BOSTON (CBS) -- Throughout this long, extended, unnecessary wait for some type of resolution in the six-month saga known as DeflateGate, there have been many instances of "reports" disguised as news in which nothing is actually reported.
That appeared to be the case late Wednesday night, when Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio wrote that Tom Brady's camp has engaged the NFL in settlement talks ... but no progress has been made and none probably will. It was the classic "updating you without updating you" type of report.
Yet it appears as though Florio buried the lede, because it was the paragraph after the settlement talks where the real juice came.
"NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is being pushed by a small handful of influential owners to hold firm on the four-game suspension," Florio wrote. "Working against that pressure, however, is the fear that the four-game suspension would be wiped out by a federal court."
It is, truly, a fascinating development.
While it shouldn't come as a complete surprise that other organizations, many of whom have spent the last 15 years losing to Brady and Bill Belichick, would want discipline imposed on the Patriots' quarterback, it nevertheless provides an interesting glimpse into the politics of NFL ownership.
Remember a couple of months ago, when a defeated Robert Kraft stepped to the podium in San Francisco and began talking about the "strength of the partnership and the 32 teams"? When Kraft decided -- or at least decided to give the appearance -- to put aside the interests of his own franchise so as not to disrupt the overwhelming success that comes from the juggernaut NFL?
Well, apparently, that courtesy was not reciprocated by a number of owners. Though, "owners" is Florio's wording. I'd probably go with something different, like "hypocrites." Or, if I'm really trying to get to the heart of it, "complete, abject losers."
A quick list, in no specific order, of the league's most influential owners: Dallas' Jerry Jones, Pittsburgh's Dan Rooney and Art Rooney II, the New York Giants' John Mara and Steve Tisch, Carolina's Jerry Richardson, Philadelphia's Jeffrey Lurie, and the New York Jets' Woody Johnson. Maybe Baltimore's Steve Bisciotti and Seattle's Paul Allen find themselves in that class these days as well. Included in that group are owners of teams who have lost innumerable regular-season games (Jets), playoff games (Pittsburgh, Baltimore) and Super Bowls (Philadelphia, Carolina, Seattle) at the hands of the Patriots. (The Giants, in this case, likely hold no grudges with the Patriots.) Your imagination can decide which of them have participated in the urging of Goodell to maintain Brady's suspension at four games.
Of course, these owners would be begging their buddies for help if they found themselves in the circumstance of having a fatally flawed "investigation" decide that something might have happened and the star quarterback might have known about it, and, oh yeah, the investigators don't care what that quarterback has to say, because the investigators decided long ago that he was a liar. Also, forget the fact that no player in NFL history has ever been suspended for a team equipment violation -- these guys would surely "take their lumps," accept the punishment and move on. Right?
While everyone knows that such a situation is unlikely to ever crop up for any of the other owners/hypocrites/complete-and-abject losers, at the very least Kraft now knows that the folks for whom he fell on the sword have no interest in even offering him a thank you.
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