NY Times- In a major setback for the N.F.L., New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady prevailed in his battle to have his four-game suspension overturned on Thursday, as a federal judge reversed a ruling by Commissioner Roger Goodellto bench one of the league’s biggest stars in a dispute over underinflated balls he used in a January championship game.
Judge Richard M. Berman of Federal District Court in Manhattan did not rule on whether Brady tampered with the footballs in a bid for competitive advantage. Instead, he focused on the narrower question of whether the collective bargaining agreement between the N.F.L. and the players union gave Goodell the authority to carry out the suspension. Judge Berman ruled that it did not.
The 40-page decision picked apart the N.F.L.’s case, finding a number of “significant legal deficiencies” that reflected Berman’s skepticism in recent court hearings.Berman said Brady could not be suspended for “general awareness” of others’ conduct, as an N.F.L. investigative report determined.
Document: Judge’s 40-Page Ruling in Dismissing Tom Brady Suspension “The court finds that Brady had no notice that he could receive a four-game suspension for general awareness of ball deflation by others or participation in any scheme to deflate footballs, and noncooperation with the ensuing investigation,’’ Berman wrote.
See. This is why I wouldn't sympathize with Patriots fans. While The Saints twitter was trying to "defend the wall", I was staunchly against standing arm-in-arm with the Patriots against the NFL. There was still this little voice in the back of my head that said "there is no way the SuperBowl MVP is getting suspended for the first 4 games of the seasons because of the air in a football". You haven't walked a mile in our shoes until you have lost meaningful football games due to a partisan punishment based on unfounded, circumstantial "evidence". You haven't truly been persecuted until your Head Coach, or in this case your quarterback, has to watch from the sidelines because of nothing more than speculation. In a way, this ruling is good thing. Saints fans get to continue to stand alone with their deep seated contempt of Roger Goodell. The chips are, and will always be, on our shoulders and our shoulders only, so don't you dare try to stick your hand in the bag. DeflateGate was an inconvenience, BountyGate was a full blown smear campaign complete with the most blatant act of treason in the history of professional sports.
I'm not even mad. The longer that this investigation went on, and the more truth that came out, it was pretty clear that the Patriots were facing unjust discipline. Leave it the NFL, the only billion dollar business that is run by a man making $40 million dollars a year, that can lose 5 consecutive court cases and still be considered a success. Hey Rog, the CBA might give you all the power, but that doesn't mean you can do with it whatever you so choose. I know you might think you're above them, but we still have laws to abide by. Every company has their own blueprint for how to do business, but when that blueprint exceeds the bounds of the constitution then these dudes called judges are allowed to step in. Do you know who those guys are? They are the ones that keep looking down at you as they anoint your competition the winner.
You know what's so unbelievable. The National Football League is so fucking entertaining that despite having a a goddamn dictator for a commissioner, it's popularity has actually increased. Frivolous lawsuits that damage the image, and sometimes rightfully so, of the players. Some movie about how concussions are killing all the people that participate in the NFL. None of it. None of it will affect NFL viewership. Goodell can do as bad of a job as he wants, but it's not possibly to be so bad at it's job that it negatively affects the net worth of his company. He doesn't have to protect the shield, the shield is made up of triple-reinforced steel. The shield hasn't stayed squeaky clean because Roger Goodell has done a suffiencient job of keeping it that way. It's just been extremely resistant every time that Goodell has accidentally dropped it down the stairs. Imagine being worth $40 million a year, and realizing that there is nothing you can possibly do, outside of a felony, that will get you dismissed from your job. He has so much power that it's no wonder he abuses it. Still, I can't help but feel that he would be better served to just sit atop his swimming pool of money and shut the fuck up, because as untouchable as his occupation is, his reputation is like one punch away from getting knocked out in the early rounds.
P.S. Whatever, scooped Tom Brady in the late rounds of my fantasy draft. That's a little thing called foresight bitches.