Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Caught emptyhanded

And now for the news that is not news, the bulletin without a bullet in its chamber.

Of course Roger Goodell upheld Roger Goodell's ruling in Tom Brady's Deflagate appeal. It was always a pointless killing of air time/waste of ink to speculate otherwise, because the guy wasn't going to reverse himself and that's all there was to that.

Of course Brady is guilty as sin in Deflagate. It was always an equally pointless killing of air time/waste of ink to speculate otherwise, because to do so was to suggest a couple of low-level functionaries decided to deflate game balls on their own hook in the most rigidly top-down structure in professional football.

Equipment guys don't just decide to monkey with game balls in the Patriot system, not without getting a hall pass from someone higher up the food chain. It's the height of absurdity to even think that's possible. And yet that's what Brady wants America, and Roger Goodell, to believe.

The proof of his guilt might not stand muster in a court of law, but the NFL isn't a court of law. And the more Brady talks, the less credible he is.

He's now claiming  the NFL actually didn't prove he did anything in that court-of-law sense, and that he destroyed the cellphone that likely had incriminating traffic between him and the aforementioned equipment guys after it was ruled he didn't have to turn it over to NFL investigators anyway.

Lord. This is Tom Brady taking his legal cues from Lance Armstrong, Tom Brady thrashing around  deep in Bill Clinton I-Did-Not-Have-Sex-With-That-Woman country. It's lying with such breathtaking arrogance you're almost compelled to believe him. You're almost compelled to think, damn, if the man's that adamant about it, he really must be as innocent as a spring lamb.

But he's not. The bare truth is, he cheated. He cheated not just for any old occasion, but for the AFC title game. He had a couple of flunkies doctor game balls, and no amount of wonkish dissembling about PSI levels and phases of the moon can change that simple reality.

Whether he had to do it or not is irrelevant, because he thought he did. Whether it had any effect on the playing of the game is irrelevant, because he thought it did. And so he did it.

To defend himself now by saying the NFL didn't definitively prove anything only makes him sound more guilty. As does saying he destroyed the cellphone only after he was assured the NFL couldn't ask him for it.

That's like claiming you're innocent of that bank heist because the judge ruled you didn't have to produce the tools with which you did the heisting. So, yay, now I don't have to retrieve them from the bottom of that lake.

The skinny is, Brady destroyed evidence when he destroyed that phone. Does an innocent man do that?

And will he fight to the bitter end to avoid the only truthful answer to that question?

Sure he will. After all, Lance did. So did Bill.

Heck of a company Tom Brady's suddenly keeping.


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