Ted Wells' investigation into the possibility that the New England Patriots were involved in deflating footballs for the AFC championship game has found that it's more likely than not some of the Patriots were guilty.
"Based on the evidence developed in connection with the investigation and summarized in this Report, we have concluded that it is more probable than not that New England Patriots personnel participated in violations of the NFL Playing Rules and were involved in a deliberate attempt to circumvent those rules," the report, released Wednesday, said.
With that line on Page 121 of the massive report, it again questions the validity of the Patriots' great dynasty, which included a Super Bowl victory this past February, the fourth for coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. read more
Once again under the Belichick era, the Patriots are implicated in a cheating scandal that fundamentally questions the integrity of the NFL.
Even if this investigation did not link Belichick to direct involvement in Deflate-Gate, he, indisputably, created a climate in New England that encouraged deliberate flouting of the rules in order to secure competitive advantage.
Golden boy Tom Brady's reputation and veracity is deflated.
Tom Brady -- once quoted: I would never break the rules -- directly emerges as a culprit that aggressively pressures his minions to tamper with game day footballs to accommodate his preference. Brady has a carefully cultivated Michael Jordan like image. Up until now, the tarnish of Belichick has not marked Brady.
In light of this report, Brady appears more Bill Clinton like than MJ like. Just as Clinton looked us squarely in the eyes and declared: I did not have sexual relations with that woman. Brady, as quoted above also looked at us in the eyes and lied.
And also, Clinton like, Brady defiantly gestured and postured how dare you even question my credibility -- well Tom as it turns out...
In the weeks and months before the AFC Championship Game, McNally periodically exchanged text messages with the Patriots equipment assistant primarily responsible for the preparation of the Patriots game balls, John Jastremski. In a number of those text messages, McNally and Jastremski discussed the air pressure of Patriots game balls, Tom Brady’s unhappiness with the inflation level of Patriots game balls, Jastremski’s plan to provide McNally with a “needle” for use by McNally, and McNally’s requests for “cash” and sneakers together with the “needle” to be provided by Jastremski.
The Patriot Super Bowl legacy:
2002* Super Bowl win tarnished because of the AFC championship tuck call that rewarded the Pats with another illegitimate possession after Brady obvious fumble turnover...not to mention Spygate
Former Miami Dolphin head coach Don Shula on New England's record:
"The Spygate thing has diminished what they've accomplished. You would hate to have that attached to your accomplishments. They've got it. ...I guess you got the same thing as putting an asterisk by Barry Bonds' home run record."
Now the ball is in NFL Commish Roger Goodell's corner. Will he hold Tom Brady and the Patriots accountable for their misdeeds and punish them like he punished New Orleans Saint's coach Sean Payton (full year suspension for bounty-gate)?
Or, will the Pats -- the Wheaties Box team -- receive another slap on the wrist?