The New England Patriots on Friday celebrated the 10-month anniversary of the Wells Report by releasing a nearly 8,000-word retort debunking so-called Deflategate “myths.”
The Patriots quietly posted the entry on the Wells Report in Context website, which initially was used in May of 2014 as a response to the league-funded Wells Report. Titled “The Background and Myths of ‘Deflategate ‘ — Separating Fact from Fiction,” Friday’s post refuted some of the public opinion that came out of the allegations the Patriots deflated footballs in the 2014 AFC Championship Game.
“As mentioned above,” the report states, “since the release of the Wells Report, numerous independent scientists have studied the data. Every scientist known to have examined this data since has concluded that the halftime PSI of the Patriots’ footballs was consistent with the Ideal Gas Law. (See, for example). There has also been widespread independent criticism of Exponent’s methodologies and conclusions.”
The report then stated 15 “myths” about Deflategate, ranging from issues with the way the data was collected, to issues with how cell-phone text message records have been interpreted, to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s decision not to hand over his phone to investigators.
One of the biggest arguments might have come at the end of the post in the final “myth,” picking apart the alleged independence of the NFL’s investigation.
“Myth #15: There was no action by any League officials that reflected any predisposition against the Patriots or warranted any criticism. It is an old adage: Never bite the hand that feeds you. The lawyers selected by the League to do an independent investigation had a long and deep relationship with the League. There were serious issues about League conduct and prejudgments — issues that warranted thorough investigation. But the NFL’s lawyers never asked for a single text or email from any League or Game Official, and the Wells Report contains not a single criticism of any conduct by any League or Game Official.”
Really, the Patriots take issue with just about everything the NFL has done in the last 14 months.
“This situation would have been brought to a quick close if the League had even a general awareness of the scientific impact of temperature and weather conditions on the PSI of footballs at the time of the AFC Championship Game,” the report’s conclusion reads. “Prompt correction of misinformation leaked by the League would have allowed knowledgeable and objective people to assess the numbers and minimize the media frenzy and public furor. For reasons still unknown, the League and its lawyers refused to release the accurate information for months, doing so only in the context of a report which based its conclusions primarily on dubious interpretations of ambiguous texts. The Wells Report is written more as a piece of advocacy trying to support its predetermined conclusions than as an independent and dispassionate review of all the facts.”
The latest argument is just as strong as any of the Patriots’ other Wells Report in Context claims, and it’s unlikely this thing is going anywhere any time soon.
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