August 31, 2015

#Brady or #Goodell: Who's the bigger #Deflategate liar?

Goodell vs. Brady: Battle of the network lying stars
As Deflategate theoretically rumbles toward resolution, here's a good Houston Chronicle column by lawyer Stephanie Stradley.

And, an exchange of emails by her on the issue, which is informative — but not so good.

Per the exchange of emails, Mara is being asked to step in to try to mediate between Goodell and Kraft. At some point, they're all going to agree that Brady gets suspended as well as fined, even if less than four games. After that, then Kraft has to tell Brady to STFU.

(Maybe Mara will bring in Paul Tagliabue, since Tagliabue has bailed out Goodell before.)

Speaking of, when you're a worse liar than Goodell in a situation, which I believe Brady is, you're pretty bad.

And, speaking of believability, Ms. Stradley, Brady's oath was to Goodell, not in a court of law. The NFL might attempt to introduce it into a court of law, but Team Brady can almost surely get it thrown out. His claims as to why he destroyed his cell phone are laughable. And thus, yes, I do think he's probably a bigger liar than Goodell on this issue.

The case matters, yes, because Goodell's arbitrary justice can't be trusted. 

So? We knew that before with Ray Rice.

And Brady can't be trusted either. Yes, Brady's camp offered Ted Wells of the Wells Report a list of all contacts on his cell phone. But, just as Richard Nixon offered Congress "excerpts" from White House tapes, there was surely a catch with the list, and that catch would have been that the list would replace the actual cell phone.

Why people who attack Goodell's credibility do so, in part, at a blanket defense of Brady's credibility, is beyond me. But, per Twitter exchanges with "The Sports Police," there are people who do that. That said, as I tweeted this person, he or she is not just anti-Goodell, which is fine and dandy, they're also a Pats homer, and so, need to be taken with a grain of salt. Or two or three. And, there's now another Tweeter, who may hate Goodell because of Adrian Peterson; he's a Vikings fan.

Ergo, this case doesn't matter as much as Stradley thinks. And as for Zach Abramowicz, her email dialogue partner, I'd like Goodell to get his comeuppance, too, but there's a LOT of better vehicles than this, starting with the concussions issue. And, per Stradley, things like that matter a lot more than Deflategate — but that lack of mattering cuts both ways. If you're a lawyer, and you see a pattern that "goes to credibility," you still take the strongest case in that pattern.

And, speaking of, though this is the first clear Brady brush with NFL justice, it's not the Patriots', of course.

(I've already Tweeted Stradley. Her first response is that Brady's oath, while given to Goodell, was eventually to be introduced into court. Given that nobody knew this case would go to court at that time — though that was already a possibility then — I think that's, if not a slim reed, a medium-weight one at best. I've Tweeted back asking her about Brady's credibility on his cell phone destruction. Stand by. If you want in, her Twitter account is here.)

I do think she's right that, no matter what Judge Berman rules, this case is't over.

Speaking of, Judge Berman has officially said no settlement, and he will rule by Friday, possibly by tomorrow.

That said, my opinion is that this is becoming the NFL equivalent of the 1970s New York Yankees eternal "love" triangle of George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson.

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