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The recent report that the New England Patriots ‘more probably than not’ were involved in a violation of the rules of the NFL by deflating footballs. As usual with many suspicious news reports this year, critics demanded a ‘smoking gun‘ before believing anything. Smartphone videos of everything around us are conditioning a new level of proof – we need very specific evidence before believing our heroes are ethically deficient. A look at the evidence is interesting in the deflategate incident:
- QB Brady would not allow investigators to review his phone/emails/text records
- Equipment managers sent text messages to each other detailing the deflating exercise and discussed Brady’s anger with inadequate ball prep
- Brady spent significant time with one of the equipment managers on the phone after the scandal broke though he had no communications with the same person for the previous 6 months
- Brady treated the equipment managers to autographed memorabilia to thank them
- Before the game, the Equipment manager went into a bathroom and locked the door for a few minutes with all of the game balls – said he used the urinal – there was no urinal in that facility.
I am reminded of a jury I sat on once trying a man for murder – a young lady on the jury found all of the circumstantial evidence confusing and kept looking for a ‘smoking gun’. After a few days of deliberations, she finally agreed on a guilty verdict. After the verdict was read, the jury was immediately sent back to the jury room to await the judge’s instruction. After a small wait, we were told that this person had committed a previous murder and we were now going to try him as a habitual criminal. The before mentioned lady had no issue with convicting him this time!
In other news, ex-President Clinton (‘I Gotta Pay Our Bills’) says nothing is wrong with Nigeria paying him $700K each for two speeches – the most he has ever made. In his first eight years on the speaking circuit, he had never spoke in Nigeria. Once his wife, Hillary, had been appointed Secretary of State he booked these speeches. This is the same secretary of state that used a personal email server and erased all of her emails when Congress started investigating her.
Clinton and Brady supporters believe in the best and keep demanding a ‘smoking gun’ but the more cautious of us look at all of this and believe, ‘they are more probable than not guilty’. …..we don’t need pictures – our brain/logic works perfectly well, thank you. But, if you find any evidence that MY hero was less than ethical you had better find a ‘smoking gun’.