New England Patriots: Brady finally responds to upheld suspension

After spending 11 hours in the NFL‘s headquarters appealing the 4-game suspension for his involvement in “deflategate”, and months of waiting, Commissioner Roger Goodell had finally reached a decision. Brady’s 4-game suspension would still be upheld.  Now, Brady and company are going to court.

We have heard and responses all over social media from fan bases, players, and a response from the New England Patriots organization. However, we have not heard from the man himself, until now.

This morning, Tom Brady released a statement on his Facebook page about the whole situation.  This post sheds a new light on the whole investigation and handling of the whole controversy.

As expected, Brady stated that he did “nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either”. When it came to the issue about phone records, Brady had said the following, “I also disagree with yesterdays narrative surrounding my cellphone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances. As a member of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. Wells investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline.” He continues by stating that he and his team of lawyers did everything they could to provide the league with all the electronic communication needed in the investigation.

“I also disagree with yesterdays narrative surrounding my cellphone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances. As a member of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. Wells investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline.”

Brady continues to state that he feels that there is not a smoking gun.

With Brady and Commissioner Goodell getting ready to clash in the courts, everyone else plays a waiting game. Will Brady start week one, or will the courts uphold the suspension? From the way things have looked, Brady may have the odds on his side.

Tom Brady Proclaims His Innocence, The Fight Continues

I went to bed last night, like I have so many times in the past seven months feeling like I can’t defend Tom Brady and the Patriots anymore in the, “deflate gate” saga. The destroyed cell phone almost was the final straw for me. Then, yet again I woke up to a prepared statement, this time from Tom Brady himself.

Brady fired shots at both Roger Goodell and Ted Wells proclaiming his innocence. Some of the key quotes from were as follows; “The fact is neither I, nor any equipment person, did anything of which we have been accused. ”

Also, “Most importantly, I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at any time anything related to football air pressure at any time before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January. To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong.”

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01 :  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates holding up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX February 1, 2015 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tom Brady
GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 01 : Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates holding up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX February 1, 2015 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tom Brady

Lastly, to sum it all up, ” I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either.”

Those are pretty fierce statements coming from Brady. I find it hard to believe that he would keep going to these lengths if he truly did anything wrong. He won’t be backing down anytime soon, unlike his teams owner.

Now the question is, how will this effect his team. Certainly this cloud will hang over the team for all of training camp and until this conflict is resolved. Players with zero intel to the situation are going to be bombarded with questions, just giving the common Patriot answer. ” Im just here getting better everyday, trying to do my job.”

If Brady takes this to court, it will drag out through the season, which makes me feel uneasy as a Patriots fan. Why? The reason is, no matter how confident you are with the case that Brady’s camp has, you never no what can happen in court.

The NFL is taking off and running with their, “destroyed cell phone” case. However, the NFL already had the messages from John Jastremski and Jim McNally, and any other messages that were needed were offered to be retrieved by the Brady camp. That was turned down by the league.

If Brady goes to court and it is heard midway through the season, there is no telling what could happen. What if it goes to court in December and the suspension stays. Then Patriots fans could see Jimmy Garoppolo under center in a playoff game. That is a scary sight to think about.

Nevertheless, the fight must go on from Brady’s side. They have dug in their heels and they are not backing down anytime soon. They can’t, it would look terrible on their part if they talked it up like they have, and then backed down, (Robert Kraft).

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In the end, I think I speak for all Patriots fans, and football fans in general when I say that I want this whole thing to just be over with. It is late July, we should be focusing on position battles and the upcoming season. Instead we are discussing cell phones being destroyed and air pressure in footballs.

Three Little Birds: The ballad of Tom Brady

Removing the rose colored glasses from a New England Patriots fan’s face, July twenty eighth looks pretty bad. Four game suspension upheld. Tom Brady reportedly destroyed his cell phone on the day he was was asked to turn it in. Everybody outside of New England thinks Tom Brady is a cheater. The opportunity for an injunction being granted allowing Brady to play until a definitive judicial decision can be made, is in doubt. The sky is falling in the six states of New England.

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It is fitting that the day after Shane Victorino leaves the Red Sox that the song “Three little birds”, by Bob Marley, in which Victorino is so closely identified with, encapsulates so much. In actuality, even though the thought seems ridiculous, every little thing is going to be alright. Tom Brady will always be one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game of football. No amount of tuck rules, spy gates or deflated footballs will stop that from being fact.
Is Tom Brady a cheater? Perhaps. Destroying his phone doesn’t scream innocent but what if he did bend the rules? What if Tom Brady knew that the footballs were being tampered with after the officials checked them? What does it change? In short, not a thing. In essence it makes him human. It paints a picture of a man willing to cut corners in order to achieve ultimate success. Winning is clearly everything to him. Has Patriot nation not lauded this man for this very reason over the last fifteen years?
What pains many people in the New England area is the very idea that their quarterback is looked at as less than perfect. It’s as though acknowledging that all this drama could be fact, suddenly allows for Peyton Manning to cease choking in big game situations or the New York Jets will be more respected. Skill and precison make Brady a fantastic quarterback, not the opinions of NFL message board trolls.
Facts need to be admonished. Regardless of what can be overturned, thrown out or proven in a court of law, the court of public opinion believes that Tom Brady is a cheater. If it were Eli Manning or Ben Roethlisberger in the same situation, New England fans would feel as the rest of the country does about Brady.
Although this situation stings quite egregiously at the moment, history looks back on athletes in a filter which usually represents them in the best possible light.Nothing Tom Brady may have done will ultimately change his incredible legacy.
My advice is to weather the storm, embrace the hate because if it wasn’t “cheater” fans in other regions would have another name or excuse to prod Patriot nation with. In the end, every little thing truly will be alright.

NFL: The Deflation of Tom Brady

The verdict is in, and the Ginger Hammer strikes again!

A decision that should’ve brought out the duck boats on Boylston street again has left all of Patriots Nation in a state of upheaval.

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I can’t imagine that any of you can find a silver lining to what has unfolded in the past few hours, but I have one. At least you’re not in Miami, listening to incessant rants from delusional Dolphins fans who are banking on the Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective’s Super Bowl 50 predictions (not to mention the humidity, which makes you feel like you’re a walking fried egg).

The fate of Deflategate, or “Deflatefate” is currently a four-game suspension for the four-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady. Let me be the first to point out that I am in no way looking to berate the league or its commissioner, however, I have read the Final Decision and the evidence Goodell finds sufficient enough to arrive to this conclusion, and I’m still inconclusive here.

Let’s begin with what the report claims as “the most significant new information” – a destroyed cellphone.

Tom Brady admitted to having his assistant destroy a cellphone he had been using since November 2014 at his appeal hearing in June. It is presumed (because NOWHERE in this report can an exact date be determined) that this was deliberately done “on or around” March 6th, the day the Patriots quarterback met with Ted Wells, the independent investigator hired by the league. During the appeal, Brady’s representatives presented a letter from the destroyed phone’s carrier indicating that text messages sent to and received by this phone could not be retrieved, but offered to devise a spreadsheet of all the individuals he had contact with from November 2014 – March 2015.

So, if the league cannot access phone records for a phone that was presumably destroyed, how can they estimate that around 10,000 text messages were sent during that time period?

The intention of devising a spreadsheet that includes all of the individuals Brady had contact with during that time period was for the league to use it at their will (you know, contact these individuals, receive their consent and review their phone records for any evidence). But of course, the league decided this was not practical. The most significant new information is really no information at all then. Brady was tampering with evidence and obstructing the investigation? How can that be proven when you can’t even bother to try an alternative method of obtaining information that can potentially substantiate a 139-page report that concludes “more probable than not” manipulation of footballs?

The report continues with a section called “Factual Determination and Findings” where for the millionth time we are reminded of what the weight of the footballs should be. Pop quiz: How many pounds per square inch should an NFL football weigh in order to be used in a game? (If you didn’t answer 12.5 to 13.5 psi, you must be a Dolphins fan.)

According to the report, inflation levels of footballs were “a matter of particular interest to Mr. Brady.” (Wouldn’t that be a detail of particular interest to any quarterback, or any ball handler for that matter, Mr. Goodell?)

Tom Brady informed his equipment staff he preferred the footballs to be inflated at the “lowest permissible level” and was even gracious enough to have the equipment staff present a “highlighted copy of the provision of the Playing Rules” to game officials. What happens after that cannot be proven to implicate the three-time Super Bowl MVP.
Another factor that played into Goodell’s decision was the fact that neither John Jastremski nor James McNally were called to testify during the appeal in June. The report indicates that there were important topics that could’ve have been addressed, particularly text messages where McNally refers to himself as “The Deflator”.

Wait, that and those other important topics that needed to be addressed were kept out of that infamous 139-page report?

Goodell concludes that the evidence in these reports support the idea that Brady was involved in an elaborate scheme to tamper with footballs after they had been inspected by game officials and obstructed the investigation by destroying his phone. He drew “upon his experience of more than thirty years in the National Football League, including nearly nine as a Commissioner.”

Hmmm…

Did he draw upon his extensive experience in the NFL when he initially suspended Ray Rice for two games after he brutally beat his wife unconscious on camera?

Did he also draw upon his extensive experience in the NFL when he reduced Le’Veon Bell’s suspension to two games after he was arrested and charged with a DUI and possession of marijuana?

Look, there’s no denying that rules were broken here. Brady was appealing the punishment itself and it was upheld after more than six months of investigation that still fail to prove that he DEFINITELY played a role in this ridiculous scandal. So if this is sending any message to the league’s teams, players and fans, it’s one that implicates that the man at the helm’s judgement is deflated. (Too soon?)

NFL News Dump: Bell’s Suspension Reduced at Same Time Brady’s is Not

Over the last hour, the NFL pulled off perhaps the most impressive news dump. As they announced they were upholding the four-game suspension of legendary quarterback Tom Brady, they slipped in another story about Steeler’s running back Le’Veon Bell.

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The third-year running back was charged with a DUI and marijuana possession in August of last year. The NFL suspended Bell for three games, and Bell appealed. The league finally ruled on Bell’s appeal today, reducing the suspension from three games to two. Bell’s attorneys argued that he was being suspended based on the new drug policy, when the infraction occurred during the old one.

The suspension ensures that Bell will miss opening night in New England and week 2 against San Francisco. Also absent week 1 will be Tom Brady, as it stands, making for an interesting opening night of the NFL season.

Bell will be a central part of what could be the best offense in the NFL this season. The running back burst onto the scene last year, amassing 1361 yards on the ground and another 854 as a receiver. Bell, along with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receivers Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant, and tight end Heath Miller, make up perhaps the most impressive band of skill position players in the league.

With Bell’s suspension looming, the Steelers signed D’Angelo Williams to add depth to their backfield. Thank goodness the team had more time to come up with a backup plan this year, as they failed miserably last year. Le’Veon Bell was injured in the final regular season game a year ago, and that forced him to miss Pittsburgh’s playoff game against the Ravens. The Steelers panicked and signed free agent running back Ben Tate during the week leading up to the game. Tate combined with Josh Harris and Dri Archer to form a far from formidable Steelers backfield, and those three combined for a measly 43 yards on just 15 carries.

The St. Louis Rams are the big losers in this, as they face off against the Steelers in week 3. Bell goes into the season as arguably the best running back in the NFL, both as a runner and as a receiver out of the backfield.

Five Reasons Seeing Brady in Court is a Good Thing

Top 5 Things to Look Forward to when Brady takes the NFL to Court

I for one think Brady had some knowledge about what was going on.  Information came to light today that didn’t look good for our hero .  However, I’ve yet to see cold hard facts that state he tampered with footballs before we gave the Colts an ass kicking.  Here are a few things we should all be looking forward to when 12 takes on the NFL in federal court.

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5) Kraft on the Stand (Again) – The last time we saw Krafty Bob take the witness stand was during the Aaron Hernandez trial.  He looked nervous, but also gave that power stare to the prosecution that just screamed, “I know the exact location of your season tickets counselor.”

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4) That Rat Bastard Jim Irsay Getting Subpoenaed – Chances are fairly high that someone will have to wake Irsay out of an oxy induced coma the morning he is to be questioned.  He and his scumbag GM were the catalysts for this entire debacle.  I said it before and I’ll say it again, “Pray for Indy”.

of the 2015 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 18, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

3) Walt Anderson’s Testimony – This has been suspect since day one.  Anderson and his crew had ONE JOB, the day of the AFC Championship Game, and that was to keep an eye on the footballs.  For the first time in nineteen years, according to Anderson, the balls disappeared prior to kickoff.  Does that seem the least bit questionable to anyone but me?

2) Brady’s Testimony – In New England, everything Brady says is typically gospel.  However, he does have some explaining to do.  Why did he order his phone destroyed the day he met with Wells?  What in fact were those conversations about with the ball boys?  All of this is going to come out in the wash.  I do hope they ask him what exactly was on his phone and he answers with homemade videos of him and Super G.

Suit game, casual version
Suit game, casual version

1) Brady’s Suit Game – His suit game is going to be so on point, and you know it.  Does he go double breasted?  Will he rock a pocket square that just screams four titles?  Maybe he goes with the Mr. Kraft power shirt?  Anything he does, will INSTANTLY become to go-to for late summer/fall Men’s fashion.  I’m maxing out my Amex and buying the entire get up the second he takes the stand.

#FreeBrady

Still think Brady isn't going for five?
Still think Brady isn’t going for five?

BOSTON - APRIL 13: Clutching the franchise's four Vince Lombardi Trophies, New England Patriots owners Robert Kraft, Jonathan Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady were part of the pre-game ceremonies. The Boston Red Sox hosted the Washington Nationals in their home opener at Fenway Park. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

National Football League: What Is Your Team Looking For In Training Camp?

As training camps open throughout the NFL every team approaches the season with a different objective in mind. The Lombardi Trophy would be the ultimate goal for everyone, but for many teams that is unobtainable (yes, I know they all start on a level playing field…but really?) Let’s take a quick look around the NFL at last year’s haves and have-nots.

BOTTOM OF THE LADDER – 5 WINS OR LESS (2014)

JACKSONVILLE, TENNESSEE, OAKLAND, WASHINGTON, TAMPA, CHICAGO, NEW YORK JETS 

These seven teams combined for a total of just 23 wins, with Chicago (5-11) leading the pack. All seven are thin at many positions and keep searching to find the formula that will push them into contention. Training camp is more important for them as they take a look at their weaknesses and need as much time as they can get to scrutinize all the players available to take the next step.

Fans of the Jets (4 wins) and Bears will argue they are on the cusp of being a legitimate threat, possibly with a new QB, as they view their teams through “rose colored glasses” (known as the Jeff Kane perspective – Patriots Beat, 2014).  For the first time since he arrived in Chicago six years ago, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is in a vulnerable situation. Head coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace, will have him on a short leash and are under no obligation to keep Cutler beyond 2015.

Jay Cutler may be on the way out in Chicago (photo: Google Images)

Everyone in this group has serious flaws and to expect a turnaround to double-digit wins in one season is setting expectations high. Yes, off-season signings may have helped, but history tells us the odds are strong that most of them will once again bring up the rear end of their division.

The Jets have had the most improvement in talent, but are playing in a division that, with the exception of New England, has stepped up in the off-season. With a new Head Coach (Todd Bowles) and no proven QB (I’m being kind) it’s hard to see them leap frogging Buffalo and Miami, let alone the Super Bowl Champion Patriots.

MIDDLE OF THE PACK – 6 TO 9 WINS 

MIAMI, CLEVELAND, NY GIANTS, MINNESOTA, ATLANTA, CAROLINA, NEW ORLEANS, SAN FRANCISCO, ST. LOUIS, KANSAS CITY, SAN DIEGO, HOUSTON, BUFFALO

The unlucky thirteen need training camp to check who will or won’t be an asset in 2015. Many players will be “on-the-bubble” for this group. In a league that prides itself on competitive balance it’s no surprise they make up the largest percentage of teams in the NFL.

Some teams are on the way up (Houston, Miami and Buffalo???) and are looking at training camp as a chance to see improvement from veterans as well as analyze their youngsters. Others are striving to regain prominence (Kansas City, St. Louis, New Orleans, San Francisco, NY Giants, Carolina, San Diego) and are hoping their veterans are ready to bounce back, some from injuries others from off years, and will use camp to see if they have filled the holes that weren’t apparent until too late in 2014.

Is Johnny Football ready to set aside his demons and become a true NFL Quarterback? (Photo: DallasNews.com)

The remaining three (Cleveland, Atlanta, Minnesota) are working to assure they won’t drop into the bottom rung, where they have all resided in past seasons. Training camp will be used to evaluate key players and positions that could make or break their ability to move up, or, more than likely, fall further in the standings.

Looking at this group, Houston, Miami and Buffalo all look ready to step up. The strength of division/schedule will have an impact, as both Miami and Buffalo play in a dramatically improved AFC East while Houston has only the Colts to contend with in the AFC South (not sure how Indianapolis is in the south…but I digress).

The Bills have serious question marks on offense, but their defense could be the strongest in the league. One player they are looking at for a boost on offense is Charles Clay. The Bills paid Clay nearly as much as Rob Gronkowski and Julius Thomas hoping he can be the blocking and receiving tight end that makes Roman’s offense tick.

Playing in the exceptionally weak NFC South, where Carolina won the division with an ugly 7-8-1 record, will certainly help not only the Panthers, but also New Orleans and Atlanta.

CONTENDERS/PRETENDERS – 10 TO 14 WINS

NEW ENGLAND, PITTSBURGH, CINCINNATI, BALTIMORE, INDIANAPOLIS, DENVER, DALLAS, PHILADELPHIA, GREEN BAY, DETROIT, SEATTLE, ARIZONA

This grouping often has fewer needs and are just hope to get out of training camp without any major injuries. Odds are the next Super Bowl will be played by two of the 12 teams in this group.

New England, last year’s Super Bowl winner, looks to have more question marks then you would expect after losing many key parts from their championship team. With those holes to fill, especially in the secondary, you know teams (and fans) are chomping at the bit to step on them while they are regrouping.

Yes, the Pats could be vulnerable early, especially if QB Tom Brady is out for 4 games. but Head Coach Bill Belichick has led New England to 12 straight winning seasons, so don’t dig the grave too quickly. Commissioner Roger Goodell has just issued his decision to keep the penalty the same, so the courts will now decide if Brady’s sentence fits the supposed crime.

Teams unlikely to repeat their 2014 performance include:

The remaining eight will fight to prove their worth and use training camp to test veterans that may have reached the downside of their careers, draft picks who could step in, free agent signings and those always exciting un-drafted free agents. Training camp is a bother more than need for most of of the chosen few.

Look for the teams that have done it before, can overcome issues and have solid veteran leadership to once again step up and reach for “THE RING.”

My pre-season picks (Lord, its way too early for this to mean anything) are…drum roll please…the angry, hated, underdog New England Patriots (confession time, that pick is with my heart not brain) taking on the always tough Green Bay Packers, for the Lombardi Trophy.

Could this be the 2015 Season Super Bowl Match-Up

To read full articles from the original sources, just click on the blue highlighted portions of this article. The opinions expressed in this article are strictly mine and open for discussion.

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