Goodell’s actions should end tenure as commissioner

This is my Thursday column on the NFL’s suspension of Tom Brady.

Roger Goodell may have fired his final bullet.

On Tuesday, the Commissioner of the NFL upheld his decision to suspend New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady four games for allegedly conspiring with team equipment managers to deflate footballs in the AFC Championship game.

The NFL released a 20-page statement claiming Brady destroyed his cell phone “on or shortly before March 6, the day that Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues . . . (Brady) did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone. During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device.”

Quick question — how does one keep 10,000 text messages on a phone? I don’t think mine does that.

Back to the NFL’s statement: “Rather than simply failing to cooperate, Mr. Brady made a deliberate effort to ensure that investigators would never have access to information that he had been asked to produce. Put differently, there was an affirmative effort by Mr. Brady to conceal potentially relevant evidence and to undermine the investigation.”

In other words, the league couldn’t prove Brady conspired to deflate footballs. They only could prove he destroyed a cell phone, an admission of guilt as far as they’re concerned.

Here’s what was left out of the 20-page report: The Collective Bargaining Agreement does not mandate a player give his cell phone to the NFL during an investigation. Here’s more you should know: Brady and his agent Don Yee claims Brady gave the league his cell phone records, and offered to give them a spreadsheet identifying whom he had texted so the league could contact those people and get copies of the text messages Brady sent them.

“As a member of a union,” Brady wrote on Facebook Wednesday morning, “I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward (by handing over the cell phone), nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. Wells’ investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline. . . . We exhausted every possibility to give the NFL everything we could and offered to go thru (sic) the identity for every text and phone call during the relevant time.”

In Footnote 11 (not 10, not 12 — 11) of the league’s 20-page report, they responded to Brady’s proposal, stating it was simply “not practical.”

Let’s back up.

The league claims Brady failed to cooperate with the investigation and attempted to undermine it by destroying his cell phone, which they never had a right to in the first place.

Then in Footnote 11 the league admitted Brady suggested a way to give over text messages without giving over his cell phone, and the league decided his suggestion would be too cumbersome and labor intensive.

So Brady did cooperate, just not in the fashion dictated by Goodell and his investigators. The league buried that fact in the footnotes of their report because it didn’t fit their narrative.

The league seems intent on nailing Brady and the Patriots, but for what? Are they guilty of deflating footballs, or are they being punished for an assortment of smaller sins and an arrogant attitude?

And why did the league leak the story to the media about Brady destroying his cell phone before releasing the official 20-page report?

“The league’s handling of this entire process has been extremely frustrating and disconcerting,” Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft said in his own official statement. “I will never understand why an initial erroneous report regarding the PSI level of footballs was leaked by a source from the NFL a few days after the AFC championship game, (and) was never corrected by those who had the correct information. For four months, that report cast aspersions and shaped public opinion.

“Yesterday’s decision by Commissioner was released in a similar manner, under an erroneous headline that read, ‘Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone.’ This headline was designed to capture headlines across the country and obscure evidence regarding the tampering of air pressure in footballs. It intentionally implied nefarious behavior and minimized the acknowledgement that Tom provided the history of every number he texted during that relevant time frame. And we had already provided the league with every cellphone of every non-NFLPA that they requested, including head coach Bill Belichick.”

It seems the NFL knew it was on shaky ground, and attempted to poison Brady’s image by getting out their version of what they wanted the public to hear.

Expect Brady to take this to court, and to receive an injunction that prevents the league from suspending him.

Goodell is going down.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at

This article has 332 Comments

  1. This entire conversation ends with the fact that Brady destroyed his phone. That’s as guilty as you get. There is zero reason to destroy the phone unless it’s going to incriminate you, period end of story.

        1. “Brady denies destroying his phone so that he didn’t have to hand it over to the NFL. He says that he replaced his broken Samsung phone with an iPhone after his attorneys told him that investigators would not be given the phone itself.”

          You and Grant are probably the only people that believe story too.

          1. What is the basis for requiring Brady to hand over his phone? If the NFL wants to get his text massages to relevant individuals they are available on those phones. As footnote 11 points out, the NFL couldn’t be bothered.

            1. There couldn’t be more than six of so individuals that might have communicated with Brady about air pressure, and we have already seen published text from the two guys who handled the balls.

              Who might the other candidates be?

            2. Tom Brady should have wanted to turn over the phone. If I was wrongly accused of something and all I had to do to help clear my name was let someone look at my text messages just how fast do you think I’d be turning my phone over? Milliseconds. Which is exactly the same amount of time that anyone that had nothing to hid would do in the same situation.

              Saying that the NFL had no basis to require him to hand over the phone is not only inaccurate because they weren’t requiring him in the first place but it’s not even the point. They were offering him a chance to clear his name by proving he didn’t have incriminating text messages either on his phone or deleted and he declined that opportunity by destroying his phone and coming up with this ridiculous explanation about it. Why would someone turn down a chance to prove their innocence? Would you? Of course not, at least not if you’re actually innocent.

              1. Lets tie Brady to a chair an chuck him in the river. If he floats he is a guilty witch, and if he sinks he’ll get his reward in heaven. That has been a good Christian solution to problems like this.

              2. “I am not a crook.”
                “I did not have sex with that woman.”
                “I did nothing wrong.”

              3. You know you’re say that Tom Brady should prove his innocents rather than that the NFL should prove that a violation of the rules took place with his knowledge and cooperation.

                That’s not a standard that I would want to live with in my life. I could wind up tied to a chair in a river.

              4. Look for the comment by Brady elsewhere in this thread. This is a BS sandwich Goodell is offering, and, not surprisingly, most people are willing to eat it.

            1. Well, if he was asked to hand his cell phone to provide evidence and instead opted to destroy it first, he is guilty of obstructing the investigation, and it is a conduct detrimental to the league. Even if he is not guilty of conspiring to deflate the footballs.

              That’s the NFL case and it might sound stupid, but it is not unreasonable.

              I just hate this Brady’s story because it makes me kind of defend Goodell.

              1. When Wells asked for the phone he was informed that by NFLPA rules he was not entitled to that. But Brady then gave Wells a printout of all the messages he’d sent for the specific time period. The NFL did not apparently use them. Read Brady’s statement, which I reprinted elsewhere in the thread.

            2. Innocent until proven guilty is a legal presumption required in criminal proceedings. Employment issues are not criminal proceedings.

              1. And yet there are occasions where the courts have affected the choices that the NFL has made in regard to the employees of the owners. I understand that bias on the part of the arbitrator can be relevant. Since Goodell has arbitrated his own judgement, isn’t it even remotely possible that a court would ask the NFL to redo the arbitration?

              2. htwaits,

                The NFLPA agreed to these terms under the CBA. They are essentially challenging something that was collectively bargained because they don’t like the result.

              3. Recently congress put hints of anti trust action on the NFL due to their blackout policy. How does that fit employment issues in when a monoploy has been granted by congress?

    1. Grant seems to make this more difficult than what it is, further more he evidently does not like Goodell from previous articles. Deal with it Grant!


      You nailed it quickly & decisively.

      Any NFL fan outside of being a Patriot fan knows Brady is guilty. As Robert Plant would sing in a Zeppelin song……”No…No…No…No body’s fault but mine”

      Had Brady just come clean back in January and plead Ignorance he wouldn’t be in this World of Sh*t he’s in now.

      But this goes back to the Arrogance & Defiance of both he, Bob & the Patriots Organization which includes Mr. Personality Billacheat.

      And Grant says “Brady and his agent Don Yee claims Brady gave the league his cell phone records, and offered to give them a spreadsheet identifying whom he had texted so the league could contact those people and get copies of the text messages Brady sent them.”

      Oh so we should all just believe Tom and his Slimy Agent Yee because they “claim”?

      Please! Grant what world do you live in?

      1. I hope that you’re one of those people who always try to get out of jury duty because you have no sense of law or justice. Your hate does not equal anything but your hate.

    2. The Wells Report itself says that the Colts played the entire game with deflated footballs, the Pats for the first half. Shouldn’t the NFL at least be searching through Luck’s cell phone to see if he said anything. Another interesting factoid was that one of the two pressure gauges used by the NFL that day was declared faulty. How many NFL pressure gauges around the league worked properly during the season?

      It’s also simple physics. Footballs are inflated in clubhouses. In January in Foxboro the temperature outside is generally forty or fifty degrees lower than indoors. Moving a ball from a warmer to colder temperature will cause deflation. Also, the Pats treat their footballs on the sidelines to remove the waterproofing. The NFL allows this but apparently never took this into account.

      Some close to the case suggest that this whole case grew out of a game earlier in the year where the refs allowed overinflated balls to be used in a Jets-Pats game. The staff of the Pats exchanged messages mocking the NFL’s testing practices. That is, this began as a pissing contest and when Brady didn’t back down Goodell wanted to show that his stream was higher on the wall.

      Goodell is utterly incompetent in issuing discipline and hopefully Brady sues the NFL for defamation of character. If the suspension isn’t held in abeyance until the case is heard the entire NFL season will be bogus because of Goodell’s actions.

      By contract Brady is not obligated to hand over his phone. He offered to give printed information to the league, which the league failed to mention when leaking the destroyed cell phone story.


      Finally, the saddest part of this case is that so many Americans are willing to go along with Goodell because they either presume authority is always correct or they hate Brady and/or his coach/team.

    3. It’s no ones right to your personal inf. prolly doesn’t want roger goodoleboy jerkin it to wifey pics. Stop being a tool for the man. And grow spine like Tom. I hate the pats as team. But Tom has made a new fan in me.

    4. Coffee, Brady supplied printouts from his phone to Wells in response to the request. Wells never told him that his discipline was dependent on him turning over the physical phone to the NFL. The NFL doesn’t have a right to tack that on to the case three months after he got the suspension.

      Brady said he replaced a broken phone. You don’t know how the phone was broken. If you base your case on after-the-fact innuendo by Chris Mortensen then I don’t ever want to see you on a jury.

  2. Naw, Goodell should get a medal for showing some backbone and standing up to Whiny Boy Brady.
    I would fire Goodell for his handling of the Ray Rice incident, but if the owners fire him, the lunatics will start running the asylum.

  3. Grant

    This is a strange article. Firstly, I’ll bet you DO have 10,000 texts on your phone. I certainly have that many on mine. Secondly, you didn’t appear to edit your article that closely; one “claims”, while one and another together “claim.”

    Aside from those nits, I wonder why you wrote this piece. The Patriots are proven, consistent cheaters, so much so that their head coach goes by the derisive nickname Belicheat and has been fined $500K personally, and the team as a whole has been accused and fines more than any other team in recent memory (despite your absurd claim earlier this year that the Niners were the mantle-holder for wrongdoings). What is your endgame? Do you not like Goodell? Why not? Do you think Goodell has picked a fight against a greater influence in the NFL than himself in Bob Kraft? While that may be true, you’re not saying that. So what is your point?

    Deflating balls is, by rule, cheating, and the Patriots were caught red-handed. Add to that evidence the circumstantial evidence provided by the text interchange between the ball managers about someone strongly indicated to be Tom Brady, though never explicitly named as such, and you have enough to go on, if you’re Goodell, to conceivably argue conduct detrimental to the league. It is in Goodell’s job description to uphold the integrity of the league, basically with unfettered discretion and by almost any means necessary, if the phrase “detrimental to the league” comes into play. Here, it did, and here, again, it involved the Patriots.

    Bob Kraft is The Devil. He dresses well, speaks angelically, and had everyone fooled. Despite all the mountains of evidence showing that the Patriots are proven, consistent cheaters, somehow Kraft has crafted a narrative against Goodell that has even


    convinced otherwise. If I had any influence over you, which I admittedly do not, I might ask you to kindly withdraw your head from Lucifer’s hiney.

    1. Actually, there is a site dedicated to tracking fines and cheating accusations. The patriots are near the bottom with the least amount of fines.
      The Broncos are the biggest cheaters in the league. They were even caught as recently as 2010 videotaping the 49ers practice.
      I don’t mind piling on New England, but recently there has been a phenomenon in the media. Half wits hear a story that makes national interest and then spread it all errors included across anyone who has an ear.

      1. I imagine this comment tempted you to post some factual information.

        “The Patriots are proven, consistent cheaters”

        1. Actually it was the continuation of the sentence: “…and the team as a whole has been accused and fined more than any other team in recent memory…”
          Then the absurdity continued with quotes about deflated balls. Science has already proven that notion wrong.
          It’s a slow week and spreading ignorance because the media published it as truths is a growing trend.
          I believe that’s what the article touches on. The media has become the biggest PR firm that news is not news.

    2. That rhetorical swill does not address any facts. Robert Kraft is not a supernatural being that brings evil to this world.

      The Colts played the entire game with deflated balls. What investigation or punishment did they receive? Is their owner of pure spirit?

  4. My phone has thousands of texts on it – I couldn’t say how many without doing some research, but it has every text I’ve sent or received since I got it in March, and for that matter, most if not all texts from my old phone were imported when I got this one. I think that’s pretty standard these days, and I’m guessing Tom Brady has a nicer phone – and more attentive customer service – than I do.

    As far as Brady never having to turn over the cellphone, if this issue had reached the courts – as it looks like it will now – it’s entirely possible that materials on the phone would fall under a discovery request and Brady would be required to produce them. Although we can’t entirely believe what either side is saying, the league claims that they gave Brady the option to have people review his messages and exclude any irrelevant information. The league’s “too time-consuming” excuse rings hollow, but Brady’s offer to let them know the names and numbers of the people he called is an equally empty gesture.

    Brady’s destruction of his phone makes it very clear to me that he was trying to hide something. His story about destroying phones routinely is ridiculous; anyone who believe he just happened to get a new phone at this precise time is kidding themselves. Is his punishment fitting? Arguably not. But he was clearly involved in the deflation issue, and has done his level best to deny responsibility and impede the investigation. Under those circumstances, I don’t have a hard time with the suspension.

    1. By contract the NFL does not have the right to examine a player’s personal phone. Brady offered a printout of all messages he had sent on that phone with the means for the NFL to check the texts. The NFL declined. Maybe it’s too hard to cross-reference messages and would be more fun to look at pictures of Brady’s wife.

      In any case, despite all the kowtowing to Goodell and the NFL in the media, I find it difficult to see this standing up in a court of law. Goodell violated the NFLPA contract in asking for the phone and has no proof that any balls were intentionally deflated by anyone. By the mere fact that the Colts played the same game with deflated balls, as per the NFL’s tests, investigating and punishing the Patriots is unequal punishment and thus a violation of US labor law.

      1. I will admit that upon rereading the Commissioner’s final decision of July 28, I was struck that he provides no citation with respect to his statement in Section IV that, “[T]he NFL is entitles to expect and insist upon cooperation of owners, League employees, club employees, and players in workplace investigation and to impose sanctions when such cooperation is not forthcoming… .” That language is not in the CBA with respect to investigations (but see below re: lack of specifics in the CBA with regard to investigations).

        Such language is in the Personal Conduct Policy:

        “In investigating a potential violation, the league may rely on information obtained by law enforcement agencies, court records, or independent investigations conducted at the direction of the NFL. League and team employees are required to cooperate in any such investigation and are obligated to be fully responsive and truthful in responding to requests from investigators for information (testimony, documents, physical evidence, or other information) that may bear on whether the Policy has been violated. A failure to cooperate with an investigation or to be truthful in responding to inquiries will be separate grounds for disciplinary action.”

        However, the deflation situation is not covered under the Personal Conduct Policy as it was game-related conduct. It is covered by the Integrity of the Game Policy. I cannot find a copy of the Integrity of the Game Policy online, so I do not know if it contains a provision with respect to noncooperation with investigations.

        Having said that, I have read the CBA, and I cannot find a provision that prohibits the NFL from asking for personal electronics during an investigation. Further, Article 46 on Commissioner Discipline confers broad powers in the office of the Commissioner while remaining silent on the scope and procedures of investigations. If you can cite a section of the CBA that pertains to requesting cell phones or other personal data devices, I would appreciate it as I cannot find mention of them in my reading.

        1. “I also disagree with yesterday’s narrative surrounding my cellphone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances. As a member of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. [Ted] Wells investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline.

          “Most importantly, I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January. To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong.

          “To try and reconcile the record and fully cooperate with the investigation after I was disciplined in May, we turned over detailed pages of cell phone records and all of the emails that Mr. Wells requested. We even contacted the phone company to see if there was any possible way we could retrieve any/all of the actual text messages from my old phone.

          “In short, we exhausted every possibility to give the NFL everything we could and offered to go thru the identity for every text and phone call during the relevant time. Regardless, the NFL knows that Mr. Wells already had ALL relevant communications with Patriots personnel that either Mr. Wells saw or that I was questioned about in my appeal hearing. There is no ‘smoking gun’ and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing. …

          “I respect the Commissioners authority, but he also has to respect the CBA [the collective bargaining agreement with the players] and my rights as a private citizen. I will not allow my unfair discipline to become a precedent for other NFL players without a fight.” -Tom Brady

  5. Grant, for anyone who didn’t prejudge Brady and his team before the playoffs, your article should provide interesting reading concerning the motives and methods of the NFL.

    This covers the same territory for that same group of readers.

    By the way, the NFL has never in it’s history been interested in determining if air pressure is the same during a game or if changes in air pressure are an unfair advantage. I don’t see why the air pressure shouldn’t be up to the QBs and the kickers.

    Now if the Patriots wanted to make the field ten yards wider when they have the ball, and then shrink it ten yards when their opponent has the ball, that would be a different story.

    Bottom line, the only report that clearly indicated tampering turned out to be a false leak by the NFL and was never corrected.

    1. I’ll be surprised if the owners replace Goodell. In any case, the union has to get an unbiased appeals process in their next contract. Get ready to miss some games that year.

      1. Let’s say that there is no injunction and Brady sits out the four games and the Patriots lose a game and it somehow affects its final standings and because of home field advantage or some other thing the Patriots don’t win the Super Bowl. Then the court rules in Brady’s favor and finds the NFL wrong, allowing for full backpay, damages for injury to reputation et al.

        You have a bogus NFL season where the Commissioner removed the most important player for a team that did not win the Super Bowl at least partly because of the improper discipline he imposed.

        That weakens the entire product of pro football, brings more bad publicity and contempt for the commissioner’s office, and leaves most fans wondering if the NFL is really on the up and up.

        A commissioner who cheapens the integrity of the sport is generally not kept on by the owners whose product he devalued. Or deflated.

      2. The players hate him. That’s enough to get him out sooner than later. He’s not a judge. He truly has no right to any info that’s not pertinent. All other personal info needs to be protected from POSSIBLE
        Abuse. Any request for information needs to protect non-pertinent info. So phones, computers, techs, etc.. Should be off limits except, maybe violent felonies. Stop being a tool to be used.

  6. The weekly Pick’Em game is back up as well. If you think you have what it takes to knock the two time champion Rocket from the podium then come sign up and give it your best shot. I’m pretty sure he cheats.

    Anyway, click here and join group # 2413. The group is called; Laces out Dan! and the password is cohnblog

    Good luck.

  7. When Tom Brady refused to participate in the investigation, he declined the opportunity to explain those texts. So without Tom’s explanation of those texts, the investigator is left with no choice but to conclude that he’s part of a guilty conspiracy. Tom Brady was found to have intentionally destroyed his phone prior to meeting with the investigator….

    1. Explain what texts? All 10,000?

      We’ve leaked to make you look guilty, now prove you’re not guilty. … NFL

      1. Yea, all 10,000. Get real, have you seen the text in question? The NFL could care less about any of his text other than the relevant ones to the investigation….

        1. The NFL has already officially said that they can’t be bothered to check the very few relevant names and numbers offered to them on the phones belonging to those who communicated with Brady. There is no difference between text messages on the sender’s phone and the receiver’s phone. In fact, the NFL has already had access to messages on the phones belonging to the two men who handled the footballs in question. The NFL has already made pubic information about communication between those two guys. It’s strange to me that they didn’t mention texts between Brady and the same two guys.

          If it’s found that all related parties have destroyed their phones then you’ve got something. Otherwise the smoking texts are sitting right there waiting to be recovered.

          On the other hand, if the NFL has an agenda, then you’ve got the PR war they are waging with false information to sway the public.

          1. One of the released text messages had one of the two ball guys referring to himself as “The Inflator”. There were also texts published from the other guys phone.

            The bottom line is that every text from or too Tom Brady, that could be relevant, is still present on the phones of the people with whom he texted.

            1. My memory may be faulty, but I thought the Wells Report stated that texts from Tom Brady were not found on the phones of the equipment personnel, but texts referring to such texts were found.

              Also, without a court order to the server data, the NFL could only look at the phones themselves. They would not be able to see deleted texts on the phone. Hence, they wanted to look at Brady’s phone. And, although people seem not to want to believe this, his noncooperation with that request is subject to league discipline, whether he was culpable for tampering with the footballs or not.

              1. Jimmy below linked a story that throws some doubt on the noncooperation angle. This will be an issue in the court case.

              2. Since the NFL does not have any contractual right to examine anyone’s phone, and since Brady offered up the information in another format (read Brady’s statement) the whole cell phone issue is bogus. Not only that, if Goodell’s discipline (or his decision to not change the discipline) is in any way based on Brady not producing his cell phone then the discipline is not for just cause and by federal labor law must be thrown out.

              3. If the NFL received all the printouts of his texts and all the numbers he called, as Brady says he supplied, then what rule did he violate? How did he not cooperate?

        2. There is no text in question. Brady gave Wells a copy of every email he requested. Which text are you talking about?

  8. Did any of you ever think that the phone may have had non football texts that may have been embarrassing? Maybe Brady and his wife send “racy” or sexual messages to each other? The wholesale release of all of his messages are none of yours or the NFL’s business.

    1. I admit to not having followed this story, but this, nevertheless, seems like a good point. And you could bet those types of non-deflated football texts would get out to the media. Maybe JPN will weigh in on this, but it seems unlikely to me that a judge would have made Brady turn over all texts regardless of their nature.

      1. Yep, and TB can be a private citizen and not play in the NFL. However, he was accused of cheating and there was an investigation into his misconduct. He should have been suspended until he cooperated. If he did not want to cooperate, he could just not play ever again.
        TB should have been suspended for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the game, and until he fully cooperates with the investigation, he should not play.

      2. This is silly. If I sent sexually explicit texts to a co-worker, my texts would be highly relevant in an investigation into sexual harassment. So what, I just claim my texts are private and you can’t do anything about it? That’s not how it works.

        1. If you sent sexually explicit texts to your coworker your coworker would have them.

          See above. Brady offered a means for the NFL to determine which texts they felt NFL were necessary for the investigation and the NFL refused the offer. They wanted the phone itself, which they are not entitled to under the NFLPA agreement.

          The Colts played the same game with deflated footballs. Why weren’t they even investigated? Why wasn’t Andrew Luck suspended for four games? No, the discipline was the result of Goodell’s animus towards the Patriots’ staff for mocking the NFL office for overinflating footballs in a Pats-Jets game earlier in the season. This was a pissing contest, and when a federal judge sits over the case it’s unlikely he will care how high on a wall Goodell can urinate.

        2. In a criminal case the investigators would submit “probable cause” information to a judge who would then issue a search warrant for your phone.

          The Brady story involves the meaning of the contract between the players Union and the association of owners called the NFL.

          1. And private communications are discoverable in civil actions. The court may issue a subpoena for the information. The difference is more procedural than substantive.

            1. So many of us to educate, so little time. Keep bumping us back towards reality, it keeps the threads from going too far astray.
              ; >)

            2. Evidently there has been an agreement between the two sides to not introduce any new information into the proceedings. They seem to be restricting the scope to the appeal.

  9. Brady may not have been obligated (per CBA) to give up his phone, but his actions have the stench of a cover up reaching high heaven.

    Brady could very well be a victim of the Patriots pattern of playing outside the rules (spygate/deflategate) that have made him a target.
    I view the Brady suspension as a statement the NFL league offices must make if it is to restore some semblance of respect to this another shady event in the Pat’s recent history.

    Sure, Goodell will always look like the bad guy when he has to make these type of decisions but a multi-billion dollar corporation that depends on ticket buying fans and it’s advertisers to run an above-board business must do all it takes to keep their company clean – or at the very least try!
    Kudos to Goodell who has had to make decisions and rulings seemingly on the fly as new and unprecedented circumstances occur.

    1. There is a post earlier that documents the Patriots as the worst violator of league rules in the history of the NFL — not exactly. You’re parroting a misconception. Actually it is Denver.

      1. ht,
        Not sure if that was directed at me, but I specifically only pointed at two events that proved to be an unfair advantage as well as absolute undeniable cheating.

        1. How do you know that air pressure has ever been kept within the range specified in the rule book, or that it has any competitive relevance. They have traced it back to pre-1940 days and the NFL has never provided the rational for the pre-1940 air pressure standard.

          What is clear is that air pressure changes during the course of a game and that it will change differently depending on weather conditions. There is no record to indicate that the NFL has ever thought to find out what actually constitutes correct air pressure.

          What is clear is that the NFL leaked false information about the balls in question, and never bothered to correct that information. They got exactly the result they were looking for.

          As for unfair advantage, the score was close at half time when the balls were first examined, and pumped up. After that point, the Patriots blew away the Colts. The head official who did the examination didn’t make a record of exactly which valve he used to measure the air pressure. When he relied on his memory, which was not absolutely certain, the investigators chose to ignore him and go with the worst case pressure device.

          The public seem happy to go with things like “Eleven out of twelve balls were 2 PSI under the minimum required!!!!” and “He destroyed his cell phone!!!!!” Never mind the sequence of events or all the science that was trashed. Bring on the Gladiators!

          1. Also unmentioned is that balls will deflate with use. As I recall the game, the Patriots’ offense was on the field a lot more than the Colts’ offense. That means the Pats’ footballs were kicked more, squeezed more, bounced more, had more piles of heavy football bodies on them, etc., than the Colts balls.

            Now, since the NFL’s own testing showed that the Colts’ balls for that game were also deflated, that suggests that if anything, the Colts cheated.

            There is no evidence that the Pats deflated the balls, or that anyone deflated the balls. Goodell is wrong here.

            1. The testing showed both sets of footballs deflated. The issue is whether the Patriots’ footballs underwent a greater air pressure change between pregame measurements and halftime measurements than the Colts’ footballs. The data in the Wells reports indicates that they did. The report also includes other evidence that could be used to determine the likelihood of tampering. Thus, it is not correct to state there is no evidence. The contention is whether the evidence was sufficient warrant the NFL’s decision under the relevant standard of proof (preponderance of the evidence). That is what the court will examine.

              1. So this proves that Brady cheated?

                What was the pressure of all balls for all games last year? Is there a difference in the psi if one set of balls is used during a half, with three hundred pound linemen landing on top of a Pats ball carrier, versus balls that were hardly used because during that game, especially the first half of that game, the Colts’ balls mostly went three and out and the Pats’ balls were used over and over?

                Within league rules the Pats (and other teams) remove the waterproofing from the balls on the sidelines before the game. What effect does that have on the psi? When the NFL in the Jets-Pats game went the entire game with overinflated balls did the NFL investigate? Hello?

                This isn’t justice, it’s payback. The emperor has no clothes.

              2. I appreciate the acumen in legalities you bring to this blog, but putting all that aside, doesn’t it just boil down to; If Brady hands over the messages (and I remind you, it was not the phone they wanted but simply the relevant messages on it), he either gets a very big punishment because of what is contained in them, or he gets nothing because of what is not in them?…

      2. So how many games were the Denver coaches suspended for? How many games were the Denver QBs suspended? How many draft choices were taken away from the Broncos?

    2. 1. There is no heaven.
      2. Brady supplied a printout of his cellphone messages after his discipline. The NFL chose not to examine it, or if they examined it did not include any findings in the appeal.
      3. If this case is examined under federal labor law it will find that the discipline was issued for no just cause and Brady will prevail.
      4. There is no heaven.

  10. The record-setting shoe of Tom Dempsey on display at the Pro Football Hall of(Ben Liebenberg/NFL)

    Ok, a much different scenario here, but when speaking about unfair advantages why was Dempsey’ 63 yard field goal not only upheld but (as seen above) actually made into an NFL shrine?
    Yes, I know that TD was handicap and the fact that he even played makes him a hero, but there have been reports that he had a special metal piece in his specially fitted shoe.
    I actually saw this game and cheered for Dempsey’s great achievement, but the metal piece in his shoe still gives me pause and begs the question: was it an unfair advantage?

    1. No one at the time though it was unfair. It’s certainly not in the rule book which can’t cover everything. His actual disability probably gave him an advantage too.

  11. The league seems intent on nailing Brady and the Patriots, but for what? Are they guilty of deflating footballs, or are they being punished for an assortment of smaller sins and an arrogant attitude?
    The other NFL owners would have lost their minds if the NFL let the Pats get away with yet another violation.
    Fair or not, it was inevitable.

    1. They are guilty of using the letter of the law to confuse the opponents and the officials about who is eligible to receive passes on many plays. The announcers can’t keep track either.

      They are guilty of being in six Superbowls where they won four and lost two by a whisker. Actually, they won the last one by an opponent’s brain fart.

      There are few games won by the 49ers in the past 69 years that I enjoyed winning more than the 2012 in New England game. Unfortunately the injuries in that game contributed to losing the Superbowl.

  12. I made this point earlier today on a different thread: my takeaway is opposite of Grant’s, although every bit as speculative.
    Grant expects Goodell to go down because of the way he handled this.
    I think Goodell is doing what he’s doing the way he’s doing it because he has the explicit support of enough team owners. I expect Goodell to retain his position because of the way he handled this.

    1. If that can be proved it will go a long way in court to prove the NFL appeal system is unfair. I agree that he will keep his job and that Grant was reaching as he has done on one or two other occasions.

      1. Under Article XI of the NFL’s CBA, “action taken against a player by the Commissioner for conduct detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football” may only be appealed to the commissioner.

        A just cause standard was purposefully absent in the article of the NFL’s CBA dealing with league discipline (Article XLVI).[9] Absent of a just cause provision, the burden does not fall on Roger Goodell to prove whether he had reasonable and lawful grounds to suspend Tommy, but rather, the onus falls on Brady to prove his initial description was not purposefully misleading.

        The CBA gives the commissioner of the NFL broad authority for disciplinary action. Every NFL player, as well as every MLB and NBA player, signs a contract that includes an arbitration provision. This provision prevents a player from filing lawsuits against the league for contract disputes, and effectively requires players to partially surrender their rights to due process….

        1. That contract is the Union and the members fault. That’s why I think the next negotiations will result in lost games.

          You may remember that Goodell allowed an appeal to be taken by someone outside his office in the “Bounty” situation. That was a “real” outsider — Paul Tagliabue, and he negated all penalties against players.

        2. However, there are labor laws for the entire US that the judge will consider, perhaps more than the NFLPA’s agreement. Discipline has to be distributed equally.

          First step in the case. The records of psi for all footballs used in the NFL for 2014. Take my word. There will be overinflated balls and underinflated balls all over the place. Second, the judge will ask for proof of Brady’s part in this. Since the NFL refused to go through a printout of all of Brady’s messages (he offered this to the NFL and they declined) so they could designate which messages they deemed in the interest of the case it is clear that the NFL didn’t really care about any hidden messages. They wanted the phone itself, which is not available to them through the NFLPA. If anything, it suggests that, since someone leaked that Brady destroyed his phone that this was merely a “gotcha” out of Goodell’s office.

          It’s true that the contract says that all discipline is handled in the commissioner’s office. However, since Goodell’s case seems to violate a number of federal statutes I doubt his case is going to stand. Having a history in labor law I can already see how the NFL’s case will fold.

    2. I agree with Tuna – if Goddell did not have the support of the other owners, he would not have upheld the full four game suspension given Kraft’s standing in the League. But my sense is that the other owners are not happy with the Patriots’ role and attitude in the whole Ballgauzhi mess. For instance, if the Pats had said we did not deliberately intend to cheat but Brady does prefer that the footballs have certain feel and perhaps we went to far in this and accept the 25,000 fine for this apparent violation. The issue would have been resolved in January. But instead they copped an attitude – when they have been caught cheating in the past – demanded an apology from the league if they could not absolutely prove culpability, I suspect this cheezed-off a bunch of other league grand poobah’s and here we are.

      1. So if the Patriots cheated in the past you personally think it’s okay to punish them for past infractions now?

        By their own records the Colts played the same entire game with deflated footballs. How is a judge going to look at that simple fact?

  13. Lol it’s funny how you thought McDonald should have been suspended by the Niners without proof. But Brady is this innocent golden boy who’s been treated unfairly… Child please.
    I believe he shouldn’t have to turn his phone over, this isn’t China or a communist regime (yet) but if it was me I would give them access to those texts in question ONLY! But that’s just me and I would do anything to clear my name. The proof was already there with the two other idiots texts.
    He’s guilty, he knows it and he’s just another player in the long line of cheats who rode the innocent wagon to the end. Bonds, A-rod, McGwire… You get the picture. This organization isn’t the only one who cheats, but it’s no coincidence they’ve had a cheat tag in every suoerbowl winning season. The balls don’t deflate themselves and these two idiots who blew his cover aren’t getting anything out of it, but an unemployment check.
    Get real. He’s a cheat and he’s only a product of his two bosses.
    Kraft and Billichech. Way to be fair grant! And the rest of you who actually believe this guy is telling the truth. Pffft!

    1. And for the record a business this big wouldn’t go through with this unless they have a pretty strong case against him. The new about the phone being destroyed days before the public. Imagine what else they already know. He offered a reduced suspension ( which was a bow down move IMO) and Brady rejected it. I don’t know why these athletes continue to take the ride of innocence when they were caught.

    2. Only you would equate the air pressure (still unknown) in game balls to alleged physical abuse and failure to comply with a restraining order.

      1. Yes only I would listen to the other teams players who were actually on the field saying that. How dare me.
        Your point is off, if it’s an “accusation” an he was suspended by breaking policy. What does it matter what the rule breaking was about? Only an idiot with nothing better to do would miss the point and go to comparing a rule break.
        I’m talking about the hypocrisy in Grants outlook.
        Get real!

          1. Only you would take it to a literal level and make it an apples. V oranges discussion. If this is retirement my dreams won’t compare to yours. Get out and enjoy some life dude.

    3. Brady actually offered to turn over a document listing all his texts from which the NFL could designate which ones they felt were relevant. The NFL declined to do this. Read the latest NFL report, especially the footnotes. Here is Brady’s reaction. Ask yourselves how many of you saw this reported:

      “I also disagree with yesterday’s narrative surrounding my cellphone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances. As a member of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. [Ted] Wells investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline.

      “Most importantly, I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January. To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong.

      “To try and reconcile the record and fully cooperate with the investigation after I was disciplined in May, we turned over detailed pages of cell phone records and all of the emails that Mr. Wells requested. We even contacted the phone company to see if there was any possible way we could retrieve any/all of the actual text messages from my old phone.

      “In short, we exhausted every possibility to give the NFL everything we could and offered to go thru the identity for every text and phone call during the relevant time. Regardless, the NFL knows that Mr. Wells already had ALL relevant communications with Patriots personnel that either Mr. Wells saw or that I was questioned about in my appeal hearing. There is no ‘smoking gun’ and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing. …

      “I respect the Commissioners authority, but he also has to respect the CBA [the collective bargaining agreement with the players] and my rights as a private citizen. I will not allow my unfair discipline to become a precedent for other NFL players without a fight.”

  14. There are irrefutable facts. 11 of the 12 balls were deflated. The 12 ball destroys any ideal gas law, because shows that temperature cannot deflate balls to the degree in which they were deflated to.
    The 12th ball was left fully inflated for a reason. If a ref asks for a ball to test, the ball boy could give them a fully inflated ball. Therefore, it is not illogical to assume the HC and owner were aware of the deflated balls, and that the team as a whole, was responsible for cheating, just like they were caught before with video taping of signals.
    Since the owner and HC knew ahead of time that deflating was a common practice of TB and the ball handlers, they should be held accountable for establishing a climate for cheating. They are in a Catch-22. Even if they were unaware, they should have been aware. Ignorance is not an excuse. Bill Bellichick is known for being a smart coach. Even if he willfully was ignorant, he should have known.
    The results of their cheating will tear the league apart. If they get away with cheating and still win SBs, it will be more nefarious than the Black Sox Scandal. Maybe the last SB result should be voided, because the Patriots cheated to get to the SB, and cheated during the SB. They stole signals again and Bellichick could be seen gesturing to put Butler in, and he jumped the route because he knew what was coming.

    1. Actually, the 12th ball might have been overinflated, like the balls in the Jets-Pats game a few weeks earlier. Or it might not have been used. How much does a ball deflate if a defensive lineman lands on a ball carrier?

      Since the Colts’ balls were underinflated and mostly sat around in the first half, I’m not sure your proof is proof of anything.

  15. * The 12th ball destroys any illogical explanation of the Ideal Gas Law because it shows that the temperature cannot deflate….

    1. “There are irrefutable facts. 11 of the 12 balls were deflated. ” … sebnynah

      You left out that all 11 of them were deflated 2psi.

      That NFL leak was debunked within a few days of it coming out, and the investigation report made no such claim.

      What the investigators did was chose data from one of two pressure devices available to the game official that measured the balls. They chose to use numbers from the gauge that was one and a fraction PSI LOWER than the other device. To the best of his memory, the game official thought he used the other device (HIGHER reading) to take his measurements.

      What the official didn’t do was take it seriously enough to write down what he was doing so his “best memory” was ignored.

      1. It does not matter. Quibbling over what gauge was used does not change the fact that the balls were inspected before the game and the Patriots tampered with the ball when they not allowed to do so.

        1. When the gauges used by the NFL were seriously out of calibration with each other it makes a difference which one is used to determine air pressure.

        2. Except that the Colts’ balls were also deflated. When does Andrew Luck’s suspension start?

          I bet when the NFL turns over records of the psi of all footballs used last season we will see numbers all over the place. That is, if the NFL kept those records. If they didn’t, then their case falls apart. If the only game that they can point to shows that bother teams were using deflated balls, and the refs knew it, this case itself will deflate.

          1. There are no such records because they have never recorded starting, half time, or end of game PSI data. No one has ever cared except the QB

            1. HT,

              You know I enjoy a good debate, but my advice is to not look for it with this poster, for none is to be had here. One cannot interact rationally with someone who cannot (or will not) distinguish conjecture from measurable data.

              It is too bad that Claude Balls is no longer posting here, however. Claude had a flair for peeling back the layers of fallacy in such situations. I have neither the inclination nor the time.

              1. I agree with you even though I would tend to see some of what has gone on from the same perspective.

                I’m amazed that you do spend so much of your time here. You frequently tone down some of the outlying thoughts that float by.

        3. No. It doesn’t prove that at all.

          Let’s say you take out one of your cars. You drive it, you hit curbs with it, you run over things. You drive your car like it was a fullback. And your other car sat in the driveway. My girlfriend will assure you that hitting curbs will deflate tires. One team scores 45 points, another scores 7 points. Whose footballs were thrown, jumped on, kicked, squeezed more?

  16. Nice try Tom. You just happened to destroy your phone on or about the same day the Nfl was asking about. Riggghhhttttt.

    Still- the best team won and the whole thing seems like much ado about nothing. If Brady had stated he likes his balls soft and squishy right away, we would have moved on with our business.

    But Goodell is still a putz


    Woah, you think Lynch will make the PB ahead of Aldon…

    Contract year for Aldon, plus no off-field issues holding him back. He’ll be motivated. Lynch on the other hand has a history of clocking out after a strong first season. He was dominant as a freshman for ND, but then got homesick, decided to transfer somewhere near home, missed his sophomore year as a result, and then wasn’t overly impressive his junior year.

    Until I see Lynch string together a few solid seasons in the NFL I’m not ready to anoint him as the next big thing. I like his potential, but you never know whether he’ll stay motivated.

    1. My hunch so far is that Brooks is poised for a strong year and will earn 50% of the snaps. I think that will keep both Brooks and Lynch fresh, even in the 4Q, and that can only help Aldon’s production. If Herald or Lemonade can spell Aldon 15% of the time, he should be good.
      My favorite hymn: Inside Pass Pressure with this bunch of edge rushers will make our DBs geniuses. ; >)

      1. I know it sounds silly given the losses this off-season, but I think there is a real chance this D turns in an excellent season. Forget about who they used to have and just look at what they currently have. A very solid and stout DL with plenty of depth, 3 very good (including 1 excellent) edge rushers with NFL form on the board, plus added another young guy with potential, two very good safeties with excellent young depth, and a former All-Pro ILB. Sure, there are some question marks at CB and ILB, but all in all that is a pretty good looking unit. Lets hope Mangini can get it all working.

        1. I think there is a bit more of an unknown about the DL then you suggest. Outside of nose tackle we have no idea who the other two starters are. It’s possible that the line is replete with talent but it’s equally possible that it isn’t. We know Williams is good if he’s healthy and we know Dorsey is stout as long as he’s inside the 4t. But once you get passed those two names you have really just a bunch of question marks. Plus you have to take into account the fact that both of those names just mentioned didn’t finish last season. I could list the names but you know them just as well and outside of Dockett(who might not even be healthy yet) and the previously mentioned players we have no one that has proven themselves to be a viable starter or even quality depth.

          1. I should add that even with the DL being a bit more shaky then possibly suggested it doesn’t mean that you couldn’t be completely correct in your prognostication. Mangenius might get that magic brain of his running at full speed and get this squad whipped into shape. I think our corners are going to get burned like a sleeping fat man on the beach but hopefully our two pro-bowl bound safeties can help pick up the slack.

          2. I think the main point of discrepancy comes down to what we think of Dorsey. My personal opinion is he’s not just a good interior DL, but also a good 5-tech for a more traditional 3-4. We’ve had the discussion before so not much point re-hashing it, but for mine they have two very good starting DL in Williams and Dorsey, two promising young guys that finished last season well in Dial and Tank, a good impact guy in Dockett, a raw kid we don’t know much about in Armstead, a decent backup DL in TJE, and then a bunch of unknowns.

        2. I don’t think it sounds silly. I think every position is talented and that the guys we lost have worthy replacements. IMHO the OLB corp and corners will be improved, and there’s more depth at safety and corner. True, the younger players have to prove themselves. The same for the new scheme. But I can’t see why things won’t work out.

        3. Scooter,

          If the pass rush turns out to be as good as the sum of it’s parts says it should, then the defense has a chance to be very good. I think we have a Dline capable of holding up well against the run, so the pass rush will be the difference maker. We are obviously questionable at ILB and CB, but pressure is the great equalizer.

    2. Good call re Bethea and Reid.

      I’d add Aldon. Some will guess that the 2014 version of Aldon Smith will continue into this season. And I can guess Aldon will be the 2011-2012 version of himself.

      If his head is screwed on straight and he has no nagging injuries, he will dominate. Until I hear concrete specifics why Aldon isn’t mentally or physically ready, I have no reason to think he won’t be a top pass rusher.

  18. Grant, I applaud you for wading through this mess to shed light on these inconvenient truths that the NFL is trying to bury under the rug. Most people are blinded by their baseless hatred of the Pats. Do any of you actually know the details of Spygate? It’s as ridiculous as this whole saga, yet your hatred blinds you from the facts. There are countless other sports businessmen who could bring in the profits that Goodell does. But only he creates these messes that he can’t clean up. The owners will soon realize this and give him his walking papers. I wonder what team will be next to have Goodell drag them through the mud. It could be your Niners.

    1. Patriots have dragged themselves through the mud, and TB has not heaped glory upon himself by acting like a whiny spoiled brat.
      I just wish Goodell had thrown the book at them. Kraft should be forced to relinquish control of the team and Bellicheat should have been suspended for a year.

  19. Grant, here’s why you’re wrong: courts pretty much NEVER overturn arbitration rulings. Even one’s that are clearly wrong.

    1. The NFL is on thin anti trust ice so it’s not good for them to be seen as taking advantage of their monopoly. They need to Tip Toe at times. The impression that the commissioner is being pressured by some members of the monopoly to punish, without strong cause, a contracted employee of another member of the monopoly, can have unexpected consequences. That’s why the NFL is doing everything they can to win the public opinion war.

  20. I’m gonna submit articles to BR that have 6 burning questions but charge them the same rate they give Grant who only bothers to give them 5. I’ll let Scooter write all the articles though so they don’t all turn into anti-Kaepernick rants. We’ll be the voice of the team for BR! At least until some hot shot comes out with his list of 7 questions facing the team heading into the regular season. It’s a dog eat dog business.

          1. htwaits,

            Put your name in to reserve a copy. It looks good and combines the best of 7 and 8, plus some new bells and whistles that look good. I would wait a couple of months before installing until the kinks are ironed out, but on first glance it looks very promising.

            1. I might put 10 on one laptop and play with it. I have 8.1 on two machines, and I only like it on my tablet. It is a pain on my non-touch laptop.

              1. I’m still waiting for my PC to download the upgrade but my Surface Pro 3 updated. From what I’ve seen and read of the changes it’s a more meaningful update for tablet/phone users then for the PC. So far I’m liking the new interface, although it’s not dramatically different either. Being able to SLI different makes and brands of GPU’s will be a nice boost if it works.

                I’ll have more opportunities to play with it once it’s updated on my PC as that’s where I spend most of my time.

              2. JPN,

                I’m not surprised as 8.1 was geared toward touch screens and was a poor fit for non touch laptops. 10 has brought back a better point and click interface while keeping the best elements of 8 for tablet and touch screen PC users.

              3. Win 10 is much better for desktops and non-touch devices than 8. I have been one of the windows insiders (re: beta testers since January) and am currently running the released OS on my desktop.

            2. I was joking about Ann Landers style help. I’ve been bitching about, and delaying upgrades for Microsoft operating systems since the IBM “B” model PC mother board and the early DOS.

              I’m running 7 now and have the link to upgrade when they have a few patch cycles under their belt.

              Your advise is solid.

              1. A new threat to privacy is the proliferation of “smart” devices that wait to take verbal commands from their owners. If they can also be used to transmit data, you are open to another form of security breach. My phone and my computer are deaf and dumb.

    1. Maybe BR keeps it to five as an expression of what they think about their readers’ attention spans.
      Uh….What was I talking about……?

  21. Blind baseless hatred? The Patriots were caught cheating. Twice. They were caught red handed, but you want to label people who want every team to adhere to the rules to be called blind haters? Defending the indefensible is lesson in futility.
    People who defend cheaters with wild accusations and insults just dig themselves into a deeper hole.

  22. Brady was under no provision to hand over his phone. Let the league prove his so-called guilt on their own. I agree with Grant 100 percent and I also despise authority.

    On a sadder note: Buddy Emmons died yesterday. Maybe three of you have heard that name. He was a great, charismatic man who single-handedly developed the pedal steel guitar, perhaps the most fiendishly difficult instrument to play there is. He is the “Bud” in Sho-Bud pedal steels and the Emmons (obviously) of the best ones ever made — Emmons guitars. He played on a 100 songs you heard on the radio and was to that instrument what Babe Ruth was to baseball and Joe was to football. I’m totally bummed cause I play an Emmons and I met the guy in Nashville 38 years ago…

    1. A Just Cause standard was purposefully left out of Article XLVI[9] regarding league disciplinary action, so Goodell does not have to prove guilt. That’s why the onus is on Tommy Brady to prove he did not intentionally mislead with his initial description of events. So you’re wrong when you say the league needs to prove his guilt….

      1. I’ve been told it’s hard to prove a negative, especially when an inquisitor is involved. Nasty negotiations are coming to the NFL.

        Fairness is what’s needed. Given the contract and the commissioner’s agenda that’s probably not going to happen. By the way, wouldn’t it be nice if the commissioner had to prove that he doesn’t have an agenda? Wouldn’t it be nice if the chef investigator had to prove that he didn’t start his investigation with a conclusion?

        Pipe dream I know.

        1. Does the NFL have a formal chef, investigator or not? Would someone please change chef to chief. Someone? Is there an editor in the house?

      2. Unfortunately for Goodell, Just Cause was not left out of federal labor law, and if I’m correct the courts of the US did not carve out an exception to the law for Roger Goodell.

    2. “Brady was under no provision to hand over his phone.”

      I am not sure what you mean by ‘provision’ above. You seem to be using it as synonymous with ‘compulsion’ or ‘obligation’, which is an odd usage here. Do you mean that the CBA and other NFL governing documents do not directly provide a mechanism by which he could be compelled to surrender his phone to the investigators? Or, do you mean more generally that the NFL does not have subpoena power as a court would have?

      Either way, I direct your attention to the link below:

      Specifically, please see my comment dated May 16, 2015 at 9:42 am regarding whether Brady was obliged to turn over his phone to the investigators. In short, the CBA and incorporated documents do allow the NFL to sanction players, owners, officials, employees, etc. who are non-cooperative with investigations. Thus, while the NFL could not compel Brady to turn over his phone via legal process (a subpoena), they can punish him (within the framework of the governing documents) for failing to do so. In that sense, it was likely unlawful (but not illegal) for Brady not to surrender his phone to the investigators. Further, if the cell phone and cell phone records are found to be properly discoverable in the current case, then the court will compel production and sanctions may adhere if production is not possible due to the act of a party or a party’s agent(s) (‘agent’ used in the legal since, not in the sense of a signing or ‘sports’ agent).

      On a slightly different Brady legal case topic, I liked the Minnesota Fed Dist Court judge’s comments in his ruling on transferring the case to the NY Fed Dist Court:

      “Indeed, the Court sees little reason for this action to have been commenced in Minnesota at all,” Judge Kyle wrote. “Brady plays for a team in Massachusetts; the Union is headquartered in Washington, D.C.; the NFL is headquartered in New York; the arbitration proceedings took place in New York; and the award was issued in New York.”

      Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), the Minnesota court does have personal jurisdiction over the parties in this case. However, even absent the “first-filed rule” that the Court used as an easy rationale to transfer the case to the NY Fed Dist Court, it likely would have been transferred to Fed Dist Court in New York or Massachusetts as both also have personal jurisdiction over the parties and both represent more convenient forums for the action. The FRCP are written to discourage and give the federal courts a remedy for forum shopping, which is what the NFLPA clearly was doing here.

      By the way, does anyone have a link to the text of the NFLPA’s complaint/application for a temporary injunction? I have not found one, and I would love to read it.

      1. JPN001 if your comments are directed to me I feel honored and readily admit to an ignorance of writing sound legal statements. I also have to admit ignorance of “likely unlawful (but not illegal)” distinctions.

        I always enjoy reading your contributions here, and appreciate them. I’m also ignorant of what it will take for the Union and Brady to prevail in court. If the court is, by definition, not interested in the soundness of the NFL’s investigation, then I too wonder about some of the advise that Brady has received, or I wonder if he is a client that doesn’t take guidance.

        Since Brady can’t destroy text messages on the phones of others, I wonder why the NFL isn’t acquiring them from the involve parties, since they have already acquired messages from the phones of the to guys handling the balls.

        1. My question was to Ghost since I wanted to be clear what he was meaning.

          A disclaimer: my analysis is mine – other attorneys may have a different analysis. I certainly have walked into court many times believing my analysis was convincing, only to have the judge be not so convinced. ;)

          They only have what is saved on the phones, which I understood to be the messages from the equipment personnel to each other. I could be wrong on this.

          The text messages are likely stored on a server somewhere. The NFL has no power to make the phone company divulge these. The court does, if the content of the texts are even at issue in the court case. I have not seen the pleadings, so I am working in the dark right now. However, since my understanding at this point is that the action involves the process the NFL used and not the underlying merits of the NFL’s suspension, I think it is quite possible that the text message data will not be discoverable.

          1. “They only have what is saved on the phones, which I understood to be the messages from the equipment personnel to each other. I could be wrong on this.”

            Actually, anything can be recovered from a memory device with the right software. On common security method is to overwrite with random bit patterns at least three times. That’s a difficult recovery, but possible. In the need is great enough data can be pulled up from the whole history of a storage device.

            In case of a cell phone, there is no method to do more than a simple delete. If the ball guys deleted their texts with Tom, those messages are still there and easy to recover. The NFL may not have anyone in the high command who took high school Physics, but I’m sure their security people know a hell a lot more than I do about data recovery.

            Something I’ve been wondering about today is did the NFL trace the activities of the Colt ball guys to see if they had any potty time between getting their balls from the officials to the teams sideline? What if their QB likes a little extra air in his footballs? Or, for the same reason, what if they keep his footballs in a warm blankie while they wait to go into action. What would that do to the Delta?

            1. I am aware of data mining techniques and have employed them in discovery. However, I based my comment on the report itself. The report does not mention that any data mining techniques were employed.

              1. I can think of at least one scenario where data mining would be of no interest to the investigation — especially if they started the investigation with a conclusion and were looking to fortify that conclusion.

      2. But Brady handed over printouts to all his texts. I don’t see a federal judge ruling that a broken phone is better than printouts from the telephone company. Brady’s statement:

        “I also disagree with yesterday’s narrative surrounding my cellphone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances. As a member of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. [Ted] Wells investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline.

        “Most importantly, I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January. To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong.

        “To try and reconcile the record and fully cooperate with the investigation after I was disciplined in May, we turned over detailed pages of cell phone records and all of the emails that Mr. Wells requested. We even contacted the phone company to see if there was any possible way we could retrieve any/all of the actual text messages from my old phone.

        “In short, we exhausted every possibility to give the NFL everything we could and offered to go thru the identity for every text and phone call during the relevant time. Regardless, the NFL knows that Mr. Wells already had ALL relevant communications with Patriots personnel that either Mr. Wells saw or that I was questioned about in my appeal hearing. There is no ‘smoking gun’ and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing. …

        “I respect the Commissioners authority, but he also has to respect the CBA [the collective bargaining agreement with the players] and my rights as a private citizen. I will not allow my unfair discipline to become a precedent for other NFL players without a fight.”

      1. Made my living for many years playing steel George. And Buddy was a hero to many in Nashville and around the world.

        I’ll be interested in knowing where folks think the wins will be coming this year. Don’t see too many myself.

    1. Tomsula is undefeated as the HC of the Niners,and has a perfect record.
      I predict 10-6,and the main reason for my optimism is because Roman left.
      Baalke has filled holes with FAs, trades and the draft, and the team on paper looks solid. Many players are returning from injuries.The new up tempo offense will solve the game management ineptitude and reduce self inflicted wounds.
      What they do on the field may be a different story, but the team has Kaep, and he will become a TD machine.
      Granted, the Niners have the 3rd hardest schedule and their are no patsies in the NFC West, so your pessimism can be justified. I am just glad you did not predict 0-16.

    2. They will be in the range of either 6-10 to 10-6, without looking at the schedule. And how confident were people in 2011 coming off a strike shortened training camp, alex at qb, the big off season signings of Braylon Edwards, Carlos Rogers, Whitner and Akers…and a team that had not been to the playoffs in 8 years?

    3. Fire Baalke for picking this schedule. He should have checked the “Easy Schedule with Cream-puff Opponents” and “No 10:00am 3,000 mile travel games on six days rest” boxes.

      1. Seriously, it is a daunting schedule. I can see a typical 8-8 squad (from a talent standpoint) getting clobbered.

        I’m shying away from middling predictions. Before Anthony Davis retired I was thinking something like a 50% chance of 5-11 and a 50% chance of 11-5.

        Now I see it 60% chance of 5-11 and a 40% chance of 11-5.

        I don’t see anything between 7-9 and 9-7. They either click and shock the NFL… or they get clobbered because of all the changes happening at the same time.

        1. I saw it one game better at 6-10 to 10-6 but with average luck at 8-8. Luck can drive any expectation into the pits.

    4. The way I see it (given what little data we have now):

      1 Sep 14 7:20PMPDT + Vikings – Possible win
      2 Sep 20 10:00AMPDT ) AT Steelers – Likely loss
      3 Sep 27 1:05PMPDT ) AT Cardinals – Likely loss
      4 Oct 4 1:25PMPDT ) Packers – head says ‘likely loss’; gut says ‘push’
      5 Oct 11 5:30PMPDT ‘ AT Giants – Possible win
      6 Oct 18 1:25PMPDT * Ravens – Likely loss
      7 Oct 22 5:25PMPDT * , Seahawks – Likely loss
      8 Nov 1 10:00AMPST ) AT Rams – Possible win
      9 Nov 8 1:05PMPST ) Falcons – Possible win
      11 Nov 22 1:25PMPST ) AT Seahawks – almost certain loss
      12 Nov 29 1:05PMPST ) Cardinals – push
      13 Dec 6 10:00AMPST ) AT Bears – possible win
      14 Dec 13 10:00AMPST ) AT Browns – likely win
      15 Dec 20 5:30PMPST ‘ Bengals – possible win
      16 Dec 27 10:00AMPST ) AT Lions – push
      17 Jan 3 1:25PMPST ) Rams – likely win

      So, I see two likely wins and five possible wins. I see two pushes (not counting my gut on Green Bay). If the 49ers win all those, they are 9-7. However, 7-9 seems equally as likely.

      I would put the minimum wins at five.

      I reserve the right to adjust the above as training camp and preseason advances. ;)

      1. Tis speculation season involving one of the most secretive teams in the NFL.
        A players that are “working through a little something” can play the next Sunday, or wind up on season ending IR.

        The depth on defensive line and running back could make them a dangerous late season team. If the 49ers get get to the midway point with 3 or more wins (enthusiasm intact), I’ll feel good about them making post season.

    5. If more things go wrong this year than last then 2 and 14 is possible — remotely.

      Kaepernick has an ACL tear in training camp, and Bowman’s knee fails him would be two things that might do it. Maybe throw in Aldon hitting another tree tonight.

    6. Ghost,

      Here’s how I see the 49ers schedule stacking up:

      Should Win:


      Could Win:


      Should Lose:


      That’s eight “should win”,games five “could win” games and three “should lose” games.

      If they win six of the “should wins”, two of the “could win” games, and none of the should lose games, they would still be 8-8. This is about as poorly as I think they can do this year. It’s not impossible things go more poorly, but, in IMO, it’s very, very unlikely.

      Conversely, if they win seven of the “should win” games, three of the “could win” games and one of the “should lose” games, that’s eleven wins. Call me nuts, but I see this result as possible, and way more likely than the 49ers losing more than eight games.

      One thing I will say, for sure, is I would love to get a bet on 49er wins this coming season, Ghost. I’ll take over 2.5 for as much money as you want to lose.

      How did you put it, Ghost? Fire away, boys!

  23. The day before the guys report to TC and we’re still swamped with all this BS about a Billionaire and a Millionaire whining about their hard life. The union now saying they hope the other owners will rise up against RG. Whaaaat? Maurice you better break off a bit of that stuff to share with the rest of us, cuz you be trippin’.

  24. Way more than anything else, the NFL is most concerned about image (money), and it governs with a heavy, sometimes arbitrary hand. I recognize that the Pats broke the rule about air pressure, but the fact remains they demolished the Colts after the pressure was restored. IMO they should be penalized with a fine, but not the benching of their QB for four games. Regarding the cell, Brady has privacy rights and apparently did try to make the texts in question available to the league in another way. I have little respect for Goodell and his ilk, and I have no respect for the owners as a group — for example, allowing Astroturf and hiding the concussion problem for so many years, the way the cigarette manufacturers hid the danger of lung cancer.

    1. It will be interesting to see how well Brady does when he returns. If he falters, the deflated balls will loom as a big reason why the cheating affected the game, and he can only win with deflated balls.

      1. He appeared to do pretty well in the Super Bowl using Rodger’s balls.
        I’ve really enjoyed your comments on the subject. Very extreme, very entertaining.

        1. Lets see how he does in those last 12 games.
          I guess I am sick and tired of the whining by Cheatriot apologists and both Kraft and Brady. Bellichick at least is behaving properly, trying to say as little as possible. Brady should just man up and admit he made a mistake. The very fact that the 2 deflators are unavailable just means that the coverup is continuing.
          RG has immense power because the CBA gives him that. The players should change the language next agreement, but right now, RG has all the cards and TB is holding a pair of deuces.
          Just to be fair, I think the NFL is negligent when it comes to CET. For years they denied it was a problem. For years they have ignored it. When 24 year old players are retiring, it is a huge problem. When former players are committing suicide and not shooting themselves in the head because they want their brains to be studied, it is a huge problem.
          The NFL needs to get a health plan in place for players and retirees. The NFL is so concerned about CET, they schedule Thursday Night Football with only 3 days rest just to make more money.

          1. All the controversial stuff asside, don’t you think Brady will come out balling when he gets on the field? I do.

  25. Why would the NFL suspend one of its biggest stars, maybe its biggest tied with Peyton, if there was a shred of doubt? How bad does it look that the NFL poster boy is getting his tit caught in the ringer? How bad would it look if the NBA did that with LeBron/Steph/Harden, the NHL with Crosby or Kane? How horrible did it look for MLB when Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, Palmero, A-Rod and others got popped for cheating?

    Grant, you are so off base here you could get picked off by Barry Zito.

    And check your phones settings, I have over 20,000 texts and I have been deleting so many of my backlogged ones. 10k texts is nothing, I text 2 to 3 people probably have 50 texts back and forth a day with each, that adds up super quick.

  26. Grant, you really have a knack for taking a position that is shaky and going all in. This is no different, and I think this will work out exactly opposite to what you say here. If anything, Goodell has strengthened his job security, and if Jerry Jones reaction is any indication, the other owners are very much on board with Goodell and the way he’s handled this.

    I don’t know how it’s going to play out in court, but Judges traditionally don’t like to overturn rulings like this. Then you go to the 20 page ruling Goodell handed down and it’s pretty clear cut with few openings to dispute. This ultimately comes down to the integrity of the game and Brady did not do what was needed to clear his name.

    First off, the Science doesn’t explain how 11 of 12 Footballs deflated on the Pats side but not the Colts. 2nd, there is video footage of one of the equipment guys taking the game balls into the bathroom after being inspected by the officials. Third, the texts gathered from the Equipment managers featured enough information for the investigators to want to examine Bradys phone. Not only did Brady did not cooperate by giving them his phone, but he also declined to take the option of letting his Lawyer transcribe the texts to the investigators without giving up the phone. That is the key point being forgotten here imo. He didn’t have to give up his phone to Ted Wells; he just chose not to cooperate period. Then the icing on the cake is destroying the phone when he knew they wanted to get info from it for the investigation. I’m pretty sure there have been court cases decided on less evidence than the league has here.

    Brady and his lawyer are now saying he cooperated after the fact, but during the investigation he did not, and by destroying the phone, he effectively removed the evidence that could have cleared him or convicted him. Let’s just stop with the rhetoric about not having to give up his phone due to right to privacy. He could have provided what was needed without giving up personal information. He also could have ended this all before it started by sharing everything openly and truly clearing himself of wrong doing. He did not, and that is why he was ultimately suspended. He is not even close to being an innocent victim here.

      1. JPN,

        Excellent breakdown in that post and thanks for the correction. My point was that the discrepancy in PSI reduction between the teams made the Science angle tough to argue as it should have resulted in similar results for both teams. Your research seems to form the same conclusion.

        1. Rocket,

          The claim many make is that the deflation observed is within the range expected given the temperature. That is a valid observation, but it does not account for the difference in the delta between the two sets of footballs. The PSI data, taken with other evidence, seem to be sufficient for a reasonable finder of fact to conclude that it is more likely than not that tampering occurred.

          So yes, my conclusion with respect to tampering is the same as yours.

      2. Do you know what the accuracy of the gauge was and was the same gauge used to measure the psi of footballs for both the Patriots and the Colts? The accuracy of many pressure gauges is only 0.5 psi. Further, if different gauges were used, it is possible that one gauge could consistently read lower or higher than another gauge. Finally, when using the ideal gas law one must use the absolute and not the gauge pressure. Adding 14.7 to the psig, means that any psi change now will be a smaller percentage of the total, because the total is based on psia and not on psig.

        Since this is such a high profile case, I have to assume that competent scientists looked at these issues.

        1. Why doesn’t some TV station take 12 footballs and film them at room temperature, and then follow them into a fridge, and check the PSI?

          1. They would also need to simulate game conditions in a cold room.

            I believe that the current standards in the rule book came from the box that the first ever Wilson football used by the NFL was delivered in.

            “Best If Inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 PSI”.

            According to NFL reports they have no historical information about how those standards got into the pre-1940 rule books. It’s just there.

        2. There is no indication that the investigation used competent scientist, and there is a clear statement that they chose to ignore the game official who’s best memory was that he used the high reading gauge. The difference in measured air pressure between the two gauges is reported to be greater than one psi.

          The data from high reading gauge was in Brady’s favor. Instead, the investigation report states that the low reading gauge data was used because the game official, who did the half time check, couldn’t say categorically that he was certain that he used the high reading gauge. He didn’t bother to keep a record of exactly what he did.

          If it wasn’t for the current outcome, the fact that Brady, after a poor first half, went out and toasted the Colts with fully inflated balls would be a great joke.

          I wonder if the NFL thought to check the balls again at the end of the game? That would have probably increased the NFL’s knowledge 1,000% about ball inflation where balls are inflated in a warm room and then played with in a cold environment. For all I know, they might have done their testing on the side line which means the balls would have been harder than normal.

          It’s classic theater of the absurd.

          1. Brady’s performance in the second half is a red herring. His success there has no bearing on whether he subverted the rules prior to the half. Even if a subversion of the rules conferred no benefit, it is still a subversion of the rules. It is the subversion itself that is disciplined.

            1. JPN,
              Good point. After watching Brady’ second half comeback performance against the 49ers in 2012, I’m left to speculate if deflating footballs in New England is a common practice that has been employed for years.

        3. I am not sure what you mean by competent scientist – a molecular biologist competent in his/her field would in general be a competent scientist but would not be a competent expert in the instant matter.

          Being more serious, the NFL is under no obligation to have an expert in the ideal gas law examine the results. Further, even in a legal action, the expert merely gives an opinion – the expert is not the finder of fact.

          If memory serves (I cannot look it up right now), at half-time the officials tested each of the balls with two different gauges. This is why there are two readings for each tested ball. It would be nice if the gauges read consistently with respect to each other, but they did not (perhaps operation variances).

          However, the pattern that is most important is not the pressure read, but the difference in the deltas. If we are observing just the deltas, the data that matters is the change between pregame PSIG and half-time half-time. Even when using the data most favorable to the patriots, the delta for Patriots’ footballs is greater than the delta for Colts’ footballs.

          1. Was there any difference between how the balls were handled on the two teams sidelines? My recollection is that the Colts protected their supply from the cold more than the Patriot. In any case, it’s a difficult problem to adjust for all variables which does make your “delta” argument more difficult.

            How do you explain the rationale of the investigators when they used the data from the low reading gauge, and ignore the “best memory” of the guy who took the measurements? If you were their opponent in court, would that be a significant point for you?

            1. Measured data is almost always more reliable than eyewitness testimony. I would take the data over the ‘best memory’ in most circumstances.

              If the standard was beyond a reasonable doubt (or even by clear and convincing evidence), I would agree about your concern over the issues with differing treatment. However, the standard is preponderance of the evidence. The differential mean deltas are sufficient for a reasonable determination that tampering was more likely than not.

              The issue here is that people are trying to argue what actually happened when that is not the issue. Such arguments conflate legal standards with reality/actual proof. A legal standard is a fiction used to ensure decisions of culpability are possible.

              1. I understand that the game official remembered that he filled the balls using the “high” gauge before the game. Hopefully, at that time all footballs were within the correct range based on the high reading gauge. I don’t think the pregame pressures are ever recorded. If at half time the “low” reading gauge was used the data is distorted. If they used both gauges at half time then ignored the high gauge readings in favor of the low gauge the results are again distorted.

                To make it even worse, the NFL has never used a careful procedure to insure that all footballs are in the recommended range before a game. No one has ever thought it was important enough to record or control carefully.

                I’ve never understood precisely what was meant by the same game official saying that for the first time in his career he lost tack of the footballs for a while. I thought the pottie stop was on the way from the officials room to the sidelines. In that case the footballs wouldn’t be described as being missing. They were on the way to the team.

                So were they missing while they were supposed to be under care of the chief game official? If it never happened to this official before, what about other referees. Have others had the footballs go missing before handing them over to each team. Were the Patriots playing at any of those occasions.

                The best I can say about the NFL’s care of their game balls is that it’s a muddle. I hate to see major penalties come out of a muddle.

              2. “The best I can say about the NFL’s care of their game balls is that it’s a muddle. I hate to see major penalties come out of a muddle.”


              3. HT,

                The Colts would’ve most likely had to actually warm their footballs for them not to be as affected by the ambient temperature. Even if they kept their balls in an insulated container, as soon as they opened the containers to take balls out and put others back in, the temperature inside would tend to normalize to the outside temperature.

          2. By competent scientist I mean someone with an understanding of the ideal gas law and one who understands that gauge accuracy is important. I disagree with your notion that only the delta psi is what is important. It is the delta psi divided by the total psia that should be looked at; hence my reference to correct use of the ideal gas law. You can’t just look at a difference without putting it into perspective based on what the total is; the relative difference is what is important (i.e. the absolute difference of 1 between 4 and 3 is more significant than the same absolute difference between 100,001 and 100,000).

            Also measurement accuracy is very important. If the difference measured is smaller than the gauge can accurately measure, then it becomes much harder to determine if there is a statistical significance.

            Although I haven’t really looked at the data, I’m guessing what many people thought was a 2 to 10% difference based on psig is actually only about a 1 to 5% difference based on psia.

            1. Again, the actual % is not the issue – it is the pattern that is the issue. See the post above on standards of proof. You are arguing accuracy in a situation in which overall pattern is the measure.

              And my scientist comment was meant to be mainly tongue-in-cheek. I

              1. I should add that on legal issues, I am always taking the position on what pertains to the legal standard of proof. I have some doubts on the data personally, but that does not change my analysis by which I find it sufficient data for a preponderance standard of proof. Even the May post I cited above is with reference to what a reasonable finder of fact could conclude on a preponderance standard.

              2. Hmm. I find that argument confusing. Who’s to decide what percent difference leads to “harm” to the Colts or “advantage” to the Patriots. I can’t believe you are saying that any delta psi is a cause for concern. If that’s the case, then it would seem that experts need to be brought in to attempt to answer that question. Also, do the Patriots and Brady not have the right to bring in their own “experts” to argue that the percent difference is so small that there was essentially no advantage?

              3. First, you are looking at the burden of proof as an argument. It is not. It is fiction. It is a measure used to determine culpability, not accuracy. This can be a difficult concept for people with a scientific mind to accept.

                Second, the data show a greater mean delta for Patriots’ footballs over Colts’ footballs. The pattern is sufficient for a preponderance standard. Expert opinion could sway the finder of fact, but it is not determinative. (For some examples of this, do some reading on mold cases – even when the experts testify that the type of mold in a particular instance is not harmful to people, finders of fact are still swayed by the pattern of mold being injurious. The same is true with cancer cluster cases – the existence of the cluster in proximity to the polluting defendant is often sufficient to meet a preponderance burden even when experts show there is not a definite causal link with the cancer and the pollutant). One should never try to reconcile legal burdens of proof with actual proof.

                Third, the impact of the under inflation on performance is a red herring. The subversion of the rules is what is at issue. If they can show a subversion by the preponderance of the evidence, that is all that is necessary. Any actual benefit gained is immaterial.

                Finally, the Patriots have no right to an expert (they did not under the CBA, and they are not proceeding in a legal action now). I think you meant to ask if Brady had the right to call his own expert. Brady would be able to produce an expert in a judicial setting, but the CBA does not give him the right to do so. Further, the actual PSI measurements may not be at issue in the court case – the issue is the process used by the NFL to determine culpability and assign punishment. I would argue they are not separable, but I am not sure that is what the court will find.

              4. Cubus,

                The problem with your what constitutes an advantage point is that 11 of 12 Pats footballs were under the legal limit, while none of the Colts footballs were. Therefore the only team getting an illegal advantage if it existed at all, were the Pats. The PSI deltas JPN is referring too are important because they are consistently lower in 3 different measurement examples. It doesn’t really matter how much of a discrepancy there was between the balls used by each team. What does matter is the fact that the Pats footballs deflated more than the Colts in every measurement used. That is what cannot be explained away by Science..

              5. Rocket:

                As I said earlier, I really haven’t been following this issue, but I’ve enjoyed discussing a few details. I’m assuming that the NFL regulation in question here simply lists a psi difference as the standard rather than a percent difference. That to me is a problem. I see this all the time with congressional legislation and Executive Orders that affect my work. The first issuance of the legislation or EO lists quantitative requirements without understanding the impact or how an engineer would state the requirement. We in the field do the best job that we can and further refine the requirement in a way that makes sense. In almost every case when the legislation or EO is updated, they revise the language to follow the way those of us in the field are doing the actual work.

              6. JPN: I have very little opinion on this issue. Without knowing a lot about the NFL rules, it seemed to me that a potentially reasonable way Brady might beat this issue is to treat it like beating a speeding ticket. Throw as much doubt on the radar gun and it’s results as possible. People do it all the time and win. This will explain my questions and comments. I’ll leave it at that for now and thanks for the interchange.

              7. Cubus,

                The NFL provides a range of acceptable PSI (gauge PSI)- 12.5 to 14.5. The issue here is that all but one of the Patriots’ footballs were under the 12.5 PSI at halftime. In and of itself, this could be explained by the lower ambient temperature during game time. However, when compared to the measured PSI of the Colts’ footballs at halftime, all the Patriots’ footballs showed a greater decrease in PSI than the Colts’ footballs.

                This pattern, when taken with direct and circumstantial evidence regarding the behavior of the Patriots’ relevant equipment personnel,was found by first the investigators, then the NFL, to show it was more likely than not that the Patriots’ staff had tampered with the inflation of the footballs.

                Brady’s culpability is, I believe, more tenuous, and I think that is the part of the process (how Brady was tied to the equipment personnel) that the court will focus on, not the measurement process itself.

              8. Cubus,

                It is an interesting topic no question. The NFL rule states that the ball has to be in a range of 12.5 to 13.5 psi. You can be at the top or bottom of that number, but it has to be within those parameters. As I said earlier, it doesn’t really matter so much what the difference in psi was between the Pats and Colts. What does matter is the percentage rate of deflation, which was higher in the footballs used by NE. If the deflation for both teams was relatively even, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but there was a significant enough gap to suggest tampering was likely.

                Honestly, I don’t see a problem with QB’s deciding on the psi that works best for them. Rules have been changed repeatedly to insure offenses get an edge, so it seems to be a trivial rule to enforce. The problem for Brady is it is a rule, and he’s being punished as much for his lack of cooperation with the investigation, as he is for being in breach of a rule. If he had cooperated and been found guilty, he likely would have been given less of a punishment than he ultimately received. If he cooperated and was exonerated, we wouldn’t be talking about it. This is all on Brady for not doing what was necessary to clear his name at the time of the infraction.

              9. JPN: Sorry, I said I would leave it alone, but have to say this. The pattern is established by the equipment measuring the psi and the use of the ideal gas law (which were my original points). Throw doubts on the equipment accuracy and the use of the ideal gas law and it might be possible to cast doubt on the pattern and more likely, that the football psi was out of approved ranges due to some kind of conspiracy. For example, I did some calculations where in one case I used psia in the ideal gas law calculations and in the other I used psig. Using representative values for the other variables, the psia calculation resulted in a colder temperature pressure that was just about 0.8 psi lower than the colder temperature pressure resulting from the psig calculation. So starting with a football at 25C (77 F) and at 14 psig, the psig of that football would be 13.3 psig if calculated using the law incorrectly and 12.5 psig if calculated using the ideal gas law correctly (at a colder temperature of 50F).

                Further, were the same gauges (so called “high gauge” and “low gauge”) used to measure the psi of both team’s balls? If not, this would certainly be another way to cast doubt on the pattern and actual measurements being outside the range allowed.

                Most certainly the attorneys for Brady should have consulted “scientists” knowledgable in this area to run some numbers and question data, accuracy and assumptions used to establish the pattern, which you state is the issue. Now if you are stating that the pattern is just that the psi for the Patriot’s footballs are lower than the Colts football psi, that is most likely true and will probably not change. But what might change (assuming that the ideal gas law was not applied properly) is the conclusion that the Patriot footballs were below the allowed range due to the Patriots deflating the balls; the ideal gas law might instead show that, for a number of balls, the psi was low because of the lower temperature. This was caused by “nature” and not a pattern of deceit.

                Still, I’d be shocked if the gas law was used improperly given the high profile of this “case” and the amount of money available to all involved (to be able to hire those who could run the calcs).

                Just to be clear I’m presenting a counterargument and not that I believe Brady/Patriots are innocent.

              10. Cubus,

                If the standard were beyond a reasonable doubt, your analysis might be (or better, should be) persuasive. But, the standard is a preponderance. Accuracy and whether it is reasonable to find tampering under the applicable burden of proof are not commensurate ideas. And the court will look at what was a reasonable (not arbitrary or capricious) conclusion under the burden of proof required, not the accuracy.

                The truth is that the law puts more value on achieving a definite result than on achieving the right result (even the ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ standard merely decreases the likelihood of a wrong result rather than ensuring an accurate result) . I know this may seem ludicrous, but that’s the way it is.

              11. “I know this may seem ludicrous, but that’s the way it is.”

                LOL. Thanks, that will help me better understand some of my lawyer friends.

      3. Am I wrong that no one has ever recorded the actual air pressure in each game ball before a game? You may be talking about the expected range of 12.5 to 13.5 psi.

  27. Don’t think the league office, much like the NCAA, has the subpoena power to coerce Brady into turning over his phone. Also, the league statement said that it believed Brady had “general knowledge” of the ‘deflating incident,’ but the “science” the league used via its “experts” still has much controversy because nobody previously has done a thorough enough study on the PSI during game conditions as well as weather temperatures from kick-off through each quarter of the game as conditions and ball usage changes. Is ‘general knowledge’ of the incident enough for the league office to convict and to suspend Brady? We will find out because it is going to federal court. League officials blew it with Starcaps and the Ray Rice situation among others, so what else is new? Have to question the league’s process. If, as reported, the league had prior knowledge and complaints about the Patriots tampering with the balls, why did not Goodell just pick up the phone and call Kraft or Belichick and tell them to knock it off?

  28. First, subpoena power is compulsive, not coercive. Second, the NFL does not have subpoena power. Third, the lack of subpoena power does not mean that Brady was under no obligation to cooperate with the NFL’s investigators, including giving access to the phone in question. The league does have to power to sanction non-cooperation. Please see my comment dated May 16, 2015 at 9:42 am on this thread for a more complete discussion:

    1. ‘compulsive’ = ‘compulsory’

      Evidently autocorrect did not like ‘compulsory’, at least as I typed it above.

    2. JPN
      Any thoughts on the liklihood that TB is granted a temporary injunction? I’ve heard that the standard is a bit high.

        1. From the article to which Rocket linked:

          “It’s hard to show how missing four games can’t be repaired by paying him his salary for those four games. You can try. You can argue that careers are short and those four games can’t be recovered. There are certainly grounds for review. The union has a host of arguments it can make and will make. It’s possible. But it’s a steep climb.”

          From the Supreme Court in Winter v. NRDC (2008):

          “A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.”

          I think it is quite right to focus on irreparable harm as the issue here. Some folks seem to believe that “likely to succeed on the merits” means can show the party will succeed on the merits. This is not true. Usually, this test is met if there is a genuine factual dispute and the moving party has evidence sufficient that a reasonable finder of fact could find in their favor.

          I will disagree that the irreparable harm factor will be as difficult to show as the comment above may indicate. As an injunction is equitable relief, the court may consider other harm than pure economic harm. Four lost football games may never be regained. Further, four lost games could impact Brady’s chance at personal achievements. Finally, the stigma of an enforced suspension has potential an impact on future reputation and earnings.

          Now, I am not saying that the injunction will be granted; I am just saying that I can think of grounds for arguing irreparable harm that are non-economic and may be convincing. I actually like his chances of getting the injunction.

          1. Thanks so much for sharing those thoughts. I’ll be able to,watch it unfold with a little better understanding.

          2. JPN: Do you have any comments on the extent of the texts that Brady should have handed over (i.e. texts related to deflategate versus all texts on his phone)? If an employee is accused of doing something illegal that is work related, does the employer have the right to look at all of their texts or just those that deal with the issue at hand, or perhaps they don’t have any rights to look at their texts at all. Isn’t this similar to a search warrant and don’t search warrants often have limited scope.

            Also, if the NFL has the ability to look at more texts than say a typical employer would, I would be interested in knowing that. I thought that laws on the books always preempted any attempt to put language in a contract that tried to circumvent those laws. (I often see a “Severability” clause in contracts). Thanks for any insight.

            1. Cubus,

              Under the CBA and other controlling documents, Brady merely is required to cooperate. The extent of that cooperation is not specified with respect to things such as text messages and such. Thus, the NFL has broad authority to ask for cooperation, and broad authority to punish for non-cooperation. That is one aspect.

              Another aspect is what is discoverable in court actions. Anything that may reasonably reveal relevant evidence is discoverable. The courts have consistently found that the data from personal cell phones (and computers) used even incidentally for work purposes are discoverable. As it is often impossible beforehand to designate specific texts, calls, emails, etc., in general everything on the phone/computer is discoverable as that allows the other party to look for relevant evidence.

              Finally, being allowed to play in the NFL is not a negotiable thing. If a player does not want to follow NFL rules, the player does not play in NFL controlled games. All sanctioning bodies work in a similar fashion. Some, such as NASCAR, issue licenses to participate. Some, such as the NFL, rely on CBAs. However, even in the absence of a CBA, the NFL could still require member teams, and thereby the players on those teams, to adhere to NFL rules in order to participate in NFL governed activities. If the teams and/or players did not like it, the NFL would just remove them from the League. Or in other words, they do not have to let people play in the NFL – they have complete control over who can and cannot play.

              1. That makes me wonder if the NFL is required to follow EEO. I’m sure they don’t discriminate for public perception reasons, but I’m wondering if they are required to follow EEO. I would have to guess that they must follow EEO just like any other employer.

              2. I would have to look more into the EEOC aspect, but my initial response is that only a direct employee could bring an EEOC action against the NFL. Owners and players are not direct employees of the NFL.

              3. “Owners and players are not direct employees of the NFL.”

                Interesting. Are they considered contractors or subcontractors and thus receive a 1099 instead of a W-2?

                BTW: I’m enjoying discussing these details with you and appreciate your insights.

              4. Players are independent contractors to their respective teams. The teams are members of the association (the league). The association and the NFLPA collectively bargained a set of agreements on how the association and the owners can deal with the individual players (the CBA). The association constitution and bylaws control its interactions with the owners. The association also has many policies that were promulgated in keeping with both the CBA and the bylaws. Some were affirmatively ratified by owners and/or the NFLPA, some were created under authority granted in the other documents.

          3. The league could counter by saying the game will incur irreparable harm if a cheater is allowed to get away with it. It would destroy the competitive balance and encourage more cheating.

            1. The league’s possible harm is not at issue (under than perhaps incidentally as a balance of equities issue). They are the non-moving party.

              1. under = other.

                Either my typing sucks today, or my autocorrect is taking on a mind of its own.

          4. Maybe Kraft and the Patriots will get into the act and claim irreparable harm to the franchise (i.e. harmed in hopes of having a legitimate opportunity to make the play-offs) if JG from Eastern Illinois is the starting QB for 4 games (25% of the season).

            1. The Patriots would have to join as a plaintiff. Typically, harm to non-parties is not considered. I am not sure Kraft is willing to take that step.

              1. Actually, I am not sure the Patriots could join as a plaintiff — it appears they may have settled with the NFL on the issue. Figuring that out in this case would take more research than I am willing to do at the moment.

                They could also file an amicus brief in support of Brady’s petition and maybe raise harm to the team there. That might be an interesting avenue…

              2. I am not a fan of Florio – I believe he ‘dramatizes’ the league’s legal issues to generate hits (which is his job, I know, but still…). But here, he raised what I think will be an interesting issue.

                The NFLPA would not entitled to attorney work product generated in the course of representing the NFL because, generally speaking, attorney work product is non-discoverable. The referenced notes *may* be attorney work product. The interesting part of this is whether Paul, Weiss, Rifkin, Wharton & Garrison represents the NFL or was retained for work other than representation.

                Had the firm just investigated and generated the report, I would suspect (with fair confidence) that the notes would not be attorney work product. However, now that a partner seems to be representing the NFL, at least at the review hearing, that may bring all the work the firm has done in this matter under attorney work product. Well, except the report itself.

                Unlike what Florio seems to conclude, I am not sure the notes themselves and the fact that the NFLPA does not have access to them constitute a due process issue. The problem I see is that the possible dual role of the law firm (independent investigator and counsel) raises a conflict of interest issue. The conflict of interest issue could impact the due process analysis as it throws in to question the independence of the investigation.

                However, the real question will be, I think, whether the NFL has to conduct an independent investigation. My memory is that the controlling documents do not require an independent investigation. If that is true, the conflict of interest (whether real or apparent) with Paul, Weiss, Rifkin, Wharton & Garrison doing the investigation and representing the NFL may not be anything more than a hit on the NFL’s public perception.

            2. That would be unwise. RG has determined that Kraft and Bellichick did not participate in the deflation like Brady did, so they should keep as quiet as possible.If they joined the lawsuit, they would essentially be admitting the whole team knew and conspired to cheat.

  29. League is still printing money. And that’s all that matters to the owners.

    The only way they would care is if the NFLPA rallies and disrupts the coming season with a strike over Goodell’s use of his power (right or doesn’t matter). I can’t see the other NFL players or even the Players Association doing that. Not over this and not to save Tom Brady’s reputation. I know they want to set or avoid a precedent concerning Goodell’s authority and adjudication. but in the end it’s just not worth disrupting the money making machine.

    So Goodell’s job security is fine until the players strike or fans start boycotting games…and sponsors start to question and threaten the NFL (see FiFa).

  30. The weekly Pick’Em game is back up as well. If you think you have what it takes to knock the two time champion Rocket from the podium then come sign up and give it your best shot. I’m pretty sure he cheats.

    Anyway, click here and join group # 2413. The group is called; Laces out Dan! and the password is cohnblog

    Good luck.

  31. By Nik DeCosta-Klipa @NikDeCostaKlipa Staff | 01.25.15 | 5:32 PM

    If Deflategate produced anything of value besides ball jokes and SNL skits, it’s this: during the past five years the Patriots have fumbled at a nearly impossibly low rate, according to football data analyst Warren Sharp. Since 2010, their average plays per fumble lost is 187, compared to the league average of 105. And no one else comes even close. On one hand, a fumble rate that low speaks to the team’s impeccable preparation. On the other, it adds fuel to the accusations of cheating.

    This isn’t random chance. As Sharp points out, we would expect this instance to occur once in 16,233.77 chances if fumbles per play follow a normal distribution, “which in layman’s terms means that this result only being a coincidence, is like winning a raffle where you have a 0.0000616 probability to win.” Nearly statistically impossible.

    Even looking at total fumbles, not just fumbles lost, the Patriots are the only outdoor team in the last 25 years to average 70 plays per fumble or better, according to Sharp:

    “The league average from 2010 to 2014 was 50 plays per fumble. For indoor teams, the average was 55 plays per fumble. For outdoor teams, excluding the Patriots, the average was 46 plays per fumble. The Patriots averaged 73 plays per fumble, almost 60 percent more than outdoor teams and almost 50 percent more than the league average the past five years.”

    Maybe the Patriots just target players who are particularly good at holding onto the ball? It’s easy to think that during the offseason and in the draft room, Belichick and friends are scouting players who have a knack for not fumbling.

    However, Michael Salfino of the Wall Street Journal looked at Patriots players who, since 2010, have logged significant minutes on other teams to compare fumbles rates. His findings:

    “Additionally, according to Stats, LLC, the six players who have played extensively for the Patriots and other teams in this span all fumbled far less frequently wearing the New England uniform. Including recovered fumbles, Danny Amendola, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead, Wes Welker, Brandon LaFell and LeGarrette Blount have lost the ball eight times in 1,482 touches for the Patriots since 2010, or once every 185.3 times. For their other teams, they fumbled 22 times in 1,701 touches (once every 77.3).”

    So it can’t be merely personnel, right? For example, Green-Ellis didn’t fumble once in 501 touches for the Patriots since 2010. However, during his next two years with the Cincinnati Bengals he fumbled five times in 524 touches.

    Likewise, Amendola hasn’t fumbled once in 82 touches with the Patriots, yet had three fumbles in 162 touches with Ram since 2010. During the same time, Woodhead saw his plays-per-fumble decrease from 171 with the Patriots to just 86 with the Chargers. Blount fumbled every 51.8 plays with the Buccaneers and Steelers, but only every 73 plays with New England.

    Yet while Welker only lost the ball every 166 touches with the Patriots, he is still yet to fumble (in 122 touches so far) with the Broncos. And LaFell has actually seen his plays-per-fumble decrease to 76 with the Patriots, from 86.5 with the Panthers.

    While it isn’t universal for every individual player, Salfino’s larger finding still stands: in the past five years, players fumble significantly less on the Patriots than they do when playing for other teams. Since his initial report, Sharp wrote a supplemental post showing that from 2007-2014, individual Patriots players with more than 300 touches fumbled once every 107 touches, versus every 67 touches when playing for other teams.

    So it isn’t strictly personnel. Could it be the coaching?

    Despite Stevan Ridley earning a reputation for being fumble-prone, the stats don’t seem to show that he fumbles at a rate particularly higher than league averages. In fact, since 2010, only one team in the league had a better rate: The Atlanta Falcons, who play in a dome, fumbled only once every 80 plays. Besides the Patriots, no other team in the league broke 70 and no other outdoor team had a better rate than 55. Compared to the average fumble rate for the 31 other teams in the league, per touch Ridley actually has a better chance of holding on.

    That hasn’t, however, stopped him from being benched—multiple times—for fumbling. Perhaps Belichick has particularly high standards for his players. And we know turnovers are a statistic that Belichick has focused on in the past. It’s not very realistic that it is something he regularly drills in practice and emphasizes, even if it means benching his running back.

    Does this apparent strictness from the coach explain the Patriots’ collective tight grip on the football? Perhaps Belichick has just groomed his team into a statistical anomaly when it comes to fumble rate?

    Or perhaps something else has been in the works. As Sharp speculates, maybe they’ve invented a “revolutionary in-house way to protect the ball” or they design plays that don’t put players in the position to fumble. Or maybe it’s the ball.

    The Patriots have held the best plays per fumble rate since 2007. Sharp also points out this is the first year the Patriots started outperforming in wet weather games. After going 0-2 in 2006, New England has gone an unprecedented 14-1 in Tom Brady wet weather home games (compared to 51-9 in dry weather home games). According to, from 2001 to 2006, Brady averaged 9.8 fumbles per season. From 2007 to 2014, his fumbles per season decreased to 5.3.

    Interestingly, one other thing changed the season prior to 2007: the rules. In 2006, Brady and Peyton Manning successfully lobbied the league to allow road team offenses to bring their own balls, breaking from the rule in which the home team provided all 24 balls. You may have heard of this rule change recently in the news again.

    Ultimately, the anomaly of the Patriots’ superior fumble avoidance doesn’t prove anything, besides a distinct advantage on their opponents. But whether it’s coaching, play design or PSI, it’s certainly no coincidence.

    Nik DeCosta-Klipa can be reached at or @NikDeCostaKlipa

    1. That’s some very interesting results. It makes me wonder why Belichick isn’t the most likely suspect rather then Brady.

  32. Matt Barrows Position Ranking Update – 1 OLB, 2 Safety, 3 Defensive Line. 4 Running Back. 5. Receiver, 6. Quarterback. 7. Tight End

    That was my pick yesterday too. I’m picking 8. Corner, 9. Offensive Line to complete the roster.

    I have very little confidence in my rankings. The only thing I’m certain about is my position rankings will be proven wrong by game three… or sooner.

    Anyone want to take a stab at number 8? Its Corner vs Offensive Line. A two for one deal!

    1. Between those two I’d have to say o-line is next. Although they did specify OLB so ILB could be the choice also I suppose.

      1. Who did you say you like Scooter? I’m thinking Davis, MacDonald, my boy, Carrier, and Bell. Busta to the practice squad or injury list (whether legitimate or not).

        1. Yeah, that is pretty much how I see it too cubus. Though as I’ve said a few times I think Millard makes the roster too – whether as the 4th TE or as part of the RB group I’m not sure.

          I think there is also a possibility this team only keeps 4 WRs to start the season (though I’m not willing to say the chances are high), and they go with your suggestion of using Carrier as a TE/WR hybrid and Millard as an H-Back.

        2. I agree with your list, Cubus.

          I know a lot of people, even some beat reporters, put VMac on the bubble, but I would be surprised if VMac does not get one more year to prove himself. I think he would have to be the worst TE in camp not to make the team.

            1. Maybe, or maybe Celek (6/7). I was thinking Ozzie in Balt and McStagger in Wash might be interested in either.

      2. Carrier is a better pass catcher than Celek, but Baalke says they are going to run the ball.
        Celek is a better blocker, so I think he will out compete Carrier. WR position is full of good pass catchers, so Carrier is not as important than Celek.

        1. A good point, but Davis and McDonald are good blocking TEs. Would the team keep both McDonald and Celek, when both of them are better blockers than receivers (at least to date)?

          Carrier signed a three year deal with a $400K signing bonus this off-season. Celek signed a 1-year deal with a $25K signing bonus. It seems pretty clear which of the two the 49ers are more interested in keeping.

          1. Celek had a good OTA and I remember hearing about a fantastic one handed grab downfield, so maybe he will get more targets in TC.
            Cant wait to see who wins a spot. Hope Carrier is 100 % since he was walking around in a boot a couple months ago.

            1. Yeah, this isn’t going to be a good year for any of the TEs not named Vernon Davis to pick up an injury that keeps them out of most of TC.

              1. Probably not. It will be hard for him to do so as Miller will get the 1st team reps and he’s good – he’s not likely to perform at a level that would see him lose his role.

                But I think Millard can find a role regardless, as a short yardage RB, H-Back and backup FB, as well as a core STs player. Of course getting on the roster will be much easier for him if one of the TEs or RBs gets injured during camp.

    1. “Wells never asked for Tom Brady’s cellphone, and didn’t require it. “Keep the phone,” Wells told Brady and his agent. He insisted that his investigation was thorough without it. “I don’t think it undermines in any way the conclusions of the report,” he said. Those were his exact words. So were these, after interrogating Brady for more than five hours: “Totally cooperative,” Wells said of Brady’s testimony.”


      “Yet somehow Goodell found Brady guilty of lack of cooperation and willful destruction of evidence on appeal, all because he upgraded to an iPhone 6?”

      1. AND:

        “There are two separate issues here. One is whether Brady and the Patriots knowingly softened game balls in the AFC championship — and it seems clear from the league’s own recent rule changes that it doesn’t have enough evidence one way or the other on that, given its sloppy procedures and the fact that it treated ball inflation as not worth monitoring. The second, larger matter is that of the league’s basic due process.”

        The comments by Dowd (the guy who got Pete Rose expelled from baseball) are very interesting on the issue of bias in the appeals process run by Goodell.

      2. Brady knew the NFL wanted to know what other information that was relevant to the investigation existed on his phone. Brady deliberately destroyed his phone so no one could retrieve that information. Your convoluted logic still does not absolve Brady from being uncooperative.
        The phone was not essential because enough enough incriminating information was retrieved on the deflators’ phone. Oh wait, you will be now say that the deflator was talking about weight loss.

  33. Grant has turned into a very strong writer. I don’t always agree with him, but I enjoy the way he uses words. However, I miss having a 49ers blog.

    1. I remember his father. Lowell would write stuff that made people howl, but in a way, he was using reverse psychology because the players would play better just to prove him wrong.
      Grant has written some outlandish things, but it is just predictable and formulaic to generate posts, so I understand why he does it. He has mentioned trading Kaep, but at least he does not go over the deep end and call for a Tebow for Kaep trade.

      1. Lowell is still with us, writing columns and running his own blog. He may be in shock now that you used past tense.

        1. I may be dating myself, but I remember those good ol’ days. Lowell Cohn, Ira Miller. The daily dose of Herb Caen. When the Sporting green was actually green.
          Nowadays we have the Matts, Grant, Lynch, Branch, Killion (ugh) and Kawakami (dreck).

          1. Only Killion and Kawakami have jobs that allow them to write option pieces. Grant is a special case. He is both practicing and auditioning.

  34. Its been nice not to read about the niners in the police blog. Veterans report tomorrow and training camp begins on Monday?

    1. I believe Mr. Hyde missed 2 games from a sprained MCL in 2012 and that was the extent of his injuries during his college career. Given his inexperience and the load he’ll be asked to carry, it would not surprise me if he misses a couple games this year due to an injury. The good part is he’s never had any serious injuries to his legs like Mr. Gore.

      The idea of cutting down practice time is fine and dandy in theory, but if they’re learning a new defensive scheme and with the offensive line in flux, I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do….

      1. Considering the plethora of injuries and 2 retirements due to CET, I hope they keep the hitting to a minimum, while still getting enough contact to be able to evaluate players.

          1. The difference between winning and losing is razor thin. Hope the Niners do not cut their own throats with self inflicted injuries.

            1. Injuries are native to the sport. No way around it despite shortening practices or restricting the intensity of hits. I think the best approach is to find a happy medium between grinding and lightening….

  35. I liken training camp to a whetstone, where players sharpen their blades as they prepare to enter the 2015 Campaign….

  36. So I’m listening to a David and Oscar podcast over at Niner’s Nation.

    At about the 10:20 mark they start talking about convoluted playcalling under Harbaugh. Oscar stated that the 49er’s coaches confirmed this week that Roman called the running plays, Chryst the red zone plays and WR assistant coach Curry called the passing plays. They said that the called plays were subject to overrides by Harbaugh.

    Curry called the passing plays!? This is the first time I’ve ever heard his name mentioned as being involved in the play calling.

    They attribute this info as coming from the 49ers coaches. Maybe I missed somebody posting that information on the blog, but does anybody have a written reference or writeup.

    1. The whole process was cumbersome and inefficient.
      I would just let Kaep be the field general with input from the side lines. I would also take a page out of the Bill Walsh playbook and script the first 15 plays, then run the hurry up with quick snaps.

    2. Since you seem pretty tech savvy, could you please up load the locker room speech Tomsula gave after the 2010 Cards game? Other posters may find it interesting and help them gain insights on his coaching style.

      1. As they say in New York. “You talkin’ to me?” :)

        Seriously, was your response intended for me. I don’t know what speech you’re referring to.

        1. I am a luddite who cannot even send an email. My son set up everything for me. I just was browsing the web and heard the post game speech Tomsula gave the team after they won that last game of the 2010 season. Since it exists, I thought you could search and find it. You seem to post a lot, and I enjoy reading them.

          1. This was what I found. You have to scroll down to get to the video.


            BTW: All you have to do to include a link is just copy the URL at the top of the browser and paste that URL into your blog post. To copy, highlight the URL and on the keyboard simultaneously press Ctrl and C or right click and select “Copy” from the menu that is shown. You can either use Ctrl and V on the keyboard to paste it or right click and select “Paste”.

  37. NEWS FLASH….It has been announced that the New England Patriots Football Club has announced the signing of Bruce Jenner as QB of the Patriots for the first four games of the 2015 season ….terms were not announced…Yay! we have survived the off-season blogisphere once again…Welcome Training Camp!!!

  38. Grant, this is one of your most brilliants articles to date. I feel rewarded simply reading it. I never used to hate Goodell the way everyone else seemed to, but in the last year he has been a monster of hypocrisy, deception, and devious behavior. I sure hope the league finally gets rid of him and puts a figure in his place whom fans will not immediately boo during the drafts. While I am no huge fan of Brady, since I jealously guard Joe Montana’s rep as the greatest QB ever, I could see the league and the press were making the deflategate a much bigger deal than it actually was. No, the Colts didn’t stand a chance no matter what against the Pats. The Colts coach Pagano is still wrapped up in his own personal narrative about surviving cancer. And, deflated balls did not alter the playoff game against the Ravens. That was all about Belichick’s trickery with the rules, not Brady’s. Then, we get Goodell tricking the Pats owner into accepting punishment for the sake of the league and somehow implying that Brady would not be suspended a’la quid po quo. I have always hated liars, trashtalkers, and backstabbers. Goodell is all of that and so much more (worse!)

  39. For 10K and anyone else:

    Vikings Nope. they will win just on Peterson’s anger
    Giants They always give the Niners trouble
    Rams They will be much better this year
    Rams See above
    Falcons losers
    Browns losers part 2
    Lions They are tougher this year

    Could Win:

    Steelers You’re kidding right?
    Cards maybe… maybe 1-1 with these guys
    Packers they will kick our butts big time for all we’ve done to them under Harbs
    Ravens They’ll kill us cause John wants payback
    Bengals Maybe a win but I doubt it

    Should Lose:

    Seahawks Of course but maybe, maybe 1-1
    Cards The will beat the Niners both games

  40. Don’t expect Wilson’s new contract to hurt their cap this year.

    “This makes the cap numbers $6.9 million in 2015 (plus any remaining bonus proration from his rookie deal), $18.54 million in 2016, $18.8 million in 2017, $21.7 million in 2018, and $23.2 million in 2019.”

      1. BT would you like to go back to 1946 when players had to have a second job to live, and if they had an agent the next step was the street?

        I enjoyed going to Saint Mary’s College to watch training camp. In those days the sport page would announce when a practice included scrimmage. There was never a fence separating practice. In the early sixties I took my wife and three kids to a full scrimmage, and we set up our pick nick blanket on the 10 yard line, about 10 yards out of bounds.

        Today one of my sons and I received our “you didn’t get selected” emails from the 49ers about the August 9th practice. They did offer to sell us tickets to the High School All Star Game tomorrow night.

        I liked the old days, but I like what the new days have done for the players better. Replay is kind of nice too.

    1. Thanks for the link, HT. After my growing frustration with the declining quality of comments on here last week, I did not look at anything that came out about the case all weekend.

      When I was actively practicing, I received similar settlement conference orders in a couple of cases (albeit with a less informal tone). I am not sure when Florio quit practicing, but I received my first such order back in 2007, I believe. They are more and more common now, so it may just be something that developed after he moved to journalism. Or, he could be referring to the informal tone.

      As to the analysis of what the order means, I agree completely with Florio. I especially liked this comment:

      “[T]he invitation to utilize the services of Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV to assist in any settlement talks before August 12 isn’t an invitation. If they don’t take Judge Berman up on the offer, he won’t be happy… .”

      He is right – this is a ‘soft’ order. Even if I did not think there was much chance of success, I would take the judge up on this invitation.

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