#DFG: Canceling the Noise

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


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Ed Hillel

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I mean, this has to be the dumbest thing I have ever seen:
Mike Reiss of ESPN reports that the NFL instituted a new rule requiring all players to wear jersey numbers while on the field for Organized Team Activities and mandatory minicamps. The rule was put in place to make it easier to monitor compliance with rules regarding player practices, including that injured players should not be practicing.

Belichick liked having his players practice without jerseys early in the offseason program because he thought it enhanced communication between players, forcing them to get to know each other by looking at more than just a jersey number. It’s a tactic Belichick learned from studying Hall of Fame Steelers coach Chuck Noll, who always had his players wear jerseys without numbers in practice.
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2016/06/12/nfl-forces-patriots-to-wear-numbered-jerseys-at-practice/#comment-5093319

It doesn't even make any sense. Does the NFL send people to monitor practices? Reiss is always reporting on who is/isn't at practice, and nobody else ever seems to be confused. Except maybe Volin.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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Would love to see the exact wording of the rule. It's gonna be great when he sends them all out wearing the same number.
I'm thinking BB will go with blue numbers on blue jerseys, white numbers on white jerseys, red numbers on the non-contact jerseys, etc. It will work very well until RG nails him with an equipment violation and steals another million and a first.
 
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On PFW last week, the guys were talking about Jabaal Sheard and Malcolm Brown wearing each other's numbers and how odd that was. Wonder if that was BB tweaking the league. I both hope not AND hope so.
 

Bleedred

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Last weekend was the camp reunion I was mentioning where the Paul Weiss lawyer who worked with Wells and the rest of the Paul Weiss team on the Wells Report was in attendance. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it due to a conflict, but one of my close friends and also a lawyer who is 100% invested in the DFG saga was there and managed to have a direct but brief conversation with the Paul Weiss lawyer Here is his summary:


"[Name redacted] and I had a healthy debate wherein we did not discuss Science but we did discuss the seemingly mutual exclusivity between serving as both independent investigator and "prosecutor" at the Appellate hearing before 'Judge' Goodell. To that, he smiled and said "when the statute of limitations runs, I can tell you how I REALLY feel". He provided the SAME answer when I asked how an "Independent" investigator can have its documents SHIELDED by the ATTORNEY Client Privilege when, purportedly, no "Attorney" relationship existed. He also stated "no comment" when I mentioned Wells' idiotic press conference and when I mentioned that Wells explicitly stated that he did NOT want the phone. He did say that when the texts came up in Brady's interview, he was noticeably uncomfortable and his whole demeanor changed. Said he came across as not believable and had a repetitive "nervous" laugh. Gave a "no comment" when I asked WHY Pash was editing the independent report. ‎Stated that McNally was also not credible."
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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So....he looked guilty therefore he's guilty.

Appreciate your post, Bleedred, wish you were there to push him even more. No comments??? Come on buddy, you aren't under oath! I'm just surprised he didn't give your friend an 'integrity of the game' line.
 

Bleedred

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The Paul Weiss gal is an associate so I'm sure that she was very cautious about doing anything to expose herself or her firm. She works on all NFL matters, including the concussion stuff. Quite the independent report, eh?
 
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TheoShmeo

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I've long assumed that RG and certain other owners opportunistically chose to use the smoke around the deflated ball allegations to punish the Pats for past sins. And that the NFL ignored the weak, mealy mouthed "more probably than not/generally aware" conclusion from the Wells Report when imposing penalties because they reckoned that the slender reed provided thereby would be sufficient to do the job, even if challenged in court.

But Bleedred's post regarding Brady and McNally is (a) totally consistent with a report of an extended conversation with Goodell from a friend who met him at the last US Tennis Open and (b) an alternative theory I've had all along: That Goodell/Vincent always knew that the evidence was skinny but were basing the penalties and the continued jihad against Tom largely on their firmly held perception that Tom was simply lying.

That doesn't mean RG was right about anything, Goodell is not a contemptible piece of manure or that Tom is guilty because of how he appeared to RG and this PW associate. But it could give us a vista into the NFL's actions in the face of so little evidence overall.
 

kartvelo

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All else aside, the simple fact remains that there is no evidence whatsoever that anything was done to those footballs for anyone to be guilty of. In fact, all available evidence indicates the exact opposite to be the case. Goodell might just as well be penalizing the Pats and Brady for a shift in wind direction on a Tuesday afternoon in July, or any other naturally-occurring event.
As regards the justness of this situation, a "healthy debate wherein we did not discuss science" is ultimately of no value except to those who are billing clients for the time they've wasted gossiping about what they felt might be a "nervous laugh" and an "uncomfortable demeanor" in a "suspect" despite there being no evidence of any actual wrongdoing for anyone to be suspected of in the first place.
 

tims4wins

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Wouldn't we ALL be nervous and uncomfortable if we were accused of something which we didn't do, but there was incorrect evidence presented to us that made it look worse than it was? Brady was trying to explain / defend himself against made up, incorrect, "evidence".
 

TheoShmeo

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Wouldn't we ALL be nervous and uncomfortable if we were accused of something which we didn't do, but there was incorrect evidence presented to us that made it look worse than it was? Brady was trying to explain / defend himself against made up, incorrect, "evidence".
To me, the interesting aspect of Bleedred's post was that Brady came across as not believable and that McNally came across as not credible.

I can easily imagine a witness being nervous and uncomfortable, but still coming across as believable/credible, in the face of evidence that the witness knew to be misleading and wrong. Not all witnesses are wired or react to stimuli in the same way.

None of that means that Brady was lying or that the PW associate read him correctly.

But in the event that Goodell drew the same conclusion as the PW associate about Tom and McNally, it could explain his actions, at least in part. Because one thing is clear: Goodell acted in a way that is supported by precious little tangible evidence.
 

kartvelo

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If no wrongdoing was committed, it makes no difference how many people there are, or who they are, that think you look like you're "acting guilty," because there's nothing for you to be guilty of.

This is why, "Oh, we didn't talk about science," is so galling. The conversation begins with the presumption that something shady happened and proceeds from there with a search for the guilty - when any competent high school science student, let alone adult, should have all the information and experience they need to know better.
 
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judyb

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It's weird, I was stunned by how many people thought Brady seemed guilty at his PC, guilty people are typically aware enough of their own wrongdoing to prepare themselves to strongly deny it, why would someone who knows he did something wrong appear confused and not be prepared to deny it? No matter how many people we catch lying with these strong denials, why do we still tend to believe that's what innocence looks like?
 

djbayko

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Let's give them the benefit of doubt and assume they're correct when they say that Brady was calm, cool, and collected until they started talking about the texts. Here's the thing. Imagine yourself in that situation. You're completely innocent, and you believe everything is going relatively smoothly. Then they bring out what they appear to believe is a smoking gun. You see these texts saying "deflate" and "deflator". I can easily imagine him saying "oh fuck" and having their physical demeanor change, simply because he realizes that they've found something [completely innocuous] they can hang their hat on.

At the same time, I believe they're full of it, and whatever emotions they ascribe to Tom Brady's behavior that day is merely a case of confirmation bias. People simply aren't as good at reading body language as they like to believe.
 

djbayko

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It's weird, I was stunned by how many people thought Brady seemed guilty at his PC, guilty people are typically aware enough of their own wrongdoing to prepare themselves to strongly deny it, why would someone who knows he did something wrong appear confused and not be prepared to deny it? No matter how many people we catch lying with these strong denials, why do we still tend to believe that's what innocence looks like?
Again, confirmation bias.

I always agreed with your assessment. He appeared to behave in a manner consistent with being confused.
 

Bleedred

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If no wrongdoing was committed, it makes no difference how many people there are, or who they are, that think you look like you're "acting guilty," because there's nothing for you to be guilty of.

This is why, "Oh, we didn't talk about science," is so galling. The conversation begins with the presumption that something shady happened and proceeds from there with a search for the guilty - when any competent high school science student, let alone adult, should have all the information and experience they need to know better.
I wasn't there, but there's nothing really galling about 2 non-scientist lawyers discussing the legal aspects of the case rather than the science of it, likely when they were drinking from a keg at a camp reunion. This was a discussion among friends in some shitty rec hall, not a court ordered and sanctioned cross-examination.
 

kartvelo

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Well, it's galling that the issue has been successfully framed such that the correctness of Wells' "science" is taken as a given.

That said, I had to read the report again because your response confused me, and I see that I was mistakenly ascribing the reporter's words to the attorney.
 

rmaher

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BUT IF HE DIDN'T DO IT THEN WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE THINK HE DID!!?!?!??!

Also, he likes privacy. Kind of suspicious if you ask me.
 

phenweigh

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NESN had a Deflategate update this morning, and reported that hearing nothing at this point was consistent with expectations. Slow sports news day I guess.
 

rmaher

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I was just inspired to propel this thread toward the big 1000 page mark. We've been slacking.
 

joe dokes

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The oral argument calendar has very little to do with the current posture of the case. Maybe even less than "very little."
 

bankshot1

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Whats the process for the appelate judges to decide to hear or not hear the case en banc?
Is there an accepted procedure in the 2nd circuit?

Do the 14 justices gather and debate the merits, kick the relevant issues back and forth, and come to a decision or rather do the judges make the decision without outside influences beyond the submitted briefs, and there is a rolling tally of yes/no?
 

WayBackVazquez

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It's reasonable to expect some time before mid-June that the Court either will deny the petition outright or order a response from the NFL.
I think there is a good chance we'll hear something before the end of June, and particularly before the July 4 holiday.
I think it's likely we'll hear something by the end of next week.
Don't forget to re-up for next week. You're gonna nail this one yet! ;)
 

CaptainLaddie

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At what point does Brady and the NFLPA say "hey, the most important player in the organization might miss a month - shit or get off the pot?" Or is that kind of language frowned upon in a court of law? My experience in court is limited to the time I overslept a jury I was selected to serve on and was not held in contempt of court.
 

WayBackVazquez

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At what point does Brady and the NFLPA say "hey, the most important player in the organization might miss a month - shit or get off the pot?" Or is that kind of language frowned upon in a court of law? My experience in court is limited to the time I overslept a jury I was selected to serve on and was not held in contempt of court.
I'm not sure what you're asking. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has shit. It issued a ruling, and Brady and the union could have accepted that ruling along with the certainty it provided that Brady would serve the first four games of the season. Then Brady asked the court for more time to ask it if it would consider shitting again. Then Brady asked the Court to return to the pot. Now you want him to demand that it shit again, and fast? This isn't fucking Bush v. Gore, people.
 

WayBackVazquez

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Yeah, well, you'll be disappointed to know the amount of time that has passed is almost certainly bad news for Brady. My light research indicates that it is very common for the Second Circuit to deny rehearing right around the two month mark, without having ordered a response.

Every circuit has internal operating procedures or general orders that outline the timing on calling for an en banc poll and voting; unfortunately, the Second Circuit doesn't make its timing procedures public, and we've yet to have a former clerk chime in (I don't have any in my office, and am not going to send around an RFI), which is why we're mostly in the dark on timing. But generally the way it works is that there are X amount of days after the filing of the petition where one of the judges can call for a vote; if nobody calls for a vote within that period, the petition is denied. Some circuits (like the Ninth) have a procedure where, within that period, an off-panel judge can put the question to the panel, and this extends the time until the panel tells the rest of the court its views. The Ninth Circuit also has one (per court) 14-day "time out" that can be used. If a judge DOES call for a vote within the allotted time, every circuit of which I'm aware immediately orders a response. Then, after the response is in, another clock starts. If a majority of eligible voting judges don't vote to rehear within the deadline, the petition is denied.

So, at this point, I'm quite certain nobody has called for a vote, and even if the Second's voting period is 60 days (and those I'm aware of are in the 14-21 day range), there's no good reason for a judge to wait until the last moment if he intends to call for a poll. I think the best possible scenario for Brady is that the Second Circuit has a procedure similar to the Ninth's and has put the question back to the panel, and the panel is discussing, or even amending the opinion. (Or even if, since Brady filed a petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc, the panel has the initial opportunity to consider it, and is exercising its authority.)

But it seems (based on the timing of denials I've seen) likely that the Second just has around a 60 day period for calling for a vote (it may be 21 days for the panel, then another 30 for the full court, or 30+30, or 21+21, I don't know), and we are just waiting for it to wind down.
 

dcmissle

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Don't forget to re-up for next week. You're gonna nail this one yet! ;)
After a while you quit guessing. Those seemed reasonable benchmarks to me.

I am not drawing any inferences from the passage of time. But everyone needs to remember this was the longest of long shots.

Edit. One other point on those odds. Couple of weeks back I reviewed two very recent 2nd Cir decisions with powerful dissents. In both cases the majority opinion came across, to put in charitably, result oriented. In both cases, the dissenter made powerful arguments that the majority was blind to or quite clearly misread directly applicable Supreme Court decisions.' These were securities cases, which the Second Circuit regards as its wheelhouse and in which the Court is regarded a national leader.

I don't know whether the losers in those case petitioned for rehearing, or didn't. (Humorously, to me, the loser fired a very prominent NY firm and hired Ted Olson's firm after losing). The point is there are a few legitimate rehearing candidates kicked out by this Court (and all courts) and this Court almost never grants them.
 
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WayBackVazquez

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Edit. One other point on those odds. Couple of weeks back I reviewed two very recent 2nd Cir decisions with powerful dissents. In both cases the majority opinion came across, to put in charitably, result oriented. In both cases, the dissenter made powerful arguments that the majority was blind to or quite clearly misread directly applicable Supreme Court decisions.' These were securities cases, which the Second Circuit regards as its wheelhouse and in which the Court is regarded a national leader.

I don't know whether the losers in those case petitioned for rehearing, or didn't. (Humorously, to me, the loser fired a very prominent NY firm and hired Ted Olson's firm after losing). The point is there are a few legitimate rehearing candidates kicked out by this Court (and all courts) and this Court almost never grants them.
I bet I know at least one of those cases. My client was one of the (multiple) appellants, though not my team on that case. And a petition for rehearing was filed. Not by Ted Olson.
 

dcmissle

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I bet I know at least one of those cases. My client was one of the (multiple) appellants, though not my team on that case. And a petition for rehearing was filed. Not by Ted Olson.
Life is unfair. IMO Judge Droney schooled them and it wasn't close. For cases like this you need a functional Supreme Court and 5 Justices not blinded by agency love.