Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rose Mary Woods

When I first heard the news about Brady destroying his phone prior to the NFL appeal on June 23, I started to think about what it would have been like to have been a supporter of Nixon during the Watergate scandal.

If you are in your late 50s, 60s, or older the name Rose Mary Woods likely rings a bell.  Woods was Nixon's personal secretary. When Nixon was forced to hand over the White House tapes the White House acknowledged that there was an 18 1/2 minute gap.  Woods claimed she had inadvertently erased the segment while taking a phone call. She posed in a position by her desk to indicate how she might have inadvertently erased the tape while stretching out to take the call. The picture of that pose was on the cover of Newsweek. She looked liked a contortionist. It seemed improbable that she could have retained that awkward position for any length of time thereby erasing the tape segment by accident.

Before Nixon was forced to hand over the tapes he had resisted, claiming executive privilege.  He contended that it was necessary for national security not to turn over the tapes.

I was a beneficiary, in a small way, of Nixon's decision not to turn over the tapes as the incident was the catalyst for my very first publication.  I wrote a letter to Newsweek that was published arguing, in my 24 year old strident--I am sure of everything--manner, "If those tapes were exonerating, he'd play them on prime time and anyone with half a brain knows it."

So, when I heard on Tuesday about the cell phone, I felt a little bit like some of my Republican friends in 1974.  If Brady's cell phone was exonerating, would he destroy it?

One of my New York Jet fan buddies who is quite successful at getting my goat sent me a sweet e-mail this morning with the subject line, "Nixon and Brady".  He did not need to remind me.

But it is 48 hours later from the initial report and I have some questions.

(1) The news about upholding the suspension headlined that Brady destroyed his cell phone--as if that was the evidence that clearly supported the perspective that Brady was culpable.  Hmm. The information that Brady had destroyed the cell phone was relayed to the NFL on June 18th--five days before the hearing and about 6 weeks before the ruling this past Tuesday.  If the cell phone was the key piece of evidence, why did it take this long to render a verdict  UNLESS, that is the only thing they have to incriminate Brady.  That is, the appeal and the original decision provided no evidence that Brady had done anything.  They just extrapolated that he must have done something because he had trashed the phone. It is not an unreasonable bit of reasoning except...

(2) When I send a text, the person who receives the text has the text. I could throw my cell phone into the Atlantic Ocean, but whoever received the text would have it on her or his phone.  The NFL, I thought, has the cell phones of the ball boys who allegedly deflated the balls.  Maybe I am incorrect about this, but I have texts on my phone now that people sent to me ages ago.  I could have some from people who are dead.  My cell phone should not be crucial if someone wanted those texts.

(3) If all they have is the fact that he trashed the cell phone, they still have nothing.  With Watergate there were several other conspirators-especially John Dean the white house counsel--who attested to Nixon's culpability. Nobody but nobody has incriminated Brady.

(4) Breaking the rules regardless of the result of the infraction is reprehensible, but IF HE DID THIS, and that is a big if, is it 2 million dollars reprehensible and 1/4 of the Patriots season reprehensible, and two draft choices reprehensible?---particularly since after the balls that were allegedly deflated were inflated, Brady and the Pats went on to clobber the Colts in the second half. And then, oh yes, won the superbowl against the "invincible" Seattle Seahawks when the balls were certainly inflated appropriately.

(5) Goodell must realize that the victims here are not just the player or the team, but the fans.  All the crazies who make me look normal have their superbowl elation deflated every time this fakakta story gets more legs.

Is it possible that the commissioner still has another card to play and is trying to preserve the Pats and Brady's reputation?

I think and hope that is the case, because otherwise this guy is a bigger horse's ass than I thought he was. The house judiciary committee found a smoking gun.  Goodell better have one as well.

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