#DFG: Canceling the Noise

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


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Stitch01

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Yeah that six point move in the line for the opener is about as extreme as you'll see and its worth something like 0.2 expected wins.
 

kartvelo

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Nick Kaufman said:
 
 
Ok, let's not go overboard. The text between McNally and Yastremski where Yastremski relates that Brady said that McNally must be stressed is a pretty good indication that Brady was aware of what McNally was doing.
 
There's strong indication that something funny went on. But calling the Pats cheaters is the equivalent of calling both a jaywalker and a murderer as a lawbreaker. It obfuscates the vast difference of proportion between the two infractions.
No, there isn't.
 

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PedroKsBambino said:
 
The top white collar guys view this stuff as mortal combat (the actual kind, not the video game kind).  They are incredibly invested in their representations.  Once he puts his name on the report he owns it, and I do not think he would have done the PC unless he were completely willing to say so publicly.
 
My personal read of the report is that it is an example of tunnel vision which we often see from prosecutors on high-profile criminal cases; it is possible Wells has info he didn't include in the report, but it is looking less and less likely.  Which is bad news for Ted Wells---while he's a highly respected white collar attorney, there's a tier above him and those guys are going to shred this thing into a million embarassing pieces if what we've seen is all there is and they get a chance to do so (e.g. there's serious litigation and discovery).
 
I agree with much of this; the problem is finding the proper forum.  What Wells and the NFL have in their favor is that there isn't a ton of recourse for those top .005% to do their thing.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Stitch01 said:
He owns the report.  To me, at least, there's a truckload of room between a report heavily caveated by assumptions saying "I believe this is more probably than not true" and "I believe from the bottom of my heart that Tom Brady is guilty" with the latter adding much more downside to the firm with pretty much no upside.
 
My point was that he would say it, which he did.  I've explained why I believe that knowing a little bit about the environment.
 
I think the absolute best of the best---which I'd say is Brendan Sullivan in this area---wouldn't be at the PC in the first place.   Others who I think are spectacular at this game might have done the PC, but wouldn't have let themselves get caught.  I'm surprised he wasn't somewhat better.
 

dcmissle

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dstunbound said:
 
For those of us that don't know squat about the legal world, is the next tier the lawfirm that Brady and Yee hired to work with them? 
You do not hire firms, or at least you shouldn't. You hire lawyers. Kessler is experienced enough at these discipline cases, and bright enough, to tear this report to shreds.
 

PBDWake

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E5 Yaz said:
Where this goes from here only depends on what you want to see happen:
 
If you want to see4 the penalties reduced, you have a chance.
 
If you want to have public perception changed, that boat has sailed.
 
That boat left port in 2007.
 
What I want is penalties reduced and an active loss on confidence in Goodell by ownership as a whole. I want a scathing ruling by an independent arbiter that mocks Goodell for overreaching his bounds both in investigation (with his right to request personal property) and punishment. Then I want further embarrassment by this collusion investigation with Troy Vincent. And I want this to be the turning point people remember, perhaps not for what he did, but for how colossally he once again blundered how he handled it. I want this to be Rob Stark marrying his non-Frey girl.
 

BornToRun

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NatetheGreat said:
 
I'm not sure this actually helps anything. There's a strong argument to be made that the Pats are partially in this position because they are widely disliked and RG bases his punishments entirely on his reading of public perception. "Everyone thinks the Patriots are dirty cheaters" perhaps shouldn't factor into discipline, but it absolutely and demonstrably does, so a plan of "going forward, we will double down on alienating every other team and fanbase" strikes me as a bad way to win what is in many ways a PR battle.
I understand what you're saying here but I think worrying about what other teams and fanbases think about the Patriots is pointless. They are convinced that we are the scum of the earth and I don't think that taking the foot off of the gas in a blowout is going to do anything to change that.

The negative label has already been placed on the Patriots so I am all in favor of a scorched earth, no mercy, fuck you tour akin to pre SB 2007. They are always going to hate us so we might as well embrace and it use it as fuel.
 

Stitch01

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PedroKsBambino said:
 
My point was that he would say it, which he did.  I've explained why I believe that knowing a little bit about the environment.
 
I think the absolute best of the best---which I'd say is Brendan Sullivan in this area---wouldn't be at the PC in the first place.   Others who I think are spectacular at this game might have done the PC, but wouldn't have let themselves get caught.  I'm surprised he wasn't somewhat better.
Yeah, I definitely overrated how smart he was.  You had him pegged.
 

nattysez

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I think Wells is parsing "sting" pretty carefully.  A "sting" operation is a deceptive operation where you're trying to catch someone doing something criminal.  That's not what this was, which is why Wells keeps saying it wasn't a "sting."  Wells would say that the NFL became aware of a particular issue, let game day activities proceed as normal, then checked the balls at halftime and discovered an issue.  That's not technically a "sting" -- it's just being aware of a potential issue and then investigating whether the perceived issue really existed.  I have to wonder if the Pats got hung up on saying "we were set up" and "it was a sting" instead of just saying "common practice is to warn teams that there have been reports of an issue -- why was it not done here?"
 

Investor 11

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Stitch01 said:
He owns the report.  To me, at least, there's a truckload of room between a report heavily caveated by assumptions saying "I believe this is more probably than not true" and "I believe from the bottom of my heart that Tom Brady is guilty" with the latter adding much more downside to the firm with pretty much no upside.
Agree with the above. Coupled with the fact that he says he would check the box that says proven, if on a jury, it becomes even more confusing. His report seemed to carefully highlight "more probable than not" and "generally aware". He's now applying a "beyond reasonable doubt" standard to it. Is that based on his personal feeling since the report fails to go to those lengths.? And if so, shouldnt it be viewed in a new light that regardless of the facts he was able to uncover he's made up his mind.

Edit: just realized this was probably crafty lawyer speak and in his mind related to a civil trial not criminal. So there goes my point......carry on
 
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PedroKsBambino said:
 
The top white collar guys view this stuff as mortal combat (the actual kind, not the video game kind).  They are incredibly invested in their representations.  Once he puts his name on the report he owns it, and I do not think he would have done the PC unless he were completely willing to say so publicly.
 
My personal read of the report is that it is an example of tunnel vision which we often see from prosecutors on high-profile criminal cases; it is possible Wells has info he didn't include in the report, but it is looking less and less likely.  Which is bad news for Ted Wells---while he's a highly respected white collar attorney, there's a tier above him and those guys are going to shred this thing into a million embarassing pieces if what we've seen is all there is and they get a chance to do so (e.g. there's serious litigation and discovery).
 
Really?  All my friends at NYU Law characterized Paul Weiss as the #1 place for litigation, a group you would hire for "bet the firm" cases.  I mean, maybe Cravath or Wachtell are viewed as more prestigious for corporate work, but what firms are in this "higher tier" above Paul Weiss in litigation?
 

dcmissle

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PedroKsBambino said:
 
My point was that he would say it, which he did.  I've explained why I believe that knowing a little bit about the environment.
 
I think the absolute best of the best---which I'd say is Brendan Sullivan in this area---wouldn't be at the PC in the first place.   Others who I think are spectacular at this game might have done the PC, but wouldn't have let themselves get caught.  I'm surprised he wasn't somewhat better.
That's who I wanted on this case. Amnesty International would be circulating petitions about genocide by the time it was over.
 

Valek123

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dcmissle said:
You do not hire firms, or at least you shouldn't. You hire lawyers. Kessler is experienced enough at these discipline cases, and bright enough, to tear this report to shreds.
I think with the golden nugget previously posted by Rapoport a jr legal assistant could have a field day.  Just an insanely stupid comment from a bright individual, this whole thing revolves around pressure and you are saying that doesn't matter?  Dear lord... 
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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That gauge answer is amazing to me.  Wells (or his lackey who answered) is either lying or doesn't understand one of the most basic evidentiary points in the report.  If I'm drafting some kind of appeal regarding flaws in the investigation, that's a point I'm underscoring big time.
 

Nick Kaufman

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OTOH, I think Kraft's proclamations on the eve of the Superbowl came from a party which genuinely thought it was innocent and wrongly aggrieved. Which in turn might be circumstantial evidence of Brady's innocence, because presumably, Brady must have sworn to Kraft that he didn't anything that wasn't kosher.
 
Alternatively, Brady might have mumbled his words and misled Kraft or Kraft's position might have just been strategic posturing even though he knew that something fishy had gone on.
 
Or may be, very likely perhaps, there's some minor lie somewhere in the chain that became very diffucult to admit because this blew out of proportion and helped blow this monster nothingburger even further.
 

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RIFan said:
That wasn't clear. He said 3 interviews were done with McNally without him. It would seem odd if only NFL security and no PW attorneys were involved.
 
A lot of that is in the report but essentially the NFL security guys interviewed everyone in NE the week after the game but before Wells got involved.  I suspect having Mike Kensil and company sending all of NFL security to NE to take everything--just on the eve of the superbowl--is one of the many reasons the Pats were pissed, and their clumsiness is one of the reasons the NFL though it was necessary to bring Wells in.
 
PedroKsBambino said:
 
The top white collar guys view this stuff as mortal combat (the actual kind, not the video game kind).  They are incredibly invested in their representations.  Once he puts his name on the report he owns it, and I do not think he would have done the PC unless he were completely willing to say so publicly.
 
My personal read of the report is that it is an example of tunnel vision which we often see from prosecutors on high-profile criminal cases; it is possible Wells has info he didn't include in the report, but it is looking less and less likely.  Which is bad news for Ted Wells---while he's a highly respected white collar attorney, there's a tier above him and those guys are going to shred this thing into a million embarassing pieces if what we've seen is all there is and they get a chance to do so (e.g. there's serious litigation and discovery).
 
There isn't a tier of practitioners above Wells.  You might have a guy you like more (dcmissle is totally in loves with Williams & Connolly, for example) but Ted is about as good as it gets in this country. And he's not just a white collar guy, he's done a ton of civil litigation.
 
That said the report is shit and a good litigator will have a field day.
 

dcmissle

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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
That gauge answer is amazing to me.  Wells (or his lackey who answered) is either lying or doesn't understand one of the most basic evidentiary points in the report.  If I'm drafting some kind of appeal regarding flaws in the investigation, that's a point I'm underscoring big time.
And let's be clear ... Whoever hears this appeal WILL hear about this. Many times. This is not going to be a jury trial. "Admissibility" will be almost irrelevant.
 

Marciano490

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MentalDisabldLst said:
 
Really?  All my friends at NYU Law characterized Paul Weiss as the #1 place for litigation, a group you would hire for "bet the firm" cases.  I mean, maybe Cravath or Wachtell are viewed as more prestigious for corporate work, but what firms are in this "higher tier" above Paul Weiss in litigation?
 
Williams and Connolly (no bias), Boies Schiller, probably a bunch of people at Kirkland, Quinn, DPW and some other firms can go toe to toe with PW's best.  Like DC said, you don't hire firms, you hire lawyers, and I don't know who PW has on their bench who can stand up to an Olson, Boies or Sullivan.
 

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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
That gauge answer is amazing to me.  Wells (or his lackey who answered) is either lying or doesn't understand one of the most basic evidentiary points in the report.  If I'm drafting some kind of appeal regarding flaws in the investigation, that's a point I'm underscoring big time.
 
It was reportedly Lorin Reisner, who's not exactly a lackey.  (He's a 50 something year old incredibly experienced criminal prosecutor and a paul Weiss partner).
 

dcmissle

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I would love to set David Boies off his leash in this case ... My God.
 

PedroKsBambino

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dstunbound said:
 
For those of us that don't know squat about the legal world, is the next tier the lawfirm that Brady and Yee hired to work with them? 
 
Kessler is an apex-tier litigator on sports antitrust stuff, quite possibly the best there is (obviously a subjective judgment).   The white collar stuff is a little different; Kessler's firm has some guys who are (in my mind) very very good.  And to be clear, Ted Wells is on everyone's list of upper tier white collar guys with an incredible resume and track record---please do not hear me to say otherwise.  My personal view is that there are some better guys, however.
 
My own bias for this type of issue is towards DC, where the criminal/public issues are most similar to what is going on here.  My sincere hope is that TB invested the money (and there are not conflicts preventing him) hiring one of the Williams and Connelly guys---Sullivan, Kendall, etc.   Reportedly, Brendan Sullivan says to new criminal clients "I will tell you two things about this representation.  First, I am going to get you off.  And second, it is going to cost you a lot of money"   In something like 30 years of doing it, he's been wrong on the first one exactly one time (and likely never on the second!)   Those guys are absolute animals---they are every bit as competitive about winning cases as Tom Brady is about winning football games.   There's a few others in that tier who I'd be thrilled to hear TB has on the team. There's also a couple of top guys who are clearly conflicted out because their firm represents the NFL.

We will see.  There will be a ton of great lawyers involved in this, and it's not really fair to try and rank them as they all have constraints from the client/the facts/etc.  So, my bad there other than noting a personal opinion.
 

Prodigal Sox

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MarcSullivaFan said:
That is what I was talking about earlier when I mentioned unforced errors. It may not change public perception now, but making that statement about the gauges was idiotic and can only hurt them later.
 
They are lawyers not scientist.  I don; tthink they understand the ramifications themselves.
 

Average Reds

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Nick Kaufman said:
 
Again. I think the more probable than not that Brady was aware is accurate. I don't think that McNally acts on his own accord to do something illegal. I also don't think that Brady who's meticulous on preparing the balls just the way he likes them, skips on the details of what is done in the last phase. Unless perhaps he understands that he ought to have plausible deniability, in which case, that also really makes him "know".
 
But what is that based on? 
 
I mean, he could obviously have known.  But isn't it just as likely that Brady had a tantrum after discovering that he played with balls that were later measured around 16 PSI and told them "I don't care how you do it, but you get those refs to set the ball at 12.5 PSI at the low end of the range."   That would certainly align with Brady wanting to impress upon a ref that the rulebook allowed them to set the balls at 12.5 PSI.
 
I have seen no evidence that says Brady knew or should have known that they may have been adjusting the balls after the ref was done with them.  And there is still no clear evidence that the balls were adjusted below 12.5 PSI at the start of the game.
 
It's also interesting (to me at least) that the two separate issues are being conflated into one.  Because it does appear likely that someone adjusted the balls after the ref looked at them, which is a violation even if the balls were set within the allowable range.  So why was/is Wells and the NFL so intent on proving that the balls were below the 12.5 PSI threshold? 
 

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PedroKsBambino said:
 
Kessler is an apex-tier litigator on sports antitrust stuff, quite possibly the best there is (obviously a subjective judgment).   The white collar stuff is a little different; Kessler's firm has some guys who are (in my mind) very very good.  And to be clear, Ted Wells is on everyone's list of upper tier white collar guys with an incredible resume and track record---please do not hear me to say otherwise.  My personal view is that there are some better guys, however.
 
My own bias for this type of issue is towards DC, where the criminal/public issues are most similar to what is going on here.  My sincere hope is that TB invested the money (and there are not conflicts preventing him) hiring one of the Williams and Connelly guys---Sullivan, Kendall, etc.   Reportedly, Brendan Sullivan says to new criminal clients "I will tell you two things about this representation.  First, I am going to get you off.  And second, it is going to cost you a lot of money"   In something like 30 years of doing it, he's been wrong on the first one exactly one time (and likely never on the second!)   Those guys are absolute animals---they are every bit as competitive about winning cases as Tom Brady is about winning football games.   There's a few others in that tier who I'd be thrilled to hear TB has on the team. There's also a couple of top guys who are clearly conflicted out because their firm represents the NFL.
We will see.  There will be a ton of great lawyers involved in this, and it's not really fair to try and rank them as they all have constraints from the client/the facts/etc.  So, my bad there other than noting a personal opinion.
 
The problem is, the NFL is like Tony Soprano going around to NJ divorce attorneys - I think a lot of top firms are conflicted out.  I'm pretty sure we were doing work for the NFL when I was at Williams and Connolly, though I could be mistaken. 
 

Nick Kaufman

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For those saying that Kraft should overthrow Goodell. It's my understanding that for this to be happen Kraft would need 70% of the owners, that is 21 out of the 30. This seems to me highly unprobable. Especially over this. If anything, Goodell actually might have strengthend his position by making a decision that was broadly popular or at the very least has a pretty vocal minority passionately supporting it.

So, I don't think that Kraft had a long term plan of overthrowing Goodell based on his handling of this. However, Kraft should be playing the long term game and looking to harm him on different fronts. But for this to happen, it's seems to me, it's going to take years and deft maneuvering.
 

Ed Hillel

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Yee and the rest of Brady's lawyers are masturbating furiously over what just happened. Wells just completely contradicted himself on the science, as written in the report. He also cited to which text, in particular, was the most convincing to him, and it's one that could clearly be taken any number of ways.
 

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Average Reds said:
 

It's also interesting (to me at least) that the two separate issues are being conflated into one.  Because it does appear likely that someone adjusted the balls after the ref looked at them, which is a violation even if the balls were set within the allowable range.  So why was/is Wells and the NFL so intent on proving that the balls were below the 12.5 PSI threshold? 
No, it doesn't.
 

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dstunbound said:
 
For those of us that don't know squat about the legal world, is the next tier the lawfirm that Brady and Yee hired to work with them? 
 
I think it's this guy: http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/24783680/meet-jeffrey-kessler-lawyer-whose-suit-strikes-fear-in-ncaas-heart
 
he's described by the New York Daily News as a "pain in the butt to the NFL for decades," and no one thinks twice about the characterization.
 
 

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WenZink said:
 
I have no evidence that Kraft was stonewalling.  But sometimes stonewalling is the optimum strategy if full cooperation would yield something worse.  And it's not a sign of bad character, IMO.  The NFL has no subpoena power, so it's not breaking any law, even it does break an NFL rule.  Sometimes it's the best way to mitigate the damage.
How is lack of subpoena power relevant when the league can justify any penalty by asserting a lack of cooperation?
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Shelterdog said:
 
It was reportedly Lorin Reisner, who's not exactly a lackey.  (He's a 50 something year old incredibly experienced criminal prosecutor and a paul Weiss partner).
 
All the more reason to consider that answer incredible.
 
I really wish somebody had asked them, "Can you tell me what evidence shows that Tom Brady wanted the balls specifically deflated below the 12.5 psi threshhold allowable by the league?"
 

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Ed Hillel said:
Yee and the rest of Brady's lawyers are masturbating furiously over what just happened. Wells just completely contradicted himself on the science, as written in the report. He also cited to which text, in particular, was the most convincing to him, and it's one that could clearly be taken any number of ways.
 
I must have missed this - please elaborate?
 

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At the end of the day, there are many good lawyers who would salivate at this assignment.   It's not terribly difficult to paint an independent investigation as biased when, in fact, there is bias driving it.  It helps to have facts on your side.  I'm not sure how anyone objective can look at this and not see the indicia of a pre-determined outcome, from the beginning to the end.  The Wells Report is really just a slice of the story. 
 

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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
 
All the more reason to consider that answer incredible.
 
I really wish somebody had asked them, "Can you tell me what evidence shows that Tom Brady wanted the balls specifically deflated below the 12.5 psi threshhold allowable by the league?"
 
Oh it's definitely a shit answer.
 

Hoya81

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tims4wins said:
 
I must have missed this - please elaborate?
The text from JJ to JM saying that JJ spoke to Tom and he knows how much pressure JM is under to get the balls done.
 

Yossarian

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That gauge answer was incredible.  I was confident before this PC that the people in the league office who read the report didn't understand it.  But now I'm starting to think the lawyers who wrote the thing didn't understand it, eitlher.
 
What a massive, unadulterated shitshow.
 

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Average Reds said:
 
  Because it does appear likely that someone adjusted the balls after the ref looked at them, which is a violation even if the balls were set within the allowable range.  So why was/is Wells and the NFL so intent on proving that the balls were below the 12.5 PSI threshold? 
 
I keep going back and forth on this myself. There is definitely smoke, but Kraft is speaking like they're factually innocent, Brady specifically asked that the rules be brought to the ref before the game, and the science actually suggests to me that the footballs may not have been underinflated, and, if so, only by .2 PSI. I can honestly see it either way.
 

dylanmarsh

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“I would like to start out by responding to criticisms by Mr. Brady’s agent, Don Yee, about my independence, and his suggestions that the conclusions of the report were somehow influenced by persons in the league office who wanted to find wrongdoing by the Patriots and Mr. Brady.
“The conclusions in the report represent the independent opinions of me personally and my team. And those conclusions were not influenced in any way shape or form by anyone at the league office. We made a fair and reasonable review of the evidence, and we reached conclusions based on the preponderance of the evidence standard, which I was required to apply based on the league’s rules. To the extent Mr. Yee is suggesting that I have some type of conflict because I and my law firm do other work for the NFL, I want to be clear that it is well known that I worked for the NFL in the Miami Dolphins investigation involving Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito. And also that my law firm is involved in representing the NFL in the concussion cases. Those facts were all publicly known at the time I was appointed. When I was appointed to be the independent investigator, no one at the Patriots, or in Mr. Brady’s camp, raised ANY issues about my independence or my integrity to judge the evidence impartially and fairly. In fact, Mr. Kraft, to my recollection, publicly said he welcomed my appointment. I think it is wrong to criticize my independence just because you disagree with my findings.”
 
Ted Wells' statement: https://www.facebook.com/AdamSchefter/posts/954971701222138
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Marciano490 said:
 
The problem is, the NFL is like Tony Soprano going around to NJ divorce attorneys - I think a lot of top firms are conflicted out.  I'm pretty sure we were doing work for the NFL when I was at Williams and Connolly, though I could be mistaken. 
And, given who the titular Willaims was, I wouldn't be surprised that ties between the League and W&C run deep.

Also, wasn't Boies the NFL's lawyer in the (first?) Brady v. NFL case?

That said, there's always the possibility of preemptive conflict waivers. Who knows.
 

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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
 
All the more reason to consider that answer incredible.
 
I really wish somebody had asked them, "Can you tell me what evidence shows that Tom Brady wanted the balls specifically deflated below the 12.5 psi threshhold allowable by the league?"
 
To be fair, and that is the only time I will say this, it actually doesn't matter about the 12.5 threshold. It's deflating post inspection, even if it was to a legal amount, that is the problem here. I don't believe Brady asked them to deflate post inspection, and I don't think he knew even if they were. But there's so many flimsy assumptions here it's laughable. For instance, one of the reasons they hammer Brady is for saying he didn't know McNally, when, in a text, JJ mentions Brady talking about how stressed McNally must be. Therefore, Brady is lying, no? Except that as management myself, I frequently bullshit that line out to my employees. When employees are bitching out our division head, and pissed off and venting, much like McNally seemed to be doing, I'll often throw out a bullshit white lie about how at my last meeting with them they complimented the work they were doing personally. It shuts them up and gets them back to work more often than not, and my division manager likely couldn't pick them out of a lineup.
 

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Hoya81 said:
The text from JJ to JM saying that JJ spoke to Tom and he knows how much pressure JM is under to get the balls done.
 
Wow, so easy to interpret this as Brady wants balls at 12.5 if that is your angle
 

Ed Hillel

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tims4wins said:
 
I must have missed this - please elaborate?
 
He indicated that the strongest bit of evidence for him was the text where it was mentioned that Brady knew McNally must be under a lot of stress. I mean, that could just be because Brady is picky in how he likes his footballs.
 

drbretto

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Apr 10, 2009
12,315
Concord, NH
E5 Yaz said:
Where this goes from here only depends on what you want to see happen:
 
If you want to see4 the penalties reduced, you have a chance.
 
If you want to have public perception changed, that boat has sailed.
 
I disagree. I think that's true for some people, but I believe that perception is already changing as we speak. The ridiculousness of the punishment is turning people back around onto the ridiculousness of everything else.
 

wibi

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
11,922
Kenny F'ing Powers said:
 
Probably a picture of a Jets fan, Colts fan, and Seahawks fan.
 
You mind extrapolating our the Seahawks "disdane" of the Patriots?  We lost the game and while we dont like that fact every Hawks fan I know has stated that the balls didnt help Brady win or lose the Superbowl.