August 23, 2015


Garoppolo's sharp game vs. Saints should soothe Patriots' worries (Sean Wagner-McGough, August 22, 2015, CBS Sports)

Garoppolo consistently and methodically completed passes, leading the Patriots on five scoring drives. By the time the game ended, Garoppolo had racked up 269 yards. He also completed 28 of 33 passes, threw one touchdown pass, and accumulated a passer rating of 98.1. Despite tossing one interception, his accuracy and comfort in the Patriots' offensive system shouldn't go unnoticed.

Garoppolo's day started with 1:50 left in the first quarter, replacing Brady, who went 2 of 5 for 13 yards. 

Roger Goodell's insistence on acting as emperor makes the NFL vulnerable to a legal smackdown (Sally Jenkins, August 21, 2015, Washington Post)
In DeflateGate there has been a weird inversion: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell set out to expose Tom Brady, and instead he has exposed himself and the entire league. It was at first baffling to watch Goodell commit such acts of overreach. It has since become merely revealing of a catastrophic arrogance. In going after Brady and the New England Patriots on such a flimsy premise as the inflation of footballs, Goodell has steadily etched out his real character and attitudes, and in doing so he has bared himself and the league to searing judicial review. [...]

What they didn't count on was a judge who refuses to accept the premise that he is supposed to shut up and rubber stamp. And who has decided to pour some sunshine on the entire process and give us a delightful lesson in the labor principles at stake. Berman's scathing questioning of the NFL in a hearing this week demonstrated that arbitration is not meant to preclude judicial review or to force an employee to surrender to the whims of power-crazed managers.

While Goodell has sweeping powers to issue player discipline under the CBA, Berman made it clear he does not have the right to willfully misstate and mislead, gin up phony investigations based on pseudo-science and then issue draconian four-game suspensions simply because he's furious Brady and the New England Patriots don't say, "All hail to the emperor."

"There has to be some basic process of fairness that needs to be followed," Berman said.

Time after time, Berman issued observations from the bench that made the NFL attorneys' shoulders curl. He called the league's lack of proof that anything was deflated in the AFC championship game "a conspicuous absence."

Perhaps most embarrassingly, he publicly busted Goodell for his irrational twisting of highly equivocal evidence into the assertion that Brady masterminded an illegal "scheme" that was on par with steroids. "A quantum leap," Berman scoffed.

Posted by at August 23, 2015 5:58 AM

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