Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tom Brady vs Roger Goodell. Countdown

And on it goes. That being deflategate and all the ballyhoo it has generated. No need to recap what has already happened. The talking heads and scribes have hammered it home all along. Personally, yours truly has always considered this whole thing to be a lot like the old Seinfeld show. That too was about nothing but somehow rose to #1 in the ratings. Americans are gullible that way. And don't get me started on them believing campaign promises from politicians. Hoo boy.

But unable to negotiate a settlement both sides could live with, Brady and the NFL have headed to federal court. It was quite ingenious of the league to file suit in New York just minutes after Goodell upheld his original suspension of Brady. No doubt, Brady and the players' union wanted the case to be heard in a place historically more sympathetic to labor causes -- such as Minnesota. Not too many folks in New York are overly fond of the Patriots and it can be assumed the judges there feel much the same way. They may say they're impartial, but deep down they have their biases as well. After all, even the honorable folks in the black robes are human too. At least most of them. Sort of.

Some federal judge just ordered the two parties (Brady vs Roger) to sit back down and come to an agreement. Evidently, Hizzoner didn't want to be bothered with such a case. The judge hasn't been paying attention to the obvious. These folks have already wrangled for weeks and, if anything, appear to be farther apart than ever regarding an "equitable" settlement. Both sides have dug in even further. That's like a judge ordering the Reps and Dems to reach a final accord on Obamacare. It was never going to happen. The courts had to finally make the call.

In this respect the judge is shirking his duty. His job is to listen to both sides, sort through the evidence or lack thereof, and issue a binding ruling. And that right soon. It shouldn't take more than a couple days of relevant testimony from both sides.

NFL training camps are now in full swing. In a week or so the preseason games will begin. Like them or hate them, Tom Brady and the Patriots need to know -- quickly -- what his status is for the first few games of the regular season. Is he in or is he out? And if the latter, for how long?

For that matter, so do their opponents. Preparing to face Tom Brady is one thing, but game-planning for a back-up QB is quite another.

Again, the judge can delegate his authority from on high all he wants, but it's unlikely Tom and Roger will come to an agreement. Brady claims he's deserving of no punishment whatsoever (I didn't do it), while Goodell is standing by his 4 game suspension (oh yes you did, because Ted said so).

In the end, whether he likes it or not, the judge is going to have to finally step up, do his job, and make a call.

And you just know how it's going to turn out. The original 4 game suspension handed down, then later upheld by the Commish, will likely be reduced to 2 games. No way is an already wishy-washy judge going to give either side a total victory. The stakes are too high and if he did -- either way -- a precedent would be set. Either Roger Goodell would be free to run amok with arbitrary punishments, or the players and their union will have gained a major victory to overrule the powers that be in the future regarding any such incidents.

So after all this, the end result will likely be what should have been quickly compromised upon in the first place. Know who benefits the most? The lawyers, of course. Whether it's divorce cases, DUIs, medical malpractice, insurance claims, probating wills, etc., etc, or representing either side in a high profile NFL showdown -- they're always going to get their sizeable fees. The longer it goes on, the more money they make. And it's always a lot.

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