Overreaction to Ted Wells and his Report
Well it finally happened, Ted Wells released his 234 page report on what may or may not have happened on the night of January 18th, 2015. Before we really get into it, I would like to point out that if Mr. Kraft wants to be mad at someone, he should be mad at himself for setting this all in motion years ago when he was the driving force behind propping Roger “The Puppet” Goodell in place and then reinforcing his sense of self-worth and importance by praising his actions during the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson scandals a year ago.
Now, to Mr. Wells and his “independent” report…This thing is laughable; Wells was obviously hired to find a “certain result”, not to present the unbiased facts of what happened on that evening. If he wasn’t hired to provide a “certain result”, then why would he hire a consulting firm that is world renowned for providing the “certain results” that their clients request. This is the firm hired by the tobacco industry to argue that second hand smoke does not cause cancer. They’ve also presented evidence in court hearings that states asbestos is not a carcinogen and that dumping toxic waste into Ecuadorian rainforests posed no health risk to the residents of the area. This alone should invalidate any findings in the report. This whole deal is a witch hunt orchestrated by Roger Goodell because he has had the worst year of his life and no doubt wanted to turn some of those deafening boos that he hears everywhere he goes into cheers. What better way to get the majority of NFL fanbases back on your side than dropping an anvil on the franchise that has made their favorite teams look incompetent for over a decade?
OK, let’s get to what’s in the report. The report concludes that it is more likely than not that a human tampered with the balls on that night and that Tom Brady probably knew about it. OK, I don’t disagree with that. Although, there is a very large hole in the report as to how much Mr. Brady actually knew about or participated in the plot. For all we know, Brady was holding a football and told the equipment manager, “I want the balls exactly like this when we get to the field.” Said equipment manager (JJ) would never want the great Tom Brady to be upset with him, thus losing his access to the star, so he gets a little overzealous and does whatever possible to make sure the balls are exactly the way his idol wants them when he hits the field and Brady is none the wiser. (In all honestly I think this is close to what happened, there was just a “wink, wink” included in Brady’s instruction)
The other real problem is how Wells came to his conclusions. It appears that anyone who said anything against the Patriots word was taken as gospel whereas anyone who spoke in favor of the team was dismissed as a liar that was somehow involved in a giant conspiracy. Except of course Bill Belichick, who was COPMPLETELY EXHONERATED by the report and subsequently has avoided punishment all together.
Now for the punishments. I’m not going to spend too much time talking about them, because these are not the final punishments, we’ll spend more time on them once all of the appeals are done. Brady has hired Jeffrey Kessler, the lawyer that the NFL least likes to see in court and who has been described as a “perpetual hemorrhoid on the posterior of the NFL.” So don’t expect him to sit out 4 games, I say two max, but there’s a good chance that he only pays a fine. My reasoning for this line of thought is that the penalty is majorly because Brady “refused to cooperate” with the investigation. His only refusal was not giving up the contents of his phone, something that he was advised by counsel to not do. It should be pointed out that without a subpoena, requiring an employee to turn over personal correspondence under the threat of punishment is considered coercion and is illegal.
The loss of the two draft picks and a million bucks is interesting and I’m curious to see how Kraft handles things. A million dollars is nothing to an NFL team, so I expect Kraft to send a truckload of pennies to the NFL headquarters without batting an eye, but rumor has it that Bobby is pissed about the draft picks and that the other owners in the NFL are scared about what Kraft may do. Think about that for a second, this is the entitled billionaire that other entitled billionaires fear and now he’s pissed off. (Once again Kraft has largely himself to blame for this, but since when do billionaires take blame for anything?) The Pats may get one of the picks back (probably the 1st), but this is the silver lining of this whole catastrophe, Goodell is as good as gone. Kraft is a snake oil salesman and can get anyone to buy into anything, he’ll just sit down with Jerry Jones and the Rooneys and say, “Just think what he’s going to do to you the next time one of your guys f’s up.” The Cowboys and the Steelers, two teams who happen to employ a lot of shady characters are likely to agree that Goodell has become drunk with power and needs to go. Once you have three of the most powerful owners in the league all ready to hang Roger, he will hang.
Long story short (here’s where you get my opinion), the Pats and Tom Brady like “the top taken off” the ball so it’s a little softer, thus easier to grip. Tom told the equipment guy that he wants all of the balls a certain way and doesn’t care how the get that way. Unfortunately he tasked the wrong people to perpetrate his scheme and was caught because they got a little overzealous in how they executed the plan and worst of all they talked about the plan on electronic devices (anyone who’s ever orchestrated any sort of shady scheme knows that these types of things are always discussed in person and details are never written down.). The Pats bent the rules, by doing something that has been done for years throughout the league. Yes this is an “everyone else was doing it too” defense, because I would like to point out how small of a deal this actually is. I know it gives fans of other teams something to latch onto, a reason for their teams’ ineptitude whenever they play the Pats (or in the case of the AFC East it seems that this is the main reason that the three other teams have sucked against everyone for over a decade), but it really isn’t a big deal. Yes, the Pats circumvented the rules. They were caught and should be punished, but equating this to a “high crime” is just stupid.