As Tom Brady and the Patriots get set to file their inevitable appeal of the NFL’s punishment for their “more probable than not” involvement in underinflating footballs in the AFC championship game last season, new information has rolled out from analysis of the now infamous Wells report, and it’s causing more of a controversy than the controversy itself.
Clearly feeling the heat from last year’s embarrassing off-field domestic violence revelations, Commissioner Roger Goodell stood behind the football operations department’s ruling, despite the fact that the hard evidence from the actual incident is minimal at best. And following previous high-profile suspensions in recent years that were served over periods of times that have had little to no correlation to each other, fans have been left wondering how much of the decision was dictated by actual logic.
*ding* said the NFL’s random punishment generator after a long weekend of making whirring and sputtering noises
— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) May 11, 2015
Or, alternately again:
Still, it’s fair to point out that the league is not a court, and can rule however they see fit, regardless of how well-defined the evidence is, and regardless of how it stacks up against punishment for more serious issues. And since there was clearly some inflation tampering within the Pats organization—not just in this game, but likely for entire years going back—it’s hard to be completely outraged that golden boy Tom Brady will be stuck at home with Giselle for a few extra weeks this fall.
Besides, the Pats have already found their replacement in Jon Grady, and we at least got to hear Tom Brady talk about his balls in vivid detail.
In the end, all sports are is entertainment, and no one can deny that this whole situation has been arguably more popcorn-worthy than the (pretty damn entertaining) Superbowl and its halftime show itself (which more than a few people did not find so entertaining). So for that, Mr. Goodell, and for pretty much nothing else, we thank you.
(via The New York Times)
Originally published May 12, 3:50 p.m.
Updated: May 19, 4:15 p.m.: In a somewhat surprising decision, Patriots owner Robert Kraft has announced that the organization will not pursue an appeal of their punishment (a $1 million fine as well as the loss of two upcoming draft picks) for deflating footballs in the AFC championship game.
This doesn’t relate to Tom Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension, which is still in motion, although there is speculation as to whether Kraft might have conceded defeat on the team punishments in order to gain leniency applied to Brady’s. Regardless, the real news is that according to ESPN, Kraft and Commissioner Goodell reportedly “sat down and talked ‘for quite a long time’ before hugging at a birthday party Saturday night in New York,” which is equal parts adorable and suspicious. Maybe they practice the gospel of Waka Flocka Flame?