Hall of Fame says suggestion of fraud is “totally baseless”

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The lawyer representing the customers suing the NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the cancellation of this year’s Hall of Fame Game believes that fraud occurred, with the powers-that-be specifically withholding information about the scuttling of the Colts-Packers game in order to keep fans on the premises of Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium for as long as possible, spending money on food and drinks and programs and souvenirs. The Hall of Fame disputes this contention.

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame regrets this year’s preseason game could not be played,” Hall of Fame V.P. of communications Pete Fierle said via email. “The focus was on the safety of players. The Hall of Fame promptly accepted responsibility and has offered to fairly compensate fans for their inconvenience. The implication that the Hall somehow defrauded fans in any way is totally baseless. Finally, I was with David Baker when he addressed both teams and can categorically deny the statement in your blog today that he used any profanity in addressing the teams or the situation.”

The last line refers to comments from Colts punter Pat McAfee, who characterized Baker’s message as, “This is gonna be a big f—-king problem.”

Still, the rest of McAfee’s message fits with the theory that information about the cancellation was kept from fans. Attorney Michael Avenatti has asked Hall of Fame president David Baker and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to keep their phones as part of an effort to preserve all electronic communications — including text messages that could prove, or disprove, the claim of fraud.

Avenatti will appear on Tuesday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio to discuss the situation. An invitation has been extended to Baker to do the same.

31 responses to “Hall of Fame says suggestion of fraud is “totally baseless”

  1. “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, due to circumstances beyond our control tonight’s game has been delayed until the vendors run out of merchandise. Or possibly longer. Thank you for your patience.”.

  2. It is what it is and the Hall of Fame and the NFL were playing shenanigans with the fans before they canceled the Hall of Fame game and there was more to it than just player safety. The Hall of Fame and the NFL must think the average fan is stupider than a fence post and that they would buy all of the tripe that was being put out by the Hall of Fame and the NFL. Caveat emptor, Let the Buyer Beware, when dealing with the HOF and the NFL and it Golden Boy, Roger Goodell.

  3. “Easiest job in the world, Dave, you just walk around patting people on the back and congratulating them. Stay jolly and keep a smile on your face even if your feet hurt. What could go wrong?”.

  4. thegreatgabbert says:
    Aug 22, 2016 7:21 PM

    “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, due to circumstances beyond our control tonight’s game has been delayed until the vendors run out of merchandise. Or possibly longer. Thank you for your patience.”.

    Made me literally LOL. Nice post!!!!

  5. “Finally, I was with David Baker when he addressed both teams…”

    Did you happen to notice what time that was and that fans were still entering the stadium and was the ‘countdown to kickoff’ clock still running when you headed down to the locker rooms?

  6. I’ve stood next to David Baker when he was Arena Commish, he is a mountain of a man.
    But I can also see him pulling this nonsense, always appeared weaselly, tough for a guy 6’9′ 300+.

  7. It was kept from fans…….., TV viewers, media, and everyone else until the last second. Duh. Rake in that money, Roger.

  8. I know this is a little off topic but if the Pro Football Hall of Fame was like the “Rock ‘n’ Roll” hall of fame they would allow baseball, basketball & hockey players in!

  9. This issue intrigues me. The NFL is up against someone who doesn’t have a reason to back down. When up against the NFL PA, there is always a wall against which the NFL can count on to provide some support ie, the players are very reluctant to give up a pay check to help another player out. Not the case here. Sure Avenatti may also be reluctant to invest too much of his own money to pursue this. But it’s not like he is charging himself $1,800/hr to represent the HoF ticket holders. So his out of pocket expenses are actually minimal. And the potential payout huge.
    Hopefully he dislikes Goodell enough to see this through. He will have certain leverage ie access to Goodell’s electronic communications, that would probably really embarrass the owners. And hopefully to the extent that all the owners agree that the best thing to do is give Goodell a severance package and settle the lawsuit out of court.
    Wow, what a beautiful ending that would be.

  10. Just have to love the Pats fans always playing the victim card in any NFL problem as if it is proof of their being scapegoats and not guilty of cheating. Sorry Pats fans, nobody is buying it. Guilty as charged.

  11. NFL knew ahead of time game was being cancelled and still let the fans come in and spend money. The most corrupt management in pro sports in America.

  12. I hope the powers that be in the NFL are reading this stuff. the fans are getting really tired of BS excuses for every time the greedy owners and the puppet (commissioner) try to squeeze the fans out of money. they want us to finance their new stadiums, threaten small market teams because they don`t make enough money for their already obscenely wealthy league and then shove the crappy NFL website full of their own propaganda down our throats and pass it off as “journalism”. i love football but i have my limits. cuban is right.

  13. In a country run by lawyers there is no such things as a baseless claim. It is about how deep are the pockets they are trying to pick and how to get some of it. The legal system in this country isn’t about justice it is about money. We all know baseless claims happen all the time but it is about how much will someone pay to make even baseless claims go away. The deeper the pockets the better the potential payday.

  14. I can never understand why an organization so rich it basically prints money is so short-sighted with PR. Say sorry and pay the people so the story goes away. Not like this bizarre field painting screw up is likely to repeat itself. They allow little stories to get big.

  15. How great would it be (and probably more likely) if Roger’s phone had texts from Bob Kraft admitting to the cheating??!!!

  16. It’s not a “totally baseless” suggestion. It may be incorrect, it may not be.

    But the suggestion that there may be fraud does at least have *some* valid basis. I mean, enough to merit investigation, at least…

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