Everyone knows the background on this by now, some of the balls in the Patriots’ playoff win over the Colts last January were under-inflated/deflated. The Ted Wells Report in all its 2000+ page glory implicated Tom Brady for being complicit in this and for obstructing the investigation into who, in the Pats’ organisation, was responsible. Brady was hit with a 4 game suspension as a result of this which he and the NFLPA are appealing. Brady’s appeal is based on the fact that the punishment is too severe while the NFLPA is claiming that the suspension goes against the league’s collective bargaining agreement. The punishment was handed out by Commissioner Goodell who is also hearing the appeal and that has caused controversy as well as there is claimed to be a conflict of interest in this. Various moves have been made to change this situation, mainly by calling Goodell as a witness so that he could not adjudicate on the matter.
That’s the basic background on what’s going on, but what’s really happening today? Well in short not a great deal. The appeal is set to be heard at the NFL’s New York League office at 9:30 EST and needless to say the media are having a feeding frenzy over it all and I’ll try and keep up with what happening, or at least if a lot of fuss is being made over nothing then I’ll try to explain what’s happening during what we expect to be long silences that NFL Network (my port of call in this) and I assume other media outlets, are trying to fill…
(all times listed are EST)
9:15 BREAKING NEWS – Tom Brady has arrived at the NFL office!!! Wow, someone who was mandated to turn up at a given place at a given time has arrived at that place and at that time. Do we really need to see the footage of him getting out of a 4X4 in Park Avenue on repeat for 10 minutes solid? I don’t think we actually do.
9:33 We’ve got the footage of TB walking through a door again while we are reminded that if things are running to schedule the appeal hearing would have started 3 minutes ago.
9:35 Cut to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport outside the office who confirms that Tom Brady has entered the building and reminds us that Ted Wells will also be present.
9:38 There are people stood in the middle of New York with “Free Brady” signs? Sounds like the greater Foxboro area has become slightly saner today and has shipped some of its nutters to the Big Apple
9:40 Randy Moss (not that one) is at Gillette Stadium reporting on the fact that it’s a normal day there except for “all that administrative stuff that’s going on” and that “there’s really nothing happening here at Gillette as the team are on hiatus because it’s June” Well that was informative then.
9:41 NFL Network’s Mike Silver thinks that the Patriots will “attack the science” of the report, this is all killer and no filler for certain.
9:43 Another re-run of the “Brady enters the building” footage, they’re getting their money’s worth out of this
9:45 Oh God they’re showing it again.
9:46 And again.
9:48 NFL Network is currently on an ad break, I’m now taking bets with myself as to what the 1st thing they’ll show at the end of it will be…
9:49 Guess what it was! How many times can you show someone getting out of a car? I don’t think that will be the last time either.
9:51 Insightful journalism here, NFL Network’s legal analyst is asked what is the next step if Brady doesn’t like the result of the appeal. Short answer is nothing as this is the last step with the League. However it could go to a federal court to get the suspension overturned which would allow Brady to play while the appeal of the appeal is heard.
9:54 More adverts, none featuring TB though, but we’ve had some Peyton Manning and as we know there’s nothing he won’t advertise (“Peyton is a massive shill” is going round my head to the tune of the Nationwide jingle). Do we get the walking in footage again at the end of this break?
9:57 Back from the ads and it’s our favourite film clip of the day AGAIN
10:01 We’re warned before the latest ad break that “they are inside the building, hunkered down for a while” and “we probably won’t have any news for some time”
I’m going to continue this later on when there’s something actually happening and maybe watch something else for a little while and something that doesn’t have any scenes of someone walking into a building! Part 2 to follow later…