Exploring NFL’s inconsistent reactions to erroneous ESPN reports

I was occupied with other matters when the minor skirmish emerged regarding whether Tom Brady was limited to four hours in presenting his case during Tuesday’s appeal hearing. To summarize, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the four-hour limitation applied, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello promptly tweeted a contradiction, Schefter released the memo suggesting the four-hour limit, and then the case entailed 10 hours of testimony.

Despite the contents of the memo, the league’s version ended up being accurate. But that’s not the point of this blurb. The point is that: (1) ESPN reported something the NFL believed to be inaccurate; and (2) the NFL immediately responded.

So let’s go back to January 20. On that day, Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs used in the AFC title game were measured at a full two pounds under the 12.5 PSI minimum. It was a blatantly false report, but to this day many still believe it to be true.

In response, the NFL uttered not a peep, anywhere. No press release. No tweet from one of the many P.R. employees who work for the NFL. No leak to one of the many journalists who work for the NFL.

The disparity between today’s rapid-fire disagreement with Schefter’s procedural nuance and January’s silence in response to Mortensen’s critical factual assertion is stunning. And it lends credence to the belief that the NFL deliberately leaked false information in order to pin the Patriots against ropes that simply weren’t there.

If Aiello or anyone else from the NFL had responded swiftly to Mortensen’s erroneous report with the true numbers, which were measured by two significantly conflicting pressure gauges, the Patriots would have been able to shout down the readings by explaining the application of the Ideal Gas Law, the mainstream news media never would have paid serious attention to the situation, and Ted Wells never would have been called in to conduct an investigation that by all appearances was aimed at reaching a predetermined result.

The failure to rebut Mortensen’s report therefore bolsters the idea the entire episode was indeed orchestrated to catch the Patriots doing something, even if it’s still not clear what they did.

And Ted Wells investigated none of that. Even though Commissioner Roger Goodell has publicly claimed that Wells did.

Let’s be clear on this: Wells definitely didn’t investigate the leak to Mortensen. Let’s be even more clear: Someone definitely should.

116 responses to “Exploring NFL’s inconsistent reactions to erroneous ESPN reports

  1. Bravo, Mr. Florio! I truly applaud your efforts. This Deflategate is such a conspiracy that Brady’s exoneration is only a partial justice. A complete justice will be the exposure of the league office’s agenda against the Patriots.

  2. Clap. Clap.

    Now we are getting some where.

    The longer this goes on the worse the NFL looks.

    Believe what you want about what happened… and I believe nothing happened regarding the handling of footballs but a lot happened in regard to a sloppily handled sting which I believe is nothing more than revenge for the prior week and the ‘arrogance’ displayed towards Harbaugh and an interpretation of the rules regarding eligible receivers.

    In the end no matter your feelings you’ve got to admit this has been poorly handled and maybe it is time for Roger Goodell to retire and live off his ill gotten gains.

  3. “The disparity between today’s rapid-fire disagreement with Schefter’s procedural nuance and January’s silence in response to Mortensen’s critical factual assertion is stunning. And it lends credence to the belief that the NFL deliberately leaked false information in order to pin the Patriots against ropes that simply weren’t there.”

    I am still trying to wrap my mind how your first sentence (A) automatically leads to your second sentence (B). There are all kinds of reasons the NFL could have responded quickly to the first but not the second. I believe that your assertion could be correct… but to say the difference between responses lends credence to such a motive from the NFL without providing more proof is awfully thin.

    Also, your choice of language seems to indicate to me a certain relishing in the fact that Mortensen’s assertion in January was wrong. If we are going to be honest, let’s admit that many of the assertions made by football’s investigative reporters turn out to be blatantly false… including some of your own. It’s a race to grab the biggest headline, and all of you are sometimes wrong.

  4. Soon we will all be asked to believe the talking heads.

    One reports that Brady must prove he is innocent (French system, not the US); another that the footballs were deflated by several pounds(Mortensen – does ANYONE believe anything he says?) ; another that the hearing is limited to a four hour rebuttal (since when does justice have a time limit?).

    The NFL has jumped off a cliff of supposition, assumption, “more likely than not” and trial by public disclosures (leaks) not facts. Goodell has destroyed not only his own credibility, but that of the NFL. Congratulations. You have joined the NHL in self destruction.

  5. Will someone please tell me WHY the league would want to pin something on the Pats?? I just don’t buy it that there is some kind of conspiracy against them, even as unlikeable as they are.

  6. It is still difficult to believe the Wells report (which wasn’t exactly a quick read) had absolutely no reference to the leak of false information – which could only have come from NFL sources. Similarly, no reference to the dismissed NFL employee for entering illegal footballs.

    But I can understand. When you are only receiving $5 million, some corners have to be cut. Or in reality, for $5 million, I will type up anything you damn well please.

  7. “And it lends credence to the belief that the NFL deliberately leaked false information in order to pin the Patriots against ropes that simply weren’t there.”

    ______________________________________

    Very astute Florio, very astute. The Mystery Machine could use you to replace Fred.

  8. Amen is right! With any luck, Brady gets off and Rodger gets fired. If I were Rodger i sure as hell wouldn’t want this to go to federal court. I think goodell is messing with the wrong guy in this one

  9. Florio, I respect your opinion but don’t always agree. I must say you are coming off as biased and a Pats apologist. ESPN makes mistakes, BIG mistakes, and have for years to many teams/players. Where were you then? No offense… but you were silent, but now that the Patriots are involved you bring it up daily and NBC has been filtering comments to benefit NE. How can fans continue to believe your objectivity on the matter?

  10. Good luck with that. Goodell is a disturbed individual. Since he’s in charge, it results in the league acting sloppily. Erratically.

    To casual observers, he looks almost normal. To most football fans, he’s simply stupid and misguided. To those of us that know his background, his sociopathy is understandable.

    Don’t expect logical behavior from the league office for awhile.

  11. It isn’t the amount of air released, but the act that is the reason for the discipline. A significant point you consistently overlook in your defense of Brady or more specifically, your attack against the Commissioner’s Office.

  12. Not a surprised in the least the the goon squad is making up stories, but thank you for calling out the real crooks in this witch hunt. It’s like the NFL is trying to look bad….Can they really be this stupid?

  13. Mighty big mountain made out of this molehill. With Florio planting a flag on top to lead the tinfoil hat Pathetics brigade.

  14. Why did the NFL lie to ESPN regarding the true air pressure?

    Why did the NFL allow the lie to linger for months while the Patriots were buried by the media?

    Why did the NFL send a letter to the Patriots again lying about the true air pressure?

    Why did Blandino lie when he said he didn’t know about the Colts allegation before the AFC championship game?

    Answer: Because the NFL under Goodell is nothing but a bunch of liars.

    How can anyone believe anything the NFL says anymore?

  15. Well done Florio. I can think of several instances where the NFL immediately rebutted claims made by the media, but in this situation, where they’re falsely accusing a team of cheating, the NFL said NOTHING about the blatantly false “2 pounds under” report. And worse yet, even with all of the months that have passed and all of the anecdotal and scientific evidence that proves that the Patriots did NOTHING WRONG, the league STILL hasn’t said a word about it. I still can’t believe that even the most hardcore Patriots haters can’t see this for what it is. The leagues pathetic “sting” operation during the AFCCG failed miserably and, like you said, they had to somehow find that the Pats did SOMETHING wrong to avoid looking like the total idiots they are, hence the “full two pounds under regulation” Mort report. This is deja vu all over again. Just like with bountygate, Goodell totally jumped the gun, backed himself into a corner, and had too much pride and ego to admit that he was wrong. This deflatgate BS is even worse. Instead of immediately correcting the Mort report, Goodell went all in, and now he’s standing at the bottom of a fifty foot deep hole, and he keeps on digging. There’s absolutely NO WAY he can turned back now, cuz he knows that if he did, he’d surely be gone for intentionally smearing one of the leagues premier teams, not only leading up to the biggest sporting event in the U.S., but for all of these months after the SB, even in light of all of the exculpatory science and evidence. Worst commissioner EVER. What a clown. Bring back Taglibue, PLEASE!

  16. This controversy stunk from day one. It looks like the league has some serious credibility issues, starting with their relationship with ESPN.

  17. Big difference between the NFL speaking out on a rule and the NFL speaking out on an ongoing investigation. Period.

    Moreover, the leak was exactly that a leak. NOT a credible source. The Wells report was an investigation into the COLD HARD FACTS of what happened… NOT speculative information which was anonymously leaked. People need to stop taking off-the-record hearsay as facts. They need to consider the source and if the source is unnamed, then they probably should disregard it. If information about the 12 footballs underinflated 2 pounds had been actually provided by someone from the NFL speaking on record, that would be newsworthy and that would be worthy of being included in the Welles report. So, let’s stop with the witch hunt on Mortensen… someone passed him on the wrong information… or maybe it was like the game of telephone and it was the story got bigger by the the time it got to Mortenson… or Mortenson made up the 2 pounds part… doesn’t matter. All hearsay.

  18. Thank goodness for you Mr. Florio, it is refreshing that there are at least some members of the media that are only interested in finding the facts. The four letter network certainly doesn’t have any.

  19. How about Roger Goodell, Mike Kensil, Troy Vincent, and Ted Wells all turn over their cell phones and personal computers. You know, for the integrity of the game. Gotta protect that shield.

  20. Yeah, that’s right, it’s a conspiracy!

    A CONSPIRACY!

    A CONSPIRACY!

    Time to call a super hero or something.

    This is really bad. Really bad.

    Really.

    Just saying.

    Something is going on. The NFL is involved!

    Don’t be surprised if Earth’s survival hangs in the balance!

    No, wait, this is *more* serious than that; it’s about *lack of response!*

  21. Agenda against Pats. Paranoid much?? No it’s more
    likely that given the Pats previous shifty maneuvers, the league has to take extra time and focus when dealing with them.

    Quit trying to play the victim here. Kraft already conceded. Follow your leader.

  22. In the end, we forgive you fans of other teams. We know it is fun to hate and we know it is Belichick why you hate us so. But what the NFL did is really messed up. Its FIFA type corruption. Long over due that we demand better leadership at the top of the NFL. We aren’t big sponsors or cable providers, so the NFL doesn’t care what we think. It’s time that major sponsors start jumping ship. CBS and Cowboys/Patriots is the only reason we know at least 1 game is getting a shaved.

    The entire punishment should be thrown out.

  23. Let’s be even clearer than clear: This is a blog post by a journalist criticizing the reporting of other journalists and suggesting that it would be pure laziness not to do any additional reporting; yet the author of this post refuses to actually do or even volunteer to attempt to do any reporting of his own to correct this horrible injustice.

    I am not a fan of Espn, but this post is the epitome of hypocrisy.

  24. While we’re at it, anyone want to investigate the league’s handling of the Ray Rice debacle? How many pet national media voices were left with their pants down when it came out that the league clearly received the video?

  25. And the league did not inform the patriots of the true psi numbers for weeks. then, when the league finally let the patriots know the true numbers, they forbid the team from passing along the correct psi numbers to the press.
    Something is rotten in the NFL. Deflate gate seems like a concerted effort to take down the Patriots

  26. NFL headquarters has a large pecentage of former NY Jets employees. Roger Goodell and Mike Kensil came from the Jets. There are a lot more. Basically, there is nowhere else for them to go. No other team wants anything to do with people from an inept organization, so they have helped to create an inept league office. It’s pathetic and explains everything from the 1st grade level sting operation that was deflategate, the Ray Rice fiasco, and all of the other blundering.

  27. Since Goodell, in his own words last September, makes himself available to the media everyday, i would expect him to give an interview to Florio on this blatant contradiction

  28. Adam Schefter – Actual hard working reporter making an attempt at journalism & keeping ESPN’s entire bloated NFL cast afloat.

    Chris Mortensen – Errand boy for Goodell. Hasn’t been right about a single thing in years. Has apologized zero times for being wrong. Still insists he’s right when he’s obviously not.

    Ted Wells – Drinks flavored water.

  29. I believe the NFL let it hang out there because they believed the Pats had done wrongdoing (either in that game or others) and wanted to put their backs up against the wall. They were hoping Brady and co would get caught offguard and cop to it all. Then they could slap the punishment and move on.
    Once the Pats stayed somewhat firm (Brady’s less than convincing presser aside), the league became George Costanza when he told Susan’s parents he had a house on Long Island.
    We’re just about at the part where they stop at the antique shop to pick up a housewarming gift, BTW. Still some time to go in this charade!

  30. I would love to find a way to force the NFL to answer this question as well as why New England had to sign an NDA thus not allowing them to correct it. Gardi/Kensil and group were so sure they had the Patriots busted, they were like giddy school kids. They all came to the game aware of the accusations and spouted off how much trouble the Patriots were in. But once science explained everything, not a single peep in public regarding the situation. Those leaks were to cover their backsides and keep the attention on the Patriots and not on the NFL. We as customers of the NFL should demand an explanation from the NFL. The easiest way would be for mainstream media to make this a story, but they won’t because of the almighty NFL money. Typical. SMH.

  31. Florio….what’s going on with you? You are winning me back with your unbiased analysis. In this instance you may actually be the only reporter exposing the facts. Congratulations! Haters, pay attention. This is how reasonable people use facts to draw conclusions.

    Pars and Brady are innocent.

    A Packer fan.

  32. I also do not believe that the 4-letter network has ever made an effort to correct the various lies they were involved in reporting on deflate-gate. Of course there are a few people with ties to New England who have tried to get their two cents in (e.g. Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss), but even they have to be careful with what they say or else they will be shown the same door Bill Simmons was shown.

  33. FINALLY!!! Someone calling out the 4 letter network. Mort is a HACK!!!

    I still to this day do not know how the Patriots lose a million bucks and the two draft choices.

    I guess the league is trying to create a level playing field.

  34. Unbelievable! The author again goes out of his way to bash the NFL. He should just write an story that the NFL can do no right and should be dosbanded. I am so sick of hearing about the leaks. Only idiots believe any story on the news when the journalist uses an unnamed source. We all know journalists are protected from having to name their source. So Mr. Florio, if you were given information and you reported it, you would name your source?

  35. It appears none of you read the letter, ironic for all your whining about reading the Wells report or the AEI report or some bogus website. Those timelines were based on the entire meeting taking only 8 hours, including 1 hour for lunch.

  36. THIS FRANKLY is WHY the Greatest QB of ALL TIME with the HOTTEST WIFE of ALL TIME, was not going to give the NFL access to his texts and tweets with his #1 supermodel wife…..NUF SAID

  37. The NFL can point to the 10 hours and say “See, there WAS NO 4 hour limit!!!” ….. but that doesn’t change the fact that they said there was no limit, yet had issued a message before-hand that there WAS.

    All throughout this “Deflategate” debacle, the more Gooddell hs talked about “integrity”, the worse this case has made the NFL look. There has been a series of mis-information and flat out LIES that should make even the most devout anti-Patriots fan scratch there head.

    This has been an entire smoke-and-mirror fiasco which has exposed Roger Gooddell’s NFL as a complete and utter fraud.

    There WERE NO intentionally deflated footballs, there IS NO “smoking gun”. The NFL went into the AFC Championship game looking to catch the Patriots doing something that the Colts accused them of, and the league did a horrible job of setting the sting up. Then, once they bungled that, they rode that horse into the ground, paying millions of dollars for an investigation that proved NOTHING, and STILL tarnished the reputation of one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play this game, using what little mud they could manage to come up with.

    You’re a FRAUD, Roger Gooddell, and if Tom Brady gets this case in front of a real judge, the world will see that you know nothing about “integrity”.

  38. ESPN…they’re bad….

    Between inaccurate reports, taking credit for “breaking news” forcing their channel into the basic cable lineup they’re just bad….

    I read somewhere Disney is suing FiOS for their a la carte pricing option, I hope FiOS wins, I don’t want any ESPN channels myself.

  39. Not the first time ESPN has created drama for ratings sake. They manufactured that B.S. about the Saints intercepting opposing teams signal calling at a time when piling on that team was in vogue. The Pats mess starts and of course ESPN jumps into the fray with information from unnamed (meaning fictitious) sources. ESPN sucks and Goodell sucks even worse for listening to them.

  40. The NFL didn’t correct the false report because it fed into their false narrative perfectly. I mean it was like they hit the lottery when that came out. Every supposed reporter ran with that story and the witch hunt gained the steam the NFL was praying for.

  41. Couldn’t agree more…. This entire nfl office is a disgrace to even try to say it is trying to protect the integrity of the game…this has been a witch hunt from day 1….
    Roger & his ex- jets staff must go!!! Most corrupt & incompitant organization in all of proffesional sports!!!

  42. First off, I’ve never commented on any article here. I do very much enjoy reading all of the responses from other readers. I wanted to applaud you on bringing up a great point in this article. But why bury it as opposed to it being on the front page?

  43. Once again Pft’s’ logic is stunningly inaccurate, and the answer to your question is right in your analysis. The dullards which make up the leadership of the nfl are incapable of moving “swiftly” on anything for which there is not already a procedure in place. Yes I believe the certainly are trying to railroad the PAtriots and Brady but they are merely taking advantage of a situation not orchestrating it.

  44. The only way to air this out is for another “big” respected media outlet to flush ths out “woodward and bernstein style”. I would love to see it but its never gonna happen. So Goodell and the NFL will continue to manipulate the media with its “leaks” and misinformation.

    Well Florio is NBC up to it?

    The Patriots as an organization have had no recourse . But does it come out if Brady sues for defamation in court?

  45. The problem with Wells investigating the leaks is if he was truly independent, he would actually uncovered wrong doing by the NFL. That would have taken time away from going into great detail how Walt Anderson is fine church going man who adopts rescued kittens in his spare time.

  46. It wasn’t just the “11 of 12” story. It was the story about McNally “sneaking” into “another area of the stadium” not covered by the security cameras. Of course, it was just the bathroom, but they left that out. Then there was the story about how McNally tried to sneak a non-approved ball into the game, which also turned out to be untrue. Every time the deflated-football story started to lose steam, another anonymous leak came out implicating the Pats. The media frenzy was at an all-time high. The story trended on Twitter for a week straight. No one from the Patriots could go anywhere in public without having microphones shoved in their face. No one could talk about the Super Bowl without having to discuss this issue.

    This QB, and this team, was trying to get ready for the biggest game of the season. The game, and little else, should have been their primary focus. The commissioner could have helped with that, by correcting the leaks, or ordering others to do so, by investigating the leaks, or ordering others to do so, by speaking to the public and the media, reminding them that we have a game to get ready for. Instead, he did nothing.

    NOTHING.

  47. .
    The post didn’t call for anyone’s head. It only asked for legitimate answers to legitimate and relevant questions .

    How did Mortenson and Kravitz have the game ball weights immediately after the game? Why did Blandino write a letter to Kraft in the days following stating that the weights were, in fact correct? Why did the NFL allow the NFL Network and league website to report the incorrect weights for 64 days knowing other media outlets would view the league information as reliable?

    Even if you loathe the Patriots, you would not be harmed by hearing an explanation.
    .

  48. wideright91 says:
    Jun 23, 2015 11:55 PM
    Will someone please tell me WHY the league would want to pin something on the Pats?? I just don’t buy it that there is some kind of conspiracy against them, even as unlikeable as they are.

    Because the NFL wants, more than just about anything, parity. They want every teams fan base to think their team has a shot at the Super Bowl every year. And over the past 15 years, in spite of all the scheduling and draft and salary cap rules designed to impart parity, there has been anything but parity in the AFC East and pretty much throughout the AFC.

  49. Time for the media to start going after these corrupt owners for keeping this corrupt scumbag as the commissioner.

    This guy is a narcissistic compulsive liar. Hes incompetent, lacks any integrity or ethics, is the most unintelligent commissioner ever in the history of sports.

    This guy needs to be locked up and so do these corrupt owners for keeping this idiot as commissioner

  50. whitetrash69 said: ‘Florio, I respect your opinion but don’t always agree. I must say you are coming off as biased and a Pats apologist.”

    On the contrary, I think he is coming off as a person with engineering degrees from Carnegie Mellon U who can see through the sham “science” of the Wells Report.

  51. I must say…after reading the responses to this it can’t be any more obvious that Patriot Hater is without a doubt one of the biggest crybabies on any Internet message board anywhere.

    Tee her. Eat it you wussies! 🙂

  52. Mr. Florio, you should be put on espn, Fox Sports, CBS and the NFL Network releasing your statement for the entire country to hear because it you are 100% correct!

  53. And this ain’t over no matter how much Goodell wants to wiggle out of it.

    The stench coming from the NFL HQ needs to be eradicated and a nice defamation suit by Tom or J&M ought to do the trick. These people need to be brought down a few pegs.

  54. The dead fish stinks from the head down. It was all a bunch of overblown media hype to try to dethrone the Pats before the Superbowl. I will never believe it was anything more than a witch hunt. You haters can spew all your trash but in reality if it was your team then your response would be much different I bet.

  55. chawk12thman says:
    Jun 24, 2015 12:25 AM

    It isn’t the amount of air released, but the act that is the reason for the discipline. A significant point you consistently overlook in your defense of Brady or more specifically, your attack against the Commissioner’s Office.

    oooooooooooo

    Here’s the thing though – It is the amount of air in the balls. If the psi levels can be rationally explained, through the Ideal Gas Law (P=nT) how can one reasonably conclude that anyone on the Patriots staff deflated a football? You can’t. It is not logical to reach a conclusion of nefarious deeds.

  56. Clearly it was a sting operation. Can’t wait for the court case when all the NFL lies are pointed out in the case. Start with Blandino claiming that he had no knowledge of any ball tampering complaints before the AFCCG. League officials stink so bad it isn’t even funny.

  57. lemmetalkwouldya, if I could have given you 1000 likes, I would have. Perfectly said!

    And Florio, thank you for finally bringing this to the forefront. The number of people who still cling to the initial report is appalling.

    Sounds like grounds for a major lawsuit to me. Go Team Brady!

  58. It is really hard to like the NFL and ESPN now after all this crap has happened. With Goodells ‘integrity’ talk is becoming more hard to believe and ESPN giving that false report which technically started all of this worh social media taking a major affect with it. Wells report is also hard to believe with A LOT of people questioning it from regular fans all the way to AEI. And people can say what they want but they would be making a big deal crying and bitching or whatever they say Pats fans do amd they would do it to defending their team if they were in the situation. I honestly want Brady to be innocent though and I rather wait and see what the evidence says before jumping to some dumb as conclusion, that is all I got to say

  59. There wasn’t a limit. There was a plan for the meeting to go 7 out of 8 hours and allow Brady’s side to use the majority of that time. Once again, the homers are throwing up whatever claims they can.

  60. Interesting and appropriate that the tide is now starting to turn. The Patriots and Brady are not seen to be as culpable or even capable of unnatural football deflation to gain a competitive advantage as originally thought. Of course, they have already been tar and feathered so that indignity is intractable. Hopefully the courts will sort out the rest.
    Seems to me however, that there are two stories that are being swept under the astroturf and are deserving of full exposure. The first is the complicit role of the media in all this. This business of hiding behind “unnamed sources” and rationalized by “24/7 news cycles” is a sham. Journalists have to fess up and admit that their financial compensation is now tied to a different metric, ie the number of internet clicks and that their articles reflect that. Do an expose. Tell us what that means  and the lengths you writers go to get those clicks. Be honest with us and stop treating us as the meal ticket saps we have become.
    The second story out there is the role the 32 owners have played in all this. Other than Kraft, we have heard almost nothing from the rest. Yet they have been immensely impacted but not sullied by all this. Why not? Are they sacrosanct? I’d bet that someone like you Mr. Florio, have the contacts, credentials, security badges and other required where-with-all to be able to publish an enlightening book or series. Or do we have to wait for something from Sally Jenkins to come out, to read the truth about the role these shadowy figures play in all this?

  61. wideright91 says: Jun 23, 2015 11:55 PM

    Will someone please tell me WHY the league would want to pin something on the Pats?? I just don’t buy it that there is some kind of conspiracy against them, even as unlikeable as they are.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Why is this hard to believe that it could be a conspiracy? Goodell, who faces waning popularity and in an effort to save face, has a chance for a seemingly open/shut case against an already despised franchise. Leak a few pieces of misinformation in already the biggest week in the NFL leading up to the Superbowl and the news travels like wildfire.

    Seems obvious, give false information to the Pats in the hopes they cough up a confession or a half truth, and the sensationalized news media runs with it.

    A few things also contributed to this failed sting attempt. Goodell’s perceived unwillingness to punish Kraft for any infraction he was caught for, the Colts notifying the NFL prior to the AFCCG, and Brady’s ‘Study the rulebook’ comment. To the NFL, everyone wins – Goodell for slamming those cheating Patriots, the Pats admit a half-truth and are condemned in the media (Spygate 2.0) and since its a huge news week, everyone goes crazy.

    Fact is, none of this would even be a story if the Pats lost the Superbowl.

  62. The other amazing thing about the faulty Mort report on PSI? That Mort has never bothered to correct or apologize for this bad information. He actually made things worse by remaining silent when Ian Rapoport released contradictory information the day before the Superbowl. The audience for the most part ignored Rapoport and stayed with what Mort had said. This is egg on Mort’s face and he has done nothing to clear it up. Why?

  63. In response to why the League would do this..

    After the Ray Rice fiasco, it would be a perfect thing for the league’s biggest star to be punished for something, to prove they don’t play favorites. It is also a nice little rules violation, nothing sticky like domestic violence.

    I truly think Goddell intended on this going away more quickly – leak out the damaging info, Brady does a mea culpa, League punishes, and we all move past it relatively quickly, with the league being able to reference it in the future to show they don’t mind punishing the top stars.

  64. The dead fish stinks from the head down.

    But Kraft took his punishment, so now it’s time for Tom to take his. If anything, you should be complaining about the middle of the fish, who threw his QB under the bus in order to save himself.

  65. A nice story presenting good facts but Patriot haters refuse to listen to anything and just want to assume guilt because their team can’t beat them. Here is a fact for some haters to comment on. By testifying under oath, Brady sends a powerful message that he’s willing to risk criminal charges to prove that he is innocent of the allegations.
    Why would he do this if they can prove he lied, he could end up in prison which is much worse than being suspended for 4 games?

  66. Just want to say Florio, I have given you a lot of grief in the past, but you have been the number one national media guy on this story, asking the questions everyone else (most egregiously ESPN) has ignored. Well done.

  67. So, Mr. Florio you’re saying that the NFL has an agenda against the Patriots?

    I am grudgingly starting to believe you. I always thought something fishy was going on and that the Patriots had done something, but now with all the conflicting reports I’ve really changed my mind and now think that the Patriots may not have done anything at all…IMO.

  68. Thank you Mr. FLorio, Mortenson has skated on this and he is one of the main culprits in building this up. Obviously someone within the NFL lied to him, or he made it up, at any rate the report was completely wrong and he has never come out to acknowledge that in any way…

  69. wideright91 says:
    Jun 23, 2015 11:55 PM
    Will someone please tell me WHY the league would want to pin something on the Pats?? I just don’t buy it that there is some kind of conspiracy against them, even as unlikeable as they are.

    ——

    Because the league’s front office is filled with former Jets players who hate the Pats and because of Goodell’s incompetence…he was hoping the deflategate scandal would take the focus off of the terrible year he was having, which it did. Also, Goodell and the other good people in the front office are creatures who live and die by public opinion and thanks to Kravitz and Mortenson and a host of others, the Patriots were tried and found guilty by the misinformed public. There are still people out there who ask about how the balls could have been 2 psi under and you can tell them that’s not true until you turn blue and they don’t believe it. We, Pats fans, continually ask people like you the following questions: Why did the league give the Chargers a $20000 fine for failing to turn over the towels they were accused of putting stickum on? No suspensions, no draft picks lost, no million dollars fine? How come the league’s response to the Panthers heating balls on the sideline this past season (breaking the same rule that the Pats were accused of breaking) with a memo….that’s it. I could go on. You ask why the league would do this to it’s premier franchise and I say….because they are a bunch of incompetent, petty, backstabbers. I refer you the the Boomer Esaison quote about deflategate. He said this is the way the league operates.

  70. I’m so sick of this!! We now know the Patriots did nothing wrong based on multiple studies done at multiple labs across the country by actually unbiased people. We know Ted Wells has worked for the NFL before and it was in his interest to create the findings that he put in his report even if the holes are as obvious as they are. The fact that the media is not reporting on all of this with as much or more intensity than they reported on the footballs in the first place is atrocious and kinda scary. Not only that but the fact that the NFL has not issued a public apology and removed all punishments from the Patriots and from Tom Brady is so shady and just bad business. Goodell is just incompetent at this point and everyone can see it yet nobody does anything about it. Anyways, here’s hoping somehow the NFL does the right thing and removes all penalties against the Pats and never hires Ted Wells again to do their dirty work

  71. THIS IS SOOO PAINFULLY OBVIOUS. Forget the ball boys and the locker room attendants. Look at MIKE KENSIL for creating this fiasco. The press should be at his door….hounding him about creating this fiasco out of nothing…and costing us all time and money… His father Jim worked for the Jets starting in 1961 and was the President of the Jets before going to work at the NFL for Rozelle. Then Mike was Director of Operations fort the Jets until 2006 before he went to work for the NFL. You don’t think this guy has a dartboard in his man cave with Brady, BB and Kraft on it…surrounded by Jets memorabilia from days gone by when they actually won something? Kensil was at the Jets when BB stiff armed them on the coaching job and he has watched that franchise make mistake after mistake while the Pats continue to win. This guy is more frustrated than you can imagine and he created this issue. It is a VENDETTA pure and simple…time to get Kensil’s phone and email to see what he said to Harbaugh and Pagano…do you blame Brady for not giving up his phone when this guy is leaking misinformation from the NFL office. He needs to be gone…he must have photos of Roger Dodger with a sheep to still have his job….

  72. The point in regards to the Mortensen report isn’t that the NFL didn’t respond quickly to the fact that his report was wrong.It’s that they didn’t over a 4 month span. Can understand maybe reviewing things but to let the public think the balls were 2.0 PSI under when in fact they were nowhere near that is what riled everyone up.

    The 2.0PSI false information led to ESPN and other shows asking QB”s if they could feel difference in a ball being 2.0 pounds under. ESPN was doing live tests with Mark Brunell gripping and throwing footballs asking if he could tell the difference between a 12.5 PSI ball and a 10.5 ball. Which he said he 100% could, thus setting off fans & media going “yep, there is a difference”. I wonder what Brunell says if they threw him a ball that was say at 12.30 or 11.85 like a couple balls were measured at? bet he isn’t so quick to notice that slight change.

  73. LOL…”Forget the ball boys and the locker room attendants”…yeah, if you throw out all the evidence, there’s no evidence! It’s Miller Time!

  74. fanofschill says:
    Jun 24, 2015 11:37 AM

    The point in regards to the Mortensen report isn’t that the NFL didn’t respond quickly to the fact that his report was wrong.It’s that they didn’t over a 4 month span. Can understand maybe reviewing things but to let the public think the balls were 2.0 PSI under when in fact they were nowhere near that is what riled everyone up.

    The 2.0PSI false information led to ESPN and other shows asking QB”s if they could feel difference in a ball being 2.0 pounds under. ESPN was doing live tests with Mark Brunell gripping and throwing footballs asking if he could tell the difference between a 12.5 PSI ball and a 10.5 ball. Which he said he 100% could, thus setting off fans & media going “yep, there is a difference”. I wonder what Brunell says if they threw him a ball that was say at 12.30 or 11.85 like a couple balls were measured at? bet he isn’t so quick to notice that slight change.

    ————-

    This is such a good point. The Brunell outrage was a really big deal at the time too.

    Turns out it was based on the false information that was obviously known to the NFL to be false from the beginning. Instead of doing something about it they let the media have a field day and were happy to make the Patriots sweat. It certainly feels like they released the false information purposely which is a pretty common practice in sting investigations. They stirred the pot and they were waiting for people to come forward to them.

    In any case they seem to be able to control leaks when they want to, and they don’t seem to care how the media got that information, the fact it was wrong and the negative impact on the Patriots.

  75. I’ll admit, before reading this story (and the linked story about the actual measurements) as a fan I was completely unaware that there was any disagreement about the scope of the situation, and that a very sketchy ESPN report established an unquestioned baseline for the whole investigation, some pretty serious penalties, and damage to Tom Brady (not that I worry about him) and the Patriots franchise. Some of the damage is reversable, some permanent. All apparently based on an ESPN infotainment segment.

  76. So 11 of 12 Patriots footballs used in the AFC title game were NOT measured at ***a full two pounds*** under the 12.5 PSI minimum.

    But 12 of 12 Patriots footballs used in the AFC title game ***were in fact under the 12.5 PSI minimum***.

    But let’s not report that.

  77. Well one ball WAS at 2 PSI under. And the tarnished boy could have selected that one to use most of the game. Moreover he could have been doing it this way for many years.

  78. “But 12 of 12 Patriots footballs used in the AFC title game ***were in fact under the 12.5 PSI minimum***. ”

    Are you having an argument with the Ideal Gas Law?

    I don’t know what your point is supposed to be. It’s not the Patriots’ job to keep their footballs inflated to 12.5 psi on a cold day. Indeed, when the Vikings and Panthers tried to keep their footballs warm on a cold day, they were told to stop doing that.

    The “minimum” only applies to when the referee inspects the footballs before the game. This notion that having footballs below the minimum _during the game_ constitutes rule-breaking simply isn’t found anywhere in the rules. But clearly it’s what Mike Kensil and his stooges thought on 1/18, since none of them understands science.

    Tampering with footballs is against the rules. Using cold footballs that have lost air pressure because of cold weather is not only _not_ against the rules, it’s _required_ by the rules.

  79. The Mortensen story is the smoking gun that proves decisively that this entire operation was a sting from the start. From the beginning, the NFL was intent on smearing the Patriots and didn’t care what the actual ball pressures were. And when they found out that the pressures weren’t low enough to be beyond the range of the Ideal Gas Law, they spread a false story dropping them another 1 psi in order to make sure that no scientific rebuttals would be out there.

    And it worked. Back when the public was caring about this issue, the atmosphere was poisoned by a lie planted in the media.

    This would be a slam-dunk, textbook defamation case if we knew Mortensen’s source. The damage to the reputations of the Patriots and of Tom Brady is easily seen. The NFL may have a defense against a defamation charge when it comes to the Wells report: they felt that they were doing due diligence investigating a claim of wrongdoing. No such defense applies to the lies spread via the leak to Mortensen. And the fact that the NFL let the false story sit there for months, didn’t tell the Patriots the truth for months, and then only did so with the admonition that the _Patriots_ keep the secret, all points to the fact that the main point here was to smear the Patriots’ reputation.

  80. “We all know journalists are protected from having to name their source. ”

    Strictly speaking, that’s not true. Journalists often claim it’s true, and it certainly can be a noble attitude to take in some cases, but it’s certainly inappropriate to grant anonymity to somebody solely to let said person tell lies to defame another person’s character.

    The purpose of anonymous journalism isn’t to provide a way to avoid the penalties of slander laws.

    The appropriate thing for Mortensen to do here is to burn his source. Send out the message that using a journalist to spread lies is behavior that will not be tolerated.

    No, I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance of this happening. But it’s the right thing to do.

  81. All the firestorm over something that’s almost ,but not quite, as bad as too much pine tar on a bat……How great would the NFL’s world be if this was actually the biggest problem on the radar?

  82. “How great would the NFL’s world be if this was actually the biggest problem on the radar?”

    This is the biggest story because the league office wanted it to be the biggest story. They could have cleared the Patriots in January. But Goodell needed a distraction. So instead of everybody jumping on him, he’s got half the public jumping on the Pats instead.

  83. Seriously, I hope the FBI gets involved in investigating the NFL League Office, for the actions of the personnel seem to border on criminal.

    If refs are over-inflating balls to 16 PSI when 13.5 is supposed to be the maximum and the refs are not even issued reliable gauges, how can any fan know that the game is on the up and up? I mean, suppose the refs are betting on the games, like the NBA ref years ago? Just over inflate the footballs and bang, instant advantage to the opposing team.

    The NFL paid $5 million to Wells and this outrageous anomaly was never investigated??

  84. Florio, given how much crap I give you I owe you kudos for the above thread. I don’t know how I missed it.

    Now help us out. If you can’t tell us who leaked you can at least put pressure on the NFL and Wells to tell the truth and shame the devil by coming clean on who leaked to Kravitz, Mortensen, and and others early in deflategate /framegate when it appears the fix was in.

  85. The reason the NFL has not come clean is because the real facts do not help their case. If they did they would have been public a long time ago.

    Wells wasn’t an investigator, he was a litigator who put in his brief only the story that made his client look good, with all the embellishments and distortions one sees in any civil brief.

    Normally, distorted briefs can be contradicted by the opposition in their brief, and both are filed with an independent court that is not too biased.

    What is different here is that the Brady and the Patriots were not allowed any discovery, any ability to cross examine witnesses against them, and the initial investigator, was also the prosecutor, the judge, and the executioner.

    Why is anyone surprised that the NFL has been lying? it is obvious. Alas, many fans find it hard to accept the Patriots don’t get special treatment from the NFL never mind the fact that they got a screw job.

  86. Time for the commissioner to be relieved of his duties permanently. That in fact should have been done after the Ray Rice debacle. Brady is being targeted to deflect all the other league’s terrible publicity from the criminal behavior of other athletes in the league. How fair is that BS. Not at all.

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