If you haven’t read the entire Wells Report, you are missing out, people! This is the wacky hi-jinx caper that will keep you in stitches right to the last paragraph. I mean that! Who knew Ted Wells could write such good comedy? Move over, Dave Barry!
For starters, when reading it remember this: everyone on the Patriots side have assumptions and explanations are false or unbelieveable. The assumptions and explanations of the Wells team are always right. Always.
There is an army of VP’s and Game Ops coordinators swarming all over the stadium at game time, in haphazard communication with each other about certain game ball procedures.
The science rests on a “control set” of measurements before the game that does not exist, as Walt Anderson wrote down the exact ball readings of exactly 0-of-54 balls tested. (12 game balls and 12 backup balls for each team, plus 6 K-Balls). He thinks the Pats balls were “at or around 12.5 PSI” and the Colts balls were “at or around 13.0 PSI” but as you’ll find, Walt “thinks” alot of things.
The report breezily dismisses a WTF! reading of a Colts ball PSI as a likely “anamoly” due to an unproven “transcription error” that is pure conjecture. Meanwhile, McNally’s “anomoly” of going to the locked bathroom is not equally dismissed as some kind of obvious error, void of nefarious intent.
The report doesn’t explain how balls can be easily deflated by a single person in 1:40 in a locked bathroom, but 22 game balls cannot be tested and recorded with a dedicated note taker by TWO trained officials in a 13 minute halftime. They also don’t question why, if this matter was so critical, that a slight delay in starting the second half was worth it, in order to complete the testing of the last 7 Colts footballs. (Max time: 2 minutes).
The report goes to tortured lengths to NOT say definitively that Anderson was aware of the SPECIFIC charge of under-inflation levelled by the Colts prior to the game. Every reference is to merely “following pre-game protocol.” Why was this? Shouldn’t a specific threat, be listed as a specific point of pre-game emphasis? Having worked in “the real world” for a bit: Anderson is either lying, or didn’t check his email. Both offenses, fireable.
Anderson’s best recollection is that he used the “logo gauge” before the game, a recollection that is then promptly ignored by Wells and Exponent thanks to a convoluted deviation formula rushed in to save the day.
Blakeman and Prioleau can neither remember with certainty which of the logo/no-logo guages they used at halftime. The Wells team and Exponent makes a mathematical guess that again, favors the League not the Patriots.
Then this one is a f***ing WHOPPER:
It is clear that the halftime testing undertaken by the game officials and other NFL personnel was not performed in a laboratory setting or under ideal circumstances for forensic data collection and examination. We nevertheless conclude that the game officials and other NFL personnel participating in the halftime measurements acted responsibly and created a reasonably reliable record of the measurements.
Translation: We understand that Riveron, Blakeman and Prioleau’s Chinese Fire Drill act in the lockeroom, met no standard for science, but we are still using those numbers for…. SCIENCE!
Oh, and the line about “created a reliable record of the measurements?” I’m sorry, did you just get knocked out with a billy club and wake up? YOU JUST SAID TWO PAGES AGO THE COLTS BALL THAT READ WEIRD WAS “PROBABLY A TRANSCRPITION ERROR!”
“Reliable record of the measurements,” my ass!
The post-game measurements of the footballs included just 4 randomly selected footballs. The Wells report does not explain whose decision that was, or what the rationale for it was? Ah, doesn’t matter. You say in the report the timing of the post-game measurement was so unsound, that that data is un-usuable. But that OTHER data? Oh, that’s GOLD, Jerry. GOLD!
So in otherwords, you have the starting PSI of Walt Anderson’s “best recollection” at an assumption of an EVEN 12.5 PSI for all 24 Patriot balls, and 13.0 for all 24 Colts balls. You have no reliable post-game measurements (by your own admission) and haphazard half-time measurements with uneven samples.
You have statements that – to use your words on guys like Jastremski and McNally – “are not plausible” (i.e. “ran out of time” or “likely transcrption error”).
You have glaring contradictions such as..
“We reviewed Farley‟s original notes and the written statements he prepared, and have confirmed that the pressure measurements transcribed on the original notes and the written statements are identical”
…when you said earlier that Farley was probably a f***-up and made a clerical error, cross-recording incorrect readings that your “scientists” magically “controlled for” using “data analysis.”
You have Anderson saying he …
- May or may not have used a certain gauge.
- May or may or may not have known about the Colts specific complaints RE: PSI
- May or may not have properly designated K-Ball #1 with his mark.
But if he says all balls were 12.5 on the number to start the game…. WE BELIEVE HIM!
You have a missing K-Ball, that got into the hands of a petty thief on your payroll who had to be fired.
And you have the following men running around involved in arguing, chasing, taking, squeezing, measuring, collecting and recording the PSI of the footballs during the game.
Johnny Grier – Game Supervisor
Scott Miller – NFL Auctions Supervisor
Greg Yette – K-Ball Coordinator
Stephen Gostkowski – Kicker
John Jastremski – Ballboy
Tom McNally – Ballboy
Akili Coad – Director of Football Ops and Compliance
Dave Schoenfeld – Patriots Equipment Manager
Eric Kerzner – “Guy to Assist in Football Ops” –
Alberto Riveron – Backup Referee #1
Clete Blakeman – Backup Referee #2
Dyrol Prioleau – Backup Referee #3
Troy Vincent – Executive VP of Football Ops
Dan Grossi – NFL Director of Event Security
Mike Kensil – VP of Game Ops
James Daniel – Kencil Assistant? (Walked intercepted Brady ball into lockeroom for testing)
Berj Najarian – Belichick’s “Chief of Staff” (Went looking for balls at halftime)
David Thornton – Colts Director of Player Engagement (First took intercepted Brady Ball from D’Qwell Jackson)
Brian Seabrooks – Colts Assistant Equipment Manager (Took ball from Thornton)
Un-named – Colts Equipment Intern (Measured ball with “digital” gauge, but reported it as “approximately” (huh?) 11 psi)
Sean Sullivan – Colts Equipment Manager (Squeezed ball and thought it “felt soft”)
Danielle Lee – NFL Game Ops Representative (Radioed to Coad, Daniel and Kensil to alert them of Colts complaint).
Jon Scott – VP of Colts Equipment Operations (Called Ryan Grigson)
Ryan Grigson – Colts GM – (Got call in pressbox and was ready to storm down and kick some ass!)
Pete Ward – Colts COO – (Followed Grigson like a toady)
John Farley – Dude who wrote down PSI readings, and may have f***ed one of them up, and was wrong about who owned the gauge being used!!!
Now… pour all of that horseshit into a grinder, bill the NFL a few million for the work, watch Roger Goodell sprinkle some of his magic ego-dust on it and… POOF.
Tom Brady, four game suspension.
That is a staggering amount of manpower devoted to “Ops” “Compliance” and “Security” and yet it all reads like a Benny Hill skit. A real executive would dismiss the charges, put the Patriots on double-secret probation going forward, immediately implement new, simpler game ball “ops” – AND FIRE THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF HALF OF THE PEOPLE LISTED ABOVE!
As one last add, you must – I mean MUST! – read the “Ballad of Golden Boy” as I call it, or more specifically the narrative on what happened to magic “K-Ball #1.” It. Is. Pure. Comedy. Gold.
And not to spoil the ending, but the last paragraph, Page 139 underscores with a thud, why all of this matters ZERO to competitive advantage.