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A Pattern of Behavior

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Koma

In the Starting Line-Up
(I don't start a lot of threads, so, Mods, if you feel this should be merged or practice squad'd, I'll defer to your judgement. I felt strongly enough about this topic that I felt it needed it's own thread.)

The thread title doesn't refer to the allegedly nefarious Patriots, but rather to the NFL's actions since January 18th. I read Dan Wetzel's column today and the more I think about it, the harder it is for me to believe what the league has been doing.

From the Wells report, we know that the officials checked and document the PSI of the Patriots footballs at halftime of the AFCCG. We know that Bob Kravitz got the story started by tweeting out that the league was investigating the Patriots later that night. And we know, as Wetzel's article states, that the story really exploded with Chris Mortensens "11 out of 12 balls 2 lbs under" story on the evening of January 20. From there, the Patriots were guilty via public opinion and the story became national news.

Here's what the league was up to:

On January 19, SVP of Football Operations David Gardi sent a letter to the Patriots stating that none of their footballs were at the required specifications, with one was at 10.1 PSI and the Colts balls were with specification. None of the measurements by the officials came up with that air pressure. The league never sent a follow up communication with the correct information, so, when the Mortensen story came out, as far as the Patriots knew, it was at least partly true.

Mortensen wrote that his sources were "league sources involved and familiar with the investigation." Except these sources provided him with incorrect information. The only people who knew the PSI of the footballs were the officials who checked the balls and NFL employees.

Regardless of who exactly Mortensen's source was, people at the NFL office knew the correct PSI numbers and did nothing to correct the story. As a result, the Patriots had to take time away from their Super Bowl preparation to hold press conferences and run science experiments with footballs

Then Dean Blandino stated in a press conference before the Super Bowl that the league was made aware of the issue during the first half of the AFCCG. We know this is untrue because the Wells report states that Mike Kensil forwarded the email from the Colts to Blandino during the week before the game. Blandino's lie was to defuse the notion that the league has staged a sting during the AFCCG.

None of the events above are exaggerated or speculation. The league gathered information on January 18th, then sent the Patriots a letter with incorrect information. When someone from the league leaked false information to Mortensen, the NFL, who was in possession of the correct information, did nothing to dispel the report. And when questioned about a possible sting operation, the VP of Officiating lied about the league's involvement.

Based on the preponderance of evidence standard, it's clear that the NFL has not exhibited "fairness and integrity" when dealing with the Patriots. In fact, the league went out out of their way to smear and unfairly treat the team. This is what people like Tom Curran, Michael Hurley and Jeff Howe should be looking into. This is an actual scandal, not a percentage of air pressure.

This part is just my opinion, but let's say the Patriots had a longstanding practice of lower the air pressure in footballs after the referees checked them. The Colts alerted the league of their suspicions, the league looked into the matter and found evidence of wrongdoing. The Wells investigation would fill in the details of who was involved and what they were doing. Under this scenario, the league had won and it was only a matter of time before the report was made public and the Patriots were punished. So what would be the point of leaking negative stories about the Patriots except to be malicious? Just catching them and punishing them wasn't good enough. People in the NFL office needed to smear them, for good measure.
 

Marko

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Very well written, this is poignant and concise without any hyperbole. You should send this to the New York Times.
 

DarrylS

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2019 Weekly Picks Winner
A huge issue not addressed in this report are the series of well timed and exaggerated leaks from the NFL office.. there was a trend of releasing info to a nefarious Pats Hater(Kravitz) late in the evening after the Baltimore game.. then late night info to Mort(who is usually well respected) on Monday nite and early Wed AM info was released to Peter King..

It seems well timed and purposeful, and the whole pattern of exaggeration of the numbers makes me very suspicious, that Goodell et al were trying this case in the Court of Public Opinion before an investigation could be launched..

Too many coincidences and inconsistencies.. imagine what we do not know???
 

old 55

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Agree. I believe that the one thing that is clear in this controversy is the NFL sources conducted a series of leaks that smeared the Pats, but don't stand up to any real scrutiny. This really reflects badly on the league and how it uses the media leaks to shape the conversation against its target, in this case, the Pats. When you examine the misinformation & contradictions, the league looks like liars and screw ups. Unfortunately, we live in a country sliding headlong into IDIOCRACY. Few look a beyond the sound bite and the sound bite often condenses any complicated issue into a misleading or outright incorrect blurb. That's why so many misunderstood the real issue in Spygate and jumped on the Pats cheating again bandwagon. Goodellgate is the real controversy.
 

Jackson 2

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(I don't start a lot of threads, so, Mods, if you feel this should be merged or practice squad'd, I'll defer to your judgement. I felt strongly enough about this topic that I felt it needed it's own thread.)

The thread title doesn't refer to the allegedly nefarious Patriots, but rather to the NFL's actions since January 18th. I read Dan Wetzel's column today and the more I think about it, the harder it is for me to believe what the league has been doing.

From the Wells report, we know that the officials checked and document the PSI of the Patriots footballs at halftime of the AFCCG. We know that Bob Kravitz got the story started by tweeting out that the league was investigating the Patriots later that night. And we know, as Wetzel's article states, that the story really exploded with Chris Mortensens "11 out of 12 balls 2 lbs under" story on the evening of January 20. From there, the Patriots were guilty via public opinion and the story became national news.

Here's what the league was up to:

On January 19, SVP of Football Operations David Gardi sent a letter to the Patriots stating that none of their footballs were at the required specifications, with one was at 10.1 PSI and the Colts balls were with specification. None of the measurements by the officials came up with that air pressure. The league never sent a follow up communication with the correct information, so, when the Mortensen story came out, as far as the Patriots knew, it was at least partly true.

Mortensen wrote that his sources were "league sources involved and familiar with the investigation." Except these sources provided him with incorrect information. The only people who knew the PSI of the footballs were the officials who checked the balls and NFL employees.

Regardless of who exactly Mortensen's source was, people at the NFL office knew the correct PSI numbers and did nothing to correct the story. As a result, the Patriots had to take time away from their Super Bowl preparation to hold press conferences and run science experiments with footballs

Then Dean Blandino stated in a press conference before the Super Bowl that the league was made aware of the issue during the first half of the AFCCG. We know this is untrue because the Wells report states that Mike Kensil forwarded the email from the Colts to Blandino during the week before the game. Blandino's lie was to defuse the notion that the league has staged a sting during the AFCCG.

None of the events above are exaggerated or speculation. The league gathered information on January 18th, then sent the Patriots a letter with incorrect information. When someone from the league leaked false information to Mortensen, the NFL, who was in possession of the correct information, did nothing to dispel the report. And when questioned about a possible sting operation, the VP of Officiating lied about the league's involvement.

Based on the preponderance of evidence standard, it's clear that the NFL has not exhibited "fairness and integrity" when dealing with the Patriots. In fact, the league went out out of their way to smear and unfairly treat the team. This is what people like Tom Curran, Michael Hurley and Jeff Howe should be looking into. This is an actual scandal, not a percentage of air pressure.

This part is just my opinion, but let's say the Patriots had a longstanding practice of lower the air pressure in footballs after the referees checked them. The Colts alerted the league of their suspicions, the league looked into the matter and found evidence of wrongdoing. The Wells investigation would fill in the details of who was involved and what they were doing. Under this scenario, the league had won and it was only a matter of time before the report was made public and the Patriots were punished. So what would be the point of leaking negative stories about the Patriots except to be malicious? Just catching them and punishing them wasn't good enough. People in the NFL office needed to smear them, for good measure.
Koma, first sentence in parentheses to mods mentions possible Practice Squad? That's a good one! If there were a Hall of Fame forum, this post would be a charter member.
 

turkeyneck

In the Starting Line-Up
In another thread, I suggested that the basis for Kraft suing the NFL would be that their actions were taken in bad faith and with malice. You've done an excellent job of setting out some of the specifics.
 

livinginthe past

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Nice post, Koma.

I've written about this same subject (probably less concisely) over the last few days.

This was all about 'restoring parity' - the idea was to sabotage the Superbowl (with the incorrect leaks) and then look to 'level the playing field' for the future by removing draft picks.

The best way to do this would be to create a groundswell of public outrage against the Patriots - not a difficult thing to engineer when you consider the jealousy factor aimed at the most successful team of the decade.

For me, accepting a reduced punishment is a non-starter for two reasons.

1. Its an admission of guilt.

2. It allows the 31 other owners to engineer another situation like this in the future - and there are plenty of holes to be exploited by ruthless and over-matched competition.
 

shmessy

Northern VA/Retired
PatsFans.com Supporter
Koma, no way this goes to the Practice Squad.

In fact, if people actually read the "Sticky" threads, I would request to Ian to make this one.

Somehow, I wish we could make the thread title bigger and darker so that more readers would go to it.

You succinctly encapsulated the problem with the NFL actions in this case.
 

Gwedd

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Well done, Koma. You've put into a succinct post what many of us have been trying to explain and expand upon. Thank you. It's been a nice read this AM and restores some of my flagging morale in this situation.
 

nowayback

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Very well written, and I am sure Kessler will be all over it. However to 73% of USA and the NFL that means nothing cause its the Pats. they are serial cheaters, tuck rule, spygate, taping rams walk thru, BB illegal formations with Ravens etc
I wonder what % knows that the Jets were found guilty of tampering and fined the astronomical amount of 100,000$. And they got their player on top of it.
 

Hammer of Thor

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In another thread, I suggested that the basis for Kraft suing the NFL would be that their actions were taken in bad faith and with malice. You've done an excellent job of setting out some of the specifics.

Next question for me is if it is part of the grounds for a Brady defamation suit? Could argue that the leaks were targeted for him, and there was malice in the actions in the legal sense. I'm not a lawyer so I would be curious if this could hold up.
 

Froob

Independent Investigator & pliable af
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"They displayed a pattern of disrespect and inappropriate behavior"-Michael Scott
 

Bobs My Uncle

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, Koma
 

Koma

In the Starting Line-Up
Thanks for the kind words folks. Posts by livinginthepast and others got me thinking in this direction, but the Wetzel article really opened my eyes to the issue.

I was thinking about one of the pro-Patriots leaks, like the one by Ian Rapoport on Feb. 1 about only 1 ball being 2 PSI under the minimum and the rest being a few ticks below. I imagine that this leak originated from someone close to the Patriots and was based on the information in the Gardi letter, which was wrong.

The problem is, this story came out almost 2 weeks after the Mortensen one and contradicts it, so many people who already made up their minds dismissed it. As with the other leaks, the league knew the correct information and chose to let the Patriots be convicted in the court of public opinion.

We saw at the end of last week, when there were stories that the punishment was going to be handed down on Friday, a league spokesman came out and said no decision would be coming out that day. I can't imagine it would have compromised the Wells investigation for the league to issue a statement about the actual PSI of the footballs.
 

patman12

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Mort's nothing but an sad, pathetic old puppet that was used to get the misinformation out to the masses in order to slander the Patriots.
 

Marko

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Very well written, and I am sure Kessler will be all over it. However to 73% of USA and the NFL that means nothing cause its the Pats. they are serial cheaters, tuck rule, spygate, taping rams walk thru, BB illegal formations with Ravens etc
I wonder what % knows that the Jets were found guilty of tampering and fined the astronomical amount of 100,000$. And they got their player on top of it.
After being warned 4 prior times, nope no pattern here!
 
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