"The face of the operation is Briatore (referred to exclusively in the film by his colleagues and angry, chanting detractors as "Flavio"), an anthropomorphic radish who spends most of his time at QPR plotting to fire all of the managers."
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- The NFL had no policy that applied to players;
- The NFL provided no notice of any such policy or potential discipline to players;
- The NFL resorted to a nebulous standard of “general awareness” to predicate a legally unjustified punishment;
- The NFL had no procedures in place until two days ago to test air pressure in footballs; and
- The NFL violated the plain meaning of the collective bargaining agreement.
|5 days 40 min ago||Amid the NFL's trial by media soundbytes, Brady asks to be heard||
• neither he or his coworkers did anything of which they have been accused.
• the cell phone revelation is an intentional attempt by the NFL to distract from their lack of real evidence of any wrongdoing.
• In fact, he destroyed the cell phone only after his lawyers told the NFL they had no right to it under ANY circumstances—that Brady would not set an NFL precedent for further invasions of other players’ constitutional rights to privacy.
• he never wrote, emailed, or texted to anyone anything about football air pressure before the issue was raised
• he had already turned over to Wells all the information he requested; and the NFL knows they already have all the texts in question.
Had Brady been allowed to speak or communicate on his appeal instead of being subjected to a gag order, he could have addressed the replaced phone before the NFL got to frame it as it did.
|5 days 12 hours ago||Interview with a prominent sports law expert||
Michael McCann, a law professor at the University of New Hampshire who writes for Sports Illustrated and SI dot com, is interviewed on WEEI radio:
Q: (How significant is the cell phone?)
Q: The National Football League took a very unusual and rare step this afternoon by taking their own decision to a Manhattan court--almost like a preemptive strike to perhaps keep this case away from the Minnesota court. Have you ever seen a league take its own decision to court before the alleged guilty party does?
Q: Just based on your experience, what do you think is gonna happen in terms of court?.
Q:. Is an injunction a possible remedy for Brady to.push (the suspension) back into next year?
Q: An NFL source told Stephen A Smith earlier today that the National Football League was totally confident that Tom Brady's four game suspension was going to be upheld in court of law. Is that whistling past the graveyard?
Final Q: Do you think Tom Brady has a case for a defamation lawsuit?
Summary: This is not a slam dunk case but McCann thinks Tom Brady has fairly significant case and that the cell phones are not a big deal….they're not required.
|5 days 13 hours ago||A statement from Brady's representative (also my thoughts)||
"The Commissioner’s decision is deeply disappointing, but not surprising because the appeal process was thoroughly lacking in procedural fairness.
"Most importantly, neither Tom nor the Patriots did anything wrong. And the NFL has no evidence that anything inappropriate occurred."
(Indeed, it is odd to accuse someone of deflating balls when the balls were not abnormally deflated in the first place--as shown in an independent AEI report)
"The appeal process was a sham, resulting in the Commissioner rubber-stamping his own decision. For example, the Wells investigative team was given over 100 days to conduct its investigation. Just days prior to the appeal hearing, we were notified that we would only have four hours to present a defense; therefore, we didn’t have enough time to examine important witnesses. Likewise, it was represented to the public that the Wells team was ‘independent’; however, when we requested documents from Wells, our request was rejected on the basis of privilege. We therefore had no idea as to what Wells found from other witnesses, nor did we know what those other witnesses said.
"These are just two examples of how the Commissioner failed to ensure a fair process.
"Additionally, the science in the Wells Report was junk. It has been thoroughly discredited by independent third parties.
"Finally, as to the issue of cooperation, we presented the Commissioner with an unprecedented amount of electronic data, all of which is incontrovertible. I do not think that any private citizen would have agreed to provide anyone with the amount of information that Tom was willing to reveal to the Commissioner. Tom was completely transparent. All of the electronic information was ignored; we don’t know why. The extent to which Tom opened up his private life to the Commissioner will become clear in the coming days."
(Indeed, would any sane person with political aspirations go beyond that with an organization that had proven itself so untrustworthy? The NFL had already leaked countless false and misleading reports of ball pressures to the press, then failed to correct them or even nform the accused parties of the true pressure readings).
"The Commissioner’s decision and discipline has no precedent in all of NFL history. His decision alters the competitive balance of the upcoming season. The decision is wrong and has no basis, and it diminishes the integrity of the game.”
|5 days 14 hours ago||NFLPA: This outrageous decision is a new low for the NFL||
"The Commissioner’s ruling today did nothing to address the legal deficiencies of due process. The NFL remains stuck with the following facts: •
The fact that the NFL would resort to basing a suspension on a smoke screen of irrelevant text messages instead of admitting that they have all of the phone records they asked for is a new low, even for them, but it does nothing to correct their errors."
(So, the NFLPA is taking the NFL to court. It will be interesting to see what they find when Goodell is finally forced to do what he refused to do ie to testify under oath, as Brady did already)."
|5 days 14 hours ago||Patriots find Goodell decision incomprehensible||
“We are extremely disappointed in today’s ruling by Commissioner Goodell. We cannot comprehend the league’s position in this matter. Most would agree that the penalties levied originally were excessive and unprecedented, especially in light of the fact that the league has no hard evidence of wrongdoing. We continue to unequivocally believe in and support Tom Brady. We also believe that the laws of science continue to underscore the folly of this entire ordeal. Given all of this, it is incomprehensible as to why the league is attempting to destroy the reputation of one of its greatest players and representatives.”
|5 days 16 hours ago||Brady is now suing the NFL||
|1 week 9 min ago||For anyone who worries too much about expansion,||
remember the movie Annie Hall. Woody Allen’s younger self is depressed. He won't even do his homework. So his Mom takes him to see a doctor in Brooklyn.
The doctor asks him why he's so depressed that he won't even do his homework.
The young Woody explains:
His Mom then raises her hands in exasperation and says: What’s the universe got to do with it? You’re here in Brooklyn! Brooklyn is not expanding!
|5 weeks 1 day ago||If he already had two concussions, a third might be serious||
Three concussions carry with them a higher risk of long term brain damage.
Without knowing Pipkins' history, it isn't possible to say whether that alone warrants quitting football. He would have more risk from playing if the symptoms lasted longer or if he had progressively worse impairments of thinking or mood with his 2nd concussion this spring. In that case, it could take less impact to cause a third one.
To understand why Harbaugh handled Pipkins as he did, recall the furor over Hoke's handling of Morris' concussion. That was potentially a far riskier situation---leaving Morris in the game and risking a second concussion in close proximity. But it is easy to see why a coach would want to err on the side of caution in recommending that a player hang up his cleats. And that's just based on Pipkins' concussion risk--not to mention the traumatic arthritis and ACL. As Brian suggests, Harbaugh's recommendation to Pipkins may have less to do with scholarships than safety.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Science News also clobbers the Wells report this week||
“data on the supposedly offending footballs was "collected so haphazardly that they wouldn’t be allowed in a high school science fair”
PS A fourth grader actually did disprove the Wells report findings in his science fair
|6 weeks 2 days ago||Sports Illustrated's irresponsible lack of reporting||
Where is SI author Mike Rosenberg when a real scandal breaks---like the NFL commissioning a possibly fabrcated report? Does the NFL have some kind of hold on SI?
This entire week, SI has said nothing I could find about the AEI critique of the Wells Report.
Greg A. Bedard @GregABedard
@bruin_9 yeah right. They're totally above board with press leaks and releases. Would have more weight if they shut up and gave it to NFLPA
One blogger responded to this tweet:
"Did he recently suffer a blow to the head that affected his memory? He has a problem with AEI "leaking" information to the press? I don't know how he can get snippy about that topic with this particular story when the NFL was running to the media right after the AFCCG and then leaking false information 2 days later. But, yeah, those AEI guys, how dare they..."
I do not know the financial relationship between SI and the NFL, but Bedard this week admitted the NFL wants this whole thing to go away. In any case, it’s disturbing that they seem to want to help the NFL make it go away--by criticizing the release of major news and themselves suppressing news that has appeared in most major newspapers and sports media, including but not limited to the:
|6 weeks 3 days ago||I wonder if his visit will overlap with tne ND transfer||
He might explain the reasons why not to go to Kelly's ND program.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||AEI interview explaining their critique of the Wells report||
The speaker adds:
|6 weeks 3 days ago||Certainly, he has a lot of evidence||
I've read that the problem in such cases is that you need to prove an intent to harm. That is often not easy to do. I don't think that the court would accept an NFL-type criterion ie that Goodel "more probably than not" intended to harm Brady's reputation--or that he was "generally aware" of a scheme to do so.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||The LA Times questions the integrity of the NFL's analysts||
The firm, Exponent Inc has handled a lot of corporate cases. When asked what ones they did that did not favor the client, they could not come up with an example.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||Summary of appeal letter from Brady and the NFLPA||
(detailed above as an addendum at the very end of the OP with a lot of details added)
1. Brady is not guilty
2. His punishment is unfair and inconsistent
3. Goodel and Vincent cannot judge this case due to bias as well as league rules.
4. If Goodel does not substitute an independent arbitrator, the NFLPA will sue the NFL.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||I don't understand Kraft either||
Granted, an NFL owner is not given the right to appeal the commissioner's decision. His only recourse is the courts. And by suing the NFL he would be suing the owners--including himself--who made the rules and chose Goodel.
At the same time, with the strength of his current case and the outrageousness of the NFL's behavior, I do not see why he would not do this.
One possibility is that he has a deal with Goodel to elminate or lessen the draft pick penalties in the light of the AEI study. I am not sure if those results were available, however, when he spoke to Goodel and made the announcement.
Another possiblity is that Kraft knows that some NFL heads will fall over this--combined with the litany of other past failures by them. nesn.com or csnne.com suggested that there is a lot more to come in the next week about the keystone cop approach they've been taking. Certainly, Kraft could make a good case for investigating the NFL--to trace their malicious news leaks and evidence of their agenda. But all that would probably take a long time--unless there is already a smoking gun. And given the NFL charter, I'm not sure how that would lead to a reduction in the Pats' penalties, short of seeking that end in court.
EDIT: I thought of one more possibility. Maybe Kraft was sandbagging Goodel. Now, after the unexpected AEI bombshell, Goodel is really in a pickle. And he has less than a week before meeting with Brady and his lawyers.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||actually, it's not just a matter of statistical significance||
(even though that would alone have been quite relevant).
In addition, when atmospheric factors were properly considered, the Pats balls were not deflated more than expected; rather, the Indy balls were inflated more than expected--thus, the false impression that there was more deflation in the Pats than the Indy balls. The reason for that was shown to be the fact that the Indy balls were tested at halftime later--after more time to equilibrate to a warm room.
If there was no abnormal deflation, then the ambiguous, out-of-context and incomplete messages become irrelevant--especially since there was no explicit statement of a scheme to deflate the balls. Even if there had been a scheme, the situation would be like that of bounty gate--in which players there was a scheme to hurt more other players--but the AEI found that more players were not hurt (actually fewer, if I remember correctly). To accuse somebody of a crime, you have to prove it actually occurred..
To me, the fact that the Wells study analysts misrepresented their methods in so many ways is by far the most distrurbing part of this whole overblown fiasco. The second most disturbing part is the way the NFL tried to disrupt the Pats and smear Brady on the eve of the Super Bowl with news leaks now proven to be inaccurate. I would not be surprised to see this matter end up in court.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Bredeson #31 in 247 composite||
#1-29 are all 5*.
If Bredeson does well in US Army all american bowl, he's a shoe-in for 5*
By contrast, the top player in MSU's already very large class is #77 in composite
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Bredeson is #30 in 247 composite national rankings||
#1-29 are all five stars; so all he needs is a teeny bump up to be 5* in the composite.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||The documentary suggests he was not "morally bankrupt"||
Can you cite reliable evidence that he succumbed to the academic improprieties that have plagued so many programs? Or that his administration was rife with booster scandals.? In fact, wasn't PSU at this point one of the few FB programs with no history of major violations?
Based on what I have read--which may be as incomplete as your information--I have no reason to condemn him on the basis of suspicion for anything but the Sandusky matter. And just because he looked away from something he found shameful does not mean he looked away from things he did not find shameful but that benefitted his program. Indeed, the people most sensitive to shame often are highly moral in many ways. The shame you could hear in his voice is something you could never hear in the slick, calculated and rehearsed comments of Tressel.
That does not justify what JoPa did by any means. I repeat: he does not belong in the HoF. He may even have belonged in jail for what he did. But our justifiable disgust at what he did does not entitle us to convict him in the court of public opinion for countless other deeds without evidence.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||I compare JT & JoPa to show their differences||
JoPa was involved in far more horrific episode than Tressel, yes. But the other difference is that Tressel's pattern of amoral behavior was far more extensive and embraced many different acts. Many articles and documentaries suggest that he did far more than look away from tattoos or one or two "extra benefits.". They suggest a longstanding pattern of many different forms of cheating since his days at YSU. They suggest academic improprities to keep players eligible. They suggest he allowed--or coordinated with boosters--many of the under the table payments or cars. Pryor's mom got a free car through Sarniak. It was Sarniak--not even his mom--who Tressel called and when the memorabilia for cash scandal broke. Tressel had dozens of calls and emails to this man, and Tressel refused to release the emails.
I could go on and on....
No, JoPa does not belong in the HoF. But neither does Tressel.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||The Ann Arbor Aerial Assault, dubbed AAAA, A4, or quadruple A).||
The acronym reminded me of the roadside assistance plan for alcoholics in a nationwide self-help group: called AA triple A.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||You are right.||
In fact, there is no tellling how many times Sandusky actually was seen but not reported. Maybe Joe did not even seek information--he did not want to know about it after a certain point.
When I say "one incident", however, I really mean one episode extending through time and involving the same kind of acts by the same man and an ongoing suppression of the truth.
Such behavior may suggest in Paterno a single moral blindspot---regarding a shameful act--rather than a more extensive pattern of amoral behavior--as seen with Tressel. Tressel's record suggested not one (extended) episode of the same kind of moral bllindness but rather a pattern of amoral action in multiple incidents involving entirely different people doing different things. In the extreme, such people are called sociopaths. JoPa was not a sociopath.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||It's important not to just move on and forget||
We do need to learn from this incident. The incident makes me think about the Popes who allowed Priests to abuse children for years. No doubt, they were otherwise supremely moral men. Likewise, the documentary argues that JoPa had high ethical standards---except for the horrific blindspot that prevented him from outing Sandusky to the PD and making the matter public. I suspect that his insufficient action—which he acknowledges in the film--was probably due to his own denial and his culture. People just didn’t talk about such things in his day. At the same time, I don’t think that this excuses JoPa---a person does have responsiblity to resist an immoral culture. In fact, I think JoPa probably should have stood trial based on what I’ve seen from email evidence. But like you say, we’ll never know.
What we can do, however, is to contrast JoPa---a mostly decent man involved in one horrific incident---with the other recent HOF inductee, Tressel. IMO, Tressel was a thoroughly rotten man—Bo once called him a “snake”. He was involved in countless but less horrific incidents. If Sandusky were never around, JoPa would not have become infamous. Yet according to many revealing articles, Tressel’s misdeeds involved many different people over a long period. In fact, if anything like the Freeh report commissioned by PSU had been commissioned by OSU for Tressel, I think it would have uncovered a mountain of misdoings. Instead, OSU commissioned a whitewash headed by former execs of Arthur Anderson, the fraudulent firm involved in the crimes of Enron.
It’s ironic then that PSU jerseys became stigmatized—as if bearing a Scarlet Letter---while the OSU ones really having the scarlet letters evaded stigmatization.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Interesting insights about Paterno and fans||
The documentary portrays JoPa as very possibly involved in the decision to suppress the Sandusky news after he reported it to his superiors. Since he died, he never got to explain the emails implicating him. But appearances suggest he could have been indicted along with the President and AD.
It would have been interesting if the documentary went deeper into the motivations for such suppression. It could have shown how the reluctance to even talk about such crimes—was ingrained in the older generaltion's culture. So many similar incidents had been suppressed for years. Victims would not step forward because of the shame---which has only lessened in recent years. And the crimes were hardly restricted to athetic departments. Even some priests had been involved in such crimes for years, sometimes with the knowledge of Popes who did nothing.
Indeed, the same shame that Paterno and the Catholic Church tried to evade, now became associated with the very name of Penn State. Then, while many fans were just in denial, others interviewed in the documentary felt they were unfailry being punished for Sandusky's crimes. Their jersies--once a symbol of pride--became like a scarlet letter. But were the fans entirely innocent? Or did their fanatical worship of JoPa and PSU make it seem necessary to suppress Sandusky's deeds?
|6 weeks 5 days ago||During evolution, the OSU fans||
were in the control group.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||McKeon was recruited by 4 Ivies||
Offers from Harvard, Columbia, Yale--and I think Brown was recruiting him also.
|7 weeks 16 hours ago||also||
Rainey allegedly shot fireworks at people in 2008. Asked about whether Florida athletes felt they could get away with criminal acts, Rainey tells Lavigne, "Yeah, we did……” and laughs.
|7 weeks 16 hours ago||A recent addendum||
Brandon Spikes--one of Urban's ex-players--just got arrested this week--this time for a hit and run. Repeatedly suspended for illegal hits and banned substances in recent years, Spikes helped Meyer win two titles--one of them with teammate Aaron Hernandez. Would he have been charged with a crime if he were back on Meyer's team at UF? Interesting question.
|7 weeks 17 hours ago||Finally||
Although some will point out it is ridiculous to blame Meyer for Hernandez---certainly much blame goes to his background, the fans, the legal system and most of all the player himself--, a writer from msn does not let Meyer off the hook so easily. Commenting about the relative lack of discipline and the protection of such players from legal consequences, he argued that some blame does fall on the" coaches. (They) "feed these athletes' egos and, thus, enable their boorish behavior. They may not have pulled the trigger, but they all had a hand in making Hernandez believe he could."