The NFL didn't make a "counteroffer" because they have the upper hand and Brady dead to rights. But threatening to go over Roger Goodell's coifed head is actually a smart move. All Brady has to do is shop for the right federal judge and get an injunction against the suspension and the can gets kicked down the road, the league eventually tires of the chase and the legal fees and whatnot, the charges get dropped (or "settled"), and....well, the cheaters prosper. Maybe even reach Super Bowl L in Santa Clara six months from now.
- Me, five weeks ago.
"....Intern G-Hart (aka my son) and Dolphins and Bills fans disconsolate":
A judge let the air out of "Deflategate" Thursday, erasing New England quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension for a controversy the NFL claimed threatened football's integrity. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell promised to appeal.
Which is kind of pointless, since that same judge is not going to stay his decision, effectively reinstating Brady's suspension, since that was what the litigation was primarily about.
U.S. District Judge Richard M. [Don't Call Me "Chris"] Berman criticized Goodell for dispensing "his own brand of industrial justice" as he found multiple reasons to reject the suspension and find Brady's treatment "fundamentally unfair."
It wasn't "unfair" at all, actually. It was, however, vulnerable to just such a judicial intervention, given that the current CBA (collective bargaining agreement) with the NFL Players Association does not provide for game suspensions for the offenses regarding illegal ball deflation that Brady was found to have committed, but only fines. Leaving aside the rest of Judge Berman's largely irrelevant blather, this is what got Brady's four-game suspension tossed out.
Or, put another way, Brady, in a way that any member of La Clinton Nostra would instantly recognize, spotted the enemy's weakness and shopped for and found a judge that would give him what he wanted.
You could say that Judge Berman was Malcolm Butler, picking off Roger Goodell at the one yard line with under a minute left in the game.
I wish I could say I was surprised. But at least it'll spare me having to watch the Kickoff Game next week.