Thursday, September 03, 2015

deflate-gate

[9/3/15] NEW YORK >> A federal judge let the air out of "Deflategate" Thursday, erasing New England quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension for a controversy the NFL claimed threatened football's integrity.

U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman criticized NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for dispensing "his own brand of industrial justice."

Berman said Goodell went too far in affirming punishment of the Super Bowl winning quarterback. Brady has insisted he played no role in a conspiracy to deflate footballs below the allowable limit at last season's AFC championship game.

[5/11/15] The NFL took deflate-gate very seriously, hammering the New England Patriots with unheard of punishment in the matter of deflated footballs.

The league announced Monday that quarterback Tom Brady was suspended four games, the team was fined $1 million and will lose its 2016 first-round draft pick and a fourth-round pick in 2017. The league has been considering punishment since the release of investigator Ted Wells' report on Thursday.

That's a huge punishment considering there was no evidence Brady was directly involved and the Wells Report said Patriots ownership and coach Bill Belichick weren't involved. The league said the punishment was for violating playing rules and not cooperating fully in the investigation.

Brady plans to appeal the decision. His agent, Don Yee, said in a statement, via Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo: "The discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis. In my opinion, this outcome was pre-determined; there was no fairness in the Wells investigation whatsoever. ...

[5/7/15] The Wells Report implicates Tom Brady

[1/25/15] The BBC explains:

What started out as just another interception in just another NFL Championship game has grown - inflated if you will - into the week's biggest sporting scandal commanding healthy column inches and withering ridicule.

It's now a week since Indianapolis Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson intercepted a pass by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and tossed the ball over to his team on the sidelines. There, it seems, the matter of the balls' pressures first came up and conversations were had.

Whether the words "deflated", "deflation", "deflating" or any other variant came up in the course of that chat is open to debate.

But what almost certainly was not said in the driving rain of Foxboro Stadium was "deflate-gate".

That would come later.

For those who missed it, let's start at the very beginning...

n a nutshell, the NFL is investigating claims the Patriots may have deflated the match balls to give themselves an advantage in Sunday's 45-7 win over Indianapolis that sent them to the Super Bowl.

According to reports, 11 of the 12 game balls they provided for the rain-affected match-up were under-inflated by about two pounds per square inch. If you deflate a ball in cold or wet conditions, it provides more grip for the quarterback, in this case Brady.

In a statement, the NFL said initial evidence thus far supports the conclusion that under-inflated footballs were used by the Patriots in the first half but were properly inflated for the second half.

However, the Patriots have denied any wrongdoing immediately after the game, and again throughout the week.

Did the deflated balls really make a difference?

It's a fair question. It's worth remembering that the Patriots scored 17 points in the first half when, according to the NFL, the balls were below their optimum pressure. Twenty-eight points were piled on by Brady and Co after interval, when the balls had been re-inflated.

And a tweet by Colts tight end Dwayne Allen  is also worth considering.

"They could have played with soap for balls and beat us," he said. "Simply the better team."

[1/25/15] SNL's take

[2/1/15] Khan Academy chimes in

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