If you’re still buzzed from tryptophan as you’re reading this, then it must be time for another great holiday tradition: Jay’s Sports Awards…the Jazzys, to its friends. From now until the new year, we’ll take a look back at the amazing, the inspiring, the hilarious, (and for one day, the screwy), events that transpired this year.
Now we here at AWITP are racist against Turkeys. We’re NOT talking, of course, about natives of the country in Eurasia that just shot down a Russian airliner. (Boys, play nice!) No we here at AWITP are racist against dry, stringy, smelly, feathery, ill-tempered, badly smelling stinkbirds. That’s why the biggest loser in the sports or media worlds gets the yearly Dry Stringy Turkey Award.
This year, sadly, we again learned that cheaters prosper and that courts frequently make wrong decisions at the biggest moments in sports law history. Tom Brady got away with the sports equivalent of murder: cheating. As I review the facts – impartially, clinically, like a doctor with a patient – in my opinion I don’t think reasonable people can disagree: Tom Brady cheated, lied, and covered it up when it came to DeflateGate.
Sadly, Judge Richard Berman fumbled the ball in the clutch. Bad facts make bad law, and bad law makes for enormous negative consequences regarding player discipline going forward. I for one marvel at the number of broadcasters that, in the name of ratings, will forgive all manner of high crimes, misdemeanors, transgressions, lies, and skulduggery.
Speaking as a sports lawyer, allow me to impart you the other side of the coin: the argument the Judge could have made to rule in he NFL’s favor. It’s a simple concept – a reasonable grant of discretionary power must be afforded to the Commissioner to punish players. Reasonable! It’s implied in the contract. The yoga-like contortions the Judge has to twist into becomes almost Monty Python-esque to belittle Goodelle for swift, fair, and suitably rough justice while completely ignore Brady’s Unforgivable Sin of cheating, lying, and covering it up. Brady even intentionally destroyed evidence – supposedly a Cardinal sin, but one which in 22 years of being a lawyer I’ve seen punished exactly ONE time.
Oh well, we’ll always have those hilarious court sketches and the myriad memes they spawned. The Internet never forgets, Tom, and neither will football fans west of Stockbridge and south of New London. To them, you’ll forever be the #cheatriots
2014 – Hack Golf/Foot Golf
2013 – Tiger Woods
2012 – Lance Armstrong
2011 – Steve Williams
2010 – Tiger Woods
2009 – Tiger Woods
2008 – ESPN/NFL
2007 – Tom Farrey, ESPN
2006 – Turning Stone Casino