On Tom Brady’s birthday (38 and lookin’ yummy!), I’m posting this entry. :)
I made my annual trip down to Foxboro to attend Patriots’ training camp. Naturally, it was literally on the hottest day of the year! I baked like a lobster, but thank heavens for air-conditioning in my car on the way home.
It was great fun despite the heat. It was the first day of camp, and Tom Brady got a rousing standing ovation and chants of “Brady! Brady! Brady!” several times throughout the three-hour session. He looked sharp and his back-up Jimmy Garropolo was splitting reps with him with the first team. Team owner Robert Kraft was cheered after his blistering salvo against the NFL a few days prior, but I have to wait and see if he’ll change his mind again and cozy up to Commissioner Goodell. He can’t quite grasp the fact that Goodell is NOT his friend. How many times must Lucy yank away the football before Charlie Brown gets it?
There were some trick plays with Tom catching passes that had everyone roaring with approval. For the first day of camp, players looked pretty good, and there will be lots of improvement before Opening Night in September. If Brady has to sit that game out, fans are urging Kraft not to raise the championship banner until he comes back.
My water bottle was handy but of course after three hours in the sun the cold water was warm, but it was wet. I had a First Down Frank but really wasn’t very hungry after that. I did enjoy watching Julian Edelman and Gronk and Malcolm Butler do their thing, and kept my binoculars trained on Tommy often. ;)
If I feel like it, I may do an entry before the season starts laying out the case of the NFL going after Brady and smearing their greatest player with trumped-up charges. He may be guilty as sin, but they have no hard evidence. And, yeah, I’m biased, I’m a fan, but the facts are pretty glaring.
As just a sample, NFL VP of Game Day Operations, Mike Kensil, was in Foxboro the night of the AFC Championship Game and ran to the Patriots equipment manager and said, “You are in bleeping trouble.” This was before the investigation on the deflated footballs was conducted. Who’s Mike Kensil? A former New York Jets executive who was with the team when Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick resigned as HC of the NYJ in 2000. BB did not want to be under his mentor’s shadow (Bill Parcells had handed over the coaching job to him when he moved to the General Manager position, but the Big Tuna was going to really be the man in charge of on-field decisions). It is no secret that Kensil hates Bill Belichick.
And just last Friday, a Boston reporter reported that Kensil was the man behind the false report of 11 of 12 footballs being underflated by 2 pounds PSI, which has been proven to be totally false, yet the NFL never has corrected that statement (that got the ball rolling against the Patriots) and it’s still up on the ESPN website as reported by Chris Mortensen. Mortensen, who’s been in the business since 1969, was going to come on the local sports talk radio station Friday to talk about that report, then suddenly cancelled only hours before his scheduled interview.
The Colts had called the front office before the AFC Championship Game complaining about the balls. In cases like this when a team accuses another of some impropriety, the front office notifies the team to knock it off via memo. This time the front office did not do so. And the NFL officials at the game were told to watch the footballs, yet they allowed Patriots employee Jim McNally take them out to the field with a stop in the bathroom first, where he allegedly took the air out of the 12 balls in 90 seconds. Or used the bathroom. Who knows? The NFL, thinking that the balls had been tampered with after the head referee had checked them, still allowed the game to be played with those balls!
Well, I’ll warn you when I post it, because it should be along one. It wouldn’t surprise me if Tom turned out to be guilty, because people lie all the time, but his record of behavior up ‘til now has been impeccable, and he has been convicted on ‘more probable than not’ and ‘general awareness’, direct quotes from the Wells Report, but not a shred of hard evidence.
A four-game suspension? That equals him with Greg Hardy, who beat up his girlfriend, threw her onto a futon covered with assault rifles, and dragged her to the bathroom and threw her into the tub. Ray Rice’s clocking of his then-fiance Janae got two games before the firestorm hit the fan. So for an equipment violation, the ‘convicted’ loses a quarter of the season and nearly 2 million bucks in gameday checks. When the Minnesota Vikings monkeyed around with the footballs during a game this past season, heating them during a cold game in Minnesota, they were fined $25,000. Same for the San Diego Chargers, whose towels contained sticky substances used on the footballs. The Patriots? They received a fine of a million dollars and the loss of first-and-fourth round draft picks. And the quarterback was suspended four games with that loss of money. That’s fair and equal, right?