If you thought the Wells Report was a tough read due to all the mundane lawyer speak, you were not alone. It was not very entertaining so most people just checked out the highlights. The New England Patriots have now offered up their official rebuttal to the Wells Report and it is a bit more entertaining. You can check out the full rebuttal under the next paragragh, but I will provide the highlights for those without the time to go through the tens of thousands of words in the statement. If you want to go through all the lawyer rhetoric, the official two-hundred plus page Wells Report on Deflategate is just below.
I am ecstatic that the Patriots have made this rebuttal public. I don’t think most teams would have had the stones to post it online like they have done. Any response they would have made would have become public, but they skipped the middleman and posted it on their own website address using a simple WordPress site. Below is the full rebuttal of the New England Patriots to the Well Report on Deflategate.
The Patriots response holds a lot of facts and some theories about science regarding air pressure and climate. It also discusses at length the lack of solid proof that Tom Brady is guilty of anything at all. Also the statement attempts to show that the two Patriot employees, McNally and Jastremski did nothing wrong during the AFC Title contest. It makes many solid points along with some points that require a lot of faith in Tom Brady and the two equipment managers.
I read the whole thing and actually laughed out loud a few times. Here are the highlights from the Patriots’ official response to Ted Wells’ report on Deflategate. I hope readers don’t think I just blindly believe Tom Brady is too honest to cheat. As I have stated before, I just don’t care if he knew about this deflating or not. The games are over and I have moved on, believing what I saw on the field…..the Patriots were the best football team in the world last year. Scoreboard don’t lie. What I don’t like about the NFL’s investigation is how it didn’t really prove anything at all. The League got plenty of media attention from this whole debacle and I am convinced that is why it dragged on so long. Here are the highlights from the Patriots’ official response to Ted Wells’ report on Deflategate.
- According to the Patriots’ rebuttal, there were many inaccuracies that the media ran with when the investigation started up. The NFL made no effort to correct these factual inaccuracies. More evidence that the League planned to benefit from the added media coverage. Roger Goodell turned circus barker
- “McNally entered that bathroom with the game balls, locked the door, and remained in the bathroom with the game balls for approximately one minute and forty seconds. He then left the bathroom and took the bags of game balls to the field. The report does not address whether one minute and 40 is consistent with the time that it takes a gentleman to enter a bathroom, relieve himself, wash his hands, and leave.” The fact that we are discussing how long it takes a man to do his business in a bathroom just puts the spotlight on how ridiculous Deflategate has become. I have no idea how long it takes this man to “relieve himself” and I’m not aware of his hand washing habits afterward either. I do find it more plausible that he could take a leak in one minute forty seconds than he could deflate 13 footballs in the same amount of time.
- “Even after halftime, when obvious attention was being paid to game footballs and psi issues by League and game officials, who took control of the footballs at halftime, the security video shows Mr. McNally, with no objection, taking the footballs from the Officials’ Locker Room back to the field totally unaccompanied by any League or Game official. Mr. McNally’s removal of the footballs from the Officials’ Locker Room before the game began was simply not unauthorized, unknown, unusual, or in violation of some protocol or instruction.” This statement seems to increase the possibility that the League preferred there be controversy instead of upholding of the rules. The balls should have been closely watched if the NFL wanted to ensure fair play. It seems as if they preferred the situation play out so they could either catch the Pats in a ridiculous trap and or stay in the news cycle well beyond the AFC Title matchup and even past the Super Bowl.
- “Mr. Jastremski’s boss would question Mr. Jastremski to see what, if anything, he knew. Mr. Brady’s reaching out to Mr. Jastremski to see how he was holding up in these circumstances is not only understandable, but commendable.” This is the biggest reach in the rebuttal. The Patriots make it sound like Tom Brady is this sympathetic figure only concerned with the pressure on his equipment manager with all this media attention.
- Ted Wells’ team requesting a 5th interview with McNally was unreasonable. If these investigators were good at their jobs, they would need two interviews with the guy at most. Landscapers don’t mow the same lawn twice in a day. Brain surgeons don’t get two shots to save a patient. And lawyers don’t get endless chances to put witnesses on the stand in a real trial.
- Much was made of McNally taking the footballs into the separate bathroom, but no official was closely monitoring him. If the League was on high alert about the balls, they sure had a casual way of showing it.
- Three of four Colts footballs were below psi regulation. This fact is glossed over due to the confusion between two different air pressure gauges that were used to test the game balls.
- Even though the Colts expressed concern over the footballs psi a day before the game, the League did not take the time to write down the psi measurements done during the pre-game. This seems like a good idea even to an idiot. Relying on the memory of humans, even refs and other NFL officials, is a very flawed way to check on possible rule violations.
- “The investigators already had all of Mr. Jastremski’s texts with Mr. Brady, since Mr. Jastremski’s phone had been given to the League within about 48 hours of notice of the investigation. They also had Mr. McNally’s phone records for a period prior to and including the AFC Championship Game. Those records show no texts with Mr. Brady.” This shows no need to have Tom Brady’s phone records. The focus was the possible communication between Brady and his alleged co-conspirators. Brady not turning his phone records over was smart because it would have set a bad precedent for NFL players and the investigators already had Jastremski’s records.
- Referee Walt Anderson was not 100% sure of which pressure gauge he used before the game. If he used the same gauge at halftime, that would be a better comparison obviously. “And it is clear that the investigators, not happy with his recollections on this point, pushed the issue so he would state that, despite his best recollection, it was “possible” he used the other gauge. (pg. 52).” This fact just adds to the confusion and makes it crystal clear that nothing is clear about this entire fiasco. The proof provided in the Wells report is simply unconvincing to me.