#DFG: Canceling the Noise

Is there any level of suspension that you would advise Tom to accept?


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Devizier

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dcmissle said:
Yes. As noted, it has been a war on sustained excellence all along, made more bitter and desperate by insecurity.

There are a lot of people in the League at executive and coaching positions making millions a year. Hell, $5 MM a year for a HC spot for someone with experience may be the going rate.

The Patriots' run puts those in jeopardy because owners' knee-jerk response, even if unreasonable, is, "why can't YOU do that ..."

The answer is you have to be superior and fortunate when the League is structured right now, and has been for years, to thwart sustaining excellence. but owners are known for neither patience nor football IQ.

Francesa and Co. can go crap in a hat. Everything that has been done in NE at the executive and coaching levels dwarfs what can before it. This makes so many people with their different agendas so angry.
 
God, I'm hoping this is the beginning of a Real Madrid-esque run that diminishes everything that came before it.
 

Shelterdog

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MentalDisabldLst said:
 
Reminds me a lot of the consternation generated - and case studies that get written - when companies in the business world create a sustainable competitive advantage (for some reason other than economies of scale or a market failure).  Disney in entertainment.  Apple in electronics.  Wal-Mart in retail.  FedEx in shipping.  Berkshire Hathaway.  Coca-Cola. 
 
Executives and business-school academics tie themselves in knots trying to understand what the differences are, the lessons, that can let them emulate that same success.  In many cases, it comes down to the recruiting of talent and the culture established and followed by those at the top.  From what we've learned of Kraft and Belichick, the same may be true with the Patriots as well.
 
Yeah, Disney is showing exceptional talent and a culture of excellence this week--as is demonstrated by OTL.
 

bankshot1

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dcmissle said:
The only guy who may get us there is Schefter.

The NFLN is totally useless in matters like these. At ESPN, the only guys with the chops to fight the preferred narrative are Schefter and Mort, as demonstrated in the Ray Rice matter. Sadly, Mort was played in this one, and has chosen to remain silent.

(NBC, and by extension Florio, are worse than the NFLN, which at least remains silent. As demonstrated by the broadcasting team, it is totally in the tank for the League).
This story has more twists and turns than Dashiell Hammett's "The Maltese Football".Schefter is Sam Spade, Goodell is Gutman Grigson is Joel Cairo, all we need is the guilty fall-guy. IMO Kensil makes a good Wilmer.
 
BSing aside, this is Scheffer's story to chase and see if there's anything there.
 

Morning Woodhead

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Every bit of credible news that trickles out is a "win" for the Patriots.  With that said, I can't shake the feeling that this ultimately rests in the hands of one of the most incompetent CEO's in America.  Who is also being supported by disloyal morons who are leaking stories non-stop to cover themselves. 
 
This should be a slam dunk, but until the Pats are exonerated by the NFL and Wells, I'm going to be nervous that this is still going to fall on them. 
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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Yeah, Disney is showing exceptional talent and a culture of excellence this week--as is demonstrated by OTL.
 
Luckily, their earnings weren't hinging on Bob Ley.  If you're going by movie franchises, Frozen may have been their first new franchise hit in a while, but they do have a pretty deep history of coming up with them.  Or theme parks.  For every instance of "purchasing the Anaheim Angels", there's several more in the league of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" or buying ESPN or Marvel.
 

dcmissle

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God, I'm hoping this is the beginning of a Real Madrid-esque run that diminishes everything that came before it.
Look at this briefly from the perspectives of three people.

Kraft -- He left his wife's death bed to rescue the last round of labor negotiations with the players. His reward for this was having individuals within the NFL Office trying daily to sink his team in the two-week run-up to the SB. So far as I know, the latter is unprecedented in professional sports in this country.

BB -- His accomplishments exceed anything done in this sport before. Because he does not dish to a media that has put itself at the top of the pyramid, he has paid throughout his career and particularly during that two-week run-up.

Brady -- His integrity and accomplishments attacked over allegedly deflated footballs.

It is almost impossible to sustain what they have done over 15 years, much less beyond. People get old, tired and want to move on to other things, naturally.

Your wish may come true because all of these guys were quite naturally enraged, and I don't see the anger subsiding anytime soon. I see it focused to put up markers that may never be reached by anyone else.
 

m0ckduck

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P'tucket said:
The sustained excellence mystifies everybody.  Most folks don't have the cognitive wherewithal or patience to look closer and understand that fifteen years of winning comes from attention to detail like running extra tryouts to pick up UDFAs who eventually make game-saving catches, or that those catches come about because they watch so much film they know what to practice and how to execute.
 
Since as a society we've (mostly) moved beyond accusing people of being witches, "cheating" is the next most convenient explanation. Spygate basically set up the biggest confirmatory bias in the history of the league, and everything gets processed through that lens.  The pile-on is just everybody wanting to be the first person to find the witc--er, cheater--that they can burn at the stake, because they're already convinced of his guilt.
 
There's an additional social bias at work, too, that a lot of people react negatively when they perceive that a successful system is winning out in place of transcendent talent or an entertaining style of play. You can see this bias starkly in the example basketball over the last 20 years: everyone was happy to hop on the Jordan-and-Pippen Bulls bandwagon... whereas the Spurs were weirdly maligned for a long time until they unveiled a different, irresistibly-entertaining style of play to win their last title. I think part of the public dislike for the Patriots (and instant willingness to jump aboard flimsy stories like 'Spygate' and 'Deflategate') comes from a sentiment that the Patriots are somehow 'cheating' by beating the Mannings and Lucks of the world through relentless dotting-of-i's and crossing-of-t's. Obviously, people who understand the game deeply and aren't blinded by bias recognize that (a) Brady is as much a transcendent talent as anyone of his generation and (b) watching a patiently executed system is perfectly entertaining, but I suspect a lot of casual fans still consider the former a 'game manager' and 'system QB' and the latter boring/quasi-illegal. 
 

Bergs

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bankshot1 said:
This story has more twists and turns than Dashiell Hammett's "The Maltese Football".Schefter is Sam Spade, Goodell is Gutman Grigson is Joel Cairo, all we need is the guilty fall-guy. IMO Kensil makes a good Wilmer.
 
BSing aside, this is Scheffer's story to chase and see if there's anything there.
 
That Sidney Greenstreet is a totally underrated character actor.
 

Marciano490

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Chuck Z said:
The only thing that would make this better is Terrell Suggs being spotted on the Colts sideline with a nail gun. Other than that I'm about as happy as I could be with the situation.
 
Were his wife and kids on the sideline?
 
 

TheoShmeo

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The sustained excellence is part of the hatred.  A big part, to be sure.
 
But (1) Brady's good looks and perceived arrogance, (2) that Brady is married to a super model smoke show, (3) BB's begrudging press conferences and penchant for making certain media members look stupid and (4) yes, the perception that the Pats either bend the rules or outright cheat, all play a role in the hatred.  I don't know how to calibrate it and I recognize that number 4 is just as much of an effect as a cause, but as a Pats fan here in NY, I was hearing about the arrogant Brady and the Evil BB long before the Pats' excellence was truly sustained.
 
That all said, my own experiences with non-Pats friends after the first three SBs is consistent with people growing to hate a sustained winner.  After SB 36, I received an enormous amount of calls and e-mails to the effect that people were happy for me, etc.  After SB 38, I received about 25% as much as the first time.  After SB 39, I might have gotten two or three calls.  This time there were many more but I think that's more down to the incredible nature of the game, the ending provoking so much discussion, the 10 year drought, that Giants fans got to unfurl the "4-0 versus everyone else, 0-2 against us" tripe and that Seattle has so many dislikable players.  And I seriously doubt that my experiences are in any way unique.  This undoubtedly played itself for most others in the Pats diaspora and in NE, too.
 

Ed Hillel

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How does this "starting" with Viniatieri noticing a K-ball missing square with the reports that the Colts had made this an area of concern in their pre-game report? Or do we think that's horse crap?
 
This really has taken a bizarre turn, and that's saying something.  
 
Here's what happened. Both the Colts and Kensil went into that football game with 100% belief that the Patriots were doctoring footballs. I bet some of the players thought the same themselves. Therefore, every little thing that could have been perceived as some sort of tomfoolery in any such biased mind was. They probably all complained at some point to Kensil. Kensil, also with a biased mindset going in and thinking that he finally caught the evil Patriots in the act, was so invested that he personally got himself involved in the process. Kensil measured the footballs, found some were underinflated (who knows by how much at this point) and immediately shot his load of excitement, thinking he caught the Patriots red-handed. At that point, it was over for him. The Patriots cheated because they are cheaters and now it's time to inform Grigson of his "investigative findings" so that he can leak it to Kravitz and make a giant story of it. At no point did anyone even consider that there could be alternative reasons for improper footballs being handed to the refs or for footballs being underinflated.
 
Now, not only has it turned out that there could be alternative explanations, but their lust of catching the Patriots red-handed has also hindered the very investigation against them. Kensil has opened himself up to lines of questioning from Wells that he never would have had he actually stuck to his job and overseen the process. It also leads a reasonable person to believe that Kensil essentially did run a sting operation. Rather than inform the Patriots that there was thought they were doctoring footballs, he subjectively potentially allowed an AFCCG to be tainted just to get his guy. For all intents and purposes, it absolutely was a sting operation, and it appears both Kensil and the Colts were in on it. I'm not saying he will, but Kensil absolutely should lose his job over this. He should lose it even if they caught the Patriots red-handed. If I'm Kraft, he's the guy I want gone more than anyone.
 

joe dokes

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Bergs said:
 
That Sidney Greenstreet is a totally underrated character actor.
 
I'm not letting this King Of All Posts go by without several thumbs up.
 
 
 
One other reason to piss on ESPN today.  The crawl (at least during Duke-NC) was something like: "PATRIOTS (the subject heading): The Patriot employee, Jim McNally, who OTL reported provided the unapproved ball in the AFCCG, was given the ball by an NFL official, Adam Schefter reports."  They chose to bury the lede, rather than burying the NFL.
 
I want to see a press conference with Kraft standing with McNally and his family (here's hoping he doesn't have Shawn Kemp's family or Mark Henderson's linkedIn profile) raging at ESPN, the NFL office sources, mentioning Kensil by name, and demanding that Goodell personally apologize to Mr. McNally. "They can fine me whatever they want, but this man's reputation is more important to me than money."   I bet Kraft Unhinged would make damn good TV.
 
And Kensil's father, Jim, was a longtime Jets executive.
 

simplyeric

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It's weird that with all the BS going on, this might actually end up being a net positive for the Patriots, BB, and TB12 (and, I guess, Kraft, not that he needs any help).
 
Before this, it was all "Spygate" and the hate.  Which of course spiked leading up to the Super Bowl.
 
But now, with after the public indictment of their legacies and their characters, the NFL is proving to be a real shitshow, and it serves to clear the miasma that surrounds the Patriots legacy these days.  Maybe not for "current fans" out there, but I think think the immediate next generation will see it for what it is:  complete and utter bullshit in the face of a historically great franchise, coach, and QB.  
 
And if Goodell can get himself fired, and some other airing of dirty laundry, it might even serve to garner a little sympathy with some of the current haters who are out there.
 

Harry Hooper

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P'tucket said:
The sustained excellence mystifies everybody.  Most folks don't have the cognitive wherewithal or patience to look closer and understand that fifteen years of winning comes from attention to detail like running extra tryouts to pick up UDFAs who eventually make game-saving catches, or that those catches come about because they watch so much film they know what to practice and how to execute.
 
 
See Ryan Clark's comments about the joint practices with Washington last year:
 
“I really liked Tom Brady,” Clark said, discussing their meetings in Richmond. “I didn’t like him before, because I was a Steeler. But I talked to him for like 30 minutes [in August], and I was like ‘Man, he is a good dude.’ I even called my wife, I was like ‘Man, Tom is a good cat.’
 
“But I watched a guy run a route at 14-and-a-half yards and not 15, and get scolded and get reamed and screamed at,” Clark went on. “I watched guys line up in the wrong place and Tom go nuts because [the guy] wasn’t where he was supposed to be. I saw after practice, where everybody ran together, everybody stretched together in a circle – grown men, that Bill Belichick had this much power and this much control over.
 
 
WaPo
 

dcmissle

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See Ryan Clark's comments about the joint practices with Washington last year:
 
 
WaPo
It's interesting how that three-day scrimmage last August is seared into the memory of people down here, especially the beat writers, as defining the difference between perhaps the most competent team in the League and the most dysfunctional.

Not a month goes by when that event is not mentioned in print or on sports radio.
 

ifmanis5

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riboflav said:
Question for those who know such things. Are retractions usually issued for factually correct stories but lack certain details (i.e. more facts) that completely undermine and overhaul the implications made in the article?
 
Yes, I know ESPN would never issue a retraction and, even if it did, no one outside Patriots' fan would notice. Just curious what the practice is for more credible news organizations.
TV news orgs don't do retractions, they do fixes and/or apologies. Below is what a real correction of a mistake example looks like which happened last year...
 
LINK: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/diane-sawyer-apologizes-world-news-error-24513856
 
 
ESPN won't do an apology or a fix in this Ballghazi mess, they will just continue on with the next report until or unless someone they need to appease demands it (like someone from the NFL League Office or Kraft himself) or if they are threatened with legal action. Unless those things happen it'll be on to the next one.
 

joe dokes

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Harry Hooper said:
 
 
See Ryan Clark's comments about the joint practices with Washington last year:
 
 
WaPo
 
 
Of course, Clark then went on to say that BB's controllitude leads Clark to conclude that there's something to the balls nonsense.
 

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MentalDisabldLst said:
 
Luckily, their earnings weren't hinging on Bob Ley.  If you're going by movie franchises, Frozen may have been their first new franchise hit in a while, but they do have a pretty deep history of coming up with them.  Or theme parks.  For every instance of "purchasing the Anaheim Angels", there's several more in the league of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" or buying ESPN or Marvel.
 
Ya, "touche" was the proper response, there.
 

Al Zarilla

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I saw a report on NESN today that the NFL Referee's association issued a statement denying anyone has been fired, and that they  are demanding an apology from ESPN? I don't see anything like this mentioned here. 
 

Norm loves Vera

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Would an action by the NFL (fire Kensil) in lieu of a flat out apology by the Ginger or any NFL Executive to the Patriots serve as enough of a an apology for Kraft?  I know Deflate gate and the McNally situations are different, but what is clear, only the Patriots and Patriot employees have been bloodied in this process, while the ground the NFL is standing on is eroding.
 

Leather

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Al Zarilla said:
I saw a report on NESN today that the NFL Referee's association issued a statement denying anyone has been fired, and that they  are demanding an apology from ESPN? I don't see anything like this mentioned here. 
 
It was.  Schefter never said it was a Referree, only that it was a league official.
 

GeorgeCostanza

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Al Zarilla said:
I saw a report on NESN today that the NFL Referee's association issued a statement denying anyone has been fired, and that they  are demanding an apology from ESPN? I don't see anything like this mentioned here.
It's about 2 pages back. The use of the term "official" seemed to get the refs association upset but the reports clearly meant NFL employee or something to that effect. Not a zebra.
 

pappymojo

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norm from cheers said:
Would an action by the NFL (fire Kensil) in lieu of a flat out apology by the Ginger or any NFL Executive to the Patriots serve as enough of a an apology for Kraft?  I know Deflate gate and the McNally situations are different, but what is clear, only the Patriots and Patriot employees have been bloodied in this process, while the ground the NFL is standing on is eroding.
I want the NFL to give back the 1st round draft pick they took away for Spygate. [/joke]
 

Doctor G

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i would like to see Wells investigate communication between Yette and Kensil prior to the AFCCG.
It would seem that there had to be some emphasis placed on finding grounds for Kensil to get to the game balls at halftime. something like "if you see anything that is even vaguely suspicious contact me."

Yette and Kensil should both be canned if they are found to have initiated this whole deal as willing stooges of the Colts and Ravens.
 

JimD

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MentalDisabldLst said:
 
Reminds me a lot of the consternation generated - and case studies that get written - when companies in the business world create a sustainable competitive advantage (for some reason other than economies of scale or a market failure).  Disney in entertainment.  Apple in electronics.  Wal-Mart in retail.  FedEx in shipping.  Berkshire Hathaway.  Coca-Cola. 
 
Executives and business-school academics tie themselves in knots trying to understand what the differences are, the lessons, that can let them emulate that same success.  In many cases, it comes down to the recruiting of talent and the culture established and followed by those at the top.  From what we've learned of Kraft and Belichick, the same may be true with the Patriots as well.
 
Southwest Airlines is a good parallel to the Patriots, IMO.
 

DavidTai

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The part that makes little sense to me is, how did they come to the conclusion that stolen balls somehow connected to 'must check balls for deflation'?
 

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As much as we appreciate Schefter's level-headedness when he goes on EEI, remember that the last time he went on and we thought that it would move the needle on the story, nothing happened. No one should expect that his comments about Kensil, or teams hating the Patriots, will make much of an impact outside of New England
 

ifmanis5

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DavidTai said:
The part that makes little sense to me is, how did they come to the conclusion that stolen balls somehow connected to 'must check balls for deflation'?
Great question. I guess the official-unofficial answer is that it was yet another 'data point' in the Patriots gameday ball iffyness. However, that does point towards the league office being already tipped off by someone that these balls were something to be watched closely. Closely Watched Balls, great foreign film if you can find it on Netflix.
 

E5 Yaz

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DavidTai said:
The part that makes little sense to me is, how did they come to the conclusion that stolen balls somehow connected to 'must check balls for deflation'?
 
Here's my theory: The initial report from the official was that McNally gave him an improper K-ball. Since there was a pre-game suggestion from the Colts to be on the lookout for trickery with the balls, and there was not just the K-ball matter but the Coltgs equipment guy who thought the INT ball was soft, Kensil apparently decided to check everything out at halftime -- it's really unclear whether he ordered the refs to do this or did it himself
 

Leather

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Or the premise for Kensil "checking" the balls is entirely fabricated after-the-fact, and he was going to do it anyway knowing that every team probably could get dinged on improper ball inflation if anyone cared to look.   
 

E5 Yaz

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drleather2001 said:
Or the premise for Kensil "checking" the balls is entirely fabricated after-the-fact, and he was going to do it anyway knowing that every team probably could get dinged on improper ball inflation if anyone cared to look.   
 
I suspect that this might be what we discover. But I'm just trying to keep the narrative where it is at the moment.
 

Archer1979

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Maybe it's just me and my propensity for old sitcoms, but this smells a lot like Kensil's Captain Binghampton to Belichick's Commander McHale. I can almost hear him cackling that he finally has Belichick and his band of pirates right where he wants them.
 

nattysez

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Curran hits a homer.  I didn't see this posted yet.
 
I’ll take the liberty to tighten up that explanation. Again, this is Schefter’s reporting from -- it appears -- one source.
The issue began when an NFL employee who is supposed to -- presumably at game’s end -- take the game-used balls complete with official markings and get them ready for charity auctioning, swiped one in the first half. A second league employee noticed a ball was missing. He went to fetch another to give to McNally so McNally could in turn give it to alternate official Greg Yette so it could be put in play.
Meanwhile, the guy running the scam saw there was a hubbub about the balls. He tried to get the ball he swiped back into circulation by giving that to McNally as well.
So McNally’s cruising around with two footballs -- one marked for the game and one unmarked -- thanks to the scam the NFL employee was running.
Yette’s got balls flying at him. Marked. Unmarked. This McNally guy, a locker-room attendant who looks like Charlie Weis’ kid brother, is the point man. Yette lets Kensil know.
The Patriots have been Kensil’s Moby Dick for years, and now he thinks he's got ball shenanigans in progress in the AFC Championship Game. It must have Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July all rolled into one for 'ol Mike . . . a 20-year employee of the Jets who happened to be in the front office when Bill Belichick left the franchise at the altar by resigning as the HC of the NYJ.
Now it was open season on pressure-checking, inflation, deflation and accounting for all footballs like a mother hen counting her eggs.
 
 
 
It’s poor form to speculate on sources. But my form sometimes sucks so I’ll just lob this out there. If Patriots ownership saw McNally -- a Regular Joe and longtime employee of the Kraft Group -- getting vilified for being at the end of a scummy scam run by an NFL employee, I wouldn’t be surprised if Patriots ownership decided they weren’t going to see McNally shredded for another news cycle.
 
 
 

Zedia

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Schefter kept using the term "gameday employee" this morning. It will be interesting whether that means a suit from the New York office or some gym teacher from North Attleboro. If it's someone local, even if they're paid by the NFL, it's going to reflect poorly (and unfairly) on the Pats.
 

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pappymojo said:
Or that the ESPN report had it wrong and Kensil didn't actually do any of that.
 
Thanks, but I would prefer to believe the parts of the reporting that I like and to disregard the parts that I don't, if you please.
 
Actually, when this is all over, there's probably a story about what we should take away.  I know that as Patriots fans, we all think our team is unfairly dumped on.  And, it's hard to deny that there are double standards or at least that the press has found a story that resonates and so deflategate gets national news while cutting Trent Richardson because he was afraid for his unborn child and the child's mother gets nary a blip.  And I'm still waiting for the "Patriots don't fumble as much" story breaking down how often the Falcons' opponents were induced into an important false start possibly by crowd noise -- a true competitive advantage story that you think could have legs.
 
But even all this taken as a given, the point remains that when shit gets reported about other teams -- even if it's stuff that we all take pleasure in because it dumps on teams we hate -- we really ought to retain the same understanding of just how shitty these people are at their jobs, how easily they get manipulated by "sources" and how this is mostly entertainment, not news.
 

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Archer1979 said:
Maybe it's just me and my propensity for old sitcoms, but this smells a lot like Kensil's Captain Binghampton to Belichick's Commander McHale.
 
The judges would also have accepted Bugs/Fudd or Hogan/Klink, but you get extra credit for the less cliche response
 

Ed Hillel

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In this specific case, the Patriots weren’t told that the ball marked K1 would be removed from play. After the Patriots scored the first touchdown of the game, the Patriots noticed on the extra-point attempt that the ball had not been prepped the same way that K1 had been prepped. So the Patriots raised the issue with the game officials, and the process commenced of trying to track down the K1 ball.
 
Great job, Kelly!
 
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/02/19/patriots-alerted-nfl-to-issue-with-special-teams-ball/
 

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ifmanis5

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PFT still trolling, though.
 


Then again, some will always believe that the Patriots tampered with footballs no matter what the evidence indicates.
 
There are some who still believe the world is flat. Doesn't mean they're right. Come on, man.