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It is official! The league has made a bad situation a disaster

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PatsSox363804

In the Starting Line-Up
Here is one of the more lucid articles so far, and this will/should be the way this comes down.

"
The NFL will conclude regarding its investigation into the deflated footballs used by the New England Patriots during their AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts that neither head coach Bill Belichick or quarterback Tom Brady deliberately did anything to deflate the footballs below the league limit of 12.5 pounds per square inch.

In other words, that when it comes to cheating, what Belichick and Brady have said during their press conferences is the truth.

It is not unusual for quarterbacks to have footballs worked over before games to get them they way they like. In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times in 2012, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson said that before Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003, he paid some unidentified people $7,500 to doctor the 100 footballs allocated for use in that game. Johnson didn’t say that he had the air pressure altered; he said that he had the balls scuffed, which wasn’t legal at the time but is now. And during a CBS CBS -1.5% broadcast of this season’s matchup between the Green Bay Packers and New England on Nov. 30, announcer Phil Simms said Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers preferred footballs that were inflated slightly beyond the specified limit. “Every team tampers with the footballs,” Matt Leinart said on Twitter. “Ask any Qb In the league, this is ridiculous!!”

What I think happened is the Patriots equipment manager, or whom ever deals with getting the footballs the way Brady prefers them, deflated the balls below the 12.5 pounds per square inch, or, had the footballs right at the legal minimum and the weather caused the weight of the footballs to fall below the minimum PPSI.

The media has been quick to jump on Spygate–when the Patriots videotaped the defensive signals of the New York Jets during a game–as evidence that Belichick is a serial cheater. But the media seems to have forgotten that, Jack Del Rio, then the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, said at the time it was commonplace to study actions on the opposing sideline. ”I think all teams do that,” he said. That’s been going on forever.” And former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson said at the time: This is exactly how I was told to do it 18 years ago by a Kansas City Chiefs scout. I tried it, but I didn’t think it helped us. Bill Belichick was wrong because he videotaped signals after a memo was sent out to all teams saying not to do it. But what irritates me is hearing some reactions from players and coaches. These players don’t know what their coaches are doing, and some of the coaches have selective amnesia because I know for a fact there were various teams doing this. That’s why the memo was sent to everybody. That doesn’t make Belichick right, but a lot of teams are doing this.”

This doesn’t make Belichick innocent in 2007, but it doesn’t exactly make him some sort of serial cheater, either. I suspect the NFL will fine the Patriots (think something along the lines of the Pac-12 fining USC for using deflated footballs against Oregon in 2012) after the Super Bowl for the deflated footballs, and put in place some sort of rule changes to ensure footballs that are used during games to meet the league requirements. But I doubt the NFL will find any evidence Brady or Belichick knowingly had the footballs deflated."
http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeoza...ick-and-brady-did-not-cheat/?partner=yahootix

If the league finds no evidence and still tries to fine the Pats Kraft better appeal it.
 

PatsFanInVa

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We're in the by now familiar position (vis a vis this sport) of having less information than is necessary to draw a judgment, combined with the league visibly talking about gathering more, combined with statements that cast doubt on the subjects of "investigations," and statements of "if is is the case... well boy howdy will we come down on them."

When you have a gap of publicly available information people fill in the blanks. To a degree that is unavoidable. However, when you fill in half the blank, and stick in the word "if," that's where the 3% of fans who are actually Pats fans have to ask the counter-conspiracy questions.

All of these situations could be better handled with statements of fact without speculation on the part of the league (i.e., the "if" statements).

But I do side with those who point out - as many here have, and as many have begun to do in the media - that this is a league that depends on the brutalization of the players over time... that these players also have been seen in the public eye beating their families with similar brutality... that the league has 99 problems, and PSI ain't one. I think the PSI thing is a way to shift the cameras - for now and for an unforeseeable chunk of the offseason - to "competitive fairness" issues that aren't there in any real way. Off-season news will be all about rule changes to prevent that terrible situation discovered in the AFCCG (God knows how much damage it has done before that game!!!) and we'll once again forget about the guys whose heads are so effed up they shoot themselves in the chest in hopes that their brains can be productively examined after their suicides.

You know something else? With all the dumbass rule changes, Dez Brant and the Cowboys were pretty much robbed... all completely legal. They changed the rules when our guys were covering tight in the early 2000s, so that the effective DBs of the era would be less effective. Brady and manning got their rule change to scuff up the footballs like they like them. You can barely touch the QB since Carson Palmer went through Kemo therapy. I'm just waiting for them to illegalize everything but the forward pass (which is close to what they did for the pro bowl rules... runs that don't gain yardage now don't take ticks off the clock. I hope it's not an experiment.)

And of course with the thicket of rules, we now see the inconsistency in officiating as WWE-style game-fixing - anybody who loses can point and say, "how the hell is that not interference when they do it to us, and we have 5 flags on the next drive for the very same thing???"

TBH, with all the rules changes I've seen over my lifetime, I'm almost at the point of saying screw it, make them count 5 Mississippi and then rush free (and of course the skill position players just wear flags.) Fuggit. Of course the evil genius BB will be drummed out of the league if one player says "Miss-sip-ee" and leaves out the middle "I" as was common enough in sandlot ball.

All I can say is at what point do you just say, "Let em play"?

Maybe it'll take the death of the wide popularity of the sport. Maybe when the endorsements dry up, and you have to buy a special cable channel to even get a game.

Hell, take the pads and helmets off 'em. Make it like Aussie Rules football or Rugby that way.

But for now I'll take the game with all its warts, and the next LOMBARDI with any goddam asterisk the media wants to put on it.

And after that I'll be glad to see another couple too. God that would be a great sunset for this game we all learned to love. "The Last Dynasty..." and then, flag football.

Okay I'm having a hyperbolic moment here. I hope the NFL continues for the rest of my lifetime.... but after that you younguns are on your own. Freaking hoverboard races can take its place for all I care.
 

The Gr8est

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
I did too and You could tell that it really hurt him that all the hard work they put in was now being slandered by these allegations. I almost got the sense that he was speaking on behalf of the players that they were upset that their work and time and effort was being discredited over some light footballs. Its a really ****ty thing for all of them to have to go through.

The positive though is how much more this wins the players to him.

I am not sure NFL players buy the anti-Pats stuff the league and media is trying to foster. I think they talk among themselves and this will increase the Pats abilities to continue attracting free agents who want to play under BB and win.
 

MassPats38

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I really don't get this "the league loves the publicity" angle people are floating. I can't see the League wanting this. The "no press is bad press" argument means that Goodell and Kraft are Skyping right now how to continue this story for another couple of weeks. Because if this bad press is good for the NFL and no press is bad press, then logic this is a bonanza for Kraft and the Patriots. They are getting bad press true and if bad press is good press, this is benefitting the Patriots' brand.

This is a nightmare for the League and especially Goodell. It is just another scandal to ruin the credibility of the League and especially Goodell. I can't think they are remotely happy with the attention this is getting.

Except the Colts themselves say they would have lost that game handily and this had no effect. The Pats scored more with the regulation balls than they did without. The discussion has been more preferences than wins or losses. How has this tarnished the brand name in terms of game outcomes throughout the NFL? It has been team specific, directed to the Pats alone. The team that just will not die, and will not go away. The team that enjoys the sort of sustained success the salary cap was designed to make absurdly difficult to attain.

If you are assuming that the NFL wants players protected and games fairly decided, with full regard to the traditions and history of the sport, then this storyline would hurt a bit. If the business model, and the Commissioner is a businessman, not a former player or coach, is profit, then how has this hurt the NFL as a money-maker? It sucks for us as Pats fans, but does it suck for the rest of the NFL? They are loving this, and they are eating up the stories because it explains why their teams are not as successful.

And if you believe the NFL is this bungling with billions to spend on expert investigators (Mueller was a former director of the FBI - I have read plenty of FBI reports in my job, so I suspect the NFL has the resources to hire the best investigators in the U.S. and none of the reports I have ever read resemble this keystone cop approach here), then why is he Commissioner? The owners paid him $40 million in 2012. The owners are billionaires who want profit, and reward him for getting just that. Find another billion dollar company with this degree of ineptitude in a national spotlight, if this was unplanned, and I will show you a president of a company not long for his position. I am betting this clown will be doing this next year and into the foreseeable future. This issue was never very difficult to deal with, yet somehow million dollar baby Rog has made a basic procedural inquiry look like landing man on Mars. If he is that much of a moron, then so are all the owners who pay his high wages. I don't buy it.
 

Rob0729

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Except the Colts themselves say they would have lost that game handily and this had no effect. The Pats scored more with the regulation balls than they did without. The discussion has been more preferences than wins or losses. How has this tarnished the brand name in terms of game outcomes throughout the NFL? It has been team specific, directed to the Pats alone. The team that just will not die, and will not go away. The team that enjoys the sort of sustained success the salary cap was designed to make absurdly difficult to attain.

If you are assuming that the NFL wants players protected and games fairly decided, with full regard to the traditions and history of the sport, then this storyline would hurt a bit. If the business model, and the Commissioner is a businessman, not a former player or coach, is profit, then how has this hurt the NFL as a money-maker? It sucks for us as Pats fans, but does it suck for the rest of the NFL? They are loving this, and they are eating up the stories because it explains why their teams are not as successful.

And if you believe the NFL is this bungling with billions to spend on expert investigators (Mueller was a former director of the FBI - I have read plenty of FBI reports in my job, so I suspect the NFL has the resources to hire the best investigators in the U.S. and none of the reports I have ever read resemble this keystone cop approach here), then why is he Commissioner? The owners paid him $40 million in 2012. The owners are billionaires who want profit, and reward him for getting just that. Find another billion dollar company with this degree of ineptitude in a national spotlight, if this was unplanned, and I will show you a president of a company not long for his position. I am betting this clown will be doing this next year and into the foreseeable future. This issue was never very difficult to deal with, yet somehow million dollar baby Rog has made a basic procedural inquiry look like landing man on Mars. If he is that much of a moron, then so are all the owners who pay his high wages. I don't buy it.

If the league thought this was a good thing, they would holding press conferences after press conference giving updates on the investigation.

And yes, the outcome of this investigation is almost leave another black market on Goodell and the front office. Without a smoking gun, I can't see how Goodell can come up with a ruling that doesn't have at least a decent segment of people questioning him.
 

ctpatsfan77

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Except the Colts themselves say they would have lost that game handily and this had no effect. The Pats scored more with the regulation balls than they did without. The discussion has been more preferences than wins or losses. How has this tarnished the brand name in terms of game outcomes throughout the NFL? It has been team specific, directed to the Pats alone. The team that just will not die, and will not go away. The team that enjoys the sort of sustained success the salary cap was designed to make absurdly difficult to attain.

This, as much as anything, may be what it's all about.

Remember back in 2010, when Brady, Brees, and Manning all needed new contracts?

Somehow, the mediots were convinced that Brees and Manning's deals would get done easily, but that Brady's wouldn't, and that Brady was the most likely of the three to hold out. Funny how it didn't turn out that way at all.
 

PatsFanSince74

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If ever there were an example of the "Peter Principle," it is Roger Goodell. He probably is competent when it comes to the day to day management of the NFL (AKA, doing whatever most of the owners want), but he is completely out of his depth when the challenges exceed the ordinary.

He made a mess of Spygate, but got a pass from many because he was new to the job.

He then over-reacted during Bountygate (I'm no fan of Sean Payton, but a year was overkill).

Next he completely mangled the Ray Rice case, earning a slap on the wrist from his own investigator.

Now, he's allowed the football underinflation story not only to damage the reputation and value of one of the league's most successful franchises but also to take the focus off of the showcase event of the season.

An independent Board of Directors would have had enough and would have given Goodell his walking papers after the Rice fiasco. The only good thing that might come out of this could be that this is the last straw and that he loses the confidence of a critical mass of owners and is quietly sent on his way at the end of his contract.
 

buile

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When were the regulations written on psi anyway. Why on earth does it matter. If each team plays with the ball at a psi they are comfortable with they would have an equal advantage.

Without reading all the replies... I think you approach a heart of the matter. My feeling is the NFL, after all the investigation, will have to say that even though gameballs were outside the allowed specifications, no evidence of malicious intention to tamper was found.

The pressure of the footballs are a combination of inexact procedures to prepare and test footballs prior to the game, and conditions prior to and during the game. The PSI "tolerances" during testing and during gameplay are such that a football which can pass inspection (whether Officials performed a simple visual inspection and squeeze testing, or subjected a sample of footballs to pressure gauges with potential plus/minus variations in readings) may change to air pressure no longer within the rule specs.

The level of scrutiny given to PSI during these allegations far outweigh the level of exactitude given to PSI during normal gametime procedures and testing by teams and officials.

The NFL has to determine whether changes to procedure must be put in place to ensure gameballs remain within specifications, or whether the specifications themselves are not feasible, and whether altered specifications actually give measurable and unfair advantage to one team over the other.


P.S. Those are the things I think Belichick means when he says there are questions at other levels which the league has to address.
 

chasa

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
there are three ways the league could have handled this at different points during this whole dumpster fire.

1.) they could have told the patriots "hey the colts mentioned your balls seemed a little low, in the future please make sure that all footballs are no less then 12.5 psi" instead what they did was tried to setup a sting operation

2.)after testing the balls sunday, and finding them to be below 12.5 Issued a fine monday morning, for $25,000. No dragging it out, no "This is a serious investgation" just a simple fine for failure to maintain equipment to the proper standard set by the nfl. Instead the NFL launched a private investgaion, leaked information to the media, and then launched a public investagion by a third party the day they said their private investigation should have ended.

3.)Upon their private investgation ended, the league could have said "Nothing we have discovered shows any intent what so ever by the patriots to act against the rules in any way with regards to inflating footballs. What we have discovered are flaws in our own system which allows for unforseen variables to cause the quality of the balls to be altered after they have been approved for play. This has been a learning experience for the league. Once again thePatriots did not knowingly do anything wrong." instead the league decided ehh lets let them dangle in the wind.
 

upstater1

Pro Bowl Player
He let BB twist in the wind because of the memo. If BB stops filming from the field after the memo is issued, punishment is unlikely. BB was disregarding a clarification from the League office, disrespecting the authority of the NFL Commissioner and not one of the 32 owners was going to stand for that, not even Kraft. We can spin it any way we want, create any kind of justification we want, talk about 80k people and none of that really changes the fact that BB thumbed his nose at the League. It's one small mistake in a glorious career.

I suspect BB knows he's right this time and the Pats did nothing wrong. This is his way of turning adversity into strength, motivating his team to make up for lost time, keeping his team focused and driven. It is also a shot across the bow, indicating there are secrets he could spill.

Memo came out on sept 6, 2006. A year earlier
 

SVN

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Additionally, and I don't know if it were intentional or not as it was in the Q&A part, he sounds ready to go rogue on CameraGate if necessary. We all know 80,000 people could see it, it was in the public domain. But this : "So we filmed him making signals out in front of 80,000 people like there were a lot of other teams doing at that time too" can't make Roger feel too good especially as Michael Holley has said in the past that the Patriots had evidence others were doing it. In general BB has too much respect for the league to blow the lid off but I get the feeling that he is moving closer to doing just that if they continue to ruin his reputation.

And this was positively titillating : "I think there are a number of things that need to be looked into on a number of levels. That’s not for this conversation. I’m sure it will be taken up at another point in time."

I believe that was his way of saying he needs to find out how the sting worked. My guess ? Colts equipment manager was told to put air in the Colts balls immediately at halftime so the Colts' balls wouldn't match the Patriots' natural deflation. Who knows but it's clear that Bill wants to know.

Some not so subtle warning shots were thrown from Foxboro yesterday.
I wonder if the league will launch another investigation to BB's claim that other teams were doing it too... Iam surprised rumor mongerers like Florio have not picked on it.
 

PatsWickedPissah

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If ever there were an example of the "Peter Principle," it is Roger Goodell. He probably is competent when it comes to the day to day management of the NFL (AKA, doing whatever most of the owners want), but he is completely out of his depth when the challenges exceed the ordinary.

He made a mess of Spygate, but got a pass from many because he was new to the job.

He then over-reacted during Bountygate (I'm no fan of Sean Payton, but a year was overkill).

Next he completely mangled the Ray Rice case, earning a slap on the wrist from his own investigator.

Now, he's allowed the football underinflation story not only to damage the reputation and value of one of the league's most successful franchises but also to take the focus off of the showcase event of the season.

An independent Board of Directors would have had enough and would have given Goodell his walking papers after the Rice fiasco. The only good thing that might come out of this could be that this is the last straw and that he loses the confidence of a critical mass of owners and is quietly sent on his way at the end of his contract.

I agree with much of what you say except I read an implication that somehow there will be less public interest in this SB. I think interest will be epic. People who care little about American football will watch just to see for themselves the Evil Patriots Empire live, hoping they get their comeuppance.
Ratings will be epic and advt rates for the 2016 game will rise markedly.
At least 31 owners, and maybe 32 will congratulate Goodell with a huge bonus.
 

FreeTedWilliams

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The three people who are going to come out of this looking bad are in this order...

John Harbaugh, sore loser, cry baby. Then turns around and tries to set up the Pats with his old D coordinator and #2 on this list, Chuck Pagano. Harbaugh enjoys #1 position because of the fact that BB actually gave him a glowing recommendation to Model and Newsome back when he got hired. At that time he was a Special Teams coach, not even a coordinator! So the best coach in the league gives you a great recommendation, and you repay him by attempting to sully him? Harbaugh is quickly going to find himself in Maginiland. Where nobody will ever trust you again.

Pagano- Again, if he truly thought it was some sort of competitive advantage for the Pats, wouldn't he HAVE DONE SOMETHING ABOUT BEFORE THE GAME STARTED? You know, if you believe that deflated balls were a competitive advantage for the Pats, wouldn't you make sure that advantage is negated prior to the start of the game, and not once you are already down by 10 points at half? Again, it makes no sense, the only thing they tried to do is make the Pats look bad. I can't wait til the Colts game next year, if they thought the last three beatings were bad, wait til next year.

Goodell- Again, he could have negated all this bad publicity with a simple call to Kraft before the game, or he could have told Pagano\Harbaugh to STFU and pointed out to them how petty they seem by bringing this up. He could have easily handled this situation without any negative press. Instead, he basically teams with Harbaugh/Pagano and tries to set up the Pats. I'm sure the last thing he expected was BB brilliant GFY press conference yesterday!

Violin (for the little that his word is worth) has an article today about Harbaugh running around Arizona attempting to save face by speaking well of BB, but the truth is, he is a cry baby and a back stabbing POS!

Too bad Baltimore didn't win their division this year, that would have made for a cathartic beat down for the Pats for the opening Thursday night game and the beginning of the BB/TFB "one for the thumb" campaign.
 

PatsFanSince74

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Additionally, and I don't know if it were intentional or not as it was in the Q&A part, he sounds ready to go rogue on CameraGate if necessary. We all know 80,000 people could see it, it was in the public domain. But this : "So we filmed him making signals out in front of 80,000 people like there were a lot of other teams doing at that time too" can't make Roger feel too good especially as Michael Holley has said in the past that the Patriots had evidence others were doing it. In general BB has too much respect for the league to blow the lid off but I get the feeling that he is moving closer to doing just that if they continue to ruin his reputation.

And this was positively titillating : "I think there are a number of things that need to be looked into on a number of levels. That’s not for this conversation. I’m sure it will be taken up at another point in time."

I believe that was his way of saying he needs to find out how the sting worked. My guess ? Colts equipment manager was told to put air in the Colts balls immediately at halftime so the Colts' balls wouldn't match the Patriots' natural deflation. Who knows but it's clear that Bill wants to know.

Some not so subtle warning shots were thrown from Foxboro yesterday.

Good job. I only watched the press conference once and didn't pick up on the key words in the highlighted quote "...at that time too." He's not saying that it was what every team did before the memo, which is how I (mis)heard his remarks, but that they had continued to do it as well as the Pats.

Your comment also got me thinking.

When I watched him speak, I thought "how unlike BB to be talking like this." He almost seemed depressed and I thought for a moment that the pressure of the past week might have gotten to him.

But, your read of the first quote and then your second quote about "a number of things...on a number of levels" makes me think that this might well have been part of a string of communications with the League through third parties by him and Kraft, who has very carefully kept under the radar screen.

I think its possible that this might actually have been a carefully orchestrated "final warning" to the League.

Until now, his press conference made no sense whatsoever to me, but now...I think you're onto something.
 
Last edited:

Slagathor

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
I have a buddy who lives in Pittsburgh that said everybody there is actually looking forward to this Super Bowl because of the controversy. It will be a ratings blowout. May have been the plan all along.
 

buile

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I don't believe the league is governed by anyone with any common sense. If they are, then they wrap this thing up Monday and say that the Patriots didn't do anything wrong. .

I think the issue is the NFL found the treatment of the footballs by the Officials is not as exacting as the mob mentality demands. This forces the NFL to widen the investigation to find the baseline of current behavior by Officials. How do you test, and how EXACTING is the procedure? When do you test? How often are abnormalities uncovered before and during the games....

When the NFL comes out for the results of the investigation, the media is going to grill them on these things if there's any indication that footballs are not measured and examined down to the micron.... Public outcry made a huge issue out of PSI, well beyond PSI impact on a game. I bet if a balls "feels" good enough, it IS good enough... but that's NO LONGER good enough for the jealous public to smear the Pats. The NFL is stuck in the middle, and better have answers and plans to address it already thought out before they start taking questions.

Perhaps the Ravens or Colts thought: "hey, if NE wants to beat us with the eligibility/in-eligibility rules, then we're gonna beat them back with some other obscure technicality... heh, who should study the rulebook now?"
 

PapaTrips

Rookie
Dream of mine...

I'd like to ask DI as he is a lawyer and others who have legal training, is it possible to sue a media outlet or are they immune?

Would taking action against ESPN and/or PFT and sitting back and hoping they point fingers at one another for the following couple weeks be advantages? May be they would implicate Goodell and minions.

I know this next step is a dream but I'd like to see the Pats take legal action against the league. The old boys club would be pissed but maybe Kraft lets them know that if Goodell and his boys go away so could the legal action. After all none of them are safe if he can do this without any real evidence. He seems to think he can do no wrong. We know first hand what he's capable of and perhaps we can get that point across to the other owner.

It is time to "take care of all family business."
 

flasox27

In the Starting Line-Up
I agree with the premise of the thread that Goodell and the League created the witch hunt. How I think it plays out is different. Obviously,Goodell and the league are in a box especially after BB's presser. I can't believe that the League isn't aware of the scientific explanation of the pressure decline. The people they hired to investigate IMO are not looking into the pressure of the balls but are part of a broad investigation into the Pats business. They are looking for anything they can paint as part of pattern of cheating which the public has been conditioned by the media to believe as true and then penalize the Pats for that. If Kraft didn't know before yesterday, I believe he certainly knows today. While people think, Kraft controls Goodell, I feel it is the other way around as indicated by his unequivocal support after Ricegate. I hope I am wrong but I think any claims of vindication or any expectation of Kraft fighting punishment are at best premature and most likely unrealistic.
 
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