Thursday, August 20, 2015

Meanwhile, in Deflationland ...

This just in from the continuing mission of the U.S.S. Deflategate, aka No, Not More Deflategate, aka My Legal Brief Is Briefer Than Your Legal Brief:

There is nothing, really, that's just in.

In our latest episode, the judge whose misfortune it is to hear this mess, Richard M. Berman of the U.S. district court, has ordered Tom Brady and Roger Goodell to settle this thing, or appear in court again on Aug. 31 for (presumably) another tongue lashing. He also said he might issue a ruling by Sept. 4, but don't be surprised if he doesn't.

So, in essence, nothin's happenin', except perhaps talks between Brady's lawyers and Goodell's lawyers about how to resolve this thing without either side losing too much face. The guess now is  Brady either will squirm off the hook entirely, or get his sentence reduced to perhaps one game if he agrees to admit, at the very least, that he wasn't completely cooperative with what's now widely acknowledged as a flawed investigation.

In other words: Brady likely oversaw the monkeying around with game balls -- as I've said before, it's absurd to think otherwise -- but the NFL dropped the ball. And not because it was trying to "get" Tom Brady and the Patriots, which is also an absurd notion because it presumes Goodell would deliberately go out of his way to smear one of his league's brightest stars and its signal franchise.

No one outside New England believes that. Of course, there are a lot of things about the Patriots no one outside New England believes.

No, the NFL muffed this because muffing things is what Goodell's NFL tends to do. And now Brady's likely going to skate, because the judge in this case seems to have less patience for the league than he does with Brady's people. And he doesn't have a whole lot of patience with the latter.

In any event, Brady and the Patriots can expect to see a lot of fans wearing these on their heads this fall, and to hear long, mournful chants of "Cheeee-ter, cheeee-ter" coming out of the stands. Because no matter what the judge rules, the court of public opinion has made its ruling, and the court of public opinion always wins in these things.


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