by Kent Sterling
The NFL has no problem suspending players for extended periods because they get stoned, but a cheater is now expected to earn only a two-to-four game suspension for violating a rule that resulted in his team gaining a significant competitive advantage. Yeah, that makes sense.
Mirroring our criminal justice system, addicts are punished beyond logic for their inability to combat the compulsion to harm themselves with both illegal and legal drugs. Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon sat 10 games in 2014, and will sit the entire 2015 season because he has routinely tested positive for recreational intoxicants that provide no competitive advantage whatsoever.
Click here to follow Kent on Twitter
Brady’s cheating is like the crimes being committed in the American banking industry. Middle class financial security is sacrificed for the mind-boggling wealth of amoral cash fiends who buy loopholes through giant donations to the PACs of political candidates. Crack addicts go to jail for years, while bankers stockpile hundreds of millions of dollars.
The NFL has no problem negotiating a collective bargaining agreement that allows players to be expelled from the league for testing at an absurdly low level for pot, but changing the competitive balance of the game is worthy of a two-to-four game rip?
It’s very likely that for years Brady has been complicit in a systemic alteration of game balls to be used by the Patriots offense. The result hasn’t simply been to make it easier for him to throw the ball, but for the Patriots ball carriers to hold on to it.
Since 2010, according to Warren Sharp’s post on fumble likelihood, the Patriots have averaged one fumble for every 185 offensive plays. The NFL average is 105 plays/fumble. During the same period (2010-2014), the second best team in the NFL at securing the ball is Houston with 140 plays/fumble.
The odds of operating at this level of fumble frequency through happenstance, according to Sharp’s post is once in over 16,000 seasons.
If you look at that chart and still think this was a harmless advantage gained by a team whose quarterback wanted a slightly softer ball so he could spin it a little better, you simply aren’t paying attention.
You might be thinking that the Patriots front office is a savvy group of football guys, and that maybe they have developed a system to acquire and employ players who are less likely to fumble. There is no occurrence more disruptive to a team’s ability to win than turnovers, so drafting and signing players with sticky fingers would provide a huge statistical advantage.
Sharp debunks that likelihood in another exhaustively researched post that shows the Patriots are 88% more likely to fumble after playing for the Patriots than during their time in New England.
Deflategate is a simple case of a cheater – or organization of cheaters – working outside the rules to improve their odds of winning in a way that is downright Nixonian. The use of the suffix “gate” has exploded to an exhausting level, but in this case, it’s absolutely appropriate because of its similarity to Watergate (the first “gate”).
A team good enough to win without cheating (Nixon would have been re-elected in 1972 regardless of dirty tricks, plumbers, cover-ups, Haldeman, Ehrichman, Mitchell, and Dean) defies the rules in a way that is scientifically provable and beyond question. They get caught, and the party in question denies everything despite mounting evidence to the contrary.
Click here for a $1 comprehensive dental exam done by the best dentist in Indiana – Dr. Mike O’Neil at Today’s Dentistry
The New Orleans Saints lost an entire season and the franchise’s arc was forever altered because of Bountygate. Players who go one toke over the line are banished for four games and then an entire year as punishment levels escalate. What is a just debit for a quarterback like Brady who directed locker room attendants to provide his team such a profound advantage?
If not a year, then it should be more. Talk of a two-to-four game rip denies the seriousness of the crime and the damage done to the NFL shield.
The message to be taken by young men and women from professional sports should be that hard work yields a positive result. The message the NFL will send a generation of kids if they give Brady and the Patriots a pass for Deflategate is that white collar crime is just fine.
Forcing Brady to sit for a full season would send a message to NFL players, employees and fans impressionable enough to learn from the mistakes of their fallen heroes.
Your examples regarding drug use fall short. You’re missing the point, that it’s not just a matter of “getting stoned” – it’s about breaking the law. If we really want to send a message to our kids, those are the guys who should receive the most discipline. I don’t agree with cheating, but I would much rather have my kids look up to a good person like Tom Brady, who lives a clean life — rather than all those drug-users, law-breakers, and woman-beaters.
There seems to be a paradigm shift from Brady to now the ball carriers, that you begin responsible with, to what you say, “A significant Advantage.” In the in the interest of all interested parties, Brady, Gray, Blount, et al. all the ball carriers should dragged to the muddy doorsteps of Wells and Big Chief Run in a muck Goodell. Were the ball carriers even investigated? I read most of the report and I didn’t carriers I have not found anything of significant interest regarding the the ball carriers in the report. Nothing is definitive in the report which leaves everyone to speculate to their own subjective devices. Everyone knows that the Pats are the most hated team in the league. The driving force of Patriot hating, including the hatred of this writer, is overwhelmed with jealousy.
To use the “criminal justice ” system in similar fashion example, the deflation is hardly significant and if Brady is guilty, which I don’t t think he is, Brady Should get a speeding ticket. Incidentally, as part of Goodell’s NFL league’s game operations manual notes: “If any individual alters the footballs, or if a non-approved ball is used in the game, the person responsible and, if appropriate, the head coach or other club personnel will be subject to discipline, including but not limited to, a fine of $25,000.”
Quite obviously, the NFL, up until the Brady incident, suggested a penalty of $25,000. Up until Brady was spotlighted, and circumstantially speaking (Might as well keep everything on both sides of the ball circumstantially to be fair.), $25k was accepted as an ample and a fair penalty, or else why would they suggest $25k in the operations maual? Now all of a sudden this writer and most of the sport’s pundits want blood, want Brady to bleed, in the form of 1 year or two year suspension. After all isn’t this about hateful fans, critics, writers and sport casters. Such hateful casters as the dubious respected comedian Stewart, or the dubious news anchor Keith Olbermann (I still haven’t figured out if he is a comedian or not. Why didn’t the operations manual say “including but not limited to, a two year suspension?”
Vincent’s outline of the penalty includes the way in which Brady was reluctant to cooperate with the investigation. That’s a different kettle of fish.
The running backs and receivers benefitted from the balls being, but that doesn’t imply they are guilty. It’s like an investor who buys a stock that rises because of illegal activity, but has no knowledge of the illicit activity. Can’t imprison the guy for making money resulting from someone else’s nefarious exploits.
So what you are saying instead of $25k, because Brady was uncooperative, which by the way is his right, which by the way is the right of anyone, in any litigation, that a Million bucks to the Pats organization, even though the organization itself was cooperative and undeniably by the report that the organization, or Kraft himself, were undeniably in the report, exonerated. Goodell represented himself as an idiot, by using Vincent as the bad guy and at the same time making it crystal clear that he was not a friend of Kraft and let the entire NFL community to know that. Goodell has to go. Goodell has no balls inflated or otherwise, and makes too much money.
The report was 4 months long, had some leading scholar types, had very high end attorneys investigating and additionally a number of scientific test were conducted by accomplished scientist. Putting nonsense under the microscope, you are going to find issues inconclusive every time. What I am surprised in all that investigation, in all those test submitted, nothing and I mean NOTHING was conclusive. Its like investigating a drive by egg thrower, that successfully targets the living room bay window. You call the police and they investigate for the next 4 months, They interview 60 witnesses and suspects. They do all kinds of forensic testing and conclude the eggs to be dizygotic twins and not 2 separate eggs and also concluded that both eggs were females. The investigation finally reasons out, based on the victim’s past history with the next dooor neighbor, that nevertheless believe, based on the totality of the evidence, that it is more probable than not that the next door neighbor was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities.
If Brady was required to put forward his text messages and phone messages, then he would have to. But the rules of play are not required to do so, and in Brady’s case, Goodell unfairly used that against Brady, as did the jealous fans of the Patriots. I am not sure about Hillary Clinton. I would not give up anything that I did not have to. That report was very manipulative to the facts, assumptions and conclusions. No doubt Wells and Goodell would carved those records into something nefarious, rather than what they really are, innocuous. No way if I was Brady, I would not have turned them in. I am sure that pissed off Goodell and made him dig deeper into lah, lah, land, at Brady’s expense, at Belichek’s expense and Kraft’s as well.
If there is any integrity of the game that is lost, it is all on Goodell, and all the jealous fans against the Patriots. It is that simple. The whole matter as a whole can be all argued in simple, common sense terms that can’t be denied. $25k jumping to a Million bucks. Give me a friggen break.
Investor stocks? Please… So the running backs and the receivers are not even interviewed to the best of my knowledge, even though they stand to benefit. You don’t know and the don’t know. I think you are better off comparing speeding tickets to deflation. They are both violations. Except a $25k speeding ticket if you will.
I don’t think I have witnessed anything more absurd in my life. The integrity of the game really hasn’t been compromised, it is the the human condition, as well as Goodell himself (Vincent is just demonstrated patsy), that has been by far compromised and fueled, by the spurned and the jealous.
This article is just laughable! The writer obviously didn’t watch the game where the balls were found to be deflated. They were only deflated for the first half of the game, then checked and reinflated and the second half is when the Patriots destroyed the other team. Then to make the claim that this has been going on since 2007 is also laughable and shows the ignorance of the games workings. The balls are checked before the game, then at halftime and then at the end of the game. It would be impossible for the Patriots to get away with deflating balls for all these years! Stop showing your lack of understanding of sports and write articles about things you might know about. Also, last I heard innocent until proven guilty! Nothing in the report could be used in a court of law to find Brady guilty of anything. Saying probably and most likely, is again, the league’s speech for we wish we had found proof but we didn’t! Your bias and hate for the Patriots should have stopped this article from ever making the net!
When will people get it through their heads that it’s not about JUST the Colts game. Since the NFL decided to investigate during that game, it means there was smoke (as the report showed) prior. The Patriots barely beat Baltimore the week before, mounting an improbable comeback. Baltimore was probably the strongest team they faced (including a banged up Seattle team). A fumble could have swung the game. Would the Pats still have won? Maybe. But you can’t just point to the scoreboard anymore, you can only say ‘maybe’. That is why he’ll get nailed.
It’s not just about the Colts game, the writer claimed that the Patriots had a huge advantage with the deflated balls during that game, which if you had watched the game, they did not have. I crack up when people say oh they barely won, if only this hadn’t happened or that hadn’t happened, hahaha, it happens every game they play. There are only a few men in the history of the game that have won as many Super bowls as he has and been to as many Super Bowls as he has, it’s not a maybe in anyone’s book but the haters and the jealous guys that wish their teams were as good. This whole thing is about evidence and there is none they can say without your maybe that Tom knew about the ball’s. Again though, just so you understand, they always check the inflation of the balls at half time, this was not due to an investigation. This has been in place since the team’s have brought their own balls. Stop trying to burn a guy at the stake when all you have is circumstantial evidence.
Where did you hear that balls are checked at halftime and postgame for pressure? That is not accurate.
They reported that in the original news, when all this began. They interviewed the heads of the NFL and the Officials and they reported the process, again, follow the whole investigation and stop speaking nonsense!
If it is proven that he cheated, he should be banned for life. A lot of $$$ rides on NFL games and cheating poisons the well.
Brady suspended for 2015? You must be kidding me? I’m thinking the Patriot’s NFL franchise charter should be ripped up, the players put into a dispersal draft, the Super Bowl trophies melted, the stadium converted into a soccer only facility and all trademark and copyright protection should be taken away from any Patriot related paraphernalia. Helmets, jersey, beer mugs, cars, unmentionables, license plates, whatever, anything with the Patriot logo should be destroyed in the same manner as the spygate videos.
The NFL should ban any record of Patriot history from 2001 forward. Anyone drafted from 2000 and later will not be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
The Kraft family can be awarded a franchise in Los Angeles so we will finally have a football team in the second most populous area in the US.
I love every single idea you proposed, except the Kraft Family being awarded a franchise in LA.