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‘Deflategate’ verdict rendered: fines, suspensions, and draft losses

‘Deflategate’ verdict rendered: fines, suspensions, and draft losses

Does the punishment fit the crime?

Following a lengthy investigation, the ‘Deflategate‘ verdict was handed down by the NFL early this evening. Boy is it tough.

New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games of the 2015-2016 season, the team incurred a $1 million fine, and the Patriots will lose their first round draft pick in 2016 and fourth round pick in 2017. Two employees who handle footballs for the club were also implicated. “Patriots employees John Jastremski and James McNally have been indefinitely suspended without pay by the club, effective May 6. They aren’t allowed to be reinstated without the NFL’s permission,” reports Yahoo News.

Multiple sources including Yahoo Sports claim there’s no evidence that Brady, coach Bill Belichick, or Patriots owners were directly involved in the Deflategate scandal. According to Yahoo Sports, the NFL handed down the unprecedented punishments, “for violating playing rules and not cooperating fully in the investigation.”

Is the finding that Brady was most probably aware befitting of a four-game suspension though?

CNN reports, “The Wells report found that “it is more probable than not” that Brady was “at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities” of locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski. Jastremski has been with the team for 14 years, the past three as the staffer in charge of preparation of the game-day footballs.”

Yahoo Sports has the breakdown:

Brady will appeal the league’s decision:

Don Yee, Brady’s agent, released a statement alleging the league’s outcome was predetermined and reiterating there was no evidence Brady specifically directed footballs to be under-inflated:

Full statement from Tom Brady's agent Don Yee deflategate new england patriots scandal

But most realistically?

Today marked yet another day I’m happy to be a college football fan. Long live SEC football!

sec football forever

Thanks, and gig’em.

[Featured Image a screen shot from included video]

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Not enough

    Estragon in reply to fdzug. | May 11, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Agreed. This isn’t a criminal charge and doesn’t need proof beyond doubt.

    But Brady was clearly the only who cared about the pressure, who stood to benefit, and who showered the guys who did it with swag. Then he refused to cooperate fully with the investigation after declaring he would, and clearly lied to the public about it.

    The Patriots refused to provide one of the locker guys to the NFL investigation for a second interview and didn’t even tell the guy it was requested.

    They cheated and got caught – again. If there are no consequences, the NFL might as well trash the rulebook because it means nothing at all.

    MrE in reply to fdzug. | May 12, 2015 at 2:17 am

    Cheating benefited the entire team, but the punishment is handed down to individuals only? The NFL should have vacated their wins for 2014.

sjf_control | May 11, 2015 at 9:25 pm

As somebody famous once said, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
I.e., who cares?

Brady will never serve a day of suspension. Evidence actually exists in the report that the balls were properly inflated.’t-cheat-against-the-colts/ar-BBjBRzN

It should have been 8 games, or the season. This was deliberate – no accident.

But look at the silver lining … now Brady can spend more time with his bastard [out-of-wedlock] son.


That is BOTH the sound of escaping air (that may not have escaped) and me commenting on how much this matters.

What a waste of energy.

Just a bunch of NFL baloney. The pressure gauges they use are pieces of crap, not suitable for measuring pressure in anything important. The variation gauge to gauge and the hysteresis of the gauges are worse than the dime store gauge you use for your tire pressures.

If the football pressure is important, then the NFL ought to spend $50 or more and equip the refs with gauges that work.

I care nothing about the NFL, New England, or Tom Brady. But I do own and understand the importance of quality air pressure gauges and when it is important.

There is nothing in this report that yields any information about the real pressure of the footballs at game time. Only what a cheap gauge reported, and the halftime pressures are consistent with what one would expect with the change in temperature and (not accounted for in the report) leaky footballs. No evidence exists that Brady directed the football pressure be reduced. Other than he refused to turn over his cell phone to the NFL. I bet that is not in his NFL contract.

If you are falling for this NFL BS, you probably voted for Obama.

    Estragon in reply to Barry. | May 11, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    If ambient temperature accounted for the difference, why were the Colts’ balls not affected when measured with the same gauges?

      Daiwa in reply to Estragon. | May 12, 2015 at 12:06 am

      Two officials measured the pressure of 4 of the Colts footballs pre-game (they didn’t measure all 12, allegedly because that would have held up the kickoff time). One official found all 4 balls to be between 12.5 & 13.5. The other official tested the same balls and found 3 of them below 12.5. What’s a girl to do?

        Daiwa in reply to Daiwa. | May 12, 2015 at 9:33 pm

        My apologies, I was in error – this was prior to the second-half kickoff, not pre-game. Info is from the Wells Report.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Estragon. | May 12, 2015 at 12:59 am

      I have seen no reports of the referees measuring any of the Colts balls at halftime.

      Sheep in reply to Estragon. | May 12, 2015 at 9:12 am

      Using the same gauge they used to say the Pats tampered with the balls, 3 of the 4 Colt balls tested were under inflated.

        DaveGinOly in reply to Sheep. | May 12, 2015 at 2:37 pm

        I read two of four, but it’s significant that people are citing “only two Colt balls were under-inflated at half time” without commenting that only four balls were checked.

        Which leads me to wonder – has anyone ever done a statistical analysis of the pressure of game balls at half time? What percentage of balls, properly inflated at the beginning of the game, can appear at half time to have been under-inflated? If we take the Colts’ balls as an example, we see that at least 50% may appear out of spec at half time. But the number of samples (4) is too low. Is it possible that the Pats are the victims of a heretofore unnoticed phenomenon? Or a statistical fluke? If nobody has ever studied this, how can anyone say that the measurements of the balls are actually proof of cheating when nobody actually knows if this is a common phenomenon or not?

      DaveGinOly in reply to Estragon. | May 12, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      If the Colt’s QB preferred a harder ball, they could have been inflated towards the upper limit of the range. At halftime, they would also have lost pressure, but would still have more pressure than balls that may have been inflated to the minimum required pressure.

      Barry in reply to Estragon. | May 12, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      They were. The problem is, which gauge was used at which time? There are only “best guesses” for this BS of a report. The range of pressure required is 1.0 PSI (12.5 – 13.5), yet the report clearly states the two gauges used that day vary by 0.3 to 0.45 PSI. That is half the damn range. Not to mention the gauge accuracy is not very good which is not truly discernible from the report. The report states, somewhere, that the gauges are accurate but give no data. Being in the measurement field I know what they use are pieces of junk. By the way, there is NO standard gauge in use by the NFL on this so important parameter. The NFL refs are allowed to use any gauge and many bring their own to the game.

Makes millions retires and makes more millions doing ads for erectile dysfunction medication.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Anchovy. | May 11, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    With his wife, I don’t think that will fly.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | May 11, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      Come to think of it, in those ads, why do they always have good looking women? I would think bad looking women would endorse the products effectiveness better.

      OTOH with bad looking women, you may not want the prioduct to be effective.

rabid wombat | May 11, 2015 at 10:28 pm

I see “Austin Powers”….”one million dollars…”

This is similar to violations in the past of the rules against stickum by receivers and silicon by defensive linemen. The claim by the NFL that this is like a violation of their drug policy is idiotic and a judge will find exactly so.

For those crazy people foaming at the mouth that Brady should receive a penalty harsher than those reserved for players who are arrested for drunk driving or beating their wife, I say go calm down and get yourself some perspective.

bob aka either orr | May 12, 2015 at 12:42 am

This is nothing more than punishment for all the crap Belicheat has done down through the years, not just this instance. How many years was he Spygating? At least 2 Super Bore winning years.
Still, this, while fun to argue about, is not as important as Obama and Hillary levitating the Treasury for their personal gain.

As far as the post topic goes, I concur with Rabid Wombat’s vision.

On a more interesting note which no one has commented on yet – Kemberlee is an Aggie? Good to know. Makes me feel even more at home here.

Compared to how they nuked the Saints over bounties, this slap on the wrist is insulting.

    clintack in reply to Cybrludite. | May 12, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Are you serious?

    This was a deliberate rule violation to gain an advantage and should be punished harshly. (As should the coverup.)

    But the bounties were *much* worse. It’s outrageous that no one went to jail for the bounties. If that had happened anywhere off the football field, it would have been a felony.

    Don’t believe me? Take out an ad in your local paper offering $1,000 to anyone who injures your neighbor seriously enough that they have to be taken to the hospital. See what happens.

      Daiwa in reply to clintack. | May 12, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Kermit Washington should have been arrested on the spot, tried and sent to jail for assault and attempted murder but because it happened on a basketball court in front of thousands of fans and a live TV audience, no criminal charges were filed.

Connivin Caniff | May 12, 2015 at 3:47 am

Brady’s appeal would have two awkward problems: 1) It is difficult for Brady to complain about lack of evidence, when he did not turn over records which could either exculpate or implicate him; 2) As evidenced in his Salem appearance, Brady, in full Clinton mode, now does and will not deny his involvement – How hard is it for him to now say “I did not participate or have anything else to do with the activities charged against me.”? Obviously he can’t.

    scaulen in reply to Connivin Caniff. | May 12, 2015 at 10:28 am

    The Salem thing was planned far in advance of the release of the decision on deflate-gate. The guy running it went off script and you could tell Brady din’t want to talk about it. This was for the fans to interact with Brady.

“Tom… answered every question presented to him…” says the agent.


League: “Can we see your phone?”
Brady: “No.”

Yeah. Full cooperation.

    DaveGinOly in reply to clintack. | May 12, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Brady was not using a team-supplied phone and was under no compunction to turn over his private phone to investigators. Would you? On principle, I wouldn’t. There’s a reason why it’s called a “private” phone.

    Imagine he did turn it over. Let’s also imagine that there was nothing damaging on it. Proof that Brady didn’t have anything to do with Deflategate? Absolutely not. So even if Brady knew there was nothing damaging on his phone, there is still no reason to turn it over. It wouldn’t have done him any good. You can imagine all you want that there was damaging information on the phone, that doesn’t make it so.

Empress Trudy | May 12, 2015 at 9:27 am

Pats haters won’t be happy until there are death camps. ESPN thinks they should run them and the NFL would make them an amusement park setting like Disneyworld.

Prof. Barondes | May 12, 2015 at 9:50 am

It is odd to require “indisputable” evidence for the NFL to make a decision overturning an on-field ruling (in a circumstance, like assorted civil disputes, that necessarily is zero-sum), but by a mere preponderance of the evidence, for the NFL to deigs to conclude that a player has engaged in conscious malfeasance, engendering opprobrium in a test that, by its own terms, frequently will produce erroneous results.

Actually the NFL also needs to be investigated for tampering with PSI settings on game balls to provide a competitive advantage for teams with sub-par quarterbacks. This is in relation to the NFL refs over inflating the footballs to almost 16 psi for the jets game. I’m sure from that game on he didn’t want to play QB with a rugby ball again. With the leaks that were coming out of NFL HQ from the very first minute this happened I don’t blame Brady for not giving the NFL his private phone, not a company phone but a private one. Especially since he is heavily involved in the NFLPA and the independent Wells report was far from independent as I’m sure they have the NFL listed as a client. That would be a great phone to do some data mining for the upcoming negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA.

    DaveGinOly in reply to scaulen. | May 12, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    “…the independent Wells report was far from independent as I’m sure they have the NFL listed as a client.”

    From Brady’s agent, Tom Yee:
    “The league is a significant client of the investigators’ law firm; it appears to be a rich source of billings and media exposure based on content in the law firm’s website. This was not an independent investigation…it is common knowledge in the legal industry that reports like this generally are written for the benefit of the purchaser.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if some of the “facts” came out?
Go to and read “Five biggest issues with evidence against patriots in wells report”.

I see the fine hand of the drive by sportscasters and writers in this decision. They are like their hard news brethren, go after the successful rich white guy. Which is exactly what Tom Brandy is. I don’t see any of the drive bys going after a successful black quarterback. That would be considered rAAAAAAcist.

Perhaps Brady should have punched and knocked out TWO women instead? Apparently knocking out ONE woman in an elevator only merits a two-game suspension. The arithmetic is obvious; the insight into the NFL’s values (for values of “values”) is left, as they say, as an exercise for the reader.

    clintack in reply to Michiguy. | May 12, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    The NFL *should* enforce rule violations more seriously than off-the-field criminal offenses.

    We have the police and the criminal justice system for the latter.

    Just like colleges shouldn’t be investigating and punishing sexual assault (they should be referring it to the police), the NFL shouldn’t be investigating and punishing physical abuse allegations (they should be referring them to the police).

If it is true that the league and the Colts worked together to set up a sting operation, when they could have just taken extra precautions to make sure game balls were up to pressure, that destroys all justification for punishment. Punishment is justified by harm and claims for redress of harm are vitiated if the injured party could easily have avoided the harm and chose not to.

The league isn’t suing Brady so it doesn’t have to abide exactly by the standards of civil suit, but the issue is about to become a civil suit, where such considerations will surely come into play. If the league can’t say they were harmed they are going to have a hard time justifying a million dollar fine in court. THEY DID IT TO THEMSELVES. That puts them in a very weak position.

NFL has been dead to me since they voted to not let Rush be an owner because he’s “too controversial.”

And people wonder why the Draw Mohammed organizers were blamed?

We as conservatives let that pass like it was nothing. It was freaking huge. I’m rather annoyed and concerned that I seem to be the only one who has a problem with it.

WTF… am I a Berlin Jew in 1938 ????

buckeyeminuteman | May 12, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Suspend him for the whole season and take away the Super Bowl win. Also, stop watching the NFL; college football is way more exciting. Go Buckeyes!