Jealousy can cause people to act irrationally, and that apparently holds true for NFL owners as well.
In a Pro Football Talk report about how the NFL and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's people have been talking settlement (no progress has been made, but at least it partially explains why we're on Day 30 of this ridiculous appeal decision watch), another nugget stands out.
According to the PFT report, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is "being pushed by a small handful of influential owners to hold firm" on Brady's four-game suspension for deflate-gate. I'm going to go out on a limb and conclude that the "small handful of influential owners" are also fed up with the Patriots being better than them.
(To answer all your comments, emails and tweets to follow: No I'm not from Boston, no I'm not a Patriots fan, no I don't care about Brady or Bill Belichick and no I'm not part of any other crazy conspiracy theory you have either.)
There are some fans who think Brady should be suspended forever and the Patriots should have all their Super Bowl trophies taken and on and on. Those are fans, and over-the-top reactions are part of the deal. I expect just a wee bit more from the actual owners, who should be above that.
If you've actually read the Wells Report with an open mind, you realize there's no specific evidence when it comes to Brady. The PFT report says attorney Gregg Levy, who participated in the appeal hearing as a legal consultant to the commissioner, has been warning Goodell it would be difficult to make the suspension stick in court. Which, of course it would be, since there's no evidence. But some owners don't want to hear that, apparently, because this is their chance to stick it to the Patriots.
The Patriots rub people the wrong way. Everyone knows that. They're quite arrogant at times and do things like play around with the injury report (I think even if Brady is suspended he'll appear on the report as probable with a shoulder injury). And they win. Spygate was a long time ago, and as an aside, Brady was never implicated in that in any way. I can see why owners would be bitter and jealous and not think clearly on the issue, even though they should be above that.
ESPN.com's Dan Graziano said that Brady is holding firm on his insistence of no suspension, though he'd accept a fine. That makes sense, since even an enormous fine is just one more photo shoot for his massively wealthy and famous supermodel wife, and he wouldn't miss any games as the Patriots defend their Super Bowl title. But Goodell has to know that if he vacates the suspension, he'll hear about it from owners who dislike the Patriots and their never-ending string of success. He'd also be undermining the initial punishment, which came from his office. It's a no-win situation.
No wonder this appeal decision is taking so long. Goodell has to find a way to make everyone happy, and that's going to be impossible.
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