Sports

DAN SHAUGHNESSY

Airing out some thoughts on Patriots and Deflategate

Deflategate thoughts as we await appeals and Bob Kraft perhaps ponders seceding from the NFL . . .

  I remain impressed by the physicists, magicians, jugglers of truth, and truthfully mad scientists who have made it their life mission to poke holes in the easily poked Wells Report. These folks are Tom Brady Vulcans and Klingons, speaking a language no one else knows. They are Krafty Krishnas, banging tambourines, chanting, and dancing around Gillette Stadium.

Advertisement

They are like the thousands of conspiracy theorists who have written books and devoted millions of hours to the flawed findings of the Warren Commission. They are Wells Report buffs, and they will not rest until Brady and the Patriots are cleared of all these trumped-up charges.

Among hundreds of missives I’ve received from the buffs, my favorite was from the gentleman who wrote, “I have a PHD in engineering specializing in process engineering (keeping things within tolerance). I spent 24 or so hours analyzing the Wells Report and writing this rebuttel. I would like to see it published somewhere before Tom Brady gets suspended.’’

Get Sports Headlines in your inbox:
The Globe's most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The gentleman’s eight-page, single-spaced “rebuttel” concluded with, “Summary: The Wells Report is wicked stupid . . . Tom Brady is freakin’ awesome . . . Go Pats!!!!!”

  Two lines from iconic films keep coming to mind. In Colonel Nathan R. Jessup fashion (“A Few Good Men”), the Patriots and their fans are effectively saying, “Please tell me their lawyer hasn’t pinned their hopes to a phone bill.’’ The Patriots perhaps would have gotten a better outcome if they’d taken the Eric Stratton (“Otter”) line from “Animal House” and said, “The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules or took a few liberties . . . We did.’’

  Kraft is no longer “Master Kraftsman” as he was identified by CBS when he was defending Roger Goodell in the wake of the Ray Rice fiasco.

Advertisement

First we have Kraft at the Super Bowl, demanding an apology, insisting his guys did nothing wrong, and telling the world that Brady and Bill Belichick would never lie to him. Then we have the conflicting “statements” from the owner in the last week.

Here’s Kraft upon release of the Wells Report: “We understand and greatly respect the responsibility of being one of 32 in this league and, on that basis, we will accept the findings of the report and take the appropriate actions based on those findings as well as any discipline levied by the league.’’

Here’s Kraft five days later when the sanctions were announced: “It was our intention to accept any discipline levied by the league. Today’s punishment, however, far exceeded any reasonable expectation.”

Oh, and investigator Ted Wells correctly noted that Kraft “welcomed” Wells’s appointment as investigator — right up until Wells issued a report that Kraft didn’t like.

  Wells played football for a year at Holy Cross. One of his teammates was running back Eddie Jenkins, who later played for the 1972 undefeated Dolphins — a team coached by Patriot baiter Don Shula.

Wells graduated from Holy Cross in 1972, one year after Clarence Thomas. Preparing for a career in law, Wells undoubtedly spent many hours in Holy Cross’s Dinand Library. Kraft’s father-in-law, the late, great Jacob Hiatt, established two wings of the Dinand Library.

Bob and the late Myra Kraft also endowed a professorship at Holy Cross, the Kraft-Hiatt Chair (not to be confused with the Kraft High Chair) in Judaic Studies.

  Since all of this broke, no one has been harder to find than Belichick. Wonder if the Hoodie will ever talk about it?

It took eight years and a second scandal to get Belichick to elaborate on Spygate. In his fascinating Mona Lisa Vito press conference from January, Belichick said, “The guy’s giving signals in front of 80,000 people, OK? So we filmed him taking signals out in front of 80,000 people, like there were a lot of other teams doing at the time, too.

“Forget about that. If we were wrong, then we’ve been disciplined for that . . . So, it was wrong, we were disciplined for it. That’s it. We never did it again. We’re never going to do it again and anything else that’s close, we’re not going to do either.’’

  Deep down, everybody (even you, Keyshawn) knows these punishments are too harsh. The Patriots are paying for a decade of flipping off the league, noncompliance with Wells, Spygate, and the league’s clumsy attempt to right its own ship after a year of horrible publicity over botched punishments.

  Deflategate will not affect the Patriots competitively this season. Brady probably will get a couple of games shaved from his suspension. Meanwhile, the Patriots will get a good look at the future in Jimmy Garoppolo. The AFC East will still be the Warhol Division; the Patriots will win it easily, getting their first-round bye and second-round home game. They will also have the “us against the world” mentality that motivated them to 18-0 after Spygate in 2007.

  I can’t help but wonder whether Matt Estrella ever hung out with Jim McNally and/or John Jastremski. Those three could get busts in the Rogues Wing of the Patriot Place Hall of Shame.

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at dshaughnessy@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Dan_Shaughnessy.
Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com