Tom Brad destroyed his cell phone. Yeah? So?
The people want, no, need Brady to be guilty of something, anything! That way they can feel better about all those times they watched the Patriots destroy their favorite team. To those people, this was a sure sign of guilt. If he was innocent why would he destroy his cell phone?
Well last I checked this wasn't Russia so he could do whatever he wanted with his personal property. If he felt that this was what he wanted to do then he is well within his rights to do it. But that doesn't make him guilty. We live in an age where nothing is lost forever. Just like those embarrassing tweets that are captured and re-posted even though the originals were deleted, those 10,000 tweets are still out there somewhere. And wouldn't you believe it, Tom Brady told the NFL exactly where you could find them.
According to Mike Florio over at Pro Football Talk, Brady's representatives gave a list of every number that had sent or received a text from Brady's phone before it met its ultimate demise.
Pro Football Talk
But like the much longer Wells report, closer inspection of the Goodell decision undermines the primary conclusion. And, as usual, the Achilles heel can be found in a footnote.
Specifically, it can be found at footnote 11 on page 12: “After the hearing and after the submission of post-hearing briefs, Mr. Brady’s certified agents offered to provide a spreadsheet that would identify all of the individuals with whom Mr. Brady had exchanged text messages during [the relevant time] period; the agents suggested that the League could contact those individuals and request production of any relevant text messages that they retained. Aside from the fact that, under Article 46, Section 2(f) of the CBA, such information could and should have been provided long before the hearing, the approach suggested in the agents’ letter — which would require tracking down numerous individuals and seeking consent from each to retrieve from their cellphones detailed information about their text message communications during the relevant period — is simply not practical.
So lets break that down, the same league that paid Ted Wells millions of dollars to come back with a conclusion based on a hope and two text messages says that tracking down all the text messages from other people's phones isn't practical. Sure, 10,000 text messages would be a lot to sift through but I would do it for a whole hell of a lot less than the millions Ted Wells got. Roger Goodell is so hell bent on getting those text messages but when provided a way that he could go about getting them he declines it because it wasn't handed to him on silver platter. Brady was well within his rights to not turn over his personal phone. But he essentially said to the NFL that while he wasn't going to turn over his phone, the people he texted just might. So if you really want this information there's the tree you need to be barking up, not this one.
Of course this part of the story will merely be a footnote in the Deflate-Gate saga. I mean that literally, because that's how the NFL relayed this information. As a footnote. The NFL click baited us and the majority of sports fans fell for it. The click bait was so hard I'm surprised the headline over at NFL.com wasn't "Tom Brady handed his phone to his agent and what he did next made my jaw drop..."
Somehow this whole thing has turned into the NFL vs Brady with the NFL not shying away from playing dirty. Since the get go every "leaked" report has painted Brady and the Patriots in a unfavorable light. Its highly unprofessional of the league to be playing this game but they aren't getting heat from it because finally it looks like Brady and the Patriots are on the losing side of something. And the public is eating it up. But if you play with fire you are bound to get burned and the NFL's luck is due to run out.
Will their luck hold as Deflate-Gate heads into Federal Court? It's impossible to know for sure but they have never had any semblance of luck when they've been there before(0-4 when labor cases have been taken to Federal Court under Roger Goodell) and with the league putting all of their eggs into the Brady didn't cooperate with us basket they run the risk of the judge siding with Brady on not having to turn over his personal phone. If that happens then this case will be over quickly.
In the end, maybe we are just reading too much into this and Roger Goodell thinks that the text messages are literally inside the phone and now they are gone forever. I hate to say it but this could just be the most likely explanation because for someone who touts "doing things in the best interest of the league" none of the other scenarios make any sense.
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