Eight days after the Wells Report found a “deliberate effort to circumvent the rules” and three days after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell imposed a four-game suspension on reigning Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady for his role in it, the New England Patriots have issued an annotated version of the controversial report.
The rebuttal, hosted at WellsReportInContext.com, was conducted by Patriots counsel Daniel L. Goldberg of Morgan Lewis, who represented the team throughout the investigation and was present during all interviews of Patriots personnel conducted at Gillette Stadium for the Wells Report.
The conclusions of the Wells Report are, at best, incomplete, incorrect and lack context. The Report dismisses the scientific explanation for the natural loss of psi of the Patriots footballs by inexplicably rejecting the Referee’s recollection of what gauge he used in his pregame inspection. Texts acknowledged to be attempts at humor and exaggeration are nevertheless interpreted as a plot to improperly deflate footballs, even though none of them refer to any such plot. There is no evidence that Tom Brady preferred footballs that were lower than 12.5 psi and no evidence anyone even thought that he did. All the extensive evidence which contradicts how the texts are interpreted by the investigators is simply dismissed as “not plausible.” Inconsistencies in logic and evidence are ignored.
Among the dense swaths of PSI lingo and disagreements over pressure gauges, Goldberg eloquently asserts in all-caps, “BASIC SCIENCE FULLY EXPLAINS THE DROP IN PSI OF THE PATRIOTS FOOTBALLS DURING THE FIRST HALF.”
“It now appears that the Patriots are being severely punished because the Wells investigative team apparently overlooked materials they had in their possession long before their interview with Mr. [Jim] McNally — scarcely an ‘unanticipated circumstance’ calling for yet another interview — and refused to disclose their reason for an additional interview,” Goldberg writes. “There was no refusal to cooperate by the Patriots.”
The site also features a testimony from Nobel Prize laureate and Burlington, Mass. native Roderick MacKinnon, paired with a disclaimer that he did not receive financial compensation for it, but instead approached the team when the investigation was made public.
“In summary I believe the data available on ball pressures can be explained on the basis of physical law, without manipulation,” MacKinnon writes. “The scientific analysis in the Wells Report was a good attempt to seek the truth, however, it was based on data that are simply insufficient.”
For a team worth roughly $2.6 billion, one would think they’d set up their soapbox on something a little more polished than a WordPress blog.
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