By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Those who followed the years-long DeflateGate balderdash will remember the period for being a complex time. For the vast majority who only followed from afar, they’ll remember it solely for the result: Roger Goodell won, Tom Brady and the Patriots lost.

And, as they say, to the victor goes the spoils.

In the case of Goodell, the prize included a well-publicized victory tour — one that the NFL commissioner extended on Wednesday.

Speaking at Bloomberg’s “The Year Ahead” summit, Goodell was asked about the trickiness of his job, considering he often has to play the role of judge and jury for many decisions. Ignoring the reality that Goodell actually decides to play judge and jury instead of selecting qualified professionals for such roles, Goodell gave the boilerplate response about how “the diversity of viewpoints” is what makes the NFL strong and how a majority vote among NFL owners is the sign of a good decision.

But Goodell was pressed further on the judge and jury role, specifically as it played out in the DeflateGate saga. Goodell used it as an opportunity to puff out his chest a bit.

“That’s what every team wants, to know that their partners are operating under the same rules that [they are] operating under. Coaches want to know that, fans want to know that, and players want to know that,” Goodell said. “So that is the job of the commissioner to protect the integrity of the game.”

Ah, yes. The integrity of the game.

Goodell then said that, in a case like DeflateGate, he was only doing the right thing.

“You have to do what’s right, ultimately,” he stated. “And you have to make those decisions regardless of the consequences, and making sure you’re protecting the integrity of the league.”

Ah, yes. The integrity of the league.

Before wrapping up his thought, Goodell made sure to note that the NFL won the case in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

“It goes to courts and court after court and appeals court and you get into a legal process and it holds,” Goodell said. “So from our standpoint we think that it works. As painful as it is, we feel we have to do it.”

Ah, yes. We have to do it.

It’s not altogether surprising that Goodell would spike the football nearly two years after winning the high-profile case, but the comments are nevertheless disingenuous and misleading.

There is the claim of teams wanting to operate under the “same rules,” but as has been well-documented, the Panthers and Vikings played under a different set of rules than the Patriots, and so did the Chargers. It’s indisputable that Goodell treats every team completely differently when it comes to sanctions. For proof, look at how the Seahwaks’ punishment for improper injury reporting was magically lessened after the Steelers committed the same infraction. Funny how that works. Alas, integrity of the game.

Then there is the idea that Goodell believes he only wanted to “do what’s right.” Doing what’s right probably would have involved releasing all of the recorded PSI data from the 2015 season instead of hiding it and lying about it. It would have involved not telling bald-faced lies about Brady’s testimony to paint him as guilty. It would have involved maybe not lying about an “independent” investigation, and maybe even holding his own employees accountable for telling public lies or leaking blatantly false information in an effort to control the national narrative.

But, well, protecting the integrity of the league, and whatnot.

Of course, “DeflateGate” was just one matter. There was the historic ineptitude and deceptiveness of the Ray Rice case, faults that were repeated in an almost identical manner two years later with Josh Brown. At this very moment Goodell and the NFL are fighting to suspend Ezekiel Elliott after silencing the lead investigator, who recommended no punishment.

Mismanagement of crises — including the elevation of minor matters into national scandals — will always define Goodell’s tenure as commissioner, no matter how much money the league makes. But according to the man himself, he was only doing what was right.

At this point, nearly three full years after the word “DeflateGate” entered into the American lexicon, just about all involved parties have gotten over it and moved on. But that still doesn’t give Goodell carte blanche to shape history the way he wants.

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

Comments (4)
  1. He’s an Idiot. He doesn’t seem to care about what’s happening In the NFL over these fools kneeling and disrespecting the flag and country.

  2. Deflategate has been thoroughly and completely debunked beyond any shadow of a doubt.

    Just to summarize what has occurred in the science world since the start of deflategate… When any scientific paper is published, the results are not accepted in the science community until there has been a peer review where other scientists review and verify results. This is the standard way that science moves forward and ensures that only sound proven science is accepted. This review can take years to accomplish. Not to confuse the Wells report with a scientific paper but the science community did perform such a review of the Wells report and the result has been devastating to the Wells report.

    Literally dozens scientists from around the country (and some in Europe) have analyzed the numbers in the Wells report and stated explicitly and unanimously (as in every single one of them) that there is no scientific evidence of tampering and that weather can account for all PSI measurements. Also, a number of others have written critiques of the Wells report that rip it to shreds identifying an appalling amount of deceit and fraud in the scientific analysis in the report that had to be known by the authors. Wells had to make numerous very sketchy and some flat out wrong (according to their own report) assumptions to claim even a minuscule amount of pressure unaccounted for which is exactly why Wells never stated that pressure amount in the whole report. Not only have all the scientific conclusions in the report been refuted but the motives of the authors have also been brought into question. The Wells report is indefensible.

    For example, one such instance of a false assumption is that Exponent assumed that Jastremski set the pressure of the footballs before “gloving” them. Exponent confirmed this assumption when questioned in the Brady appeal. The Wells report itself describes Jastremski’s process and states unambiguously that Jastremski set the pressure right after “gloving” the footballs. This means that there is 0.7 psi (according to Exponent’s own analysis) in the Patriots favor that Exponent did not account for which turns out to be about twice as much as Wells could claim was missing from the footballs (if you accepted all their sketchy or flat out wrong assumptions). So this one blatantly and undeniably wrong assumption completely exonerates Brady and the Patriots.
    This example is not in any way shape or form a matter of opinion or interpretation. It is absolute unarguable fact written in black and white in the Wells report itself and the appeal transcripts that Judge Berman unexpectedly made public. There are numerous other examples in the report. Again, the Wells report is indefensible.

    The only people who still believe that Brady and the Pats are guilty of anything are those that are unwilling or incapable of reading and understanding the Wells report and the numerous critiques of the report.

    The first time ever that the nfl measured football pressures during a game, they were completely unprepared to understand the data they saw. Unquestionably, their expectation was that if a football measured 12.5 psi in the warm locker room it should measure the same on the cold field. By now even the semi-literate should understand that is not true. With no prior experience measuring football pressures during a game, the very first moment the nfl saw a football measure below 12.5 on the field they made an assumption of guilt which, they did not know at the time, was not consistent with science. The story of deflategate is the story of the NFL’s dishonest behavior from start to finish.

    The NFL now understands this. That is why they are hiding the football pressure data they took during last couple of seasons and why they quietly swept deflategate II under the rug when the Giants reported that 2 Steelers footballs measured 11.4 and 11.8 PSI during their game December 3rd 2016 nearly 2 years after the deflategate game. Note that 8 of the 11 Patriots footballs were just about at or above the Steelers 11.4 football measurement by the gauge that Walt Anderson said he used. Statistically speaking, the chances that the lowest measuring Steelers football was picked with a sample size of 2 (out of 12) is less than 4 percent meaning statistically speaking it is far more likely that there were other Steeler footballs that were even lower.

    By sweeping deflategate II under the rug the NFL is admitting that they now understand the link between temperature and pressure that they did not understand with deflategate. Goodell and the nfl owe the Patriots an apology, money, and draft picks. Goodell is the only one who can end deflategate by apologizing and making good on his debts to the Patriots.

  3. lizzzy321 says:

    The NFL has no integrity and for Goodell to be still talking about this when he has once again embroiled himself in multiple conflicts once again….is almost comical. When are the NFL owners going to wake up and cancel his contract and hire someone new? Actually, I hope they don’t. He should stay on the sinking ship and all go down together.

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