What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
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While I’m not really excited about dredging this story up again, everybody has seemed to miss a serious possibility as to what this whole thing was really all about. I know you can thank the shoddiness of the mainstream media for that, but once you accept that premise, you really have to look at why that condition is allowed to exist.
Think about it. This all got started with a story which had more holes in it than a Polish tennis racket; it was made to be destroyed. But it never was. Didn’t anybody ever get curious as to why? Here you had two organizations worth billions who could spend millions on lawyers, experts, and the like. What you actually got was a shadow of what it could have been had there been anything real at stake.
And that’s where the key is. There was really nothing of major value in play in all of this. I know some pointy-headed Patriot fans will try to sell me some bilge about Tom Brady’s legacy…like he’s not going to be in the Hall of Fame the first day he’s eligible. That’s a bunch of crap, just like all the other “punishments” handed down. On their face, they look significant, which is actually the other key in all this. For all the crap we had to live through, when you put the magnifying glass to this story without listening to the propaganda from the mainstream media, this whole thing might be as corrupt as Hilary Clinton and her email story. The key to understanding how the Patriots really aren’t getting punished is to look at the five basic elements of any good con job.
1) Everybody Gets Something
This one is the most obvious, which really is why I don’t understand why nobody caught on to this. Then again, not everybody is a detective. Think about it. By moving Tom Brady’s money forward in a deal designed around contract restructuring, everybody gets to wet their beaks on this one.
The Patriots get a free sneak preview of Jimmy Garrapolo without living through media-created quarterback controversy, which means they know if Jimmy G. is the “future” before 2017 when they have to make a decision as Garrapolo’s contract is up and they can get out of Tom Brady’s with a small cap hit.
Tom Brady gets the chance to retire without leaving the team in the lurch, and still get paid. Not to mention he’s losing the minimum amount of money from the four-game suspension thanks to that restructured contract.
Last, the NFL gets to keep a “flagship” franchise out of a salary cap implosion like what happened to the 49ers in the late 90’s or what is going to happen to the Cowboys. Wasn’t it convenient that all this got settled in a year where everybody gets a $10 million salary cap exemption, which just happened to coincide with all of Aaron Hernandez’ money finally coming off the books?
2) Follow The Money
Again, there was just too much money moving around not to notice how favorable the timing was here for everybody. It was just too easy that all of this dropped right after the new league year started in March. But there’s another money question to which nobody has an answer…
When a player gets fined, as a standard practice the money is withheld from a game check. Robert Kraft isn’t a player, he’s an owner, so in order to pay a fine for the team, he likely had to actaully hand somebody a check. How did that actually work? Does the NFL have an office like the county courthouse where you go to pay traffic tickets. Do you mail a check to Roger Goodell? More importantly how is that million dollars accounted for, and how easy would it be to hide in a business worth $16 billion? In other words, that million bucks could easily be a pay-off as it’s only a cut of what the Pats would lose in the aforementioned.
If you don’t believe that…do you think it is just a coincidence that a million dollars also happens to be EXACTLY what Tom Brady loses in salary during his suspension?
4) The False Perception of Consequences
By taking away a draft pick, people get the impression the Patriots have been punished when they in fact have not been in a substantial way. Here’s why.
While Patriots fans may moan about the loss of draft picks, that is a bit absurd since such picks are worthless until you use them. The Patriots themselves prove that all the time by trading and accumulating them like pizza coupons. But there’s another reason why losing a draft pick isn’t that big of a deal. What good does a high pick do for a team looking to revamp it’s salary cap situation for the the post-Brady world? None, it actually can complicate matters.
More importantly, go back to the Jimmy Garrapolo situation. If during Brady’s suspension the Patriots find he is the “real deal,” they are going to have to pay him at some point. If they discover otherwise, then they have to pay and/or draft somebody.
But the big hole in the ” loss of draft picks is punishment” belief is that the NFL grants extra draft picks in later rounds for almost any reason they want, and nobody ever pays attention to those. Conceivably, the NFL could give out a bunch of these picks, and the Patriots (who have a long history of doing EXACTLY this) could trade right back into an early pick.
5) The Crime Fits The Punishment…Or Not
This really is a Part B to Example #4, and it’s also a perfect demonstration of Distraction by Sensationalism. There was already a rule against screwing around with the footballs, and there was already an established punishment for breaking that rule. By hitting somebody with a $25,000 fine didn’t solve all the problems than what actually happened did. Think about it. A lot of people got a lot of problems solved, and a bunch of lawyers got paid, and while everybody was squawking about draft picks, fines, and suspensions, nobody noticed all the coincidences I’ve just pointed out.
Honestly, I don’t think the parties involved cooked up this scheme going all the way back to Chris Mortenson’s exceptionally-flawed report. In fact, they screwed up the handling of that situation so badly they found themselves in quite the quandary. But they certainly found a stroke of genius to get out of it.
Well, allegedly anyway. It’s not like they called me and left a confession on my answering machine. But you have to admit it fits together just too nicely.