New England Patriots

New England Patriots to be disciplined for filming Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline: report

The NFL is expected to take disciplinary action against the New England Patriots sometime in the next two weeks after the team admitted to filming the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline in early December for an online web series, according to a report Saturday. The league’s decision is expected to come sometime this month, although it was not immediately clear when as the league has yet to receive all the security reports surrounding the Dec. 8 incident involving an employee of Kraft Sports and Entertainment, Senior NFL reporter for ESPN Adam Schefter reported, citing league sources. Details about what the punishment would behave not been revealed but, being repeat offenders, the Patriots could face a costly penalty. In Sept. 2007, New England was caught videotaping New York Jets’ coaching staff signals from an unauthorized location and, more famously, in 2015, quarterback Tom Brady was suspended four games after allegedly ordering the footballs to be deflated during the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots admitted last month that a production crew member filmed the Bengals sideline during their game against the Cleveland Browns while profiling an advanced scout for the team’s internet series “Do Your Job.” However, the organization has not strayed from the claim that the employee did not know what they were doing was against NFL rules. “The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road,” a statement released from the team at the time read. “There was no intention of using the footage for any other purpose. We understand and acknowledge that our video crew, which included independent contractors who shot the video, unknowingly violated a league policy by filming the field and sideline from the press box.” The crew member has since been suspended. Schefter reported that other teams in the past were handed hefty fines for similar offenses. Former Browns’ general manager Ray Farmer was fined $250,000 for in-game in texting in 2015 while the Atlanta Falcons lost a 5th round pick and were fined $350,000 that same year for using fake crowd noises during home games in 2013 and 2014.

Soo… the Pats got caught cheating and/or breaking NFL rules.  Gee..what a shocker….not.  Remember how they cheated in the Super Bowl of 2002 against the (then) St. Louis Rams, and won by a field goal?  It was determined afterwards that the Pats DID cheat, and some of their coaching staff was fined.  Some even fired.  But, they got to keep their Super Bowl rings, and because of such brazen deceit for which the Pats didn’t have to forfeit their win, they were emboldened to continue their shenanigans.  What IS stunning is how people like Bill Belichick and the cronies on his coaching staff continue to be employed by Bob Kraft…a man who has character deficiencies of his own.  I guess them being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the TN Titans provides a little karma-like satisfaction.    🙂

Tom Brady loses bid for new hearing in ‘Deflategate’ case

A federal appeals court has rejected Tom Brady’s attempt to get a new hearing on his “Deflategate” suspension. Brady was asking for the full 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the case. In April, a three-judge panel said that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was within his powers when he suspended the star quarterback four games for his role in a scheme to doctor the footballs used in a Jan. 18, 2015, playoff game. The decision Wednesday affirms the wide-ranging powers given to the commissioner by the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement and was a setback for organized labor groups arguing for due process in employee discipline. Brady’s remaining hope is to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Yeah…like that’s gonna happen. Tom Brady has gotta be the biggest baby to ever play in the NFL. Of course, only he knows if he actually adjusted the air in those footballs, or had someone do it for him. BUT.. When you know you’re being investigated, and you destroy your cell phone which has evidence linked to the investigation..it sure makes you look guilty. Anyway, as much as I loathe Roger Goodell… The court’s decision was the right one. Hey Tom! How about you be a man and take your suspension like one, instead of being this self-righteous, entitlement-minded, spoiled brat. Anyway, if you really want to read the rest of this article, click on the text above.

Appeals court: Tom Brady must serve ‘Deflategate’ suspension

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady must serve a four-game “Deflategate” suspension imposed by the NFL, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, overturning a lower judge and siding with the league in a battle with the players union. A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled 2-to-1 that Commissioner Roger Goodell did not deprive Brady of “fundamental fairness” with his procedural rulings. The split decision may end the legal debate over the scandal that led to months of football fans arguing over air pressure and the reputation of one of the league’s top teams. It is also likely to fuel a fresh round of debate over what role, if any, the quarterback and top NFL star played in using underinflated footballs at the AFC championship game in January 2015. The Patriots won the contest over the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7, and then won the Super Bowl. The ruling can be appealed to the full 2nd Circuit or to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it would be a steep, costly and time-consuming climb. “We are pleased the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled today that the Commissioner properly exercised his authority under the collective bargaining agreement to act in cases involving the integrity of the game,” the NFL said in a statement. “That authority has been recognized by many courts and has been expressly incorporated into every collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFLPA for the past 40 years.” The NFL Players’ Association said it was “disappointed” by the decision. “We fought Roger Goodell’s suspension of Tom Brady because we know he did not serve as a fair arbitrator and that players’ rights were violated under our collective bargaining agreement,” the players’ association said in a statement. “Our Union will carefully review the decision, consider all of our options and continue to fight for players’ rights and for the integrity of the game.” When the original decision was rendered by the NFL in July, Brady denied any wrongdoing. “I am very disappointed by the NFL’s decision to uphold the 4 game suspension against me,” he wrote on Facebook. “I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either.” In Monday’s majority opinion written by Judge Barrington D. Parker, the 2nd Circuit said its review of labor arbitration awards “is narrowly circumscribed and highly deferential — indeed, among the most deferential in the law.” “Our role is not to determine for ourselves whether Brady participated in a scheme to deflate footballs or whether the suspension imposed by the Commissioner should have been for three games or five games or none at all. Nor is it our role to second-guess the arbitrator’s procedural rulings,” the opinion said. “Our obligation is limited to determining whether the arbitration proceedings and award met the minimum legal standards established by the Labor Management Relations Act.” The 2nd Circuit said the contract between players and the NFL gave the commissioner authority that was “especially broad.” “Even if an arbitrator makes mistakes of fact or law, we may not disturb an award so long as he acted within the bounds of his bargained-for authority,” the court said. Lawyers on each side did not immediately comment. The appeals ruling follows a September decision by Manhattan Judge Richard Berman that went against the league, letting Brady skip the suspension last season. Goodell insisted the suspension was deserved.

Agreed!!  Poor Tom Brady…    🙂

Report: Patriots sent team employees to steal opponents’ play sheets

ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham published a long investigative report on Tuesday, detailing the history of the Patriots’ run-ins with the NFL when it came to bending the rules. Tracing from Spygate to Deflategate, the report looks to provide context as to why the NFL was so hell-bent on pursuing a harsh punishment for the seemingly innocuous act of playing with slightly under-inflated footballs. One of the most damning parts of the report is when Van Natta and Wickersham get confirmation from anonymous former Patriots employees that the team used to send an employee to opponents’ locker rooms to steal their play sheets. From the report: In fact, many former New England coaches and employees insist that the taping of signals wasn’t even the most effective cheating method the Patriots deployed in that era. Several of them acknowledge that during pregame warm-ups, a low-level Patriots employee would sneak into the visiting locker room and steal the play sheet, listing the first 20 or so scripted calls for the opposing team’s offense. (The practice became so notorious that some coaches put out fake play sheets for the Patriots to swipe.) Numerous former employees say the Patriots would have someone rummage through the visiting team hotel for playbooks or scouting reports. This seems considerably worse than footballs being deflated, and can perhaps explain why the NFL was so eager to punish the Patriots. You can read the entire report over at ESPN.

And if you want to hear the Pats’, lawyer approved, expected denial, click on the text above.  We certainly won’t go out of our way to publish that self-righteous propaganda.  As a long-time, loyal, St. Louis RAMS fan, I’m very well aware of the cheating that Coach Belichick and his organization have gotten away with for years.  How they stole the Superbowl from the RAMS has been well documented.  They ultimately got caught and fined.  So, that’s not sour grapes.  Unfortunately, it was a mere slapping on the wrists, and they were able to keep their Superbowl rings.  This latest so-called “Deflategate” is just the latest of many shenanigans that organization has gotten away with.  Whether or not Tom Brady orchestrated it is unknown.  We DO know he destroyed his cell phones (plural) when he found out he was the target of an investigation.  That’s worthy of SOME level of reprimand, methinks.  But, hey..  It’s water under the bridge now.  He, and his coach, are getting away with it…again.  Typical..

Patriots Owner Kraft on NFL’s Punishments: ‘I Will Accept Reluctantly and We Won’t Appeal’

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft appeared in a live press conference on Tuesday to comment on the punishments handed down from the NFL to the Patriots for its findings in Deflate-gate to announce he would not continue the rhetoric and will reluctantly accept the penalties of a $1 million fine and the loss of 2 draft picks. “I don’t want to continue the rhetoric that’s gone on for the last four months. I’m going to accept reluctantly what he has given to us and not continue this dialogue and rhetoric. And we won’t appeal. Now, I know that a lot of Patriot fans are going to be disappointed in that decision. But I hope they trust my judgment and know that I really feel at this point in time that taking this off the agenda, this is the best thing for the New England Patriots, our fans and the NFL”.

Smart move. Bob Kraft’s stock was starting to tank. And, his brazen arrogance, and defiance, of the NFL’s relatively lenient verdict was getting a justifiable backlash. I mean, c’mon.. A $1M fine to Bob Kraft is like you or I getting fined a penny. It’s nothing. The Pats are a multi-BILLION dollar organization. Anyway, this was the right decision. Bob can now decide if he wants to demand more integrity from his head coach (Bill B.) on down, or if he’ll continue to accept the kind of dishonsty in his senior staff that has a discredit to his organization, and for which his organization is well known for. Guess we’ll see…

Defiant Tom Brady vows to blitz NFL with appeal of suspension in deflategate

A defiant Tom Brady went on offense hours after the NFL sacked him with a four-game suspension for his role in “deflategate,” vowing through his agent Monday night to appeal the “ridiculous” penalty. A months-long investigation commissioned by the league found the Super Bowl MVP played a role in the intentional deflation of game balls, a move that experts say could have given Brady an advantage in the New England Patriots’ AFC championship victory over the Indianapolis Colts. On Monday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell came down hard on Brady and the Patriots, benching Brady for the first four games of the upcoming season, fining the team $1 million and docking it a first-round draft pick next year and a fourth-round pick in 2017. “There is no evidence that Tom directed footballs be set at pressures within the investigation and answered every question presented to him,” said Don Yee, Brady’s agent, who blasted the probe and suspension as “ridiculous” with “no legitimate basis.” Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who has a close relationship with Goodell, said the team will accept the discipline but complained that the punishment “far exceeded any reasonable expectation.” It is the second time in the last decade that substantiated allegations of cheating by the Patriots have put pressure on the league to punish the team. In the scandal known as “Spygate,” the Patriots were caught illegally videotaping the Jets’ defensive signals during the first game of the 2007 season. The team was fined $750,000 and docked a first-round draft pick.

What a whiney sissy la-la!! Tom Brady is smug, arrogant, snotty, elitist, spoiled brat. He got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and is incapable of just having a little humility and taking this like a man. Tom had an opportunity to just release a statement and say, “while we disagree with the decision, we will respect the NFL’s judgement”…and leave it at that. He just MIGHT have earned a few respect points. But, Noooooo…. Tom’s net worth is over $120 MILLION. And, that’s not including all the endorsements and so on.. So, it’s not like he’s going to jail, getting fired, or unable to afford his mortgage payments. But, Tom feels entitled to be the Pats QB..and entitled to play every game, regardless. What an obnoxious jerk! Tom, and his coach (Bill B.) have a LONG, and very UNdistinguished, history of cheating. And, they’ve ALWAYS gotten away with it, with but a few wrist slaps. Those of us St. Louis RAMS fans well remember how the Pats got caught cheating (and subsequently stealing) the Super Bowl away from the RAMS a decade ago. And, no.. That’s NOT sour grapes. Former RAMS QB Kurt Warner and MVP RB Marshal Faulk still hold grudges about that stolen Super Bowl. And yet, Bill B. is STILL coaching the Pats after all these years, and Tom Brady is still the QB. It speaks ill of the NFL that they both have their jobs, and ill of Bob Kraft that he continues to adamantly stand by these liars and cheats.

NFL finds Patriots employees probably deflated balls

An NFL investigation released Wednesday concluded New England Patriots employees likely deflated footballs used in the AFC Championship and that quarterback Tom Brady was “at least generally aware” of the rules violations. The NFL began investigating what’s now known as “Deflategate” after the Patriots defeated the Colts 45-7 on January 18. The Colts complained that several footballs were under-inflated and the NFL confirmed that 11 of the 12 footballs were under the limit. The investigation started as the Patriots were preparing for the Super Bowl – which they won two weeks later. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Troy Vincent, the league’s executive vice president of football operations, would review the 243-page report on attorney Ted Wells’ investigation and consider what steps to take next. “We will continue our efforts vigorously to protect the integrity of the game and promote fair play at all times,” Goodell said. The NFL requires balls to be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch, and each team is responsible for the balls it uses on offense. Footballs with less pressure can be easier to grip and catch. Some quarterbacks prefer footballs that have less air. Brady said he prefers footballs inflated to 12.5 pounds per square inch. On many occasions, Brady said he never asked for balls to be deflated outside of the rules. But the NFL report concluded “it was more than probable than not” that Jim McNally, the officials’ locker room attendant, and John Jastremski, an equipment assistant for the Patriots, were involved in “a deliberate effort to release air” from the footballs in the moments before kickoff of the AFC title game – and after they were examined by the referee. The report cites evidence that McNally took the game balls into a bathroom adjacent to the field at Gillette Stadium, and stayed there for about 100 seconds – “an amount of time sufficient to deflate thirteen footballs using a needle.” Other evidence included referee Walt Anderson’s inability to locate the previously approved footballs at the start of the game – the first time that had happened to him in 19 years. The report includes salty text messages between McNally and Jastremski – sent in October and January – that imply Brady was requesting footballs deflated below 12.5 pounds per square inch. They also imply that Brady had previously been upset with the quality of the game balls.

And Tom made no secret how he felt about the inflation issue.. So, this finding doesn’t surprise me one bit…nor should it to anyone who has been following the New England Patriots. And, c’mon.. We’re talking about Bill B.’s team. As a St. Louis RAMS fan, those of us well remember how they were busted/fined for having cheated during the RAMS/Pats superbowl 13 years ago. Former RAMS QB Kurt Warner and RB Marshal Faulk still hold very open/public grudges of how the Pats stole that game. Again, this doesn’t surprise me one bit. Methinks ol’ Bob Kraft owes everyone (the Colts, the fans, etc) an apology, the guys who did the actual deflating of the balls fired and fined…and that Tom Brady should be suspended for a few games..as a minimum. It’s WAY past time for the Pats to be held to account for their playing dirty football. And, to be honest.. They didn’t need to do that. They were gonna destroy the Colts regardless. So, this was dumb on their part.

League probing Patriots’ possible use of deflated balls

The NFL confirmed on Monday that they are investigating whether the New England Patriots used deflated balls in their blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts during Sunday’s American Football Conference championship.

What?  The Pats caught cheating again?  Nahhh…perish the thought!  The real story there is that the NFL, again, will do NOTHING about it, and the Pats will get away with it.  As a HUGE St. Louis RAMS fan, I’m WELL aware of the cheating shenanigans of Coach Bill Belichick and his staff who were fined in the 2002 Superbowl between the RAMS’ “Greatest Show on Turff,” lead by Kurt Warner, and Brady’s Pats.  Pats won by a field-goal, when the RAMS’ were favored to win by 14.  Why?  Cheating.  This isn’t sour grapes.  The Pats, and Belichick, were investigated by the NFL for that back then, and fined for cheating.  Big deal.  They were also penalized in terms of draft picks the next year.  Big deal.  There was more..but the NFL couldn’t prove it.  Its truly breathtaking that Belichick is STILL the head coach after all the fines, suspensions, and so on over the years.  Typical..  Even though I really don’t care, I think it would have been fun to see Indy and Green Bay go at it.  But, the Pats and Seattle? Yawn..  Think I’ll skip watching the Superbowl this year; probably the first time in my memory.  I know others who feel the same way.