May 06, 2015

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose: An NFL investigator's report has concluded that it is probable New England Patriots personnel intentionally deflated footballs after they were inspected for the AFC Championship Game and quarterback Tom Brady was generally aware it was happening. "we have concluded that, in connection with the AFC Championship Game, it is more probable than not that New England Patriots personnel participated in violations of the Playing Rules and were involved in a deliberate effort to circumvent the rules," reads the report by league-appointed attorney Ted Wells. The report implicates locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski and states "it is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware" of what they were doing. Here's the full report.

posted by rcade to football at 01:39 PM - 62 comments

From the report: "All eleven of the Patriots game balls tested measured below the minimum pressure level of 12.5 pounds per square inch ('psi') allowed by Rule 2 of the Official Playing Rules of the National Football League (the 'Playing Rules') on both of two air pressure gauges used to test the balls. The four Colts balls tested each measured within the 12.5 to 13.5 psi range permitted under the Playing Rules on at least one of the gauges used for the tests."

posted by rcade at 01:47 PM on May 06

Text from Patriots locker room attendant to another staffer, per NFL report: "Tom must really be working your balls hard this week."

posted by rcade at 02:01 PM on May 06

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

Releasing it after the draft seems like an attempt to keep the controversy from spoiling anything big on the NFL Calendar. It's still a while until the Hall of Fame game.

posted by rcade at 02:20 PM on May 06

... Waiting for Kraft to counter with another nonsensical response. And, of course, the blind eye treatment the Patriots will receive from the NFL.

posted by cixelsyd at 03:05 PM on May 06

Malcolm Butler sez:

"You have no idea how hard it is to snag a pick in our practices. The footballs are a mess. It's like trying to catch Nick Nolte's face. Give our secondary a chance at making a play with a clean, properly inflated football and let's see what happens".

posted by beaverboard at 03:30 PM on May 06

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

Releasing it after the draft seems like an attempt to keep the controversy from spoiling anything big on the NFL Calendar.

Agreed. Even considering the fact most of the interviews were done in February and the scientific analysis was done even before that, this report clearly would've been in the NFL's office (as it's 243 pages and I've read most of it already) for weeks before it was released. If the NFL wanted this to be done before the draft, it would've been.

I don't even know what to do with this info. Probably is a big caveat word used over and over - there are a bunch of text messages from some knuckleheads to one another and a lot of attempt at figuring out what was humour and what wasn't. There's no smoking gun, but I think beyond a reasonable doubt that something happened is complete.

I would say there's probably a huge financial motivation for either of these two to come clean right now - they're likely to either be banned by the NFL, or by the Pats (as those texts about Brady aren't likely to be well received.) I suspect a whole bunch of folks would pay handsomely for the exclusive that indicts Tom Brady right now.

I don't even know how you sanction here - would a star player's substantial suspension be upheld on appeal based on a bunch of "more probable than not" level evidence? Brady's preference of the level of his footballs is not the same as directing people to do something illegal about it. Can you suspend him for more than a nominal amount of time based on the amount they've found - or do you suspend him as well for not complying with the investigation?

That said - at a Pats fan level, Tom not giving up his phone and email is full-stop bullshit and really is the piece de resistance on an otherwise fucked up year to try to remain a football fan. They owned the Colts already last year, not to mention they clearly didn't need it in the second half. They didn't need the help at all.

Further, he got up in front of everybody and said he was fully complying with the league. But that was a total lie, and for that, I say - fuck you Brady, I'm done. Hope the 4th ring was worth it because I'm am totally done with the Pats until you hang 'em up.

posted by dfleming at 03:49 PM on May 06

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

If my employer demanded my phone records I'd tell them to pound sand.

Brady's the public face of the franchise and is paid millions. The allegation has an adverse impact on the reputation of the Patriots and the league. I think he had an obligation to his employer and to NFL fans to provide the information that was requested.

It's not like he was being asked to hand over his phone and other devices. Per the report, he only was asked to provide emails and messages concerning the "preparation of game balls, air pressure of balls, inflation of balls or deflation of balls," and the NFL offered to let his lawyer pre-screen the messages to ensure that nothing was shown to them outside that scope.

posted by rcade at 04:08 PM on May 06

The Saints lost second-round picks in 2012 and 2013 and were fined $500,000 over the bounty scandal. I could see a punishment in that ballpark coming out of this, though I vagely recall claims that $25,000 is the maximum fine for dodgy balls.

posted by rcade at 04:22 PM on May 06

If my employer demanded my phone records I'd tell them to pound sand.

Yeah, except the part where he's texting and calling guys from work related to the investigation to do with his work and a problem that's potentially going to cost his employer reputation-wise, $-wise, and possibly player-wise. They had the other sides of the conversations which were EXTREMELY relevant to the issue. In an investigation with any actual teeth at all, that'd EASILY be grounds for a subpoena or at least adverse inference in civil proceedings for not bringing it forward.

I mean, you can make this as "fuck the man" as you want, but pretending Ted Wells is one step away from TMZ is ridiculous. The guy's a distinguished criminal attorney with a clear mandate and had a clear reason to want his phone that wasn't photos of Gisele.

posted by dfleming at 04:22 PM on May 06

If my employer demanded my phone records I'd tell them to pound sand

If my employer's legal representative was investigating a crime where I was the prime suspect I'd have to comply to keep my job.

I'd also have no reason not to comply as I had already proclaimed my innocence and would want to prove my innocence.

If I was actually guilty and had been lying all along I'd realize it was time to man up.

posted by cixelsyd at 05:10 PM on May 06

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

Heck, the Pats are pikers on the Your Team Cheats scoreboard.

Fun link, and I could have spent all damn day playing on it.

I found it curious that the Pats had some of the more unique "cheats" listed on the scoreboard. A also found the scoreboard suspect in that many of the Pats' cheats were awarded 0 cameras.

posted by tahoemoj at 07:00 PM on May 06

Heck, the Pats are pikers on the Your Team Cheats scoreboard.

Gamblegate

TEAM: The Detroit Lions

SEVERITY: 1.5 cameras

SUMMARY: Alex Karras, an All-Pro defensive tackle for the Lions, was forced to sit out the 1963 season, suspended by NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle for betting on NFL games and associating with gamblers. Karras had placed at least a half-dozen $50 to $100 bets.

Far as I'm concerned, Karras redeemed this one in full on his first game back. He was, of course, still a team captain, and came out for the coin toss. The ref asked him to call it, and he said, "I'm sorry, sir, I'm not permitted to gamble."

posted by Etrigan at 08:17 PM on May 06

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

I think his comment was about what an employer would do if you didn't do everything police authorities asked of you. Most employers would cut their ties to an employee who stonewalled the cops.

Brady isn't suspected of a crime. This is a league disciplinary matter. I think it would be reasonable for the league to punish him for not providing the information requested, in addition to whatever punishment he might get for dodgy balls.

posted by rcade at 08:43 PM on May 06

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

The guy's a distinguished criminal attorney with a clear mandate and had a clear reason to want his phone that wasn't photos of Gisele.

Remember all those "private and anonymous" drug tests that MLB did back in 2003? Remember how all those drug test results suddenly became very public cannon fodder for the newspapers?

Remember how all those celebrity photos got out last year?

Unless I was compelled by a judge to provide my emails, I'd tell anyone and everyone that asked for them to jump off a bridge.

In today's day and age, there is absolutely no way I would trust personal information to anyone else, regardless of their history. Even if that guy didn't want the photos of Gisele (or private emails/texts/whatever), I guarantee those photos would "leak" into the public eye within 30 days of him handing over the phone. The attorney would say things about how his office didn't leak them, and the NFL would say they didn't have anything to do with the leak, and yet, somehow, they magically leaked.

posted by grum@work at 10:06 PM on May 06

I think it would be reasonable for the league to punish him for not providing the information requested

It would be reversed by a judge in court quicker than a failed Brady high-five.

posted by grum@work at 10:08 PM on May 06

It is more probable than not that Roger Goodell told Wells to come up with something -- anything -- that could possibly keep Goodell and the league from looking like complete a-holes on this. Why did it take so long for the report to be released? It took that long for Wells to interpret some text messages in the worst possible light, figure out how to frame the words so that the evidence would look damning and extensive, and finally how to term things that would allow a maximum of weasel room. Were this a criminal matter presented to a prosecutor by an investigator, the prosecutor wold throw the investigator out of the room while telling him that he could never get a conviction, let alone an indictment on evidence that thin.

I am convinced now that Brady's future lies in the political arena. He has demonstrated a mastery of the techniques for giving unrevealing answers and removing smoking guns. Hillary Clinton couldn't have done it better.

posted by Howard_T at 12:25 AM on May 07

Unless I was compelled by a judge to provide my emails, I'd tell anyone and everyone that asked for them to jump off a bridge.

And you're well within your rights to do so - however, if you're Tom Brady and you've just miraculously started texting and calling two lowly equipment guys the day and dropping off signed memorabilia after a big controversy (and they have that already via the phone records of the other guys), it is wholly reasonable for the broader public to adversely infer that you not providing evidence that it was the extent of what you did related to the case is part of a cover-up.

I guarantee those photos would "leak" into the public eye within 30 days of him handing over the phone. The attorney would say things about how his office didn't leak them, and the NFL would say they didn't have anything to do with the leak, and yet, somehow, they magically leaked.

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?

I guess I don't put a lot of weight in a guarantee based on totally unrelated people, sports, and cases. Some people are bad people and don't understand security ergo all people are bad people and don't understand security is silly.

posted by dfleming at 07:26 AM on May 07

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

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?

Oh, really?

It doesn't happen often?

Are you sure?

Do you really think that Brady's phone records/emails/texts would have been completely safe? You don't think there wouldn't be one lawyer/clerk/official that wouldn't want to leak something to the press (newspaper, online, blog, tabloid, whatever) for cash if they found something juicy?

posted by grum@work at 08:30 AM on May 07

Even if that guy didn't want the photos of Gisele (or private emails/texts/whatever), I guarantee those photos would "leak" into the public eye within 30 days of him handing over the phone.

As I already posted, he wasn't asked to hand over any devices. Here's the relevant part of the report (emphasis mine):

Similarly, although Tom Brady appeared for a requested interview and answered questions voluntarily, he declined to make available any documents or electronic information (including text messages and emails) that we requested, even though those requests were limited to the subject matter of our investigation (such as messages concerning the preparation of game balls, air pressure of balls, inflation of balls or deflation of balls) and we offered to allow Brady's counsel to screen and control the production so that it would be limited strictly to responsive materials and would not involve our taking possession of Brady's telephone or other electronic devices.
Brady's refusal to provide any communications doesn't make him look good. If there were no communications he could've said that.

It would be reversed by a judge in court quicker than a failed Brady high-five.

I'd be surprised if an NFL player could reverse a punishment for failing to cooperate with a league disciplinary investigation.

posted by rcade at 09:00 AM on May 07

I don't mind the Pats being punished if they did something wrong ...

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.

The league should have just punished the team for that after a short investigation, the way it punishes owners for a media comment that's perceived as tampering. Keep it simple and save us all the spectacle of Pats fans pretending all the evidence is bogus and Pats haters acting like this proves everything they ever disliked about the team.

Nobody talks about tampering punishments for long. Because Goodell let DeflateGate simmer for days and grow into an enormous scandal, it will be a major incident in NFL history for a long time. I think he's the worst commissioner in a major U.S. sport.

posted by rcade at 09:11 AM on May 07

Do you really think that Brady's phone records/emails/texts would have been completely safe?

Considering it was a voluntary offering, he was offered the opportunity for his attorney to be in total control of the phone and to limit the inquiry to just a particular time period and on subject. The phone didn't need to leave the hands of him or his people for any moment at all. He chose not to even do that.

You don't think there wouldn't be one lawyer/clerk/official that wouldn't want to leak something to the press (newspaper, online, blog, tabloid, whatever) for cash if they found something juicy?

Well they had the other guys' texts (which were juicy) and those somehow didn't find their way into the public ethereal until the report came out. Any of those sources would've happily bought those. So why weren't those sold if it was "guaranteed" as you say?

Oh, really?

It doesn't happen often?

Are you sure?

Surely someone as rigorously trained in statistical method as you knows that isn't anything resembling data. There is more coverage of murder in the news today than ever before, but that doesn't mean the murder rate is rising. We cover the cases where shit goes wrong, but the thousands of other cases where nothing happens don't make the news.

posted by dfleming at 09:31 AM on May 07

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...The league should have just punished the team for that after a short investigation

Yep. Just give them a slap on the wrist, or moderately more, for the rules violation. Call it a first offense and make it clear that if it happens again, the punishment will escalate. Make it a strict liability offense and take intent out of the equation. Set the precedent that teams are expected to comply with the rules, and if they fail to do so, they will be punished, and punishments will escalate until the rules are observed. It doesn't matter if it is incompetence or an attempt to cheat.

Instead, we now have a report that makes the issue of intent as clear as mud, and nothing really has changed. Everyone oustide of the northeast is still convinved the Pats are cheaters, and everyone in the northeast can explain the whole thing away. This whole 4 month investigation and report has been such a circus that part of me believes that it is all just a publicity stunt designed to keep people talking about the NFL through the summer. Hell, this is as long a thread as spofi has seen in quite some time.

posted by tahoemoj at 10:24 AM on May 07

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

but prove it instead of weaving a tale fraught with holes

Seriously?

What holes are there?

Balls that were deliberately deflated to levels outside of the limits of the rules by Patriots employees were used during a game.

Considering it was a voluntary offering, he was offered the opportunity for his attorney to be in total control of the phone and to limit the inquiry to just a particular time period and on subject. The phone didn't need to leave the hands of him or his people for any moment at all. He chose not to even do that.

Makes no sense at all that someone would avoid the opportunity to prove their innocence.

.. Enter Brady's agent trying to deflect the entire event back on the NFL crying conspiracy. Only deepens the hole his client is already in.

The NFL conspiring to discredit one of the staples of it's brand?

Man up. Quickly. The longer this goes on the worse it gets for everyone involved.
If those involved had owned the responsibility when caught the whole issue would have been quickly dealt with.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:00 AM on May 07

I'd be surprised if an NFL player could reverse a punishment for failing to cooperate with a league disciplinary investigation.

If a company fires/fines you for not handing over your own personal email information or phone information without a warrant, I'm pretty sure you can take legal action, unless you've signed a contract that says you'll specifically agree to do that. (Do we think that kind of language is in the standard NFLPA contract? I doubt it.)

Surely someone as rigorously trained in statistical method as you knows that isn't anything resembling data.

Obviously. But to suggest that there wouldn't be anything to worry about if he did hand over his phone is the point I'm trying to make. It's like saying "Oh, it's okay if they want to take near-nude photos of you for security reasons at the airport. None of those will ever get out." or "It's okay if they collect all of the information from every internet transaction that exists. They won't do anything with them."

Until someone does something wrong.

Why even give them the opportunity?

In general, I trust police officers. That doesn't mean I'm going to just hand over my phone or let them search my car/house without a warrant, or agree to questioning without a lawyer present.

posted by grum@work at 11:04 AM on May 07

Makes no sense at all that someone would avoid the opportunity to prove their innocence.

Unless, of course, you thought that maybe they were trying to build a case against you regardless of your guilt.

Even if I was Brady and I know I did nothing wrong, I still wouldn't give them access to my phone/text records.

It's right down the same path as
"Hey, if you've got nothing to hide then you shouldn't have any problem with the government reading all your emails."

posted by grum@work at 11:07 AM on May 07

It's right down the same path as

"Hey, if you've got nothing to hide then you shouldn't have any problem with the government reading all your emails."

No it isn't.

They didn't start the investigation wanting all of Brady's emails and conclude that his reluctance to give them up was evidence of his guilt. That's the equivalent to your broader scenario and isn't what happened here.

They already had a variety of circumstantial and fishy text messages he was involved in and gifts involving Brady that they wanted to dig into. There was an entirely plausible pattern in place (Brady pressures the equipment guys to get him balls in a format he wants, a big thing happens involving balls that adheres to his preferences, they figure out how it might've been done using a video, and find out one of the guys suddenly starts getting calls and texts from Brady and memorabilia) and they offered him terms and the opportunity to have counsel present.

The intent was to gather facts and not just rely on Brady's declaration that he's innocent and that a bunch of happenstance stuff he doesn't know about seems to be happening. That's a statement that's counter to the reasonable interpretation of the events that occurred, and thus shouldn't on its face be considered as of equivalent value to the pattern of other things.

I am typically pro-liberty (and am pro-liberty to Brady's right not to give up his phone) but that's not the same as suggesting it has no adverse value to his case considering his phone was involved in some elements of the case and should not be held against him. 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.

posted by dfleming at 11:46 AM on May 07

If that were conclusively so, why wouldn't the NFL say that and take a chunk out of the Patriots?

The NFL did say that, in the first paragraph of the report: "All eleven of the Patriots game balls tested measured below the minimum pressure level of 12.5 pounds per square inch ('psi') allowed by Rule 2 of the Official Playing Rules of the National Football League (the 'Playing Rules') on both of two air pressure gauges used to test the balls."

There's no "more probable than not" language there. The Patriots broke a rule, so they can be punished for that.

It's right down the same path as "Hey, if you've got nothing to hide then you shouldn't have any problem with the government reading all your emails."

I don't see it as the same path at all. The NFL and Patriots are related business entities where the former has disciplinary authority over the latter. This investigation isn't criminal -- it's in-house. If your employer's parent company asked you to provide all emails and messages pertaining to a specific subject and you refused, your employer could punish you for non-cooperation.

The only special rights Brady might have here would come to him from the NFL player's agreement. But has anyone seen a player under disciplinary procedures not cooperate and get away with it? As I recall Adrian Peterson was punished for not showing up at NFL HQ when they told him to be there.

posted by rcade at 11:49 AM on May 07

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

Nice work on your legal citation, too fatma. Wanna proof the brief I'm writing (sorta) as we speak?

posted by tahoemoj at 12:37 PM on May 07

Well done - the last part really does seal it. I do like those apples, sir.

posted by dfleming at 12:41 PM on May 07

If your employer's parent company asked you to provide all emails and messages pertaining to a specific subject and you refused, your employer could punish you for non-cooperation.

Is that the case here?

Did they know that Brady has guilty messages?
If they did know those guilty messages were there, then why do they need Brady's phone since they already have that information from another source?

If they didn't know the messages were there, then they were on a fishing expedition. In which case, they can pound astroturf.

posted by grum@work at 01:05 PM on May 07

But has anyone seen a player under disciplinary procedures not cooperate and get away with it? As I recall Adrian Peterson was punished for not showing up at NFL HQ when they told him to be there.

Was Brady under disciplinary procedures? Or was he part of an investigation?

Peterson not showing up for a mandated hearing (per the NFL/NFLPA agreement) is different than having someone request looking through your private phone.

IF, however, that phone was provided to him by the Patriots for business purposes, then I can see the NFL having a right to those messages.

(Much in the same way any email I send from my work machine/account should be available to my company.)

posted by grum@work at 01:11 PM on May 07

Is that the case here?

Yes. He was asked to provide "messages concerning the preparation of game balls, air pressure of balls, inflation of balls or deflation of balls" and he declined, per the report.

... than having someone request looking through your private phone.

Once again, no one requested to look through his private phone. They asked him to provide some information from his private phone while it was entirely in his own possession.

Can we stop comparing this to a phone being handed over and investigators fishing through it? It's not a valid comparison, and the report makes this crystal clear.

posted by rcade at 01:18 PM on May 07

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

Did they know that Brady has guilty messages?
If they did know those guilty messages were there, then why do they need Brady's phone since they already have that information from another source?

If they didn't know the messages were there, then they were on a fishing expedition. In which case, they can pound astroturf.

They have texts after the fact from Brady to one of the two guys. It's in the report. They were looking for other things he might've been texting during that timeframe.

posted by dfleming at 01:29 PM on May 07

(I haven't had time to read the full report. I was going by the comment from dfleming who said Tom not giving up his phone and email is full-stop bullshit regarding what Brady was asked to do.)

If they've got proof from one of the other guys, and Brady doesn't want to provide any further evidence that might "incriminate" himself, then that's the end of that.

If they want to discipline him for being part of the shrunken balls conspiracy, I'm all for that.

If they want to discipline him for not providing personal messages from his private phone, I'm against that.

posted by grum@work at 02:08 PM on May 07

Pages 101-109 grum.

posted by dfleming at 02:15 PM on May 07

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

Pincite and all!

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:45 PM on May 07

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

posted by yerfatma at 04:33 PM on May 07

But don't worry, there's no sections in case law. You done just fine.

On edit: I gave you some interlocking s's, but rcade's anti-lawyer little sportsball site doesn't recognize them.

posted by tahoemoj at 07:30 PM on May 07

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

... rcade's anti-lawyer little sportsball site doesn't recognize them.

One o' these days I'm starting this codebase from scratch with proper code support high on the list of goals. There are ways to do chărăcters with numeric escape codes but it ăint pretty.

posted by rcade at 08:03 PM on May 07

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

Can we have dirty communist currency symbols, like £ and €?

Not that I haven't enjoyed eleven years of trying to remember the code to force money with pictures of the Queen on it into these comment boxes.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:44 AM on May 08

Django could be fun. When would you want us to work on it? We'll have some trouble with the existing data, because ColdFusion (the original platform) did weird things to soft returns in its XML output of the site archive.

posted by rcade at 11:17 AM on May 08

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

If you guys need someone to lend a hand on the front-end (building a more responsive framework as an example), willing to offer help there as needed.

posted by dfleming at 01:36 PM on May 08

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.

Yup.

posted by grum@work at 04:03 PM on May 08

Brady isn't doing his reputation any favors with comments like this: "I'll certainly want to be very comfortable in how I feel about the statements that I make."

People telling the truth don't do that. They just tell the truth.

posted by rcade at 04:48 PM on May 08

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

Brady has now lost both the Buffalo Hotel Association and the Michelin Tire endorsement accounts.

God forbid that the Met Life blimp ever does a game day flyover in Foxboro and an Isis drone thwacks home a couple of rounds and the airship starts losing pressure while hovering over 65,000 people. If that happens, people will not be blaming Jimmy Garoppolo or Drew Bledsoe.

I have Roberto Luongo on the line, who is prepared to say nice things about the Patriots footballs, even if no one says nice things about him in return.

posted by beaverboard at 01:19 AM on May 09

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

Not since the Rice thing.

posted by Etrigan at 06:22 PM on May 10

Does anyone else feel the NFL is trying to base the upcoming punishment on public sentiment?

I don't understand why the report wasn't accompanied by a punishment announcement. Goodell is a disaster.

posted by rcade at 07:24 PM on May 10

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

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