Recent Comments by yerfatma

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I do know how to feel about the Red Sox minor league affiliate in Greenvile.

posted by yerfatma at 01:11 PM on May 21

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I have 0 idea how to feel about Darelle Revis.

posted by yerfatma at 11:09 AM on May 21

Kraft Says Patriots Won't Appeal DeflateGate Punishment

I don't believe that can happen any more in the top levels of pro sports

Agreed. The article is a little unfair, but emotionally I agree with Finn, if this is all what it looks like (especially the part about the Pats suspending The Deflator and Dorito Dink because the League asked them to), Kraft can stop with the soft-soaping and waxing nostalgic for his days on the metal bleachers of Schaeffer Stadium.

posted by yerfatma at 10:37 AM on May 20

NFL Moves PAT Kicks Back to 15-Yard Line

In the next Pats-Ravens game . . .

Needed a Flutie dropkick.

posted by yerfatma at 09:19 AM on May 20

Kraft Says Patriots Won't Appeal DeflateGate Punishment

Doesn't the same logic apply to Kraft?

Chad Finn, one of the few sane voices in the Boston sports world, thinks so: If Brady suspension isn't reduced, Kraft puts NFL's well-being above Patriots': "[If there is no quid pro quo], Kraft sold out the team he owns -- and the fans he years ago counted among -- in order to appease a much more exclusive club: the unholy alliance of Goodell and Kraft's fellow NFL owners."

posted by yerfatma at 07:41 AM on May 20

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

It's even worse if you look at the rate stat: they're tied for last!

posted by yerfatma at 02:16 PM on May 19

Kraft Says Patriots Won't Appeal DeflateGate Punishment

I'm wondering if Kraft feared another shoe was about to drop.

Don't think so. He doesn't have any options other than suing the league. Thought these two tweets from Greg Bedard were interesting:

"Was told by a high-ranking NFL source that Kraft's decision to stand down does not include a deal on Brady. Surprising to me. . . . Belief in league circles is NFLPA has found the perfect player & case to go big-game hunting and change commissioner discipline forever."

posted by yerfatma at 02:13 PM on May 19

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I walked it three times in the two days I was in town and wouldn't have minded walking it six times.

This has been bugging me since I posted it. If he loved the walk so much, how did he wind up doing it an odd number of times? Did he take a taxi straight from the draft to the airport? Did he take a taxi the first time he went to the draft only to decide to walk on his way back and fell in love with the walk then? I NEED TO KNOW!

posted by yerfatma at 11:33 AM on May 19

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Should have gone with "Boro".

posted by yerfatma at 08:31 AM on May 19

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Even with a hand-picked interviewer, Kraft can't handle that question.

Pretty much every answer in that piece reads as, "The lawyers say I can't answer that one in advance." I love Peter King; it's like a man-sized child. He's basically Clarence (except not really likable) where he spends a few hundred words telling you how Very Important all this is and then acts like it's a world without lawyers. I feel like his wife must have to remind him when she pulls on his pants each morning not to give out his ATM PIN to strangers.

Also, how long do you think you could spend on the phone with Peter King before you just stop listening to the questions?

Every Monday I mean to post the most treacly bit of King's confectionary output. Maybe that should be a new Spofi competition (and no goddamn cheating and using the haikus-- the haikus feel like a pennance for sins I didn't even know I committed). Here's some beauts you missed in the last few weeks:

Last week:

I think in the old wild west, Aikman would have been called the hangin' judge . . .

Vomit Clean-up Fee $50.00
"That happen much?" I asked the driver.
"Not that much," he said. "But it did happen to me three times in one night once. And of course they don't want to pay."
"What do you do then?" I asked.
"Make 'em pay," he said.

The Canadiens-Lightning series is fun.

Two weeks ago:

The Bucs hired private investigators to check out Winston, who'd been accused of, but not charged with, sexual assault. Twice he was exonerated by prosecutors, and once by the university after a probe by a Florida state supreme court justice found insufficient evidence to charge Winston with sexual assault. This was a great test of the innocent-till-proven-guilty mantra in the American justice system, and the authorities could not prosecute Winston. So Winston passed the test. "He kept checking every box," Licht said.

Marcus Mariota does not have accounts on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

My Chicago hotel Wednesday and Thursday nights, before traveling to Tampa on Friday, was 1.6 miles from the draft site on Michigan Avenue. I walked it three times in the two days I was in town and wouldn't have minded walking it six times.

Three (not sure I can do this one justice):

So I ran . . . for nearly a mile I found myself trailing a woman having a great time running and chatting away on her cell phone. She had one of those earpieces, the kind with two earbuds and then the mike somehow affixed between her lower lip and chin. We were both running about the same pace, about 9.5-minute miles, up and down the slight grades of the beautiful park, and I was interested in her conversation withI believea girlfriend on the other end of the conversation . . . I did find out, though, that this 30ish woman was going to a baby shower later that afternoon, hadn't bought a gift yet but was thinking about a gift card from Bloomingdales, wondered how much would be appropriate, settled on $50, then asked if the person on the other end wanted to meet for a margarita beforehand, and then she drifted behind me on a bit of a decline.

How was he not immediately arrested? "Yes, police? The Kool-Aid Man is chasing me!"


7:46 p.m.: ESPN's Darren Rovell tweets, "98,000 Tweets on Tim Tebow in last hour."

9:02 p.m.: Assistant coach in the NFL who knows Kelly but does not work with him says to me, "This is not a prayer. There's a chance here. If there's one coach in the NFL who could figure a way to use Tebow, it's Chip. Maybe not every week, but in spots."

When I am King (yes), it will be a hanging judge sort of crime to follow Darren Rovell on Twitter. What are you hoping to glean?


Keep in mind this is a man with multiple daughters. He seems amazed by women.

I can see it now: a dedicated camera on [female ref Sarah] Thomas for her first game of the regular season, by whichever network has the game. It's history. A good historyassuming Thomas can handle it. I'm told one of the things that drew the NFL to consider Thomas was her poise and her ability to take the heat on the field.

Maybe I should get into "Game of Thrones."

Man, what got into the Kansas City Royals' Cheerios?

I was waiting for a plane at LAX the other night, and heard "That Smell" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. One of the worst songs ever created.

posted by yerfatma at 07:37 PM on May 18

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Ladies and gentlemen, NBA basketball.

Am I obligated to like Chris Paul? He seems like the spiritual descendent of John Stockton: amazing point guard who is hated throughout the league for . . . "playing with an edge." At least that's what they call it when you're white in the NBA. Paul might just be described as a dirty player. For the sake of honesty and hypocrisy, I loved Stockton.

Phil Jones, ladies and gentlemen.

On Football Weekly, AC Jimbo described it as looking like the March of Progress in reverse.

posted by yerfatma at 07:34 PM on May 18

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

He was interviewed once as part of that investigation.

Thanks, I misunderstood that.

posted by yerfatma at 07:30 PM on May 18

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

I didn't know the team would refuse to make McNally available for a second interview expected by the league.

5th, not 2nd. The Patriots claim they cut the league off because McNally's name had been leaked and reporters were showing up to his home. Ted Welles claims he needed the 5th interview because he didn't notice the word "DEFLATOR" in text messages the first 4 times. If you can decide who is less of an idiot in that debate, I will call you King Solomon and bow my head.

Can we settle that one as a fact between parties? Was McNally interviewed 4 times or 1 time?

Wouldn't it be special treatment for the Patriots to have the league declare "we know the rule was broken for all 11 Patriots footballs, we know Patriots officials talked about ball deflation, we know the balls were taken to a bathroom for enough time to deflate them, but scientists say that the deflation could in theory be accidental -- even though the accident didn't happen to four Colts footballs -- so we won't punish the team"?

Only if that's what happened. What if nothing untoward actually happened to the Patriots' footballs and the league tried to invent it to save face 3 months later?

posted by yerfatma at 10:35 PM on May 15

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Every reputable source of information points out that science proves the Patriots explanation as not possible.

Including the Nobel Laureate in the Patriots' retort? Are you saying that he's not reputable?

Apologies for my typical mashup of a bunch of thoughts in my head without actually expressing things well. Let me ask this: can we all agree or explain where we disagree with this:

The report's math depends on the idea Walt Anderson remembers the pressure of a dozen footballs to a significant digit (because he did not write it down) but that he does not remember which of two very physically different gauges he used to come to those readings.

Is that a shared fact or does it only exist in the reality we as Patriots fans are coming from?

posted by yerfatma at 07:25 PM on May 15

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Something on record that proves what I think is a pretty insane conspiracy - that the NFL preferred the tarring, feathering and disgracing of their reigning Super Bowl champs to a clean post-season which ended incredibly.

Members of the officiating crew and a senior officiating supervisor tested all 11 of the Patriots balls, per the Wells report, and found all 11 below 12.5.

So I've been reading two books recently that seem completely germane here: How Children Succeed and Thinking, Fast and Slow. One thread that connects the two is how we are predisposed to believe the things we want to believe (Thinking, Fast and Slow is really incredible about this and how we aren't even aware of the things that "prime" us to believe misleading concepts). The first book talks a lot about chess; it mentions the difference between chess masters and chess grand masters isn't the amount of moves they can imagine in a given period of time, but that the grand masters are better at "falsity". Rather than thinking, "Hey, that's a great idea I just came up with", their initial reaction is always suspicion.

I mention all of this nerdy stuff because there's a heck of a lot of treatment, both here and on ESPN, as though the numbers published in the Wells Report* are right simply because they were published first (or because you want to believe the Cheatriots are paters). Can we all acknowledge one thing? That when Wells defended himself, he looked like a complete kiddy diddling pervert with that mustache and rain coat?

* They're "chemistry homework" (where someone knew the answer they wanted and then made the proof fit) and Brady will do 0 time after the inevitable law suit and a real judge laughs the thing out of court.
Because Robert Kraft bought the judge.

posted by yerfatma at 06:10 PM on May 15

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Going to guess some of the reason Goodell appointed himself is because the Patriots' letter was . . . less than friendly announcing their intention to call both Goodell and Vincent as witnesses and reminding Troy Vincent that, "We also note that one arbitrator has previously found that you, in particular, are unfamiliar with proper NFL discipline procedures and have no role in imposing discipline."

posted by yerfatma at 01:10 PM on May 15

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

This a clear cut case

posted by yerfatma at 12:19 PM on May 15

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Not sure who I want playing the lead.

It's the neck that makes the casting so hard. The man's gift is that his face conveys "Inbred Yankee moron living off his family's position" and then combines it with the neck of That Guy from your local Gold's Gym.

posted by yerfatma at 11:19 AM on May 15

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

How can you just continue to get the easy stuff wrong? The NFL has selected the judge for Tom Brady's appeal and it's . . . Roger Goodell. Wouldn't you be better served providing at least the appearance of giving them a chance? And wouldn't an independent arbitrator lessen the chance this goes to court? The whole thing should be live TV on The Lifetime Network.

posted by yerfatma at 08:42 AM on May 15

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

And before anyone says, "Oh like they're really going to fire a couple of schmoes over free shoes", look at the level of outrage amongst sports columnists in this country now. It's already a festering den of snakes in New England, corrupt from stem to stern. If they'd let these two hang around the stories would become Maddux-esque:

"I heard to join the front office, The Opaque, you gotta drink a virgin's blood . . . daiquiri."

"I heard on every Summer Solstice they sacrifice a cow that's then made into Bob Kraft's bespoke Air Jordans!"

posted by yerfatma at 07:24 PM on May 14

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

I don't think they do. The texts reveal them stealing shoes and being vaguely disrespectful. Just nothing to do with deflating balls.

posted by yerfatma at 06:30 PM on May 14

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Also, while I'm still in the process of digesting that site and want very much to believe every word, I think they would have been better off leaving this bit off:

They never asked Mr. Jastremski about it in his interview. Had they done so, they would have learned from either gentleman one of the ways they used the deflation/deflator term. Mr. Jastremski would sometimes work out and bulk up he is a slender guy and his goal was to get to 200 pounds. Mr. McNally is a big fellow and had the opposite goal: to lose weight. "Deflate" was a term they used to refer to losing weight. One can specifically see this use of the term in a Nov. 30, 2014 text from Mr. McNally to Mr. Jastremski: "deflate and give somebody that jacket." (p. 87). This banter, and Mr. McNally's goal of losing weight, meant Mr. McNally was the "deflator." There was nothing complicated or sinister about it.
Even if it's true it seems unbelievably lame.

posted by yerfatma at 01:48 PM on May 14

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

caused anger among the NFL officials at the time

That's not what the Patriots' giant new rebuttal site says, if you'll pardon the giant blockquote because I can't seem to link to the bits and bobs:

"When the NFC Championship Game ended abruptly in overtime and Mr. McNally started from the back of the sitting room towards the door to the hallway, he walked by numerous League officials in the sitting room. As the report states (pg. 55), the sitting room was crowded with "NFL personnel, game officials and others gathered there to watch the conclusion of the NFC Championship Game on television." Mr. McNally had to navigate this crowd of officials to make it through the sitting room with two large bags of footballs on his shoulders. Mr. McNally, a physically big man, hoisted two large bags of footballs and lumbered past all these League officials and out the door of the Officials' Locker Room. As is clear from the report, no one objected; no one told him to stop; no one requested that he wait to be accompanied by a League official; no one told him that a League official had to carry the footballs to the field. After he walked past all of these League officials and out the door of the Officials' Locker Room to the hallway, he then walked past James Daniel, an NFL official and one of the people who had been alerted to the Colts psi concerns pre-game (pg. 45). Mr. Daniel, as seen on the security video, looked at Mr. McNally carrying the bags of footballs toward the field unaccompanied by any League or game official, and made no objection to Mr. McNally continuing unaccompanied to the field. In short, if officials lost track of the location of game footballs, it was not because Mr. McNally stealthily removed them. (Omitted from the investigation were interviews with all those League officials whom Mr. McNally walked past with the bags of footballs on his shoulders.) Even after halftime, when obvious attention was being paid to game footballs and psi issues by League and game officials, who took control of the footballs at halftime, the security video shows Mr. McNally, with no objection, taking the footballs from the Officials' Locker Room back to the field totally unaccompanied by any League or Game official.

posted by yerfatma at 01:03 PM on May 14

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

The Patriots could have helped achieve that outcome by self-reporting what they did

I completely agree with this, but there's an "if" attached to it: if they did do anything. Take a look at the other link, what if they didn't do a thing? What do they self-report then, especially knowing the rest of the league thinks of them as "The Cheatriots"?

posted by yerfatma at 11:28 AM on May 14

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Patriots fan and physicist attacks the physics used to indict Brady.

Mike Florio (again, my apologies) on how we may have gotten here by accident.

Sally Jenkins: "DeflateGate punishments are NFL's weak attempts to right its own wrongs"

posted by yerfatma at 08:10 AM on May 14

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

If it's such a minor offense, why didn't Brady and the Patriots staffers just admit doing it?

I tend to agree with you here, but is it possible they just got sick of it all? This was a week after the Ravens spent the post-game pissing and moaning about plays that were within the rules (which an ESPN talking head tried to roll into the "Culture of Cheating" list last night). At some point it must feel like nonsense, especially when you spent at least one game during the season dealing with overinflated balls from the Jets and saw multiple teams get off scot-free for the same issue earlier in the season.

posted by yerfatma at 03:24 PM on May 12

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

We at least have a game in Bayern v Barca.

EDIT: Or maybe not.

posted by yerfatma at 02:55 PM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

"The NFL is now in the business of punishment, and with the completely arbitrary and stupid machine they've put in place, they can pretty much punish anyone for any reason in any way now. In the case of the Patriots, I find all this hilarious because the Patriots and their fans are entitled assholes and I want them to fail. But of course, it won't be so funny when my team accidentally farts on a ref and tries to cover it up and then Goodell moves them to Alaska as punishment. "

And damnit, now I'm disappointed it turns out Kraft has no recourse short of suing. Though I'm in love with the idea of the team going full Al Davis Raiders (the '70s/ '80s edition, not the last couple of decades) and going Full Villain. Embrace it.

posted by yerfatma at 11:27 AM on May 12

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

A basketball coach makes 150 to 200 critical decisions during the course of a game, something that I think is paralleled only by a fighter pilot

I'd been operating under the misconception Blatt was getting a bit of a raw deal for being an outsider, but the quotation suggests he really is an idiot. It doesn't even make sense. Are we talking about in a 48-minute period? What about surgeons, concert musicians, chefs . . . seriously, it's coaching a game Hannibal Smith.

He is not capable of being a player coach because of his makeup. (His emotional involvement often results in defensive lapses

Even ignoring the dog whistle that's doesn't hunt. He's the best defensive player I've ever seen in 3 decades of watching the game. As a Celtics fan I've had the displeasure of seeing him in lots of high pressure games and he's the only person I can recall who makes the other team's fast breaks feel risky/ interesting. And for a guy who has his head in his ass, he sure remembered how many time outs there were.

posted by yerfatma at 08:31 AM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Brady has already said he will appeal. Which would be worth it just to point out how many games Ray Rice was suspended for. Also means the NFL will get those phone records.

posted by yerfatma at 07:27 PM on May 11

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Well, not quite everyone. I think the hanging judge approach was spectacularly wrong-headed. In the first, it takes the most hated team in the league whom everyone else would like to see punished and gives them a bit of victimhood. When even former Colt Jeff Saturday is saying they're shocked, you might have pushed past what was sensible.

And it's the non-Brady penalties that simply seem mean-spirited that might prove Goodell's undoing: if you tack on the million dollars, why wouldn't Bob Kraft hire some lawyers to send this to arbitration? If there's a non-zero chance of winning, the expected value is now that percentage x a million bucks. Interestingly, Mike Florio has hidden this post* from this morning pointing out that the NFL's entire case rests on their assumption the head ref didn't remember which gauge he used. Feel however you like about the Patriots, but how would you like to go into court with this thesis, "We base all our evidence on the idea our ref recorded things properly but doesn't know the difference between a straight gauge and a curved one so the numbers are out of whack." Remember too this report is prepared by a company with a history of reversing the truth to match their clients' claims. I'd also mention the Titans being warned instead of fined for warming their balls last year and Aaron Roger's comments via Nantz and Simms that he likes to over-inflate the football. If the league penalty for ball tampering is $25,000 and instead you suspend the QB 4 games, take away a first- and fourth-round pick and fine 40 times the prescribed amount, that seems excessive.

It all comes down to the judge you get, but there's a less-than-zero chance this is the hill Goodell dies on. And then walks home with a hundred million bucks for being a professional moron.

I'm going to start beating the drum that whomever wins the next three Superbowls (assuming it's not Brady & Belichick with a pantsless Randy Moss coming out of retirement) they are all tainted.**

*Yes, I feel like crap for citing Mike Florio's thoughts on anything.
** No, I'm not serious but I hope that takes hold anyway.

posted by yerfatma at 07:17 PM on May 11

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

"Yeah... there's probably a reason they won't, Dave."

Would have also accepted, "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that."

posted by yerfatma at 12:15 PM on May 11

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

The Europa League is widely seen as a poisoned chalice in England, a second-rate competition that traps decent teams trying to compete for the Champion's League by sapping their resources. And that's if you properly qualify. There's now a spot given to the team with the highest Fair Play rating (yellow and red cards, basically). West Ham are in line for the honor with Everton right behind. Given the two teams play each other this weekend, there's some concern it could turn into a card fest.

posted by yerfatma at 08:38 AM on May 11

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

Not since the Rice thing.

I get why, just the idea of doing it seems completely stupid. Like a teacher letting the class's reaction decide how to punish the class clown. You may get to impose a horrible penalty, you may have to let the kid off, but no matter what, you've lost the class's respect.

Your daily update: Jeff Blake takes the opportunity to remind everyone he played in the NFL, Don Shula takes the opportunity to remind everyone he is still (unfortunately) on this mor(t)al coil. Sports Illustrated can't decide if Brady's actions don't matter or are a big deal.

posted by yerfatma at 07:26 PM on May 10

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

If we're looking for weasel words, Peyton might beat Tom.

Does anyone else feel the NFL is trying to base the upcoming punishment on public sentiment? Doesn't that feel weird?

posted by yerfatma at 10:18 PM on May 08

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Might be time to dig up the stadium to see what lies beneath.

posted by yerfatma at 10:08 PM on May 08

Bill Simmons Out at ESPN

I have a bunch of non-Simmons things at Grantland that I read pretty regularly

Me too, but aren't all those writers there because of Simmons? The question now is whether they will stay.

posted by yerfatma at 10:06 PM on May 08

Bill Simmons Out at ESPN

It will be interesting to see how Grantland and 30 for 30 fare without him. I'm assuming they basically run themselves, but maybe not. Has anyone put Jalen Rose on suicide watch yet?

posted by yerfatma at 02:35 PM on May 08

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

Would be good to get started as soon as is convenient for planning purposes. Especially to get a look at the database schema to start. Should we open a github or bitbucket repo (BB might be preferable if you think it will need to be private). We can move this discussion into the Locker Room so we're not flooding this very important thread with facts.

Brady's agent advised him not to turn over the cell phone because Brady is part of the NFLPA leadership: " . . . the scope that they asked for is very, very wide. I probably should have made the letter public that we received from the NFL's lawyers. But in any event, if we would have provided the phone or text messages, you have to understand Tom is also a member of the [players] union. The commissioner's office does not have any subpoena power. If a prominent player were to provide all of their private communications absent a subpoena, that sets a dangerous precedent for all players facing disciplinary measures."

Brady's legal options.

As a Pats fan, I really appreciated PTI trotting out ex-Colts' GM Bill Polian to let me know how important this is and how awful Tom Brady is.

posted by yerfatma at 12:18 PM on May 08

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

Any interest in a Django version? I think I could rip one out during a summer vacation week using the existing data and including some fancy markup tricks.

posted by yerfatma at 08:23 PM on May 07

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

That was the lazy part, I assumed I'd have to do it on edit too, so I skipped it. It's the thought that counts, so thanks!

posted by yerfatma at 07:38 PM on May 07

Dallas Cowboys Sign Undrafted Top Draft Prospect La'el Collins

I don't think you can really say because the Pats have the Aaron Hernandez thing directly in the rear view so if they did this the #hottake brigade would explode. That said, I can't believe the Cowboys have signed an almost-convicted murderer whose worst crime is that he won't man up and admit he murdered this girl, Sharon Tate, NBC's Thursday night hegemony and stole the Lindbergh baby.

posted by yerfatma at 07:20 PM on May 07

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

I wanted to get those interlocking Ss but I am too lazy.

posted by yerfatma at 04:33 PM on May 07

LeSean McCoy: Chip Kelly Got Rid of 'All the Good Black Players'

getting rid of DeSean Jackson still baffles me.

I have a blind spot here because the first time I saw Jackson play was the game where he put the ball down just before the end zone and I thought, "That's something an asshole would do." Nothing subsequent to that has shaken my feeling so I can see not wanting to pay that guy long-term.

Interesting to find out Nick Foles is black and DeMarco Murray is white.

posted by yerfatma at 01:33 PM on May 07

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

Things have gotten out of control and the worst has happened: the Patriots have reached out to Jim Gray to emcee a dog and pony show.

The pressure of the balls shows they did something wrong: 11 out of 12 were below 12.5 psi as required by the NFL rules

Pats' beat writer Mike Reiss on this: "I could just as easily pick the initial four Patriots PSI measurements (a drop from 12.5 to 11.80, 11.20, 11.50 and 11.00 from alternate official Dyrol Prioleau), match them up with the four Colts measurements (a drop from an estimated 13.0/13.1 to 12.35, 12.30, 12.95 and 12.15 from Prioleau), and come to a different conclusion that the drop rates of PSI between the two teams were close. Also, it's clear when matching the PSI readings between the two alternate officials that there is margin for error in the readings."

He also said it's pretty standard for players to "tip" equipment personnel in memorabilia to offset low wages.

posted by yerfatma at 01:26 PM on May 07

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

People who are guilty plead the fifth all the time, but that doesn't mean we treat the absence of provision of a story of evidence ar completely neutral to a case.

Actually, it does, but only in criminal trials. In civil matters, not so much: "[T]he Fifth Amendment does not forbid adverse inferences against parties to civil actions when they refuse to testify in response to probative evidence offered against them." — Baxter v. Palmigiano, 425 U.S. 308, 318 (1976).

I only put that last part in because I always wanted to do that. Feels wicked smart.

posted by yerfatma at 12:11 PM on May 07

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

The pressure of the balls shows they did something wrong

If that were conclusively so, why wouldn't the NFL say that and take a chunk out of the Patriots? My feeling is they are treading lightly because their evidence is paper-thin. They tested all of the Patriots' but only spot-checked some of the Colts' balls and they did a really good job:

"Blakeman most likely used the Logo Gauge and Prioleau most likely used
the Non-Logo Gauge to test the Colts balls at halftime. Further, Exponent believes that the results recorded for the third Colts ball tested reflect an anomaly in that, unlike the other Colts balls tested, the reading made by Prioleau is higher than the reading made by Blakeman. Exponent believes that this anomaly may be the result of a transcription error where the measurements recorded were attributed to the opposite game official (i.e., on game day, Blakeman measured 12.95 psi and Prioleau measured 12.50 psi) or a recording error where the pressure measured by one of the officials was incorrectly recorded."
So other than the refs swapping up gauges and screwing up the recordings, everything was perfect.

Look, it's sports and no one is going to actually read that report and we are all going to stick to our entrenched opinions, so let's go Through the Looking Glass.

This is clearly a conspiracy to besmirch the most successful franchise in pro football history. If this were about "The Integrity of the Game", things would have been handled very differently.

DATELINE: Foxboro, MA, Jan 19, 2015 - Notified by the Colts that the Patriots like to soften their balls and knowing this game is essential to the league's integrity, referee Walt Anderson makes sure the balls are all properly inflated to the minimum pressure of 12.5 PSI. Or at least he thinks he did, because he never wrote that down anywhere. And then he lets Murph and Sully1 wander off to the crapper with them. Not knowing what shenanigans the Deflation Twins were up to, Anderson makes the call to use the backup bag of balls the referees had on hand to ensure the first half of the AFC Championship is in no way compromised.

Except he didn't. Knowing in advance the Pats were ball squeezers with a history of dirty, rotten tricks, if the league was truly concerned with the Integrity of the Game and Protecting the Shield, why not use that backup ball bag? Why not at least record the initial data so any tampering would be clear? Because this was a sting, baby, a frame-up worthy of Picasso and they didn't care who gets spattered on. If you don't think Goodell is Illuminati, I can't help you. The engram readings here are off the charts.

Where was the league when the refs at the Jets' game handed the Patriots a bunch of balls inflated to 16 PSI? If the Patriots had cried foul instead of manning up and sticking a needle in the balls to protect the integrity of the game, they would have saved themselves this horribly unfair trap. Instead they fell smack dab into Goodell's clutches and he hired a company that has argued smoking doesn't cause cancer and that asbestos doesn't either2 to argue the Patriots are cheaters.

1. I know their names are Jastremski and McNally but any working-class Boston stiffs in a story should be Murph and Sully. Plus it bugs the hell out of me these two guys are going to get fired (and according to Peter King, never work in the league again) for doing what was asked of them and something, at least according to that ex-Bears equipment guy (when the whole thing started) that is common in the league.
2. Leaving unanswered what the hell does cause cancer.

posted by yerfatma at 10:42 AM on May 07

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

You do realize thousands of phones a day are handled by police and attorneys (often celebrities) without every one ending in a leak to the public, right?

No, I don't. I used to work a dead-end job for an insurance company and one of the highlights of the gig was pulling files from athletes to look at the contracts and see what we could see. Maybe I (and every other guy in the office) am a complete and utter dirtbag, but it seems like human nature to want to pry.

Here's your Pats homer take showing how everything can also be interpreted to be innocuous (basically: the refs over-inflated balls on the Pats during a Jets game and so Brady started getting involved to make sure that stopped) and an interesting link about the consultancy Ted Wells called upon: "[Exponent Inc] denies accusations that it skews results to benefit its clients."

I don't mind the Pats being punished if they did something wrong, but prove it instead of weaving a tale fraught with holes.

posted by yerfatma at 08:21 AM on May 07

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

Also, no one is ever going to agree on the facts.

posted by yerfatma at 09:51 PM on May 06

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

I think trying to intepert the thoughts of a troll is a waste of time. If Brady has committed a crime, he should rot in supermax with Aaron Hernandez and Manny Pacquiao, guilty of upsetting gamblers everywhere.

posted by yerfatma at 09:40 PM on May 06

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

I must have missed the part of the U.S. legal code you are referring to.

posted by yerfatma at 06:29 PM on May 06

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

Tom not giving up his phone and email is full-stop bullshit

Even if I weren't a Pats fan that's weird to me. If my employer demanded my phone records I'd tell them to pound sand. A bunch of retired Keystone Kop types intimidated the equipment guys into giving them up then hit a rich person with a lawyer. I don't see why Brady should feel compelled to give up his phone and through my Pats' rose-colored glasses I can think of plenty of reasons I wouldn't want to hand my phone over to strangers even for a minute. Certainly not my email: my whole life is lived in Gmail and it's all easily searchable. You think the people trawling for smoking guns would only look at stuff they knew to be relevant?

posted by yerfatma at 03:58 PM on May 06

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

And, of course, the blind eye treatment the Patriots will receive from the NFL.

Clearly that's what's happening here. Heck, the Pats are pikers on the Your Team Cheats scoreboard. They need to up their game.

posted by yerfatma at 03:39 PM on May 06

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

Gonna be fun to go through this all again. It seems strange to me they release it so quickly after the draft. Did it really take an extra week to finish up? Releasing it right before would make it easier to take picks away from the Pats. Releasing it immediately after the draft feels like a favor to ESPN to keep the league in the news.

I'm also going to guess the only people who've seen the story so far are all Patriots fans. That or the tide really turned:

though I suppose you can read that second option either way.

posted by yerfatma at 02:17 PM on May 06

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I think Rex Ryan's Belichick obsession has gone too far when he's now trying to add a player who's involved in a murder inquiry.

posted by yerfatma at 06:52 PM on May 05

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Giorgio Chiellini should borrow his Italy teammate Mario Balotelli's t-shirt.

posted by yerfatma at 04:11 PM on May 05

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

It's the long snapper from the Naval Academy that made me wonder what Belichick was thinking

Long snapper from Navy who played lacrosse. Honestly, my concern was the guy's a honeypot designed to trap Belichick.

posted by yerfatma at 10:45 AM on May 05

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I don't want to let the NFL Draft go by without acknowledging Belichick made a Ras-I Dowling memorial pick with Jordan Richards, whom the Patriots' own web site sums up thusly: "This is a bit of a reach for the Patriots; maybe two rounds early." He joins Tavon Wilson, Taylor Price, Tyrone McKenzie and a handful of others on the "Made Mel Kiper reach for a program" rap sheet.

posted by yerfatma at 08:36 PM on May 04

SpoFi NBA Playoff Pick 'Em

Kevin Love on the glass


posted by yerfatma at 11:35 AM on May 04

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Jameis Winston is definitely over those maturity issues and Totally Gets It Now. I can't remember the last time I disliked a not-yet-pro athlete this much-- maybe Laettner?

posted by yerfatma at 05:50 PM on May 01