Here’s a quick rundown on this Friday of today’s top stories:
Legal Expert Wallach: 50-60% Brady Plays in Week 1 – After the Second Circuit court of appeals denied Tom Brady’s bid for a rehearing, the next step now will be for the Patriots quarterback to set his sights on an opportunity to take things to a higher court.
Sports attorney Daniel Wallach appeared on Boston Herald radio on Thursday to discuss Brady’s chances of being on the field to begin the 2016 season and he appears to be a little more optimistic than others, feeling that it’s better than 50% that Brady will take the field out in Arizona to start the season.
The biggest issue Wallach believes Brady is going to have to overcome is convincing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg to stay the suspension, and he feels that since Brady should be able to prove that serving the four-game suspension will cause him to suffer irreparable harm, that fact should hopefully sway her make the move that will allow him to play while he waits for the Supreme Court to decide if they’re going to hear the case.
“I think it’s at 50 to 60 percent,” explained Wallach. “I’m probably the most optimistic person on the planet, but I believe that this is a close case, and in a close case you look at the balance of the equities. And the balance of equities decidedly favors Tom Brady. Admittedly, he does have an uphill battle in persuading Ginsberg that this is a reasonable probability, of the court taking the case and a fair prospect that there would be a reversal, but he couldn’t pick a more favorable justice to have on his side. She’s in her early 80’s. She’s not going to be overly concerned with having her decision disturbed later on. She’s the most liberal justice on the court.”
Wallach believes that within the next six days, Brady’s legal team will have to file a motion requesting a stay from the second-circuit, which he believes the quarterback won’t receive since they denied the merit that lead to this week’s decision. From there, he expects that over the next couple of weeks they’ll file another motion for a stay to the Supreme Court, which will contain similar arguments that were presented to the second circuit. Wallach believes that due to the irreparable harm Brady would suffer serving the suspension while the court makes their decision to review his case, that should increase his chances for the court to grant the stay in his favor.
As a result, Wallach likes Brady’s chances of being in uniform to start the season.
“In a close case, Brady wins because he will suffer irreparable harm once those four games are missed, and the NFL suffers zero harm with a deferral of the four-game suspension,” said Wallach. “He just needs to keep it in the ballpark, and make it a close enough call so that Justice Ginsberg has enough to hang her hat on to grant a stay in favor of Brady. And I believe Brady will, in fact, get the stay. Or at least a temporary stay from Justice Ginsberg… I think if Brady does obtain a stay from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, I think he’ll be pretty safe for the 2016 NFL season.”
Ebner Will Soon Learn if He’s Headed to Rio – Patriots special teamer Nate Ebner will soon find out if this Olympic dreams will become a reality.
Ebner has spent the last couple of months training for this year’s Olympics in Rio as part of the rugby squad that will represent the United States, and the team will be setting their 12-man roster on Monday.
Hopefully for Ebner, his name will be on that list.
“I think he’s got as good of a shot as a lot of people,” team captain Madison Hughes told USA TODAY recently. “I think he’s got a decent chance of being there.”
It would be quite an accomplishment for Ebner, who played rugby long before he ever played football. The former Buckeye actually continued to play on the national team even while he was attending Ohio State before making the football team as a walk-on as a junior.
Ebner was granted a leave of absence from the Patriots to pursue his Olympic aspirations, and he loves the sport. It’s obviously an opportunity of a lifetime, and he’s enjoyed every moment as he’s worked with this group competing for a chance to represent the country, although it’s a little different from the NFL.
“There’s nothing in sports like covering a kickoff or covering a punt,” said Ebner. “Rugby, there’s no blocking, you can’t hit anybody unless they have the ball — they’re very different games in their own way. But for me, I’ve been able to transition well because I’ve played rugby my whole life.”
Hopefully on Monday, he’ll find out if he’ll have a shot at competing to add a gold medal to pair with his Super Bowl ring. The six day tournament in Rio is set to begin on August 6th.
Rodgers, Others React to Brady News – A handful of players were asked about Brady’s situation this week while players were outside on the red carpet at the ESPY’s.
ESPN posted a video with thoughts from several players, including Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, Seattle CB Richard Sherman, Texans DE J.J. Watt, and Patriots DL Terrance Knighton.
Rodgers had little to say on the subject, saying, “He’s probably going to keep appealing, I would assume. The next step, I don’t know, the Supreme Court maybe? So, we’ll see what happens.”
Richard Sherman took Brady’s side, noting that the NFPLA is doing what they feel is necessary to protect the rights of the players.
“By the time anything happens, it will be over two years and it’s kind of like, what are they doing?” said Sherman. “But that’s how the league does it and it’s up to them, but I’m sure the player’s union will fight for the rights of our players and continue to do everything that we feel is right to defend ourselves.”
J.J. Watt’s team plays the Patriots in Week 3, so he’s obviously interested to see how it ends up working out since it will affect their approach.
“I think obviously there’s a lot of due process that has to go on,” said Watt. “We play against them in the first four games so I think obviously there’s a direct effect there, so interesting to see how it plays out.
New teammate Terrance Knighton believes that should Brady not be out there, he and the rest of the team will just have to pick things up until he comes back.
“I’m wishing for the best,” said Knighton. “Obviously you want your quarterback out there. I guess they’re going to keep fighting it but the other guys are going to have to step up. I’m pretty sure he’ll address the team about his situation, but until then, guys, we’re just going to keep going to work and if he’s not out there we’re just going to have to pick up the extra slack.”
Brady Pokes Fun of Himself for His Losses to Eli – Brady has done a good job showing his lighter side on his Facebook page over the last year, and he recently poked some fun at his troubles against Eli Manning in a recent segment that ran on the Espy’s.
During the show the network ran a spoof on the Gatorade ad, which featured athletes reading letters from recently retired Peyton Manning.
Brady, who twice lost a Super Bowl to Manning’s brother Eli, read a letter where Manning wrote, “I just want you to know that I think of you like a brother, a brother who lost to my other brother all the time.”
From there, Brady turned and let out a profanity at the camera.
You can see the video via this Vine from Barstool Sports’ Casey Baker: