File this as not surprising.
In a report on Tuesday by the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, commissioner Roger Goodell took some time to address the league’s handling of the PSI data from the tests conducted this season, which apparently went from being tests to instead simply being part of game day procedure at different locations throughout the season.
Goodell simply called them “spot checks” to try and let teams know they were watching in order to, all together now, “protect the integrity of the game.”
“What the league did this year was what we do with a lot of rules and policies designed to protect the integrity of the game, and that’s to create a deterrent effect,” Goodell said during his appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show” Tuesday.
“We do spot checks to prevent and make sure the clubs understand that we’re watching these issues. It wasn’t a research study. They simply were spot checks.”
And since it wasn’t a research study, that’s apparently why they didn’t keep the results. That goes against an earlier report two weeks ago that indicated results might be released at some point between the Championship Games and the Super Bowl.
Obviously everyone at this point knows that the league handed out a punishment of a first-and fourth-round draft pick as well as fining the team $1 million thanks to footballs tested following last year’s AFC Championship game. It essentially required Bill Belichick to stand at the podium in an epic Saturday press conference and explain the “Ideal Gas Law”, which key NFL executives didn’t even understand. The worst part is that upon further review, the numbers released from the Wells report more or less revealed that the vast majority of the Patriots’ footballs were within the expected range.
But science be damned, it didn’t stop Goodell from holding his ground and increasing his accusations of Brady being involved in a deliberate “scheme” to deflate footballs, with the language becoming stronger with each legal document released. Fortunately the suspension was overturned and while Brady won’t get the satisfaction of forcing Goodell to hand him the trophy in two weeks, the two are set to duel in the courtroom in March after the league appealed the suspension being overturned.
For a commissioner who did little to stop his office from leaking information when this all first started, it’s curious that the numbers aren’t and haven’t been released. After all, if any of the tests had come back with figures different from what was found in the initial report that found Brady guilty and made the NFL’s case, one would have to believe they would have proudly released them.
To this point, that hasn’t happened. Instead, at least publicly, the commissioner remains mum and continues beating the “integrity” drum, and once again indirectly insinuated wrongdoing on the part of Brady during his interview.
“I have great admiration for Tom. I know him personally. Obviously I respect his playing ability — he’s an extraordinary player, a sure Hall of Famer, and I have nothing but admiration for him.
“But I have to make sure that we continue to do the things that are necessary to protect the integrity of the game and I will do that without compromise.”
Even if science proved he might have actually been wrong. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the league is ready to let anyone find out how the footballs tested compared to the ones that put the “cheater” label on one of his stars, as well as casting a cloud over one of the most successful franchises in the sport .
But that would imply a commitment to also getting to the truth. Instead he seems ready to continue the fight, which for now, will continue next month.
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