Is it wrong to find all of the Tom Brady hand-wringing to be actually pretty funny? People are losing their damn minds. About BALLS. As we discussed yesterday, Tom Brady likely knew all about the underinflated balls, so says the NFL’s independent investigator. A big part of the proof of Brady’s knowledge comes from the detailed records of Brady texting and calling the equipment people right as Deflategate became a thing, although Brady apparently “refused” to turn over his own emails and phone records to the independent investigator. It looks and smells like an attempted cover-up, like Brady and the equipment dudes were getting their stories straight and Tom specifically was working out what lies to tell during his crazy press conference in January. In any case, Tom has responded to the investigation’s report. By that I mean his agent gave a long-winded and full-throated defense of the Golden Boy. Here is the statement:
“The Wells report, with all due respect, is a significant and terrible disappointment. It’s omission of key facts and lines of inquiry suggest the investigators reached a conclusion first, and then determined so-called facts later. One fact alone taints this entire report. What does it say about the league office’s protocols and ethics when it allows one team to tip it off to an issue prior to a championship game, and no league officials or game officials notified the Patriots of the same issue prior to the game? This suggests it may be more probable than not that the league cooperated with the Colts in perpetrating a sting operation. The Wells report buries this issue in a footnote on page 46 without any further elaboration.
The league is a significant client of the investigators’ law firm; it appears to be a rich source of billings and media exposure based on content in the law firm’s website. This was not an independent investigation and the contents of the report bear that out – all one has to do is read closely and critically, as opposed to simply reading headlines. The investigators’ assumptions and inferences are easily debunked or subject to multiple interpretations. Much of the report’s vulnerabilities are buried in the footnotes, which is a common legal writing tactic.
It is a sad day for the league as it has abdicated the resolution of football-specific issues to people who don’t understand the context or culture of the sport. I was physically present for my client’s interview. I have verbatim notes of the interview. Tom made himself available for nearly an entire day and patiently answered every question. It was clear to me the investigators had limited understanding of professional football. For reasons unknown, the Wells report omitted nearly all of Tom’s testimony, most of which was critical because it would have provided this report with the context that it lacks. Mr. Wells promised back in January to share the results of this investigation publicly, so why not follow through and make public all of the information gathered and let the public draw its own conclusions? This report contains significant and tragic flaws, and it is common knowledge in the legal industry that reports like this generally are written for the benefit of the purchaser.
Basically, everyone is out to get poor Tommy Brady and no one should trust anyone. And the independent investigator is not “independent” nor does he know anything about professional football. WAAAHHHH! Even E! News pointed out that this official reaction is little more than a non-denial denial, and even Brady’s agent can’t summon the strength to officially deny Tom Brady’s knowledge of said underinflated BALLS. It also looks like Deflate-gate really earned its –gate suffix because this whole thing does have a whiff of Watergate to it – the bungled attempt to get a slight advantage, leading to epic lies and cover-ups.
Oh, and after I wrote all of this up, Tom Brady appeared at Salem State University for a previously scheduled Q&A session last night. He was asked about the Wells Report at the very beginning and he didn’t say much. I watched the moment live and I was very unimpressed. He’s such a terrible liar and instead of just saying, “My lawyer said I shouldn’t say anything” or a flat “no comment,” Brady tried to say that he hadn’t “read” the Wells Report yet so he wouldn’t comment until he did. He said: “I don’t really have any reaction, Jim. Our owner commented on it yesterday, and it’s only been 30 hours so I haven’t had much time to digest it fully. But when I do, I’ll be sure to let you know how I feel about it. And everybody else.” Brady said that the report had “absolutely not” tainted the SuperBowl win “because we earned and achieved everything that we got this year as a team, and I’m very proud of that. And our fans should be, too.”
Photos courtesy of WENN, Getty.