Deflate this!

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Got to see Bill DeCoste this week at DevNation and we relived some of our Superbowl memories. Here’s some pix
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Ring ceremony was awhile ago, but I just love this picture.  The guy has 6 bleeping rings!

Deflategate is less probable and more like a maybe

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Yeah, go read “About Me”…I’m a pats season ticket holder for 21 years.  I’m biased Honestly when I first got the report I was devastated.  I had been defending the patriots on message boards for 3+ months and felt duped.  Ready to hang up my gear and sell my tickets.  But, a funny thing happened.  I am constantly driving my kids somewhere nowadays and have huge downtime with nothing to do but read or listen to the radio.  This week, with this downtime I decided to read the report in detail.

Actual data more interesting than assumptions

  • The referee was unsure of what gauge he used to test the balls prior to the game.  He is pretty sure he used the Logo Gauge (gives higher reading, good for Pats), but Wells asked him if it was possible that he used the NoLogo Gauge (lower readings, bad for Pats), he said it was.  This can be read on top of page 52.  The Wells report often does this when recollections (or even written measurements) don’t line up with their predetermined conclusions.
  • If No Logo Gauge was used pregame, 3 Patriots Balls were LEGAL and in expected PSI range as explained by Ideal Gas Law.  page 113 of the report actually states this.
  • If the Logo Gauge was used pregame, the number of legal balls increases to 7.
  • Exponent Appendix states that wetness also effects PSI of balls, but it does not state by how much.  By reading their graphs, I’m guessing the effect is around 0.2-0.3 PSI.  More balls will pass if you take this into account
  • When the Patriots balls were tested also effects the measurements as the longer the balls are in the room, their PSI rises.
  • One ball was left out of the executive summary.  The intercepted ball.  Ironically the intercepted ball was legal and within the expected PSI.  See page 70 of the main report.  So, we know for certain that one legal ball was used during the game!
  • So, anywhere from 4-8 balls were legal.  Why would McNally only deflate some of the balls?  This was the biggest red flag to me.
  • The 2nd thing to look at is how much were the balls deflated from their expected value?  There were two balls way off, almost 1 PSI, but most of the others were within 0.15-0.5 (again depending on the gauge you use).  Does Brady really care about such a miniscule amount of PSI (0.15-0.5)?
  • Only 4 Colts balls were tested because the refs ran out of time.  This leads me to believe that the refs tested the Pats balls, then pumped up them up before testing the colts balls and the colts balls were in the locker room a whole 10 minutes before they were tested.
  • One of the colts measurements was swapped because Exponent assumed it was written down wrong.  This swapping helped with their conclusion.  Only 1 Pats ball was a full 1 PSI below its expected PSI.  Why wasn’t this ball thrown out?  Why is it assumed that every Pats ball was recorded and measured correctly?  Why did Wells override Walt Andersen’s recollection of which gauge he used?

Texts are damning, but are they?

I honestly believe the balls during the AFC Championship game were not deflated. However, the text where McNally calls himself the deflator in May 2014 before the season and how he isn’t going to ESPN yet is quite disturbing and leads anybody who admits it to themselves that there has been something  fishy been going on for years.  Still, the other texts shed some doubt on this assumption.

  • Page 77 talks about texts flying around during and after the Jets game.  Its clear that Brady was really pissed about the footballs.  Its also clear that NO DEFLATION OCCURRED during this game.  Jastremski talks how he tested some of the balls after the game and that they were at 16 psi.  Why didn’t McNally deflate in Jets game?
  • Wells report continually states in footnotes that many of the texts messages were recovered and that there are possibly missing texts in the flow of these conversations.  Can’t the Pats get the actual full text exchanges from phone company?  Rich Levine of CSNSE writes an article about thisDo full texts provide additional context we don’t know about?
  • McNally’s explanation of texts is that he was talking about getting tickets sold “done”.  Wells doesn’t buy it because you can easily sell them on the exchange.  Why not Wells?  Did you know that the Pats ticket exchange requires you to sell them at face value!!?  You can risk selling them for a lot more money on Stub Hub, but if the Pats find out, they can revoke your tickets.  If you are selling them like this, it would be stressful because losing your season tix would SUCK!
  • If Brady was ordering, hinting, or suggesting that McNally and JJ deflate the balls, why did he text JJ “You did nothing wrong.”

Not Cooperating? Or just avoiding harassment?

  • Wells complains that the Pats wouldn’t let him have a follow up interview with McNally to discuss the damning texts.  What he neglects to tell you is that he did not tell the Patriots’ counsel why he wanted to talk to McNally.  Since McNally already had been interviewed 4 times, and Wells wouldn’t say why interviewing him would be so important, Pats refused.
  • There was a report that McNally offered to speak with Wells again over the phone and Wells refused
  • Brady spoke to wells for 5 hours.
  • There were mulitple reports that the NFLPA advised Brady not to turn over his phone as it would set precedence.
  • Wells already had texts from Brady to JJ and Bird.

Obvious most of media didn’t read the report

When Wells decided to do a conference call with the media, any number of these people could have dived into any number of the holes I found in 1 day reading the full report.  They all asked superficial questions with no detail which proved to me none of them read the report beyond the executive summary.  Only Mike Florio of Profootbal Talk seems to have done his homework.  This is funny because he was one of the biggest Patriots detractors in the beginning.  What pissed me off the most is that not one Boston Globe report, Boston Herald reporter, nobody on WEEI, nobody ESPN, nobody on 98.5 Sportshub ever mentions the most glaring red flag and ironic part of the report: THE INTERCEPTED BALL WAS LEGAL!

Deflategate has soured me on football

Finally, this whole mess has really soured me on football.  For those of you who don’t know, I actually went to Superbowl 49.  My first (and last) Superbowl.  It was almost ruined by Deflategate, but Bill Belichicks Mona-Lisa-Vito press conference got me pumped up again and roaring and ready to fly to Phoenix.  Now my memories are soured and tainted because I know that I cannot share the Bucket-list experience with anybody outside of New England without being called cheater.  Irregardless of whether anybody actually cheated or not.  I’m seriously considering giving up my tickets after 21 years.  This week I’ve been a miserable bastard and I need to do some serious soul searching of why this whole thing bothers me so much and why I’m so vested in it.  Its just a game afterall…

Worst fans in the league

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New England Patriots Fans Suck!

As a 20 year season ticket holder, in my experience, Pats fans are the worst fans in the league.  They leave early, they are not loud.  They boo the team with even the slightest mistake.  You even get yelled at sometimes for standing up and making noise for the Defense.  The drunken “pink hats” are often screaming Brady’s name when the Pats are on offense.  The worst culprits are the premium seat wusses who empty their seats even it is marginally cold or sprinkling a little.  Seems people are more interested in getting wasted, impressing their girlfriend, getting on the big screen, getting on TV, and/or beating the traffic instead of watching the game.  It sickens me.  The best part of going to the games is that I get to spend time with my father and sister.  Sometime in the far future when he is unable to attend games, I’ll seriously consider giving up my tickets and watch games on TV instead.

That being said, I am ashamed of myself as I am one of these shitty Pats fans.   At the end of the Saints game, we were guilty of leaving our seats after Brady threw his interception in the final 2 minutes.  As we were crossing the bridge, we saw that the Pats would get the ball back, so we ended up going to the standing-room only area in the endzone and watching the final drive on the big screen.  Was still a cool experience, but I wish we had never left our seats.  I WILL NEVER LEAVE MY SEATS AGAIN!  I PROMISE!

Media perception vs. reality

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Yesterday I read that Bill Belichick did an exclusive interview with CBS.  I first heard about the interview through  this Associated Press summary.  Reading the summary I was like “What the hell?  Belichick are you an idiot?”  From the format of the AP story, and the CBS preview, it sounded like Belichick was a bitter man not taking the high road and attacking his attacker.  I thought, damn, why the hell did the guy talk and make himself look worse?

I thought that until this morning when CBS News finally linked the whole interview on their website.  When you watch the whole interview, you see an even-keeled, forthright, sincere Belichick.  Not the raving madman portrayed in the AP summary.  Its amazing how as the media, if you want to portray somebody in a certain way, it is really really easy to take a few words from their statements to portray the image and story you want.  Facts, reality, be damned.   It is the way of things which is why I personally try to find out the facts themselves rather than reading any  one independent analysis or report.

One thing that I really pulled out of the article was that Belichick said they have video of Walsh taking video.  That he was in plain view and wearing patriots gear.  That they were being obvious and non-discrete.  That in even one video, a taped coach of another team waved to the camera.  Add this statement to the fact that stealing signals is not illegal in the NFL, and you start to get an entirely different picture of what the ESPN’s, Peter Kings, and Spectre’s of the world want you to think.

Spygate == Vaporgate

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I listened a lot to the Spygate controversy this week on the radio and TV. Yes, I’m a biased Patriots fan, but my opinion of the whole thing dramatically changed after listening to Goodell’s press conference, the Boston Herald retracting the walk-thru tape story, and John Tomase officially apologizing for printing the story. Let’s review some things I learned anew this week:

Fact #1: It is illegal to have cameras in unauthorized places. THAT’S IT! No more no less. Go re-read the rule.
Fact #2: It is NOT illegal to steal signals. Goodell said as much.

According to NFL policy, it is permissible to scout people’s coaching signals, and as you know, clubs go to great lengths to protect those.”

Fact #3: It was NOT illegal for Matt Walsh to see the walkthru or tell anybody about it. Again, re-read Goodell’s statements.

Until this week, I didn’t know Fact #2 and #3 were true. So, what the Patriots are *really* guilty of is using a camera in an un-authorized place. (They are actually allowed to use cameras in authroized places, again, go read the rules). When you put it in that perspective, how trivial is this whole thing? Pretty….

If the media hadn’t made such a big deal out of this, the Patriots would probably have lost at most a 3rd/4th round pick, about as stiff of a penalty as your Superbowl winning Broncos, who CHEATED on the salary cap, not once, but twice.

Where’s the outrage?

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It’s amazing to me the attention and outrage expressed against Bill Belichick and the Patriots for Spygate when there’s much more serious cheating going on in the NFL.  I mean, Belichick gets lynched for taping a team to figure out its tendencies.  A practice that I sincerely believe Belichick thought was a grey area in the rules.  Anyways, that’s what coaches are paid to do, analyze film to gauge a team’s tendencies.

In comparison, we have a multitude of other teams tampering with free agency.  For example, the 49er’s were recently penalized a 5th round draft pick for tampering with the Bear’s Lance Briggs in free agency.  The quality of players (or lack thereof) has a much more dramatic affect on the outcome of a game than whether or not a coach can crack an opposing team’s defensive signals.  How about the Patriot’s 2006 season?  Remember the Dion Branch fiasco when the Patriots were basically forced to trade their best receiver away at the beginning of the season?  Where was the outrage, outside of New England, when the Jets tampered with Dion Branch?  The 2006 AFC championship game against the Colts was so close one play could have changed the outcome of the game.  Ya think having Branch would have made a difference?  No, not at all  ;).

It doesn’t stop with free agency tampering.  Numerous teams have also violated the salary cap.  Those same 49ers were penalized $400000 for violating the cap in Steve Young and Brent Jone’s contracts.  The same Steve Young who lambasted Belichick and the Patriots on ESPN.  Its not just the 49ers.  The Broncos were penalized, not once, but twice for salary cap violations.  The first was in regards to John Elway’s contract.  Should the Broncos also have an asterix next to their superbowl victories?  Where was the outrage?   Spectre, where are you?  Oh, I forgot, you’re a senator from Pennsylvania, not one from Georgia or Wisconsin.

All and all, I’m fine with the Patriots getting punished by the commissioner.  What I’m not fine with is the Patriots being treated as a special case by the media and the fans.  I want to see equal outrage against other teams that violate the rules, equal press coverage.  Its only fair that fans in San Francisco, New York, and Denver experience similar humiliation and witch hunts.

I feel responsible for Pats loss

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I just found out some information that for some reason makes me feel responsible for the Patriots loss. Know who Plaxico (Giant’s wide receiver who caught game winning touchdown) Burress’s QB was in college? BILL BURKE! Yes, this is not a misprint Bill BLEEPIN Burke!!! Check out this article I found on a game Bill Burke and Plaxico played together in college.

Well, it seems Mr. Burke beat Michigan to remain undefeated at the time. Guess who was the Michigan QB? YUP, FREAKIN TOM BRADY!!!! I almost shit my pants.

Know how I found out about this?  Well, I was looking at my blog stats and found that somebody had found my site by searching “Bill Burke vs. Tom Brady”.  I was like WTF would somebody do a search like that?  Lo and behold….

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