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#10 - THE SERIES FINALE OF DEFLATEGATE

[With Roger Goodell returning to New England on Thursday night for the opening game of the NFL season, a repost from February was certainly in order]

I hold no grudge against Roger Goodell. If a man acts according to his heart and his principals, and does so with the best of intentions, while I may choose to disagree with him, that does not make him a bad person. No, I hold no grudge

A little over two years ago, just before the New England Patriots sealed the fourth Super Bowl victory in a decade and a half with a stunning interception, by an undrafted, unheard of, hard-working rookie, the story of deflated footballs, made its way onto the national scene. What ensued was nothing short of a debacle for the reputation of the National Football League, the New England Patriots, Quarterback Tom Brady and for Commissioner Roger Goodell. Unbelievably, an incredibly minor event/infraction (the choice of words correlates directly to one’s love or hatred of the Patriots) almost made its way to the US Supreme Court.

Roger took the position that a major wrong had occurred, and it was his responsibility to uphold the honor of the "badge" of the NFL. Without action on his part, he believed the issue could become a stain on integrity of the league, and because the collective bargaining agreement signed with the players union several years earlier gave him the power to act like God, he was going to use all that power. So the matter had made its all the way up to the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals and the dust had cleared, Roger's punishment, forced down upon the Patriots from above, had been affirmed. The Patriots had been fined $1 million, they had been docked their first and fourth round draft picks, and Tom Brady's suspension would run for the first four games of the 2016 season.

Brady's what? Sorry, say that again, I don't think I heard what you said. Brady's what?

There was no legal standard upon which Brady's suspension was based (unless you consider "not provably crazy" a standard). There was no proof that Brady was involved in or knew about the deflating of footballs, there wasn't any proof that the footballs were even deflated (see ideal gas law), but Roger suspended Tom because "he generally should have been aware" and because Roger had his god-like powers bestowed upon him by the collective bargaining agreement and because Rodger believed that the best way to protect the badge was to showcase all that power. Unfortunately Roger, as well intentioned as he may have been, lost sight of a perspective which really good men, really good leaders understand at their core that with great power, comes great responsibility. For the country the debate centered around PSI readings, for New England the question was now all about abuse of power.

I doubt the country appreciates why we hold the New England Patriot organization in such high esteem. It’s understandable, you have to live here a while to know. It may sound silly, but it actually begins with the name. We are not the Boston Patriots or the Massachusetts Patriots. We are New England, six of the original thirteen colonies, who were there in the beginning, who actively participated into the birth of our nation. So when we speak of New England and when we speak of the New England Patriots, we are including the small towns in Maine, the farms in Vermont, the shipping ports in Fall River and New Bedford, the high-tech start-ups in Cambridge and the Ivy League schools in Dartmouth, Providence and New Haven. All of these are built on the common foundation of hard work and good ol' Yankee Ingenuity. There is a humility that flows through the region. We are not flashy, showy. We are not big and bold or ostentatious. We are not New York City or Los Angeles or Chicago. Boston, the biggest city in the six states only has a population of 650,000. And the six states remain among the smallest in our country.

We never say it, in some ways to say it would go against our humility, but we believe it. We believe our team represents our core values. And we have placed those values in the capable hands of Coach Bill Belichick to hold and to nourish. It is a sacred responsibility. More importantly we expect him to show the rest of our country that there is a better way. Do your job, do your job well, play for the man next to you, we’ve had a good week of preparation, we’ve studied the film. Play as a team. One game at a time. Coaches don't win games, players do. (Humility starts at the top). Coaches put players in a position to win. Situational Football (that's code for "play smart"). We are on to Cincinnati! No days off, No days off.

The Dallas Cowboys, the self-proclaimed (and self-centered) America's team had five first team All-Pro Player on their roster. They lost in their first and only playoff game. And they have only two playoff game wins in the last 20 years. The Atlanta Falcons, our opponents in this year's Super Bowl had three first team All-Pro Players on their roster including Matt Ryan, the league’s Most Valuable Player. The New England Patriots had one first team All Pro-Player on their roster, and he was a special team player. I didn’t even know that special teams’ players could be voted All Pro.

For the Patriots, it’s been the same for all of their Super Bowl wins. Reminiscent of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid asking the question of the skilled trackers who follow their trail at the end of the movie, many so-called experts in the league ask the question, with the same shock and amazement….. Who are these guys!? Well, they are a bunch of middle round draft picks, undrafted rookies, and old veterans who care less about the money who want to learn how to win again. They may not be the fastest or the strongest or the youngest, but they are some of the smartest and they buy into the system. And only the ones with the biggest hearts make the cut each year.

So when Brady was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season by Commissioner Goodell, it was almost as if a terrorist had set off a dirty nuke right in the middle of South Station during rush hour (and I say that with only a hint of exaggeration). The shock waves emanated out and were felt in all six states. It ripped at our very fiber. Roger had the audacity to go after one of our own, one of our offspring. He had attacked New England's favorite son. And like any good parent, the message to outsiders was - you can come after us if you want, but don't come after our sons or daughters. When you do that, it’s no longer business, you have made it personal, and this we do not forgive.

So in the third game of the season and the third of Tom's four game suspension, when a rookie third string quarterback was leading the team to a shutout victory over the Houston Texans and with Coach Belichick and his players were focused on the plays in the field, the parents in the stands were chanting "Roger Roger, Roger". It was still very early in a sixteen game regular season, with the playoffs to follow, but the message was clear - we are coming Roger, we are coming for you. You couldn’t blame them, for them it was now personal.

Brady returned for the fifth game of the season and did, well what Tom always did, he played like the leader he has always been, winning all his games but one, throwing 28 TD passes against a measly two interceptions, a new league record. The sports pages said he was 39+ years old, but many deemed this to be just another urban myth as he seemed to be getting both better and younger along the way.

All throughout the season Brady deflected all the questions about Deflategate and the commissioner. His focus was on the next game, the next challenge, being motivated for his teammates. He would always say that was all the motivation he needed. It was always the same reply, repeated patiently. The words flowed like silk, and we dutifully followed his lead. We get it Tom, wink, smile, nod, we are going to be patient, we are going to wait until the moment comes, when Roger goes to hand you the trophy for MVP of Super Bowl 51. And then, and then you are going to level him with both barrels. You are going to blow him off his feet. Justice will be served. Yes, Tom, if you can wait, we can wait with you.

The playoffs came and as usual, the Patriots had different game plans for each team, and won in different ways. This was Yankee Ingenuity on steroids. They played ugly against the Houston Texans and while the team behaved as if they had lost the game, they had beaten Texas by 18 points. Then came the high-flying Pittsburg Steeler offense. Everyone knew the Hoodie would have a game plan to shut down the opponent’s best weapons and another Patriot player would step up big. This time it was a lacrosse player who only played one year of footbal in college who set a new Patriot post season record for most passing yards in a playoff game. Two weeks later, the Pats were in the Super Bowl, and in uncharacteristic fashion, both the offensive and defensive units played poorly past the halfway point of the third quarter. A look at the scoreboard showed the Falcons were ahead 28 - 3. No team in the 50 year history of the Super Bowl had ever come back from more than 10 points down and won the game, and the Patriots were now down 25 points. For all of New England, the pain was almost too much to bear. For most of the rest of the country, it was a time to celebrate. But the Patriots began to do what they always do, taking it one play at a time, scratching and clawing their way back in to relevance. And they had Tom Brady, who began to get in to a rhythm. The O-Line started to give him the pocket of protection he needed, and Tom could see the field, and this time, the Patriot’s third sting halfback was the next man to step up. James White caught the ball 14 times, had three touchdowns and a two point conversion and Tom set the field afire, setting a Super Bowl record for passes attempted, passes completed and total yards. He had almost 200 yards in Q4 alone and when the Patriots had won the coin toss to begin the overtime period, you could see the smile on Tom’s face. The game was now over. The Atlantic Falcons would not see the field again, The Patriots had scored 31unaswered points in a highly improbable comeback. And the confetti fell from the sky.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the trophy presentations, all of sudden, it didn’t seem to matter. In the presentation of the Lombardi Trophy after the game, Tom celebrated with his teammates and family, and shook hands with Roger and accepted his congratulations. And he celebrated with the fans. The following morning, the moment when Roger was going to hand the Super Bowl MVP trophy to Tom, a moment everyone in New England had waited and wished and hoped for, for over a year, it had become crystal clear. Overnight, the moment had lost its value. It was now irrelevant. Tom accepted the trophy and praised his team. In New England, no matter how much things change, they always remain the same.

The day after the team's fifth Super Bowl victory in the new millennium, Coach Belichick put the final nail in the coffin of Deflategate, and he did it in typical Belichickian style. He expressed genuine dismay at the concept that Tom Brady was more motivated this year (because of Deflategate). simply because it inferred that he was less motivated and less hard working in any one of his prior 16 years in the league, and that was just was insulting to his quarterback. The Hoodie always has a way of looking at the world through a different lens. But for those who have listened to him over the years, we know that all of his messaging is consistent and on point. The message here was clear and simple, forget all this Deflategate crap. We are on to 2017. For added emphasis, when he spoke at a press conference the day after the team’s big Super Bowl win, he told the audience that "yesterday'" was nice, but we have to remember we are already five weeks behind most of the other teams in the league (in preparing for 2017). And he said it with a straight face.

It's true, we admit it. Up here in New England, we love the Hoodie.

Once again, our coach and our quarterback had led us all back from the brink. They reminded us who we were. They reminded us there was a better way. And they had been doing it all season long.

While some around the country have referred to the 2016 NFL season as the Tom Brady Revenge Tour or the Tom Brady Redemption Tour, it was neither of these. If you have to give it a name, it would more appropriately be called the New England Validation Tour, validation of our coach and our favorite son, validation of our team, and validation of our own core values.

I hold no grudge against Roger Goodell.

With Malice Toward None, With Charity For All (...mostly)
richardpiccolo.blogspot.com
 

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Dingleberry

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You are a better man than I am.

I still hold a grudge. I have blackness in my heart for a whole host of characters, from Goodell to Vincent to Grigson all the way down to that vaginal drool Brunell.

With malice to them all. May their arseholes all fall out.
 

Palm Beach Pats Fan

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...Unbelievably, an incredibly minor event/infraction (the choice of words correlates directly to one’s love or hatred of the Patriots) almost made its way to the US Supreme Court...

It is, and always will be, worth correcting mistakes, such as this sentence.

It was an unfounded and subsequently scientifically unsupported ALLEGATION of what would have been, if it were real, an an incredibly minor event/infraction.

That analysis does NOT rely on one’s love or hatred of the Patriots, but upon 8th grade science that was even known to scientists who were contemporaries of General George Washington.
 

Jlaff

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I know you must have put a lot of work into that, but sorry I couldn't read past the second paragraph after you said you held no grudge, and something about Goodell acting in accordance with his beliefs.
 

Tony2046

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Go F yourself.

Roger is the epitome of what is wrong with this country.

The freaking bastard lied about Brady's appeal testimony. They had no clue about the Ideal Gas Law and your f'ing harping about some sort or "good guy got it wrong" BS? WTF is wrong with you?

This was a classic case of manipulating the legal system. This case hurt the blue collar worker. This case resembled other cases in which Roger, your buddy, lied in court.

Screw him and screw you.

I hate that Mother F'er with every ounce of my being.
 

patsfan13

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F Goodell, he lied about Brady's testimony. The league office his people tried to runa sting on the Patriots. They thought they had them.

The problem was that NONE of the stupid bastards had ever taken an HS Chemistry class or heard about the ideal gas law.

They hired a firm to try to justify the pre ordained conclusion. They tried their best, but any educated person knew that their results were pure BS.

Goodell is a lying POS.

I am looking forward to the Clown Out for this p^%ck almost as much as the banner going up.

THE NORTH REMEMBERS

F Goodell.

I see this is your very first post, now go back to the NFL office and tell Roger to F OFF,
 

Deus Irae

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I hold no grudge against Roger Goodell. If a man acts according to his heart and his principals, and does so with the best of intentions, while I may choose to disagree with him, that does not make him a bad person. No, I hold no grudge


This crap was your first post here. So, are you a member of the NFL's PR department, a member of Kraft's PR department, or just a troll?
 

Joker

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I read his entire post, Deus. It's well written even though i knew where it was headed after the first paragraph. In any normal circumstance, his missive makes clear sense and I can see casual football fans supporting his notion of "no grudge held". Obviously he is NOT a New England Patriot fan and most likely not a resident of the 6 state region. He fails to understand the undeniable truth of the situation. There IS a grudge...a MASSIVE GRUDGE...being held by the Patriots fanbase today, tomorrow and for as long as this cretinous, megalomaniacal narcissist Goodell is in power.

This person is not a troll IMO...a paid PR flack would be my best guess.
 

DarrylS

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Goodell is one of many business executives who want to deny peer reviewed science(Ideal Gas Law) for the sake of furthering their own ambition and bottom line.. and do so by confusing the issues by talking about destroyed cell phones etc.

What goes around comes around, payback is a bytch...

I could feel a tiny bit better if there was some consequence for Walt Anderson who was derelict in his duties by letting the sacred game balls out of his sight.. but instead they received praise. He even was given a cherry on top and officiated the Superbowl L...

Goodell could have handled the situation much differently, but he chose not to.. so screw him and his minions..
 

borg

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NFL propaganda infiltrating enemy territory....No doubt Richard Piccalo is Fraudger's pen name...or Dick Pik for short (yes Roger is a freak)
DELETE
DELETE
DELETE
DELETE
 
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