It Is What It Is — According to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and Colts owner Jim Irsay are the two most vocal owners arguing against the NFL reducing Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate.
“[By reducing the suspension] you’re angering some of the hard-core owners out there,” said Paolantonio on San Diego’s Mighty 1090 Friday. “I know who they are and I’m gonna name ’em right now: Jim Irsay of the Colts. Steve Bisciotti of the Ravens and others in the AFC who believe the Patriots have gotten away with murder for years and have not been publicly punished properly.”
And — Bisciotti made it clear in no uncertain terms that he is not putting pressure on anyone when it comes to Deflategate.
“I have not and will not put any pressure on commissioner or anyone representing NFL office to take action in Deflategate,” said Bisciotti. “The story circulating that I’ve put pressure on Roger [Goodell] is 100 percent wrong. The reports are unfair to Robert Kraft, who is honorable person and to his franchise. Let’s talk about football and the start of training camp. Fans and people like me want the issue resolved now.”
Let’s review what Steve Bisciotti is asking us to believe with his denial. First of all, his team was embarrassed by the Patriots in the divisional playoff game, twice blowing leads of 14 points due in large part to a double pass by Julian Edelman and some ineligible receiver formations they were not prepared for. Bisciotti’s coach, John Harbaugh, complained that the formations weren’t legal and the referees mismanaged the game.
The Pats played their next game against the Colts, whose coach, Chuck Pagano, used to be the Ravens defensive coordinator. In the lead-up to the game, Colts equipment guy Sean Sullivan fired off an email to GM Ryan Grigson saying he thinks the Patriots are up to shenanigans with the footballs. Grigson forwarded the email, without any notes from him, to the league office. Then all hell broke loose.
So Bisciotti’ s organization had motive, means and opportunity to go after the Patriots. But what he’s now asking us to accept is that while his team discovered the crime, conducted the investigation, set up the sting, found the evidence and got the conviction it was after all along, now that we’re at the sentencing portion, he himself wants no input. This from the man who got his bae Roger Goodell to look the other way when his franchise player was caught on video dragging his unconscious girlfriend out of an elevator. And who put Ray Rice‘s victim up to a dog and pony show press conference where she apologized for her “role” in getting knocked out cold. He would now like you to believe that he would never try to influence his Augusta National golf buddy Goodell to go after his chief rival in the AFC because … it would be wrong.
Fine. I want to be fair to Bisciotti. So I’ll admit I don’t have clear and convincing proof he’s lobbying his pal to lower the Ginger Hammer on Tom Brady. Instead let’s just say it’s more probable than not that Goodell is at least generally aware Bisciotti would like to see Brady’s suspension stay at four games and leave it at that. That’s all the burden of proof we need these days.
Oh, and since Robert Irsay is saying nothing, you know he’s guilty.
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