Tom Brady Fights For His Legacy

NFL: Divisional Round-Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

If reports are true, then Tom Brady might find himself on the losing end of a legal case: The supposed divorce proceedings with his wife, supermodel Giselle Bunchen.

Certainly I don’t see Brady losing in his legal case against the NFL, and I have said that from the jump, even when some of the sports legal experts —uh, Lester Munson, are you listening? — were kowtowing to the NFL and the mastery of the league’s “commissioner powers.”

I am a lawyer – currently non-practicing due to some other current profession that takes up most of my time – who teaches a class in Sports Law to college undergraduates. We spend a lot of time in this class on the subject of professional sports leagues, their collective bargaining agreements, and how they interact with the federal anti-trust laws of this country.

Think of it this way: Most EVERYTHING you see in professional sports – drafts, trades, dress codes, salary caps – on its face and without a collective bargaining agreement – would be violations of anti-trust. Anti-trust laws exist to prevent price fixing and economic monopolies. The theory behind a collective bargaining agreement is that both sides – management and employee – have had a fair chance to agree to certain provisions with arms-length bargaining at the same bargaining table. Fair, right?

Yes it is. Except when some provisions of a collective bargaining agreement go way over the line and they are thus challenged legally. Which brings us to the case of Tom Brady. Read more »

The Trouble With Tom Brady

NFL: Divisional Round-Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

With one, swift, arbitrary NFL commissioner’s office decision, Tom Brady went from perhaps the best quarterback in league history to the game’s biggest pariah. And the sporting world seems to be ecstatic over the ruling.

That, my friends, is an interesting dynamic and defines so much about the players we like and don’t like.

Brady is too perfect. He’s tall, handsome, has a Brazilian supermodel wife, and is secure enough to rip up his man card and wear Ugg boots, the brand created primarily for women. And, he plays for a team that, outside of New England, is universally despised because they win, they cheat, they have a curmudgeon coach who’s about as likeable as a lizard, and an owner who flaunts perfectly coiffed, $500 pocket silks on his five-thousand dollar suits.

So when we can chip away at the perfect man’s statue and stuff flakes off, we are very content. Read more »

About That Donovan McNabb Tweet

At first glance, this looks like it might be the most Donovan McNabb-ish tweet ever.

Hernandez, if you don’t know, is the former Patriots tight end who this week was convicted of killing a former friend and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. The questions of his future — not to mention NFL career — have been pretty definitively resolved.

Only: Take a second glance at the tweet.
Read more »

Philly’s Ibraheim Campbell Is a Real-Deal NFL Prospect at Safety

IBRAHEIM-CAMPBELL-JERRY-LAI-USA-TODAY-SPORTS-940X540It looked like Northwestern was going to lose. Notre Dame led the Wildcats by two scores with just over four minutes to play. But the Fighting Irish had picked up two first downs and looked poised to run out the clock. Then Ibraheim Campbell stepped in.

Or, rather, laid into Notre Dame senior Cam McDaniel, forcing a fumble the Wildcats recovered. It was a devastating turnaround. “The amount of self-hatred I had after the game,” McDaniel — who had fumbled just once in his career previously — said later. “It wrecked me, it really did.” Northwestern drove down the field for a tying field goal, and upset the Fighting Irish on another field goal in OT.

Campbell forced two fumbles in that contest, Northwestern’s first game against ND since a famous upset in 1995. Now, the Wildcats have a winning streak against the Fighting Irish — their first since 1962. “It’s the reason that you play college football, to go into those environments, to get those opportunities,” Campbell said via phone earlier this week. “Those College GameDay moments.”

The Germantown native is hoping to move to a bigger stage soon: Campbell is a top safety prospect in this year’s NFL Draft. At the NFL combine, he has a chance to help (or hurt) his draft prospects with a good performance.

Read more »

Cheaters Sometimes Win

shutterstock_deflated-football-940x540

Deflate-Gate has turned out to be a brilliant tactical development for the New England Patriots, who I predict will win this year’s Super Bowl.

The Pats have evolved this week from a pack of blatant cheating weasels to the unfairly persecuted, a dramatic transition last seen in Godfather II. In front of a special Senate Committee, Michael Corleone denied he was remotely involved in organized crime, and urged the committee to absolve him of guilt with the same enthusiasm with which they accused him. Meanwhile, Tom Hagen was screaming, “This committee owes an apology Senator!”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft pulled a similar trick out of his hat a few days ago when he lectured the press and the public about accusing his organization of cheating. Kraft was crafty in his wording, but only an idiot couldn’t see through it. He said “if” the NFL’s investigation turned up no evidence of wrongdoing, he hoped that everybody was prepared to beg the Patriots for forgiveness. Or something like that. He didn’t say “when” the NFL finds no evidence of wrongdoing. He was spitting into the wind. Just like Michael Corleone.

But here’s the thing. Corleone was a gangster. And the Patriots did cheat. And no smoke-and-mirrors, fancypants dialogue can wriggle human beings from hard, cold reality.

Read more »

Jerry Jones Paid for Chris Christie’s Cowboys Trips

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 5.21.00 AM

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones paid the cost of Chris Christie’s travel — including a private jet — to Sunday’s NFL playoff game featuring the Cowboys versus the Lions. (You know: The one featuring “The Hug.”)

NJ.com reports:

Christie has now attended three games at the invitation of Jones, who invited the governor and picked up the tab, said Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts.

“Governor Christie attended the game last night as a guest of Jerry Jones, who provided both the ticket and transportation at no expense to New Jersey taxpayers,” Roberts said.

The governor’s office cited The Code of Conduct for the Governor, adopted under former Gov. Jim McGreevey, in Executive Order 77, which says the governor “may accept gifts, favors, services, gratuities, meals, lodging or travel expenses from relatives or personal friends that are paid for with personal funds.”

Read more »

Michael Sam on Coming Out Before the NFL Draft: “If I had it my way, I never would have done it the way I did.”

A preview of the GQ cover featuring Michael Sam.

A preview of the GQ cover featuring Michael Sam.

Out athlete Michael Sam graces the cover of the GQ “Men of the Year” issue, out on newsstands nationwide November 25, where he gives a candid interview about his childhood, his coming out, and all of that horrible locker room reporting. We have a preview of some of the more poignant moments of Sam’s interview with GQ writer Andrew Corsello. Read more »

Ed Rendell Is OK with NFL Game Being Moved This Time

I tweeted the above joke yesterday. In 2010, a Vikings-Eagles game in Philadelphia was moved to Tuesday night because of snow. Rendell fumed over it, and the incident somehow led to a book by Rendell, A Nation of Wusses.

They’ve gotten quite a bit of snow this week in upstate New York, and Jets-Bills — originally scheduled for Sunday in Buffalo — has been moved to Monday at Detroit’s Ford Field. The NFL made the decision yesterday.

And, thanks to NJ.com’s Dom Cosentino, my tweet is no longer just a joke: We now know Ed Rendell’s feelings on the move. He’s okay with it this time!

Read more »

It’s Hard to Trust Roger Goodell

Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, during happier times.

I once met and interviewed Adrian Peterson.

He greeted me, as he does everyone, with a vice-grip handshake that stuns you to your core, a handshake that I found extremely peculiar. A firm handshake is what most men do. But this was ridiculous. It was as if Peterson was out to exert and display his power for no particular reason at all other than to exert and display that he was stronger than you. And it was like he didn’t want you to forget it.

With that story, I make a rather lengthy, but pertinent leap to his case of child abuse. Adrian Peterson whupped up on his 4-year-old boy, perhaps as a form of backwater punishment, but certainly as an exertion of power.  After reading about this case and seeing the photos of a bruised 4-year-old, I come to the conclusion that Peterson is a loathsome and contemptible man.

But this is not just a story about a bad human being. It’s a story of how the National Football League has turned into a joke when it comes to governing their employees. Their punishment of Adrian Peterson for the rest of the NFL’s regular season may pass a moral test, but it’s another ass-backward attempt to gain public trust by manipulating rules and regulations solely upon the whims of an empty suit named Roger Goodell.

Read more »

« Older Posts