Tag Archives: Deflategate

Do you trust Jimmy Garoppolo?

“He is going to go 4-0, no question about it.”

“My guess is he will go at least 3-1; all the other games are at home against beatable teams. “

“He will probably break even at 2-2, what more can you ask of a fist time starter?”

“1-3, God I hope not but I wouldn’t be that surprised.”

“If he goes 0-4 we will be lucky to get a bag of footballs for that.”

           With New England’s star quarterback Tom Brady suspended due to the farce known as Deflategate, its seems everybody has an opinion about  the chances of their favorite back up turned four week starting Quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. While some may longingly wish for a more seasoned replacement for Brady, the Patriots head coach seems to trust his drafting skills. Coach Belichick does not usually take a backup quarterback in the 2nd round, in fact former Patriot, Ryan Mallett was previously the highest quarterback chosen by Belichick in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Perhaps it’s the fact that 3-time Super Bowl MVP Quarterback Tom Brady is far closer to the end of his career than the magical beginning which occurred a little over 15 years ago. It could be that Bill saw something in Jimmy while playing in Eastern Illinois which compelled him to leave his comfort zone and seemingly prepare for the heir apparent.  No matter the reason, Jimmy Garoppolo is the chosen individual to lead the 2016 New England Patriots into their first four games.

From a spectators point of view, given the amount of time that Brady’s suspension has been in play, the choice to gamble the first four games (two being division games) on a relative unknown commodity seems a little unusual for a team that prides itself on preparation.  Granted, Tom Brady will be returning in week five’s match up against the Browns but if he walks into a 0-4 deficit, he will have to play near perfect to not only make it to the playoffs but possibly win the AFC East. Garoppolo has almost three pre-seasons under his belt and a few quarters of “garbage time” in the regular season but can all that training and practice really prepare this young man to not only run Bill Belichick’s complicated and vast playbook but also replace the greatest Quarterback to ever put on a pair of shoulder pads?

To put it bluntly, no, Jimmy Garoppolo was never intended to replace Tom Brady, the reason being that no one ever really could.  Tom Brady was a diamond in the rough, which nobody ever expected to turn into the greatest quarterback in the history of football. To look at Garoppolo and expect him to replace a player the caliber of Tom Brady is not only insane but grossly unfair. New England Patriot fans have been spoiled during Brady’s tenure and deservedly so. After years of being the laughing stock of the NFL, Tom Brady took the Patriots to a height that such impressive quarterbacks as Steve Grogan and Drew Bledsoe could only ever hope to do.

Now Jimmy does have a list of positives that instantly create a bit of buzz about him. As a Walter Peyton Award winner and a Division 1-AA Heisman award winner, it’s easy to see that Garoppolo has some raw talent. The big question is what about Jimmy causes need for concern? Garoppolo’s draft analysis made it clear that his decision making isn’t always acute. While playing at Eastern Illinois, Jimmy showed a tendency to throw the ball under pressure to heavily covered receivers. A great pass rush has been known to cause Garoppolo fits and with the Patriot’s uncertainty on the offensive line, New England fans could be in for a long four games. Jimmy has had a few years with the Patriot coaching staff so; it is possible that these tendencies may have receded significantly.

To ask for and expect Jimmy Garoppolo to be the second coming of Brady may be unrealistic, but that doesn’t mean he will be a bust either. Garoppolo has shown that when paired with the New England Patriot’s dominating roster talents such as tight end Rob Gronkowski and slot receiver Julian Edelman, that he is more than capable of taking advantage of their talents. To the joy of fans, who have watched Garoppolo during the first two 2016 pre-season games, he seems to have built a significant rapport with New England’s recently acquired  star tight end, Martellus Bennett, which only increases his potential weapons. Ultimately, Garoppolo has shown that he can in fact chuck the pigskin fairly accurately which may place some fans initial fears of disaster to rest. With the devastating news that last year’s surprise star running back, Dion Lewis will be on the shelf for an undetermined amount of time, and it’s a relief to know that when called upon Jimmy Garoppolo is more than capable of rushing in for a touchdown. Jimmy may not be Tom Brady but much to the reprieve of Patriot fans, he does have some decent legs and offensive weapons that he knows how to take advantage of.

Fans looking for a bit of perspective on the entire Jimmy Garoppolo situation should circle back no further than to Head Coach Bill Belichick. During New England’s 2008 campaign, many thought the loss of Brady to injury would spell the end of the season. Belichick was able to take back up Matt Cassel and make him look like a perfectly competent quarterback, even with a defense that was headed for a steep decline. Had it not been an unusual year, the 11-5 record the 2008 Patriot squad had procured would have been more than enough to get them to the playoffs.

Bill has a proven track record of evaluating players and hates to lose football games. If Belichick honestly feels that Jimmy Garoppolo fits his system well, then the real question isn’t do we trust Jimmy Garoppolo, its do we trust Bill Belichick?

 

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Tom Brady’s 2nd Circuit Appeal Denied; Thoughts and What’s Next

Tom Brady’s appeal of his “DeflateGate” suspension has been denied by the 2nd U.S. Circuit of Appeals, announced Tuesday morning. It is expected that Brady and his legal team will make one last appeal to the Supreme Court in hopes of having the suspension overturned, Brady’s last hope and chance of his suspension overturned and him being allowed to play the first four games of the regular season.

I’m honestly shocked after hearing the news that the 2nd Circuit has denied Brady’s request of an appeal. The decision took longer than it was expected to make, which for me sounded like a good thing seeing as from what I’ve heard most 2nd Circuit appeal decisions are made quick and usually a denial.

via bostonglobe.com
via bostonglobe.com

As shocked as I am about Brady’s appeal being completely denied; I am more surprised that the biggest joke scandal in the history of all sports is still going on and being talked about and that the league is still going after the best player who has ever played in it, someone who has never any wrong, who has played the game the right way, who has been a model citizen on and off the field who the only time you hear his name during the off-season is when he’s doing his Best Buddy charity events and this is the guy the NFL is still going after? Who cares about Greg Hardy beating the living hell out of his girlfriend who was suspended 10 games which was then later reduced to four, or Sheldon Richardson’s high speed police chase with loaded handguns, marijuana and a 12-year old boy in the car and was suspended for only ONE game.  Hell Isaiah Crowell posted a cartoon image of an African American man slicing the throat of a cop on his Instagram page in wake of all that has been happening in the news recently and that has barely been talked about, but thats fine also in the eyes of the league. These are the real model citizens of the world right NFL? Goodell said Brady “ruined the integrity of the game” when first giving out the suspension over a year ago for having no proof that Brady or anyone else for that matter actually did anything wrong, these guys have helped ruin the integrity of the human race but I guess thats fine in the eyes of Roger Goodell and the NFL.

The Patriots are set to start the regular season against the Arizona Cardinals on September 11th against the Arizona Cardinals. With Brady this would look to be one of the better games of the whole NFL season with both teams making deep playoff runs last season. Now Jimmy Garoppolo could be inline to start the regular season opener against a tough Cardinals defense as well as the teams next three games if Brady’s suspension is not overturned prior to the start of the season.  Personally, I have never been a fan of Garoppolo and do not see what many others see and do not see him being the successor to the greatest quarterback of all-time in Tom Brady like many others inside and outside of the organization have. If Jimmy G does indeed end up playing the first four games of the regular season it will be interesting to see how he does as the teams starting quarterback and if he can either build up some trade value or prove to everyone that he can be a legit NFL starting quarterback and the guy for the Patriots down the road.

via sportsworldreport.com
via sportsworldreport.com

As much as I would love for this BS joke of a scandal to be over with and end i want Brady to keep fighting and prove his innocence to the world. And one thing that the league should already know by now, Brady is not the guy you wanna piss off. he will come for you and he will dominate you. Teams should be more worried that Brady is suspended because if he is he is going to comeback with an unstoppable fury and continue to prove his greatness and dominate the league once again.

NFL WEEK 11 PICKS

Obviously, the Jaguars beat the Titans on TNF.

Raiders (0) over LIONS –

The Oakland Raiders need this win more than anything.  They are tied with Kansas City in the AFC South, and they MUST win this game if they want to have a chance to make the playoffs.  Detroit is 4th in their division, so they aren’t really playing for anything, except the win.  While the game is in Detroit, the Raiders have more pressure to win the game, and more heart.  I believe the Oakland Raiders will win the game.

 FALCONS (-6) over Colts

This is a MUST win for both teams. The game is in Atlanta, so the Falcons will have home field advantage.  I had a hard time making this pick, however I do believe the Atlanta Falcons will come out with the win.  First off, Andrew Luck is not expected to play, which will make it much harder for the Colts to win.  Second, I just don’t see the Colts defense stopping the Atlanta offense.  It will be very hard to stop Devonta Freeman, who is playing at his best this year.

EAGLES (-7) over Bucs

This is also another MUST win for both teams if they want to have a shot at making the playoffs.  However, I am picking the Eagles to win this game.  While the Eagles have their issues which I’ll explain in a bit, I just don’t see a Jameis Winston led team being able to pull out the win.  Part of the issue is Tampa Bay’s defense which is not great at all.  The Eagles biggest issue is, Mark Sanchez.  There are obviously more factors, but last week the Eagles played a great first half, then Sam Bradford got hurt of course, and Mark Sanchez subbed in.  Then, in the fourth quarter, when you have to be clutch, Mark Sanchez could not finish the game.  I think this will be a very close game, but the Eagles will be able to pull out the win.  Mark Sanchez will throw at least one interception, and I think the reason why the Eagles will win this game is because of their running game, especially with DeMarco Murray in the backfield.

BEARS (0) over Broncos

With the Bears coming off a HUGE road win against the Rams last week, they will be ready to come out and battle the Broncos at home on Sunday.  It will be a lot harder for the Broncos to win without Peyton Manning, as Brock Osweiler will be the starting quarterback for the Broncos.  However, I am picking the Denver Broncos to win the football game.  Many may disagree, however, in my opinion, I think the Saint Louis Rams made some mistakes which caused the Bears to win the football game.  The Chicago Bears will lose this week to the Broncos as reality will set in.

Rams (+2.5) over RAVENS

This may be a difficult game to pick based on the stat sheet, but it is quite easy for me.  I am picking the Rams to win the game.  The Rams are 2nd in their division and need to come out with the win if they want to have a chance at making the playoffs.  As for the 2-7 Ravens, it would be a good win, but it wouldn’t do much as they have very little chance of making the playoffs.

DOLPHINS (0) over Cowboys

I think the Dallas Cowboys are not mentally tough enough to beat the Dolphins.  Each week the players are getting in fights with the media, firing snarky comments at their opponents, and they just lose.  They are currently on a seven game losing streak.  To make matters worse, they are playing on the road against the Miami Dolphins who are not consistent, but are a much better football team in my opinion.  This is an easy pick.  I pick the Miami Dolphins to win the game.

Redskins (+8.5) over PANTHERS

The Panthers will come out with the win this week.  They are the better football team overall, and Carolina is the home team.  Washington is 0-4 on the road so far this season, so I don’t think they can just come into Carolina and win.  I am picking the Carolina Panthers to win the game.

Chiefs (-3) over CHARGERS

While the Chargers are the home team in this game, I still believe the Chiefs will win.  This is a division game, so lots of things can happen, but the Chiefs NEED to win this game if they have any chance at making the playoffs.  I don’t think it will be a blowout, but Philip Rivers and the Chargers just are not playing well at all this year.  I am picking the Kansas City Chiefs to win this game.

VIKINGS  (0) over Packers

The Packers NEED to win this game, and so do the Vikings, but the Vikings are the home team, and Green Bay is 2-2 on the road this season.  Things in Green Bay just haven’t been clicking these last 3 games, and it is time for them to turn it around.  I think it will be a close game, but in the end Aaron Rodgers will have a great performance, and the Packers will get their much needed win.  This is a very hard pick to make, but in the end I am picking the Green Bay Packers to win the game.

49ers (+13.5) over SEAHAWKS

For this game, Seattle is the home team.  The 49ers are 0-4 on the road this season, and Century Link Field is a very hard stadium to play at.  I believe the Seahawks will pull off the win, especially because Colin Kaepernick has been placed on season ending IR, which will make it very tough for the 49ers.  Seattle’s defense will play a great game, and Seattle’s offense will put up just enough points to pull out the win.  However, it should be close.  I am picking the Seattle Seahawks to win the game.

Jets (-2.5) over TEXANS

While the Texans are the home team, and it will be tough for the Jets to win the game, but they will come through.  The Houston Texans just haven’t shown me enough this year.  They are pretty inconsistent to say the least.  And this isn’t the Rex Ryan coached Jets, this is the 2015 Jets, who have proven to be much better than last year’s squad.  I am picking the New York Jets to win the game.

Bengals (+5) over CARDINALS

This is going to be a tough game.  The Bengals lost to the Texans last week, and now they are going on the road to play the Cardinals.  While the Bengals are a great road team, I just don’t see their defense playing well.  Obviously Arizona has a great defense, with Patrick Peterson at the DB and Tyrann Mathieu at safety.  So, I think Cardinals’ defense will make it tough for the Bengals to score points, and it will be easier for the Cardinals to score on the Bengals defense.  I am picking the Arizona Cardinals to win the game.

PATRIOTS (-8.5) over Bills

Rex Ryan is all hyped up about that win over his former team, the New York Jets.  While the Bills did play a good game and got a good win, Rex Ryan gets all cocky when he wins games.  In week one, after Rex Ryan and the Bills got a good win against the Colts, he started talking smack about the Patriots and how he was going to beat them.  Once again, the Bills won the previous week and Rex Ryan is getting all cocky again.  Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots will shut him up, as they did week 2 on the road in Buffalo.  If that isn’t enough, the Patriots are also the home team.  I do think this will be a close game, but in the end, I am picking the New England Patriots to win the game.

 

 

New England Patriots: And The Winner Is….

Sunday night the New England Patriots continued the “2015 Tom Brady Revenge Tour” against the Indianapolis Colts, the team that jump started the worst off-season for a player and team since…since….oh yeah, that other tight end decided that life was too dull to just play football (Hint: He’s in jail for murder).

The Patriots won with relative ease, 34-27, and had opportunities to run the score up, but refrained from doing so. So, let’s take a quick look at who the “Deflategate” winners and losers were after week 6 of the 2015 season.

Surprise Winners

New England Patriots mascot Pat Patriot, and fans cheer during an NFL football send-off rally at City Hall in Boston (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
New England Patriots mascot Pat Patriot, and fans cheer during an NFL football send-off rally at City Hall in Boston (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • New England Patriot Fans

We all want to be martyrs because “our” team got beat-up soooooo bad in the off-season. But how can fans be losers when New England is 5-0 and remains as the favorite to win their 5th Super Bowl and second straight.  It is easy to feel everyone hates us, but c’mon, it’s not everyone.  The Patriots are now getting the respect they deserve with no one (except Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Tomlin) thinking they would be dumb enough to be cheating this year.

Should they go all-the-way even the biggest, most avid haters will be forced to admit it is legit. Just think, the silence will be deafening from all those losers who want to blame the Patriots for all their team’s ills.

  • The NFL

The NFL may be losers and buffoons in court, but all the off-season publicity, more bad than good, kept them in front of the media and the sport on the front page year-long. No other sport came close to the coverage Roger Goodell and his band of pirates got. Ratings up, attendance remains outstanding and the $$$$$ keeps rolling in.

Are you ready for this?????

  • Tom Brady

All right, wait a minute. Don’t bring in the guys with the strait-jackets…think about it. Tom Brady is probably the most self-motivated player in the NFL, but really, after winning his 4th ring do you legitimately think he would have had the fire-in-the-eyes he has this year .? He had nothing more to prove until the NFL lit his fire (cue up the late Jim Morrison and the Doors. If you don’t get the musical reference, ask someone over 40).

Hell, at this time last year many were calling him old and feeble. This year he’s been rejuvenated. Is it his guru? His diet? Or, could it be, he wants to make Commissioner Roger Goodell look like the pompous ass he is as he hands Brady the MVP and Super Bowl Trophies again…while the greatest QB in the NFL smirks and walks away?

Big Losers

  • Indianapolis Colts (3-3)
Andrew Luck's offensive line has been bad again (Photo: Getty Images)
Andrew Luck’s offensive line has been bad again (Photo: Getty Images)

Instead of Super Bowl contenders, as predicted by NFL experts, the Colts have become a shell of what they were in 2014. Injuries to Andrew Luck, ILB Jarrell Freeman, RB Tyler Varga. DT Arthur Jones & on & on have lowered expectations. Luck played Sunday, but it didn’t help. Prior to Sundays performance, he had been hexed with a poor offensive line, a 56% completion rate, more interceptions (7) than TDs (5) and a QBR of 65.1 Yes, they are 3-3, but their three wins are by a total of 12 points against Tennessee, Jacksonville and Houston. They played the Patriots tougher than expected, but other than their final drive they were shut out in the second half after leading at halftime (sound familiar).

  • Baltimore Ravens (1-5)

This time its Queen’s turn as “Another One Bites The Dust.” Baltimore was also among the Super Bowl contenders that has fallen apart early in the season. What goes around, comes around. Most football fans in New England believe the Ravens urged the Colts to “check their balls” in last years playoffs. That was after Head Coach John Harbaugh complained the Patriots used an illegal formation (not true), confusing the poor Raven players and coaches in their loss the week before the Colts went down. Despite confirmation by officials that the Patriots formation was within the rules, the Ravens whined so much the rules committee tweaked the rule for 2015.

Bottom line: The Ravens Head Coach did not know the rules and Bill Belichick did. Oh, by the way, Baltimore used a similar formation this year!

  • Robert Kraft/ New England Patriots

In a naïve move Mr. Kraft felt that Commissioner Goodell would see the error of his ways and drop the persecution/prosecution of his adopted son, Tom Brady and, without a fight, gave-up draft picks and $1M dollars to “make Deflategate go away.” ‘Nuff said!.

It will take the full year before a complete evaluation of “Deflategate” winners and losers can be analyzed, but so far the results sure are promising.

Follow me on Twitter @SnowdonBob

Be Afraid NFL, Brady’s Back and he’s pissed

With the NFL season about to start we can all finally focus on football and not any faulty or biased news going against the Patriots. The man happiest about all of this, Tom Brady. Brady and the whole “DeflateGate” BS scandal has been the news headline for the past seven and a half months and is all that has been talked about. The NFL and ESPN have set out to ruin Brady’s name and his legacy with all of the false information that has been put out and I guarantee that Brady is pissed, and I love it. This is not the guy you want to make mad, when he’s angry he is unstoppable, and on a whole different level and there in no one who can beat him. Now with the season about to be underway Brady can focus on one thing, getting ring number five. I’d like to thank the league in advance for creating this monster who is going to be on the field in 2015 and who is going to lead the Patriots to back to back Super Bowls. (Again)

via gillettesgallerygods.wordpress.com
via gillettesgallerygods.wordpress.com

When the world doubts Brady he pretty much gives them the middle finger, goes out drops 50 points and just dominates and teams should learn this by now and be scared to play Brady and the Patriots. Last years Patriots team struggled out the gate going 2-2 to start the season and suffered an embarrassing loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. In the first four games Brady passed for only 791 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Critics started coming for Brady saying that he and the Patriots were done and in the words of Trent Dilfer “just not good anymore”. Brady made them eat their words and think twice about what they said going 4-0 over the next four games passing for 1,268 yards and 14 touchdowns with no interceptions. Against the Bears alone Brady looked like he was going to pass for 10 touchdowns passing for five touchdowns and 354 yards only a little into the third quarter before being taken out of the game. Brady finished the year with over 4,100 yards, 33 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in the regular season and his fourth Super Bowl championship.

via titletownsoundoff.com
via titletownsoundoff.com

Brady’s anger, determination and leadership is what lead his team throughout the season and ultimately to the Super Bowl they ended up winning in February. And this anger was only due to people saying that he was no longer an elite quarterback and not at the top of his game, nowhere near what people were saying about him this offseason. He was made out to be a cheater in the public eye and that he was tarnishing the game of football when he did nothing wrong and Judge Richard Berman ultimately agreed with Brady and his team, that he did nothing wrong with no evidence from the league and the Wells Report. The last time something like this happened was in 2007 with the “SpyGate” scandal and Brady played with a vengeance setting many records.

In 2007 Brady passed for over 4,800 yards and set the record for most passing touchdowns in a season in NFL history with 50. Brady played with a vengeance and anger this season that I think will be even worse this season. During this season Steelers safety Anthony Smith made the idiotic claim of guaranteeing a victory against the Patriots. This surely made Brady mad because he threw at Smith time and time again and made him look foolish on the field.

via nydailynews.com
via nydailynews.com

Brady was never referenced as having a role in “SpyGate”, unlike “DeflateGate” has been referenced solely as Brady being involved. During the preseason you could tell Brady didn’t look like himself on or off the field and I think it had a lot to do with everything that was going on. Though the NFL is appealing Judge Berman’s decision to lift Brady’s suspension, this is all pretty much behind Brady and he can focus on doing the thing he loves most playing football. He doesn’t have to worry about having to go to court hearings and having to fight the league he has been apart of the past 16 years about something he had no involvement with. He can go out and focus on playing football each and every week and being the best he can and dominating his opponent, because even though he no longer has to think about “DeflateGate” he is going to take all the anger and emotions he has had about it over the past several months out on the football field and it all starts against Pittsburgh. The Banner is going to be raised, Gillette Stadium will be electric and Tom Brady will be under center playing quarterback and would not surprise me if he goes out there and throws for 400-500 yards and four or five touchdowns. He is going to show no mercy on Pittsburgh or any other opponent this season and the rest of the 31 teams in the NFL should be worried.

Goodell Open to Changing Discipline System

<> on August 12, 2015 in New York City.

Roger Goodell was on ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning on Tuesday, and as you might’ve guessed, much of the interview centered on his role in Deflategate. Goodell said that he is, “open to changing [his] role,” as essentially the NFL’s discipline czar. After four years of the current CBA, Goodell has finally realized what everyone else has; it’s not a good system.

Goodell said his role has been, “extremely time-consuming” and that he has to be “focused on other issues.” Basically, Goodell came up with a good excuse to step aside. The commissioner has been embarrassed as of late. A year ago, they lost the Adrian Peterson case in court. They completely botched the Ray Rice situation. After suspending the running back a measly two games for knocking his wife unconscious, Goodell happened to find the full video tape many months later, once it was released to the public, and changed it to an indefinite suspension that lasted most of the year, and to this point has essentially ended Rice’s career. If you want to go back even earlier, Goodell quickly laid the hammer down on several Saints players in the wake of Bountygate, and later had the man he succeeded, Paul Tagliabue, come clean up his mess as best he could.

The commissioner’s track record on discipline isn’t necessarily the issue here; everyone knows it’s terrible. Roger Goodell himself has now come to realize that it’s terrible. But, the ego-driven commissioner won’t come out and say he’s done a bad job, instead he’s coming out and making excuses. It’s too time-consuming. I can’t do it on my own. Obviously you can’t do it on your own, you’ve displayed that multiple times. Yet, you wanted that absolute power when negotiating the current CBA. Instead of implementing a system of checks and balances, like we have in every other industry in America including the U.S. government, Goodell made himself the discipline czar of the NFL. And believe it or not, it hasn’t worked.

The most Goodell was willing to concede is that the NFL needs a “better discipline system.” Handing out punishments in the NFL, a league where there are plenty of punishable crimes committed, is one of the hardest jobs in the world, and if it isn’t done with great care, it is done horrendously. Goodell’s way of doing his job has basically been to make it up as he goes along. That works with some jobs, not with his. The NFL desperately needs a new discipline system, because right now it’s spiraling out of control, and the longer they continue with it, the worse it’s going to get.

The NFL is appealing Judge Berman’s decision to vacate Tom Brady’s suspension. Most people believe this is part of unwillingness by the league, and Goodell especially, to accept defeat and admit their wrongs. While that might be part of the reason, it’s a small component. There’s a much larger issue the league is afraid of. The fact that Brady fought his suspension in court, and won, opens up a nightmarish Pandora’s box for the NFL. Now every single player who is suspended, appeals, and does not win his appeal with the league will take the league to court. This isn’t in anyone’s best interest, but right now it’s the only way to provide checks and balances on an industry that has none.

Roger Goodell doesn’t want to let go of his power, but the thing he can’t stand to lose is his ego, and he’ll fight for that as hard as Tom Brady fought for his legacy.

New England Patriots: ESPN, The NFL’s Propoganda Machine, Strikes Again

Just when there was an opportunity for things to quiet down and NFL fans could start concentrating on the actual games, the right arm of the NFL, ESPN, struck again. This time it is an article in ESPN The Magazine titled “Spygate to Deflategate: Inside what split the NFL and Patriots apart” and it’s intent is to, as REO Speedwagon sang in 1982, keep the fire burning.

Like the Wells report, it is filled with innuendo and will be read by millions as the “Gospel” according to ESPN, just as the 11 of 12 footballs being 2 lbs underinflated was taken as fact, despite being completely false.

The article, written by Don Van Natta Jr. (author of “First Off the Tee: Presidential Hackers, Duffers, and Cheaters from Taft to Bush”) and Seth Wickersham, Senior Writer for ESPN.com and ESPN is intentionally inflammatory with a multitude of objectives:

  1. Increase the readership of the magazine (understandable)
  2. Sensationalize “old” news
  3. Re-enforce the linking of Spygate and DeflateGate
  4. Show how the Patriots are different, in a bad way, from the other teams in the NFL.

Number four, the Patriots are different, is a fact…but not in the way as highlighted in this piece of “sensationalistic” journalism. The reason the article gives is New England has to cheat to do it. Let’s face it haters, they must have cheated in this day of free agency to become one of the most feared franchises in the history of the NFL. Forget the fact they have arguable the best QB (Tom Brady for those who don’t know) in NFL History and a coach that any other owner (ignore what they say, you know this is true) would love to have as Head Coach or their franchise.

There are no “sore losers” used in this article…except this gem:

 “Goodell didn’t want anybody to know that his gold franchise had won Super Bowls by cheating,” a senior executive whose team lost to the Patriots in a Super Bowl now says. “If that gets out, that hurts your business.”

Needless to say the always reliable N. Y. Post jumped on the bandwagon with this headline Spygate much worse than Belichick, Goodell divulged and Deadspin was even more definitive with Bombshell ESPN Report: The Patriots Were Huge Cheaters And Roger Goodell Covered It Up.  Once again the storm is brewing.

The Magazine, includes these “findings” to get readers interest and reignite the linking of Spygate and DeflateGate for those who like to believe the Patriots are different, in a bad way, from the other teams in the NFL.

  • From 2000 to 2007, the Patriots videotaped the signals of opposing coaches in 40 games
  • Goodell’s handling of Deflategate turned around owners still simmering over Spygate; some say he is now more secure in his job.
  • Deflategate is seen by some owners as a “makeup call” over Spygate.

ESPN’S Findings Are Nothing New

Let’s take the “findings” as just what they are…a hashed over repeat of what everyone already knew, but with a slant to add some sensationalism, enhance a now tarnished NFL image and put the New England Patriots back in the spotlight as the NFL bad boys (cheaters to quote the article: “Patriots’ coach, Bill Belichick, the cheating program’s mastermind”)

  • What they fail to mention is Spyhate (oops) was about where the Patriots were filming, not what they were filming.

I’m not going to rehash Spygate (which they did repeatedly in the article), but, will clarify a few misconceptions.

Fact: Videotaping opposing coaches is not illegal in the NFL but there are designated areas allowed by the league to do such taping. The Patriots were videotaping the Jets’ coaches from their own sideline which is not allowed. There is no question from anyone (including Patriot Nation) what they did was wrong, but stretching the facts to “imply” it was illegal to videotape opposing coaches at all is just flat wrong.

According to CSNNE’s Tom Curran’s article it wasn’t until a 2006 memo was put out by the league that anything in writing regarding sideline videotaping was specifically addressed

Ray Anderson, the league’s executive vice president of football operations to NFL sent a memo to head coaches and general managers. In it, he wrote: “Videotaping of any type, including but not limited to taping of an opponent’s offensive or defensive signals, is prohibited on the sidelines, in the coaches’ booth, in the locker room, or at any other locations accessible to club staff members during the game.” 

Belichick obviously ignored that memo and Goodell imposed the biggest fine ever on a coach and took away a first-round draft pick as a penalty for the first time in NFL history.

Owners “Make-Up” Call Inference

When the fines and draft pick were announced it was felt by all, including the owners, to be a stiff penalty. In fact, the stiffest ever in NFL history.  Revisionist history is the punishment is now being mentioned as a “favor” to Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft because of his friendship with the Commissioner. The integrity of Mr. Goodell was questioned (my goodness, not by the owners) because he ordered the destruction of the tapes and notes regarding Spygate…supposedly, because of his friendship with Kraft.

Question: If the owners felt strongly about his (Goodell’s) integrity then, why is he still commissioner now?

There’s a lot of discussion in the article about the owner’s emergency meeting on April 1, 2008 where Robert Kraft spoke (“witnesses would later say Kraft’s remarks were heartfelt, his demeanor chastened”), without naming any source (you know, that old first amendment protect your source reason that writers/publishers always use) describing the meeting as if the writers were there. Where’s the source? What great memories they all must have!

Love This One

It was, one owner says, time for “a makeup call.” Have to wonder who that one owner was and if that is what the one quote that lead to the “deflategate is seen by some owners (plural) as the make-up call for spyhate.

I could go on and on, as the ESPN-The Magazine article does, but then I would be doing just what I accuse them of….rehashing and sensationalizing “old news”

Disclosure: I am not an attorney and have been a follower of the New England Patriots since their inception in 1960.

Follow me on twitter @SnowdonBob