Saturday, July 11, 2015

NFL Penalty

The longer the wait for a decision regarding Tom Brady's appeal, the more foul the air that surrounds the commissioner's office.

Brady was suspended for four games for allegedly being complicit in the deflating of footballs prior to the AFC championship game. Brady contends that he is innocent.  An "independent" consultant hired by the NFL found that Brady was more likely than not to have been aware of the activity.

The independent consultant claimed that there was scientific evidence to suggest that the balls were deflated.  This evidence has been controverted by truly "independent" agents who decided to examine the studies conducted by the hired consultant.  The science behind the determination that the balls were deflated is flawed.

In addition to the four game suspension, the Patriots have been fined a million dollars and have lost two picks in next year's draft.

The accusation of foul play occurred six months ago.  Why is this taking so much time?

As I have written previously, if Brady and the Patriots are guilty of tampering with the balls to gain an advantage then the Patriots deserve to be penalized and the four game suspension does not seem to be sufficient.  However, if there is no evidence, then there should be no penalties whatsoever.

My concern is the decision will not be based on what is the truth, but on what is now being called "the optics" i.e. how will it look.

Goodell may be concerned that if he eliminates the penalties he will be seen as a weak leader.  His record is horrible as it relates to penalizing players for offenses.  It seems that his decisions are based on notions du jour of what are appropriate penalties without any real system for determining that offense x, deserves penalty y.  

Either there is evidence that Brady knew about this and encouraged the activity, or there is no such evidence.  If there is no evidence you admit you made a mistake, and move on. If Tom Brady was complicit, then it is time for him to own it, take the heat and the penalty, and move on.

Despite his suits, coiffed mane, and "I'm in charge"demeanor, Roger Goodell is sullying the reputation of the NFL.  He should have acted four months ago on what has been called "Deflategate" and he should not be concerned with the optics.

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