AN INSIDE LOOK - Commentary and opinions on local politics and life in general in Southeastern Massachusetts! Featuring the writings of Bill Gouveia, newspaper columnist for the Sun Chronicle and local cable TV talk show host. Feel free to read, comment and enjoy!
Friday, May 15, 2015
Wells Report Ignores NFL's Problems
This column originally appeared in The Sun Chronicle on Friday, May 15, 2015.
AN INSIDE LOOK
By Bill Gouveia
you were looking for someone to fill the position of “New England Patriot
Yahoo”, I have all the qualifications.
have been a season ticketholder for more than four decades and travel to one or
two away games every year.I own
multiple Patriot jerseys, t-shirts, hats and other over-priced
merchandise.My first-ever Pats game was
at Fenway Park.I raised my children to be
diehard Pats fans, and my three-year-old granddaughter in Delaware knows who
Rob Ninkovich is.
when it comes to DeflateGate, it is difficult for me to be objective and
impartial – and even harder for others to view me that way.I have a vested interest in this
franchise.A considerable portion of my
life has been spent rooting for them.
that does not render my opinion unworthy of expression, or make me a shill for
my team.I have been a Red Sox fan for
even longer.Criticizing my hometown
organization comes naturally.
as I have sifted through this stupid situation, I understand the Patriots as an
organization have some culpability here.And yes, I believe most other teams in the NFL often do similar types of
things.But that doesn’t make it right,
and even if it was just one equipment person breaking a rule – if you get
caught, you get punished.
suspending Tom Brady for four games based on this pile of
Brady suddenly confesses that he ordered the Code Red (my favorite Jack
Nicholson moment), the NFL just continues to demonstrate it doesn’t know how to
do much of anything besides make money.
actually read the Wells Report.I’m a bit
embarrassed to admit it, and wouldn’t want to be tested on it.After re-reading the parts that contained the
allegedly incriminating information, I have to confess I am thoroughly
the NFL, that is.Their position on this
matter is so hopelessly compromised that even a great attorney like Ted Wells
can’t create a report making it look like they handled things fairly and
the record, I believe some Patriot personnel deflated the footballs.I believe the two Mensa members who sent the
offending texts tried to get the balls to Tom Brady’s liking, and in doing so
took out too much air.I think they
broke the rules, and I believe they and the Patriots organization deserve
the largest fine in the history of the league and a number one draft pick?Plus you lose your quarterback for 25% of the
regular season?That’s insane.Did they kick Roger Goodell’s dog along the
spare me this “integrity of the game” crap.The NFL allows quarterbacks to beat the balls half to death, cook them
in Easy Bake Ovens (do they still make those?), and scour them like dirty
dishes.But going a fraction below the
air pressure limit is somehow damaging the integrity of a league that won’t
even pay to care for players with brain damage as a result of participation in
this sport over the years?Integrity?Right.
know this is not a court of law.I know
the burden of proof is lower, the standard different.But read this entire report and show me where
it even mostly proves Tom Brady knew balls were being deflated illegally.I dare you.And don’t give me supposition, opinion, or fantasy.Give me facts.
NFL referees lost possession of these footballs in a championship game after
being advised of a potential problem.They can’t remember how they checked the air pressure.Those are facts.Now to cover up how badly they performed, Tom
Brady is being made the scapegoat.There
should be an investigation of the NFL.
Wells acknowledged his report cost millions of dollars.Hint to the NFL – a $7.50 padlock for the
room holding the balls could have saved a whole lot of money.
label me a Patriot Yahoo if you like.I’ve
been called worse.There’s no doubt I am
not totally objective.But I know
bull-you-know-what when I smell it.
the stench emanating from the league offices and the Wells Report makes that
commodity much easier to find than the NFL’s alleged “integrity”.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and
a 44-year Patriots season ticketholder.He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at