So I was reading an article today from a well respected lawyer in Houston who wrote in response to the Peter King article Monday about how the NFL should return the draft picks from the Deflategate punishment to the Patriots. http://www.stradleylaw.com/patriots-draft-picks/ That's the article if you're interested. It's incredibly well written and formed. Easy to follow and hits home on nearly every point. While I agree with both her an Peter King's standpoint (that they should be given the picks back, but won't), I find the real gold to be in one of her replies to comments. Stradley takes the time to reply to most all comments on her blog... which I find amazing in and of itself. Thing is, I could regurgitate everything as to why I feel that she is right, but you'll see it should you choose to read the article. Here's what one of the comments said, that I found particularly powerful: Q: "At the risk of stating the obvious and re-hashing old ground, I think it's clear that this exercise was planned and designed to end in a guilty verdict right from the start. NFL declares that the found evidence of cheating on Sunday. By Monday it's obvious that nobody in the NFL FO understands gas laws. A fair response would be to admit there is no evidence and withdraw accusations. A fair response would get Mike Kensil, Troy Vincent, and possibly even Roger Goodell fired. The entire exercise reeks of "Wag the Dog" behavior. A commissioner with record low approval ratings points the majority of NFL fans at the Patriots and says "Hate them instead! They cheated again!" A year later there's only so much we can do in terms of damage control. Thanks for writing this - it's much more effective than Peter King. Sadly the mainstream media writers are simply unwilling to address the fact that the text messages here really do not constitute a meaningful amount of evidence, not when weighed against the scientific evidence. And the text message saying that the footballs should be at 13 psi. And Brady's testimony under oath. Etc." A: "1. I don't think of organizations as monoliths. There are people of varying ablities, all trying to do their job the best they can within their own abilities without getting fired or yelled at too much. I hate to second guess this stuff because I know how difficult it is during a public controversy to figure out what is what. The "fog of war" is a real thing but not just during war. It may be further complicated by Roger Goodell's reported leadership temperament. He is reputed to be attentive to his bosses but very angry and demanding in dealing with underlings. That leadership style, if true, has a tendency for people being afraid to tell the truth or do things they think the boss won't like, even if it is the right thing to do. I know I keep going back to process. Process issues aren't interesting to people. But when you have a bad process, it doesn't matter how well intentioned people are, there aren't the sort of checks that stop a bad result from happening. In this case, if you have a process where it is impossible to prove your innocence, well then, you are going to punish people based on poor to no evidence. I would love to know more about Mike Kensil's involvement with this situation, specifically regarding leaks. NFL personnel are not supposed to leak information. I doubt we ever get a good explanation of the internal failures of how Deflategate was handled. Goodell said it would be covered by the Wells Report, but not really. We got more than we thought we would when Judge Berman opened up the arbitration records. 2. I do not think my writing is more effective than Peter King's. He has much greater reach and more influence. He is also writing as a generalist, which is very difficult to do. And he wrote his piece to an audience that is very skeptical to this subject. His argument is basically, okay there's all this blurgh out there that people debate about. Even if you believe all that blurgh, it is unconscionable that the NFL had the ability to know what happens to ball pressure in cold weather in practical terms and chose not to measure that or share that information. How can you punish a team for something that may not have happened? It is consistent with his earlier argument that the science evidence was poor, so why not postpone punishment until you have better information? And I'm glad he raised that issue. Because pretty much most people are acting like punishing teams/fans/players this severely based on no or poor evidence is a totally normal thing to do. And likely people are acting that way because they know Roger Goodell will do nothing about it. I wrote my piece because I thought he raised good points but that I had a more specialized background to construct a better argument for his point of view. I don't think my point of view is easily debateable, and if someone debated me on it in a fair setting, they would lose. I specialize in writing common sense things that are aren't commonly articulated but are difficult to argue with. Mostly because I enjoy finding common understandings between people who disagree on things. I also think that the fan dynamic works against fanbases who think they were hosed. It is difficult to even raise Deflategate issues on social media because the anger is so bad, and so overwhelming, that some journos would prefer not to mess with the subject. They don't want to write about lawyer bleeblah stuff and go through lots of documents. That, isn't a fact, just a theory." Good stuff. If you don't enjoy legal things, probably not an article or comments section for you. But I do, and the legality of things is why I've believed what I have about Deflategate all along. Not due to being a homer like I'm accused of. I'd have the same feeling if this were any other team. And I fear that this is the precedent the NFL/Goodell is trying to set in motion. If this were to happen to any other team other than the Patriots, would there be as much vitriol? I sincerely doubt it. Personally, I am excited for March 3rd.