Saturday, September 12, 2015



The feeling of elation and relief when Judge Richard Berman ruled in favor of Tom
Brady and vacated his 4 game suspension last Thursday can not be adequately conveyed
by this Patriots' season ticket holder.
After the victory over 'Darth' Goodell and the Evil Empire of the NFL came the
realization that Tom Brady, his fellow Patriots, the Krafts, front office, coaches and fans
never got to celebrate New England's Super Bowl win.
Information was leaked (about Patriots' footballs being deflated before the AFC
Championship game) to Indianapolis sports reporter Bob Kravitz (Jan. 18), and shortly
thereafter ESPN's Chris Mortenson erroneously reported (1/20) that many of those
footballs were 2 lbs under the minimum 12.5 psi (1/20). This came before the Super
Bowl was even played. (Boston Globe's Joe Moore – 9/4 'Patriots' Deflategate timeline').
All this brought a cloud over Tom Brady and the team that would last for almost 8
months. A storm cloud like the one over the head of the cartoon character Joe Btfsplk in
Al Capp's L'il Abner seemed to follow Tom Brady, two Patriots' employees and the team
for the next 7 1⁄2 months.
When Judge Berman vacated the 4 game suspension for legal deficiencies by the NFL
and its cartoon character 'Bluto' Goodell in Tom Brady's appeals process, Pats fans could
revel in the knowledge that Tom Brady had been vindicated (a word that the Globe's Dan
Shaughnessy used the day after the decision.)
Friday while I was exulting in Tom Brady's victory, I said that he was exonerated. A
chap with whom I was discussing this, immediately started shouting at me that Brady
had not been exonerated. The chap informed me that he has been a mediator and
arbitrator in labor law cases and the judge can only rule on the due process, not the facts,
because that's all he was allowed to review.
So I asked this chap, whom we shall call 'Arby', if he had read the 40 page decision by
Judge Berman, and he indignantly replied that he had, and that I was wrong to say Brady
was exonerated. Interestingly, on Sunday Dan Shaughnessy said that Brady was not
exonerated, but fellow Globe writer Ben Volin used just that word when describing
Brady and Judge Berman's decision.
I agreed with Arby that the judge was only allowed to comment on due process, not the
'facts' of the case. However, I noted, information that came out during the court
proceedings had exonerated Tom Brady.
As 'Arby' was leaving, he said “I hope Harrison takes his (Ed.- Brady's) head off.” I
asked Arby why he would say that. He said it was because he's a Steelers' fan. I replied
“I knew something was wrong. That's what's wrong. You're a Steelers' fan.”
Arby may have read Judge Berman's 40 page decision, but I wonder if he read all the
footnotes as well. On page 5 (footnote 4) Judge Berman states that NFL general counsel
Jeff Pash reviewed a draft and made written edits to the Wells' Report. So much for an
'independent' Wells report which is severely flawed if you read any of it (my words).
On pages 5 and 6 (footnote 5) the Court asks NFL attorney Daniel Nash “Is there any
direct evidence linking Mr. Brady to tampering?” Nash replies: “No, there is not such
direct evidence.”
On page 26 (footnote 16) the Court questions Nash about Wells' use of 'generally aware'
to find Brady guilty. Nash tries to say that Wells meant Brady knew. The Judge replies:
“He (Wells) didn't say that...he didn't say that he knew, he said that...he was at least
generally aware of the inappropriate activities.”
Judge Berman's decision also reveals other pertinent information that exonerates Tom
Brady. The Judge (page 7) repeats the findings of Exponent, the firm hired by Wells:
“[o]ur scientific consultants informed us that the data alone did not provide a basis for
them to determine with absolute certainty whether there was or was not tampering...”
On page 24, Judge Berman refers to the Brett Favre case regarding obstruction of an
investigation (Favre would not relinquish his cellphone). Favre was not suspended but
fined $50,000. This is called a legal precedent (my words).
By now, most of you know the three reasons that Judge Berman vacated Brady's 4 game
suspension. One of the key points is that Goodell would not allow Jeff Pash to testify at
Brady's appeal. Goodell lied about Pash's role when he said, “Jeff Pash, the NFL's
general counsel, does not have any first-hand knowledge of the events at issue here. Nor
did he play a substantive role in the investigation that led to Mr. Brady's discipline; his
role was limited to facilitating access by Mr. Wells to witnesses and documents.” (pp 14-
15). On page 11, Judge Berman repeats the Players' Association point that Goodell
thanked Wells “for performing a thorough and independent investigation...” Another lie.
It is also interesting that Goodell made a distinction between the Panthers' attendants
warming up footballs on the sidelines (vs. the Vikings) and the Patriots' situation.
Goodell only issued a warning to Carolina and no one was suspended. When the Colts
complained of under inflated balls in their regular season game with the Pats, NE was
never notified that a complaint had been filed.
The Wells report reveals that the NFL made head ref Walt Anderson and his crew aware
of that Colts' complaint before the AFC championship. Yet Anderson never recorded the
pre-game psi of the balls he handled nor did he write down which pressure gauge was
used. The question of which gauge was used was important. Wells overruled Anderson
who said he believed he used the higher reading logo gauge. When the footballs were
tested at half, two gauges were used to measure the Pats balls and 4 of the Colts' balls.
Using the lower reading gauge, it was found that 3 of the 4 Colts' balls were under the
legal limit of 12.5 (despite being at 13.0 or 13.1 to start). Yet this is seldom mentioned.
In conclusion, I don't think that Tom Brady had anything to do with deflating footballs. I
don't think that Jim McNally tampered with the balls. McNally's one egregious mistake
was not waiting for an official to accompany him to the field with the balls. In the Wells
report, McNally is quoted as reminding head ref Walt Anderson that Tom likes his balls
at 12.5. Anderson knew that the Colts wanted theirs at 13.0 or 13.1. So if Anderson
inflated each team's balls as requested, there was no reason for McNally to change them.
And as for the 'deflator' reference, if the job was to get the balls to 12.5, the person doing
that could have kiddingly referred to himself as 'the deflator'.

•Per the NY Times' Ben Shpigel (9/6), the Patriots, since 2001, have won the AFC East
12 of 14 years by an average margin of 3.4 games. Hope they do it again and win their
5th Super Bowl. To win a Super Bowl you have to be good and to be lucky. It also helps
if the opponent screws up (see Pete Carroll and the last Seattle Super Bowl play)
• Charles Pierce (Brady Freed, Shield Dented: The NFL Gets a Judicial Smackdown 9/3)
suggested that Goodell had the concussion protocol administered after Judge Berman
rang his bell. Pierce said that once 3 doctors sign off and let him play commissioner
again that he should give up his appeal, be applauded by owners and then be fired. Amen
• WEEI's Ken Laird (9/8) has a column on Portland Sea Dogs 1B Sam Travis, whom he
expects to be named Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year. Travis split
time with Salem and Portland and ended with a combined .307 BA and 78 RBI.

So who did I espy on the Hot Club deck last Friday? Why none other than Captain Joe
Dempsey (he sold his tour boats to Tom McGinn, who is doing a fantastic job with
them). Cap't. Joe is sailing solo now and looked as trim and hale as the last time we met.
We were talking about how NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has screwed up every
discipline he's meted out. We debated whether Goodell should be fired. Fleet Feet Pete
said that Goodell should not be the commissioner of anything beginning with 'N'.
Dr. John used to own an Acura Integra (as did Victoria). Dr. John referred to the Integra
(which is no longer made) as “the poor man's Porsche.”
Chuck D happened by and told me he has a small part in the movie “My Mind's Eye”.
Charlie Clancy was reminiscing about the Red Sox comeback against the Yankees in
2004 after being down 3 games to 0 in the AL Championship. Charlie asked if I
remembered the score of the 3rd game – NY won 19-8. Charlie noted that those numbers
are all in the last year (at the time) that the Red Sox had won a World Series – 1918.
I was recalling how the PawSox games I've attended have proven valuable as I was
Season Ticket Holder of the Game, won the baseball quiz and even had a ball thrown up
to me by C/1B/DH Luke Montz (since released). When I examined the official ball of
the International League, I discovered that it was made in – yes, China.
Congratulations to good guy Joe Pedro who recently retired from teaching. We wish him
well in his future endeavors.

So who was the artist whose song was on one of Rhino Records' best selling EPs, sold
20,000 copies out of a garage and was censored by MTV? Why Julie Brown and her hit
The Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun (1984). No one got it right.

This band had a one hit wonder produced by Eric Clapton. A member of the band later
joined McCartney's Wings. Clapton actually played on some of the band's songs.
Name the band and its one hit.


Post a Comment

<< Home