. Yes. Basically, the rule, at least as it was spelled out in the 2007 NFL Game Operations Manual (GOM) at that time, stated that teams couldn’t use any photographic, recording or other electronic equipment (except for Polaroid-type cameras) in any areas other than those “approved” locations inside the stadium. The locations were described as being “enclosed”, and they could not be accessible to team personnel during the playing of a game. The GOM also made reference to “the field” being a prohibited location (as well as the coaches booth). But it does not, in any way, mention the taping of opponent’s signals as being illegal. It merely states that ANY type of filming is prohibited from those “unauthorized” locations. Presumably, then, any kind of filming, including the filming of signals, would be allowable as long as the filming was done from the approved, enclosed locations mentioned in the GOM. In fact, I searched through a PDF of the 2007 GOM not long ago (don’t ask how I got it…LOL; it’s out there on one of those “Truth About Spygate” sites) — I typed in the words “signals and hand signals”, and nothing came up, which means that signals or hand signals, in whatever context, are not mentioned at all in the NFL’s GOM from 2007. However, Ray Anderson’s 2007 memo (no doubt approved by Goodell), uses the words, “filming” and “opponent’s signals” when describing the rule in question. As I said in my post earlier, the league can’t just change or re-write a rule by fiat. Any proposed change has to at least be brought in front of the Competition Committee for a vote. In fact, there are whispers out there (urban legends about Jonathan Kraft spilling the beans to some corporate pals) that BB confronted Goodell with that fact during Goodell’s very brief “investigation” of Spygate, and he was told to shut his mouth and accept the Draconian penalties, or else he’d be suspended. Robert Kraft, of course, just wanted the whole thing to go away, and so he ordered BB to stand down, and Goodell ordered everyone in Foxboro to keep their mouths shut about the subject (which, of course, only added to the media speculation about “what else are the hiding?”). That’s why BB never uttered a word about it until some DB reporter brought up Spygate during the Mona Lisa Vito press conference back in January, and BB finally let some of his frustration over the issue spill out.


    3. Can I add…that the NFL did not destroy the tapes and no one saw them? They were played at a presser for the media. The same media who perpetuates that the NFL destroyed them to cover the Patriots’ behind.


          1. Yeah, I know about Spygate. This is the first I’ve heard about reporters actually watching the tapes at a presser. If that was the case, why do people and reporters keep saying “We don’t know what was on the tapes Goodell destroyed”?


          2. I could be wrong, but I believe it was the Matt Walsh tapes that Goodell showed at that presser, which was in May of 2008. Walsh “came forward” as a potential Frank Pentangeli-type witness against the Pats after Tomase’s story about the Rams’ walkthrough tape surfaced on the morning of Super Bowl 42. The Pats, the league, and Walsh’s (surprisingly high-profile and high-priced) legal team negotiated terms of Walsh’s testimony with Goodell for months, because the Pats were seeking assurances that Walsh could be subject to legal repercussions if he went into Goodell’s office and lied through his teeth in order to frame the Pats; that’s why it took until May for everything to be revealed. As for the “original” Spygate tape that was shot in the Meadowlands that fateful day: Jay Glazer still has a copy of that one and he allegedly shows it at holiday parties, having already leaked it to Fox NFL Sunday, which showed it on-air the Sunday following the “Spygate” game against the Jets. The other tapes that BB handed over to Goodell during the original “investigation” in September 2007 were allegedly destroyed by the Commish, but no one has any proof that he did so. The Pats’ “insider” sources have always claimed that those tapes contained evidence of other teams filming the Patriots’ sidelines, and that’s the reason Goodell destroyed them. But, again, no one really knows for sure what went down there.


          3. Media narrative. Simple. Tony’s reply below sums it up. Goodell, believe him or not, said that the Walsh tapes show nothing different than what the other tapes showed.

            I had a difficult time finding a decent copy of the presser where the loop was shown. Funny how that just disappeared.


  2. The general blase attitude of “meh” when you are shoveling propaganda or just flat-out wrong is what drives me nuts.

    And, of course, hit on any media hot-button issue that resonates with many or a specific group (non-sports, too), and the media goes nuts with it.

    So, to wander astray, lets give a perfect example:

    1.) Black cop kills white kid.
    2.) White cop kills black kid.

    Assume you know nothing about the case… oh, yeah, we know what happens next… (I’m just issuing headlines here and assuming no knowledge of facts or circumstance.)

    I’m only happy that cable is dying, which will kill off a few of these horrible news organizations and newspapers aren’t worth anything unless billionares buy them to become their personal propaganda firm.

    Back to sports:

    “Kansas City chiefs caught using stick’em”
    “Patriots caught using stick’em”

    Have to assume the latter there 10x on coverage. There’s a reason why people who run PR get paid well. They know how to craft and who to leak to. ESPN is really skilled here.

    Still, as Bruce says, it’s pathetic when people defend Tomasse. Maybe 20 years from now, this won’t come up, but you cannot help but wonder how anyone lets him near a microphone, camera or keyboard.


  3. You know what’s the saddest aspect of all this? That four-letter organization in Bristol is worth billions of dollars. It is owned by Disney for God’s sake. They have thousands of employees, and I’m betting that 99.5% of those employees, at least, have access to this world-wide-web thingy that everyone has been talking about for the last several years. All it would have taken was one very, very brief Google search by some $15 per hour summer intern to find out that Tomase’s story was found to be complete b.s. — and to get the dates of the damn story accurate, too. The ACT was alleged to have taken place in 2002; Tomase’s false story ran in 2008; they couldn’t even get that right down there are the World Wide Leader. Unreal. But, hey, those catch phrases by the anchors are cool, and those “This is SportsCenter” commercials are funny, so people will keep watching and just ignore the astonishing lack of journalistic credibility down there in CT.


  4. From: (h/t Bruce)

    Article quote:

    Check out what Chris Mortensen said back in 2008 about the Boston
    Herald’s false report regarding the Patriots filming the Rams’

    “Other media outlets including ESPN, had this allegation and pursued
    this allegation for months, and it just didn’t meet the standard in
    terms of what you needed to report it, and the Boston Herald evidently
    felt they had met the standard to report it. They need to come out and
    say, ‘We stand by our story’ or they need to have a retraction and
    apology and deal with the consequences of it, but certainly it’s
    damaging to the Boston Herald at this point, especially if they stay
    silent on the subject.”

    I’d be interested to see the expediency that ESPN has retracted other reports, as well. I’m sure fans here will be keeping an eye out.


  5. Hinted at on a previous post. When you’re down, why not keep kicking?

    “I know that that is very true, and, you know, as Peyton talked to
    guys who played for the Patriots, some of the guys who came over —
    whether it’s true or not he treated it as true. We didn’t have a lot of
    strategy discussions inside the locker room there,” Dungy said.

    Dungy stressed that he doesn’t know that the Patriots were cheating, but that Manning didn’t want to take any chances.

    What if BB came out and said the same about the Colts or Ravens? How quickly would there be a full-frontal media “how dare he?!”


    1. I’m just guessing here, but those former Pats who “came over” to Indy, to whom Dungy refers, likely would have not had the first damned clue if the Patriots were bugging the opponents’ locker rooms. How would they know? They spent all of their time in the home team’s locker room at Gillette, right? Just like no one on the team back in 2007 had even the first damned clue that BB was filming signals during some games — only BB, Ernie Adams, and a few coaches knew about it. Anyway, I’d like for St. Dungy to actually mention a few names of those guys who “came over” to Indy and allegedly spilled the beans about this nefarious bugging scheme. Is that too much to ask? Now, of course, this will become the conventional wisdom and we’ll hear it over and over again, because no one in the media ever faces any consequences for malfeasance: “The Patriots bugged the visitors’ locker room at Gillette” will be shown among the media’s laundry list of “cheating patterns” the next time Goodell, Kensil and crew target the Pats for another witch hunt and the story dominates the 24/7 news cycle.


      1. The best thing about this is that Bill Belichick is so good at what he does that other coaches have to concoct fantastic stories in order to justify his success. They’re making themselves paranoid over him. It’s kind of funny.


    2. BB should come out and say what everyone already knows: The Colts, while St. Dungy was the coach, pumped in fake crowd noise during home games to mess with the opposition’s signal calling. He should say something like, “It’s well known around the league that the Colts pumped fake crowd noise into the RCA Dome during home games…I don’t know if they’re still doing it in the new stadium, but it was well known that they did it in the old stadium.” I wonder what kind of reaction he’d get (no, actually I don’t, because I know what kind of reaction he’d get from his media haters).


      1. That’s be great. The media in the room would shake their heads with a huge “WTF?”, then start peppering him with questions, only for BB to answer every question with something like, “we’re on to Pittsburgh.”


  6. Same old of the usual but always fun to bring up..

    Flipped over to F+M briefly on a D+H break.. Jim Murray quoting this to Felger:

    F: “Well, man, this legal stuff.. over my head..” But then goes on to quote what Lester Munson and ESPN are saying about Garvey/SCOTUS.

    1.) I’m sure Steph would be happy to go on F+M. She seems quite happy to call into programs around the country.

    2.) Like McCann, she’s very “let me explain this to non-legal people” and does a great job. I’ll listen to anyone who can inform me on the process and be honest, even if it’s “against my team”.

    3.) Isn’t Mike Hurley there a lawyer? it’s not like these are the only two available in the country..

    But, hey, when it doesn’t fit the agenda..


    1. This is probably a good time to talk a little about the Garvey case, what it said, and what it means.

      Garvey (yes, it’s Steve, and no, it doesn’t involve paternity) arose from the final collusion lawsuit/settlement between MLB and the MLBPA in 1990. Under the terms of the final settlement, a big payment (I think it was $260m) was paid to the union. Part of the agreement was a “framework” for distribution of the award to players under which aggrieved players would submit claims to the MLBPA, and if the claim was rejected, the player could go to an arbitrator, who would determine whether they were entitled to an award (i.e. whether they had been colluded against).

      Garvey submitted a claim for $3m saying that the Padres had offered to extend his contract in 1985, then withdrew the extension offer due to owner collusion. It was denied; the MLBPA said he didn’t provide any evidence of an extension offer. He appealed to arbitration. As part of his arb hearing, he submitted a letter from Ballard Smith, the Padres’ GM in 1985, stating that Garvey had been offered an extension, which had been withdrawn. The arbitrator asked for more evidence on the claim, which he didn’t get. He then ruled against Garvey, saying that he found the Smith letter very suspect, given Smith’s statements in the past denying collusion and denying that Garvey was offered an extension.

      Garvey appealed to the local Federal district court to vacate the arbitration award (or lack thereof). This is where it gets tricky.

      1) The District court (Southern District of CA) denied his motion.
      2) Garvey appealed that decision to the 9th Circuit
      3) The 9th Circuit reversed the District Court’s opinion, arguing that the arbitrator’s refusal to consider the Smith letter was “inexplicable” and “bordered on the irrational”. The reversal came with an order sending the case back to the District Court to vacate the award. (“Garvey I”)
      4) The District Court vacated the award, and sent the case back to the arbitrator for re-arbitration.
      5) Garvey appealed the District Court order sending the case back to arbitration to the 9th Circuit.
      6) The 9th Circuit heard the appeal and sent the case back to the District Court, and ordered the District Court to enter a judgment ordering the arbitrator to give Garvey his $3M. (“Garvey II”)
      7) The MLBPA appealed the 9th Circuit’s order to the Supreme Court.

      The Supreme Court, in a per curiam decision (= one that is not specifically authored by a justice, but considered authored by all concurring justices), threw out both of the 9th Circuit decisions and upheld the original District Court denial of Garvey’s appeal. The substance of their opinion:

      1) It’s not the place of the courts to second-guess an arbitrator’s factual conclusions. The court only analyzes whether the arbitrator’s conclusions arise from the contract in question (i.e. is it the issue that the parties understood was being arbitrated), and even then only a conclusion that isn’t even colorably related to the contract would be subject to vacatur.

      2) Even if the court finds that vacatur is proper (either the decision is outside the scope of the contract, or the required fair procedure isn’t present), the remedy is just vacating the award, and (if the contract permits), letting it be re-arbitrated. The court does not have the right to step in and decide the factual question itself (which the SupCt found the 9th Circuit did), because that is not what the parties bargained for, and it would be usurping the proper and agreed-upon role of the arbitrator under the contract.

      The tl;dr takeaway from the case is that if you agree to an arbitrator, you’re stuck with him if he’s a moron, unless he gave you significant unfairness in process.

      The Garvey case is HIGHLY relevant to this case in the abstract, because it definitively states that Brady cannot sue on the grounds that Roger Goodell made a factually incorrect conclusion, even if he could prove that (theoretically) in a court of law.

      But, of course, that’s not what the NFLPA is arguing. Nowhere in any of the filings will you see a direct claim along the lines of “the award should be overturned because Brady didn’t do it.” The NFLPA is arguing failures of procedure, and failures of scope — both of which are clearly relevant and sustainable grounds for vacatur under Garvey (via its citation of a different controlling case, Paperworkers vs. Misco, Inc., that dealt with vacatur on procedural grounds).

      So commentators are right to say that the Garvey case is an important factor for the NFL, because it is — it distinctly and unequivocably says that a court cannot step in and readjudicate the facts in an arbitration, even if the arbitrator made overt and obvious mistakes of fact. But Steph is also 100% right to say that discussion of it, or triumphantly saying “Garvey means the NFL wins” (Hi, Lester!), is misplaced, because the grounds for appeal here aren’t the same.


      1. Thanks, Dave. I usually hit Cornell’s site for summaries but liked your breakdown. It’s clear where

        You’re the “Readers Digest” for legal stuff 🙂


  7. I’m glad Kraft is putting them on notice regarding known false reporting. Outside pressure is the only way to get them to clean up their act… and that goes beyond just the Patriots.


  8. So as a layman these are the things I am taking away from deflate gate as of this morning:

    – It appears that there is a significant legal path for Goodell’s decision to be overturned and that if it is done it will be held up on appeal. Knowing nothing is certain, it appears that Berman has honed in on several due process procedural issues that the NFL cannot seem to explain away other than by arguing it is the commissioners prerogative.
    – Listening to Mike McCann on WEEI yesterday coupled with what I have gathered speaking to other Law people and reading others like Steph Stradley the NFL has other problems the least of which seems to be either they have poor legal representation or they are a difficult client who does not understand the laws of America apply to them.
    – Regardless of out come Ted Wells is done. How you could justify hiring him in any high profile case again seems difficult. He made the cardinal sin lawyers and accounts make…he gave his client the advice they wanted to hear rather than the advice they needed to hear.
    – The other owners are getting fatigued by this case… John Mara’s frustration is well documented. The real issue is they created this mess by pushing Goodell to pursue the Patriots and Brady over something so stupid. Now it is going to come back and haunt them two ways…one the other owners are going to look like petty versions of Mr Burns while at the same time there is going to be a significant legal precedent that will be cutting into their power. It is not the position any of them…especially those that stayed not he sidelines expected to be in.
    – Lastly, when this is all said and done…the NFL gets an angry, focused Tom Brady.


    1. I’m so sick of this myth that because the players signed the cba no one can complain. Sure they gave him power, but no CBA can give some the power to be above federal law.


      1. I concur in that. The owner’s thought process in the Freeman article is off. He’s arguing a different point — whether or not Goodell should be allowed to punish, and punish strongly. I don’t think anyone’s arguing that. It’s the HOW and the WHY he exercises that power that’s in question here. If I hire a maid, I obviously agree to let him/her into my house. This owner is basically arguing that if the maid poops all over my house and pours vinegar on everything, I can’t really argue because didn’t I sign off on the maid being in the house? That’s absurd. Granting power in this case implies reasonable exercise of the power, and if the power is unreasonably exercised, you have every right to object despite “signing off” on the grant of that power.


        1. Dave, after all this, I’ve simply come to the conclusion that the NFL believes the law doesn’t apply to them. Why else would they continue to do crap like this even after being hammered in Federal court time after time? They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. In this case, the NFL’s not insane, but they think they’re immune to the laws of the United States, so they’re probably going to keep doing crap like this (as long as Goodell remains in charge) and keep hoping that, eventually, they’ll find a Federal judge who agrees with their interpretation of things. It’s truly bizarre that the owners allow this stuff to continue, it really is. If they lose this Brady thing AND the judge issues a sternly written ruling against how the league handled this case, that’s going to look very bad. I know Goodell is making them a lot of money, but at what point do they realize he’s also hurting their brand and that the gravy train may eventually derail as long as he’s allowed to thrash around the court system like a red-headed bull in a china shop?


  9. (transcript from someone on SoSH). I missed this but:

    V: The league didn’t go after Belichick because they don’t want to tarnish his reputation.
    D&C: But they’re willing to tarnish Brady’s reputation?
    V: Yes, because he wouldn’t get a lifetime suspension like Belichick would.
    D&C: But why would the league leadership protect Belichick? Do you think they like him?
    V: I don’t know.

    This was F+M long before Volin/Stephen A Smith put it out there.

    What I’d like to know is where they got this from. It’s one thing to have a dumb conspiracy but this seems to be something with more legs.

    Why would Troy Vincent leak that to SaS if it’s that absurd?


    1. What is absurd is that a writer for the Boston paper of record still has a job after peddling this crap and now double downing on it. There is no evidence. There is not even made up evidence that this happened. Yet Volin seems to be advancing this theory on the strength of well …ummm…nothing other than his will to see it be true. If the Globe had any journalistic integrity at all he would be fired.


    2. That theory would make perfect sense if the footballs didn’t DEFLATE ON THEIR OWN DUE TO SCIENCE!!! This is what Volin and SAS and the rest of those media hacks who are so willing to regurgitate the NFL’s propaganda simply want to ignore. The science in the Wells Report has been proven to be flawed and biased (by truly independent sources like AEI, not just by Pats fans with science degree); and Ideal Gas Law explains everything. Unless Belichick invented Ideal Gas Law, then I think he’s in the clear. Also….didn’t the league already tarnish BB’s reputation by making Spygate — which was the pigskin equivalent of jaywalking — sound like a major crime and stain in the “integrity” of the game? This is such b.s. Really, someone, somewhere in our country’s legal system has to make it easier to sue these jackals. Something has to be done to hold them accountable for this crap they spew — especially since they spew it simply to push an agenda and make a name for themselves, not because they’re interested in getting at any real truth. Disgusting.


      1. Imagine for a moment that the balls were purposefully deflated. Now, who would give an order to do so – the head coach, or the quarterback? Belichick has never been a QB. How the hell would he know how Brady prefers his footballs? Does Volin believe that Claude Julien orders Patrice Bergeron to prepare his sticks in a particular way?

        Volin must be one of the dumbest sportswriters on the planet.


        1. I know. BB couldn’t care less about the footballs. It’s the QB’s. Pete Carroll flat out said, right after this absurd story broke before the Super Bowl, that he “had no clue” how the Seahawks’ equipment staff and QB’s prepare the footballs. I imagine if you polled all 31 other NFL head coaches at that time, they would have given the same answer. Stuff like that goes right over the heads of mediots like Volin, unfortunately….but let’s not let Felger and his Echo off the hook either. They’ve been pushing the “BB order the Code Red” angle since back in January. Sometimes I feel as if I’m living in Bizarro World when I hear and read some of this stuff.


  10. “Attorney” Lester Munson is at it again!

    “The rule that judges should not tamper with an arbitrator’s decision is so well recognized and obvious that a U.S. Supreme Court opinion involving Steve Garvey was issued in 2001 as a per curiam decision. That means the ruling was not only unanimous, it should have been clear to all concerned that there was no reason for the case to be considered at the high court level.”

    Well, it was unanimous… except for Justice Stevens’ dissent, of course.

    Lester, as usual, lacks basic comprehension skills here. Per curiam decisions are ultimately just unsigned decisions that represent the Court as a unified body. There’s a separate phrase for opinions where the Court wants to make it clear to all concerned that there is no reason for the case to be considered at the high court level: it’s called “denial of the petition for certiorari.” Per curiam decisions are (in theory) supposed to be used when there’s no need for an extensive discussion of the facts or law underlying the case; i.e. where there’s a clear disposition in the view of the Court. If, for some ungodly reason, the 9th Circuit found that California could negotiate its own treaties with foreign countries, the overturning of that decision by the Supreme Court would very likely be a per curiam opinion. (Were I on the court, the entirety of the opinion would be “NO! BAD STATE! NO!”. But I digress.) And in Garvey, the facts weren’t in dispute, and the question of law was (to be frank) pretty easy. The 9th Circuit super overstepped its authority (again, WAY WAY WAY more than the NFLPA is asking for in this case), and the SupCt put them in their place.

    Once again, Lester’s analysis isn’t worth the paper it’s not written on.

    Edit: One more thing — Lester mis-cites the rule, too. The rule expressed (firmly) in Garvey is that a court should not tamper with the arbitrator’s FACTUAL DETERMINATIONS, not that the court should not tamper with the award. There’s a difference. And you’d think that, you know, a legal analyst’s job would be to explain to people that subtlety that’s not readily apparent to non-lawyers.


  11. I’m sorry, I just can’t let this Munson crap go. Another especially egregious misstatement:

    “To make sure everyone understood its ruling, the Supreme Court went so far as to say in the Garvey decision that even when the arbitrator’s “procedural aberrations rise to the level of affirmative misconduct,” a federal judge may not “interfere with an arbitrator’s decision that the parties [players and owners] bargained for.””

    Yes, yes it did. Now let me show you the whole quote from the opinion.

    Consistent with this limited role, we said in Misco that “[e]ven in the very rare instances when an arbitrator’s procedural aberrations rise to the level of affirmative misconduct, as a rule the court must not foreclose further proceedings by settling the merits according to its own judgment of the appropriate result.” 484 U. S., at 40-41, n. 10. That step, we explained, “would improperly substitute a judicial determination for the arbitrator’s decision that the parties bargained for” in their agreement. Ibid. Instead, the court should “simply vacate the award, thus leaving open the possibility of further proceedings if they are permitted under the terms of the agreement.” Ibid.

    Here, let me repeat that sentence for you, Lester:

    Instead, the court should “simply vacate the award, thus leaving open the possibility of further proceedings if they are permitted under the terms of the agreement.”

    One more time, with feeling?

    Instead, THE COURT SHOULD “SIMPLY VACATE THE AWARD, thus leaving open the possibility of further proceedings if they are permitted under the terms of the agreement.”

    Some days I’m embarrassed by my chosen profession.


    1. Don’t feel too bad. At this point in his career he’s just a talking head being paid to spew the NFL’s propaganda over the airwaves of one of the NFL’s biggest broadcast partners. The title of “attorney”, ESPN believes, gives him some credibility with the public in such matters. He has not once, during this entire affair, attempted to see things from any perspective other than the NFL’s. He’s not really giving legal “analysis” here; he’s just spouting legal advocacy at the behest of his employer, on behalf of his employer’s cash cow broadcast partner. If he were actually charged with arguing this case as an attorney, one would think any judge would immediately correct him on his selective quotations from the Garvey SCOTUS ruling — if he would even attempt to pull such a thing in open court, that is.


        1. Haha…I see what you did there. Fact, not opinion — he actually said that at a press conference.


    1. I’d really like to see McGinest or Harrison or Bruschi get in the face of a loud mouth ex player, writer or hot take guy and request that they tell him to his face that their SB wins and rings aren’t worth anything. No hard, smart work there just a bunch of cheating right? That’s what they are saying. Bruschi came closest with Woody but could have gone further. If one of these idiot jealous finger pointers got called out physically I think they’d watch their accusations a bit more in Bristol, etc. Also in my dealings with haters I now refer to them as Goodell Nation. They seem to hate that.


    1. Are they also checking the manhole covers around the stadium, like the Secret Service does in advance of a Presidential visit? Do they put blue and white “Indianapolis Colts” stickers across the manhole cover once it’s been inspected, so that nobody can get in there and maybe sneak a listening device or camera inside? God, what a pathetic, whiny, chickensh*t organization…..led by a scumbag drug addict who’s actually endangered lives with his reckless behavior. Yet, they get a free pass from the media and the Patriots get pilloried because a lot of the wrong people don’t like their head coach. Bizarro World.


  12. Dave, you’d like this:

    Jerry just did a little spoof of the lawyers who run personal injury commercials at 3AM on some unknown channel:

    “Have you been injured by a quarterback better than you? Had your feelings hurt being completely outcoached?”

    Lester Munson can represent you! He gets results!


  13. I have a question that I don’t know if it makes sense or not. It’s about Goodell and the constant use of the word. Independent ……in pubic comments with framegate and deceiving the general pubic about the wells report. Fraud and lost of trust. Why hasn’t there been a class action suit against the nfl from the fans for deception?


    1. How have you and the other members of the class been economically damaged by the same or similar actions on the part of the tortfeasor?

      What is the non-privileged action being taken against you and the other class members that you have a colorable and demonstrable legal right to enjoin?

      Lawsuits aren’t things you get to do because you don’t like what the other person is doing. They’re things you get to do if you have a right under law that’s being violated in a way that causes you actual or potential damage.


        1. Yeah, that’s why Dave is leading the class action suit all of us here have against sports talk for causing brain damage and concussions after our exposure to so many hot takes.

          It’s my money, and I want it now!


          1. All I want for Christmas Santa is some one to hack into the nfl email and publish them all. Will north Korea or China come and expose these imperialist slobs in the nfl offices. See Santa I have gone Looney tune. All I want to is watch football


      1. The value of my Tom Brady bobble head has decreased on E-Bay auctions. My giant Tom Brady guacamole bowl (where you eat out of his helmet) is now cracked because of the stress of anger eating due to following this story. My fantasy team does not have Tom Brady, so therefore we are at a competitive disadvantage because he will be uber focused this year and put up monster stats. My Tom Brady Fat Head started peeling off the wall because of all the hot air produced by the NFL sycophants and their defense of the commissioners idiotic ruling…thus reducing the resale value my $49.99 purchase and my home. I have been damaged directly…will you represent me?


  14. If you were wondering about interest/ratings?


  15. Mike Florio: good attorney.

    “During 18 years of practicing law, clients routinely would ask me, “Will we win the case?”

    And I routinely would say, “I don’t know.”

    And if they’d press for more details or express any uncertainty about my uncertainty, I’d say this, “Anyone who tells you that they know how a case will turn out is lying or uninformed.” (I typically used a much stronger word than “uninformed.”)

    Regarding the Tom Brady suspension, ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson has been lying or uninformed for more than three months now.”


    1. Best quote:

      Regarding the Tom Brady suspension, ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson has been lying or uninformed for more than three months now.</blockquote


  16. Michael Hurley with another slam dunk article:

    Loved this paragraph:
    “If we all took a step back out of the constant debating about this nonsense situation, we’d realize that Goodell is going at Brady 10 times harder than anyone before. He’s dedicating a laughable level of resources toward the inflation level of footballs, yet he tried to sweep concussion studies under the rug for the first five years of his tenure, which was truly despicable. He — and the owners who employ him — had no real issue with giving a wife beater a mere two-week ban from work just last year, only to come out of the fiasco pretending to be suddenly enlightened that punching women is a bad thing for a man to do. And now he’s throwing all reason and precedent out the window so that he can continue on this self-serving power crusade.”


  17. It is unbelievable to me how many on air people, in print people and supposed experts have not done even a small amount of research because if they had they would realize that the Garvey case (as Dave so eloquently and legalistically pointed out below) is not germane to the Brady case. I drove 7 hours yesterday to pick my daughter up from camp. 7 hours of teeth gnashing listening to idiots (Felger, Jones) claim that the judge is going to have to rule against Brady because clearly the Garvey precedent says so. It was like I was back in college in an American government class with a bunch of neo marxists who could not grasp the simple concept of Free Speech. It was stunning to me yesterday that even when an informed caller would call in and politely explain that the Garvey case was not applicable…the host would say interesting and then go back to their meme. It would have been refreshing to see an argument evolve. Instead, at least on 98.5 it became more in-transient. How hard is it to admit your narrative is uniformed, to do some research to become more informed and then move on to being able to accurately discuss with your audience why Lester Munson is a moron. Instead Jones decides to argue that the Brady case is becoming more political…either you are pro NFL or Pro Brady facts be damned. No sh#t Jones. Try spending some time reading about the topic and then present both sides accurately. Then let your listeners decide.

    Luckily at the end of my 7 hour drive to central PA there was an open Sonic, 1/2 price shakes after 9:00 and a very nice young lady on roller skates who brought me my food. Sometimes it really is the little things that keep us from killing someone.


    1. I used to listen to Felger for his audacious trolling (really, it is top-notch. When done poorly…like that poor dummy Tanguay is trying to do, it’s sad. When done right it can be entertaining) but he’s unlistenable now. He’s just ignoring facts and bleating the same wrong things over and over again (BRADY’S OFFERING A GAME! TAKE THE GAME!). Hopefully the ratings book that covers the last month or so will reflect a lot of people tuning him out.


      1. The WEEI DFG coverage has been leaps and bounds better than 98/5. It’s not even close. From D&C&M tearing apart trolls like Volin, Hubbach, Mazz, etc to D&H&JT breaking things down with McCann and having a logical, intelligent discussion among themselves.

        I really hope (and think) this will be a ratings book win for WEEI. Morning and afternoon drive have been firing on all cylinders the last couple months. Just DON’T f**k it all up by bringing in Tanguay for the mid-day.


    2. Three things:

      (1) Thank you for your kind words, sir.
      (2) It’s not quite accurate to say Garvey isn’t germane to the case. It is, as it sets boundaries as to what the NFLPA can and can’t bring suit against the arbitrator for. And there IS a Garvey-based way in which Berman could find for the NFL (it’s basically what the NFL is arguing, in fact): if all of the things the NFLPA say were procedural errors are found to be discretionary rulings of fact in the hands of the arbitrator, Garvey would require the judge to not second-guess those determinations. I think that’s an illogical outcome in this case — it would basically give the arbitrator sole authority to determine whether or not he violated procedure — but it’s legally possible.

      It’s inaccurate to say that Garvey means the NFL MUST win. That would be true if it were directly on point — but it isn’t.
      (3) Oh how I wish we had Sonics around here.


      1. Three things back.

        1) When I say Garvey is not Germane what I mean is it is not a direct comparison. The facts in question are different. In Garvey it was clear the judge retried the case. In Brady, the question is one of procedure…did Brady get a fair hearing. As it has been explained to me…and I completely admit I might get this wrong…the weakness in the NFL’s case comes with these questions: Is the NFL arguing the commissioner can be completely arbitrary and capricious when it comes to punishment? Meaning could he have banned Brady for life for this infraction? Does Brady’s constitutional right to due process (and the implication that the due process is applied with fairness and impartiality) get trapped by article 46 of the CBA?

        That seems to be the crux of the argument Nash made. If it is then I do not see how Berman rules for the NFL. He would effectively be saying that the League can railroad a player and that the player would have no recourse. Brady stands to lose over $2 mill over this infraction. There is no way he should not have recourse. At least that is how it has been explained to me.

        2) In this whole case the sense of proportion has been missing from the start. A minor equipment violation that can’t be proved happened because most likely it didn’t has been treated as a federal case. I still shake my head about it.

        3) Sonic is already here and coming with 36 Mass restaurants in the next 5 years:


  18. How long is the mid-day revolving door going to go? Mut said next week guys like Arcand and Picard will get their shots.


  19. ESPN2 is re-airing a 90 minute show on Super Bowl 42 right now. What a coincidence!

    I get closer and closer to canceling cable.


  20. NFL continues to show maturity. Of all the games they put pictures up for tonight, guess which one did NOT feature an actual starter or superstar? Golly, Mister…..did that Brady fellow retire or something?


  21. I know this has been discussed before but I really hate that the NFL preseason games broadcasts are produced by the local teams and not the national networks as they are during the regular season. The preseason games seem like high school productions at times. From the half time infomercial to the awkward cuts back to the studio for “commentary” from Andy and Paul, the whole thing just kind of misses the mark.


    1. When I’ve seen streams of local feeds, it’s no different in many other markets. They’re clearly using “B” or “C” grade crews on the rental, just from the camera and video work. The locals who do get to call the games must be the ones they can cheapest afford.

      Does it change anything? Nope. I forget the share/rating in the Boston market of the first game against the Packers but it basically beat every single MLB/NHL/NBA game in the past year. (IIRC it got like a 27 share). #’s in similar markets for their respective local teams, too.

      Not that a dip in ratings is going to change anything but I doubt anyone changes their approaches anytime soon. It’s all about the lowest cost here. It’s preseason, right?


      1. I agree that all preseason broadcasts suck. I just can’t believe there is that much difference between the cost of an in season broad cast and a preseason broadcast to the national networks. I think the issue is revenue to the teams. They make a boatload on the preseason product. I just hate its presentation.


        1. Just DVR the game and speed through the idiotic studio segments. And the dead time between plays, too. Best way to watch football, even in the regular season.


    2. Kind of makes you realize how good Fox, NBC, CBS, and, yes, BSPN are at producing live sporting events.


      1. Want to know why they have to spend the money for “A” grade crews and not make their product look like the local Cable 16 access production?

        The NFL (or insert sports league) would throw a fit.


    1. Poor Warren Sapp he looks zoned out just sitting there. Too bad he should have taken notes he needed a fall guy in the hotel room when he was stealing from the ladies of the night


    2. The video was on the nfl’s own website. They seem to have a pattern of not reviewing videos in their possession…


    3. And Carter had the unmitigated gall to lecture us about the lack of integrity displayed by Tom Brady.

      I swear Orwell or Kafka couldn’t make this stuff up.



      It seems to be that each day it becomes clearer that many in the NFL are dumb. Really dumb. And they’re just lucky that it’s popular right now.

      It reminds me of the late 90s/early 2000s when everyone joining a startup was already worth millions on paper just for signing their employment contract.

      No billionare says “no” to more money but the Krafts don’t seem like they’re long for the Spaulding Smails club the NFL is.


    5. I love the fact that he’s wearing his Hall of Fame jacket in that video. It’s like he’s saying: “See kids, if you find a fall guy you can stay out of jail and wind up in the Hall of Fame some day, just like me.”


    6. “The NFL released a statement about the remarks on Sunday evening:

      “This was an unfortunate and inappropriate comment made by Cris Carter during the 2014 NFC rookie symposium. The comment was not representative of the message of the symposium or any other league program. The league’s player engagement staff immediately expressed concern about the comment to Cris. The comment was no repeated in the 2014 AFC session or this year’s symposium.””

      We immediately expressed concern to Chris. Then we left a clip of it up on our website for a year. But other than that, it was not representative of the league or its message….


    1. Great comment. Though Roger Goodell is no Vince McMahon. During Vince’s peak as a performer in 1998-99, he was beaten up and humiliated by Stone Cold Steve Austin most of the time. Goodell actually thinks he’s the biggest star in football.


  22. Gary “I have teeth because I’m objective on Deflategate” Tanguay..


    Dear Gary,

    Were you like this before you got booted from the Patriots and Celtics? And, you just held back because of the paychecks? I’m just wondering.


    1. The best was when he said McNally didn’t have enough time to deflate all the balls because only 11 of 12 of them were under. No, Gary, they measured 11 of the 12 because the 12th ball was the one that was intercepted by the Colts that set this whole thing in motion.


      1. I heard that, too. If you went back and reviewed that, it’s full of holes. It’s the same stuff and he’s like that loser Bart Hubbach now who is grasping for anything.

        And, Gary, for some reason, thinks he’s the only guy in the market who is objective. Not that I recommend it but never heard of Ron Borges? Ben Trollin?

        I’m starting to wonder why he seems to be the guy who keeps getting fill-in duty. What happened to others like Arcand and Picard getting their shots, even if it’s not the 10-2 slot? Is it just because the guy will literally pay to be on the air at this point? I get that radio and media tend to be really cheap, unless you’re an all-star.

        I hate to advocate for violence.. WEEI, can we setup a Jimmy Fund bid for someone to punch Tanguay in the face? Please?


        1. This morning C + M were talking like Gare Bear already had the midday job sewed up. If true, it’s probably because Ordway priced himself out of the job. Can ‘EEI management really be that stupid? Well, in the wake of Winters, Salk, Benz, etc I suppose that question answers itself.


  23. Tim Hasselback on D+C:

    “The idea that Chris Mortensen was a mouthpiece for the league.. common”

    “Chris Mortensen is not a joke”

    I get that you can’t fight people in your own company, but man.. Another good company man in Bristol. Neat.


  24. Peter King today in his stupid column people just slurp up:

    I think you’re owed an explanation from me, in the wake of Ben Volin
    of the Boston Globe writing Sunday that it wasn’t just Chris Mortensen
    who got a bum steer from someone in the NFL about the deflated footballs
    in the AFC title game. Volin said it was me, too. I reported after
    Mortensen’s story that 11 of the 12 footballs were at least two pounds
    under the minimum limit of 12.5 pounds per square inch when tested by
    the league at halftime. I reported that I’d heard “reliably” that the
    story of the footballs being at least two pounds under the minimum limit
    was correct. As I said on Twitter on Sunday, I believe the person who
    told me this believed the story was accurate when, obviously, it clearly
    was not. So, were we used by someone to get a storyline out in public?
    Maybe … but the reason I’m skeptical about this is because with the
    knowledge that there would be a full investigation and clearly the air
    pressure in the footballs would be publicized at some point, the league
    would look stupid for putting out false information that would
    eventually come back to embarrass the league. Clearly, this story, along
    with the Ray Rice story from last fall, has made me question sources
    and sourcing in general, and in a story as inflammatory as this one, you
    can’t just take the story of a person whose word you trust as gospel.
    It’s my error. I need to be better than that. Readers, and the Patriots,
    deserve better than that.


    1. If I’ve learned anything from this mess, it’s that the league would never do anything to embarrass itself or look stupid. Never change, Peter!


  25. I just finished reading “Justice at Nuremberg.” Awesome, depressing book. I knew a lot of the story, of course, but a couple of things really struck me – that so much of the Nazi leadership was not just insane, but stupid. I mean really, really stupid. Which leads to wondering why on earth anyone would believe in/follow that leadership.

    And then this morning I get into a twitter exchange with a guy who says Brady is obviously lying. He’s guilty. He destroyed his phone. Low fumble rates = deflated balls, on and on, and I’m even more depressed because by God now I know why stupid regimes are successful. All they need is an awesome propaganda machine.


      1. Sadly true. At least that can be cited as a reason to study history. And literature as well. There is a stupendous Shakespearean take just waiting to be written on “Deflategate” if anyone has the time.


    1. No secret here but once you’re “in power” (perceived) and make money, the rest follow you. Could write a dissertation on this but it’s why so many “powerful” people (networks, etc.) bend right over for the NFL. But, you tend to be amazed at when looking inside industries, esp. those with little-to-no competition (and part of this art is eliminating competition), how dumb they are.

      Once they’re out of flavor? They’ll be gone.

      Biggest problem you’ve said is that “science” is now “oh sh*t look graphs!” ala 538 stuff. Present pretty graphics? People think it’s science. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc passes as science now, even though it’s not true science.

      Again, could write a ton on this, but it’s been documented and identified when you read folks who were really smart.


      1. And correlation is causation. That always gets my goat. If you don’t have a mechanism for causation, the correlation may be related to something completely different. Basic stats.

        Speaking of 538 — they had a review of the Wells Report science around the time it came out (NOT authored by Nate, mind you) that talked about how solid the math was. I’ve never been able to take them (other than Nate’s articles, which are still good) seriously since then.


    2. That “low fumble rates” argument just slays me. That “study” was debunked within 48 hours of it garnering headlines, and yet, as always, “the narrative” is what remains, and the truth gets buried. Heck, I STILL see some sponsored links to that original article floating around out there on the inter-webs. I remember my sister, who doesn’t live in the area and only reacts to what she reads in the national press, asking me “what about that fumble thing?” I told her, quite simply, that BB doesn’t tolerate turnovers and if you’re a fumbler, you get your butt pulled out of the game — ask Stevan Ridley about that. Also, he LOOKS for RBs who have a track record of holding onto the football, that’s how the Law Firm (BJGE) ended up being brought in, even though he had a low-profile college career at Ole Miss….the guy practically never fumbled in college….I guess Ole Miss was deflating footballs, too, right?


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