Sunday, May 10, 2015

In My Opinion....

ladies, a warning:

this is about NFL football, it is a rant by me,

however, it's really about SO much more.

I love NFL football.
I love the New England Patriots, the Seattle Seahawks & the Houston Texans.

and ordinarily I wouldn't have much to say about the rules and the gossip,
the suspensions for drug abuse, child abuse, domestic abuse, or even murder.

but today I have a whole lot to say about FOOTBALLS, themselves.

& I ask you WHY would one of the most revered sports persons in the world CHEAT?

I didn't write the following, however, I could have written it as I am absolutely shocked
by the slanted report and pointedly-directed abuse heaped upon both Tom Brady & his team.

It's a lot like politics, isn't it?
is someone loses, it's always someone else's fault, someone cheated, ballot box stuffing,
over-cooked meatballs yada yada yada

& I'll bet you there are a whole lot of "facts" in the "report" which are cited below
that will make you cringe & then make you angry.

& remember, this could happen to anyone, anywhere.
your child because of bullying, your child because he excels at something,
people being hastily accused of "anything" without any real evidence,
people's lives being changed and/or ruined because of rumor, accusations or gossip.

& once you have read the entire article below I'll bet you will send it on to someone you know who is a football fan, and then they can decide for themselves.

so, "someone" with the Colts notified the league the day before the game that the
Patriots balls "might" be questionable.

As a New England Patriots fan, I have been trying to make sense of the Wells report, which I have read in its entirety.  There are far too many “coincidences” to suggest there was absolutely no tampering.  There is absolutely no evidence that Tom Brady had any involvement in this mess, yet his legacy is forever damaged.
The past couple of days, I’ve read many headlines and tweets, many of which focus on the same things.  I wonder how many of those who are quick to condemn him actually sat down and read the report?  Where were these same people when footballs were being warmed on the sideline at a non Patriots game earlier in the season and the refs only issued a warning?  Where were they when the Chargers were putting stickum on their towels and refused to give them to the league?
When I read at the report, and I tried to do so objectively,  a number of things stood out.  I will detail them below and then follow with my defense of Tom Brady.
1.  The league was notified by the Colts the day before the game to watch the Patriots balls because they thought they were being underinflated.  This, according to the Colts, was a well known practice.
2.  That e-mail went up the chain and the officials were aware.
3.  The day of the game, the officials who were aware of the Colts’ concern, took the pre-game measurement of the inflation level of the balls.  They were told twice by McNally that Tom likes his PSI level at 12.5.  No pre-game measurements were taken.  There were two different pressure gauges for the game but the official didn’t remember which one he used.  This is significant because the gauges provided very different readings.
4.  McNally took the balls without permission from the officials.  This was not normal practice according to Patriots personnel.  He is usually accompanied by by security or officials. 
5.  McNally took the balls into the bathroom for 1 minute 40 seconds before he took them to the field.
6.  When the officials were ready to take the field, they could not find the Patriots’ footballs.  They were in a panic and the lead official said it has never happened to him in 19 years on the job.  They finally found out the balls had been taken to the field. Rather than going to the backup balls which were available, they allowed the team to use the balls which had been “lost” for eight minutes.
7.  Patriots’ footballs were measured at halftime, inflation levels documented and reinflated to 12.5 PSI.
8.  At some point during the first half, there was confusion about one of the kicking balls.  Long story short, an NFL employee (who has now been fired) took a ball out of play (I think he was going to sell it), got caught, and the officials were able to recover the ball.  
9.  After the game, the Colts contact a reporter to let him know about the inflation levels and that’s how it all began.
10.  In the report, there are text messages between the guy who prepares Tom Brady’s footballs (it takes about a week) and the guy who handles them on game day (he calls himself the deflator) and jokes about going to ESPN.  There is a text early on about Brady going off on McNally during a Jets game because he said they felt like bricks.  When a couple footballs were measured the next day, they were at 16 PSI.  Clearly, the NFL is very loose with inflation levels.  According to the texts, Brady then looked at the rulebook, saw the lowest level and told his football preparer that’s what he wanted.  Could something as innocent as, “Yeah, I like my footballs softer” be interpreted as something more?
11.  In those same texts, there are references to “him” and “he” (which I took to mean Brady but the guys tried to say it was a friend) knows they’re under a lot of pressure.  There are also references to “I better find a pair of 11.5s in my locker” and “signing day” (signed memorabilia from Brady).  However, to me the shoes were jokes (the report doesn’t mention whether or not they received shoes, just plants that seed) and signed memorabilia is common practice (but it’s used to make it look like a form of payment in the report.
12.  Much is made of a number of Brady calls to the the guy who prepares his footballs during the week.  To me, that is normal behavior.  At first, it seemed like much ado about nothing, but the story kept getting bigger.  There is a text from Tom Brady asking “Johnny boy” if he’s okay.  If I’m Brady, I’m reassuring, I’m asking questions and as it’s blowing up, I’m trying like heck to find out what the eff happened.  There was no direct communication between Tom Brady and “the deflator,” McNally.
13.  Not much is being made of the meeting the guy who prepares the footballs in the days leading up to the game had with Brady in the QB room.  This was unusual.  As Brady tells it, he told the guy what a great job he did preparing the footballs for the AFC Championship game and discussed how he wanted them prepared for the SB.  He knew the guy would have to prepare twice as many, so he wanted to make sure they were on the same page.  This is highly plausible because Brady had him prepare balls a little differently for the AFC Championship game due to weather.
14.  The league considered Tom Brady “uncooperative”.  He sat with them for 5 ½ hours.  He would not give them access to his e-mail or personal cell.  What headlines have not mentioned is the cell phones from the two guys who handle the footballs were issued by the Patriots.  They wanted Tom Brady’s personal cell.  With the sheer number of leaks, who would give the NFL access to their personal cell phone?  If Brady was able to pick and choose what to submit, they would say he only picked things that showed him in a positive light.  The headlines forget to mention the kicker would not give them access to his personal cell phone either.
15.  Buried in the report is the fact that the company that conducted the scientific experiments could not say with absolutely certainty based on their test results that the balls were tampered with.
16.  There is no definition of “generally aware”.
So, as far as anything linking Tom Brady to any wrongdoing they have third parties talking about gifts and a person who called himself “the deflator,” a number of phone calls the content of which is unknown, a leader who has said he likes his footballs on the softer end and a man who refuses to let strangers go through his personal cell phone.  That is the evidence being used to destroy this man’s reputation.
I’m mad as heck!  Yes, I am a Brady fan.  He is a Michigan man and I support my guys.  In my opinion, this is character assassination.  This report takes huge leaps and reads to me like it was written to support a pre-determined conclusion.
Mr. Goodell may find me at his Park Avenue office holding one of my poison pen letters.  No matter what, from here on out Brady will be known as a cheater and in my opinion, that is simply not the case. 

so, I suppose it's simply impossible for a player or a team to be GREAT, to win Super Bowls over & over WITHOUT CHEATING?
yes, it is and we should not stand for this kind of taint to fall on anyone without ACTUAL PROOF



GRC Ltd said...

Well said, Marsha!
That's the one downfall of our age on instant communication -- no one stops to think and separate actual fact from innuendo. It may well be that there were some improptieties, but I have yet to see any solid facts to prove it, and we should all reserve judgment until we do.

Cheryl said...

This is one of the best pared down explanations of the mess that has been going on. Thank you for both taking the time and for writing about it. I am a New England girl (in my head I'll always be a girl) , but with the last onslaught of information, even I was beginning to wonder where the truth began and ended. I may repost this on my blog, with your permission, Marsha!

Ginny said...

I don't even care. Football causes brain damage. There are so many big things happening out there, that Tom Brady and his millions are a speck. If you can't take the heat, stay out of the fire.

rosedeva said...

Marsha..... I love that you are so passionate......and about football!!

Emm said...

Rumor, story, innuendo, PR flaks. Et cetera and so forth. Just like politics, or middle school (absent the PR flaks).

I try to keep things like football in perspective by remembering that it is a public spectacle performed by over-medicated millionaires on behalf of teams owned as tax write-offs by very wealthy men, intended to deflect people from real life. Of the professional "sports", I would rather watch baseball or tennis, in large part because they seem less intended to inflict grave bodily harm.

Kathleen said...

would love to email you privately with some real details that will make you feel much better.

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French bread & family said...

Hello Beautiful!
From my perspective The Pat's played last years champion - the best team in the NFL, and beat them in SB 49.
They beat The Hawks.
They are the best.
Case closed.
~ Lynne