In the wake of Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, there are Patriots fans up and down New England who are livid – hotter than a cup of clam chowder. Unfortunately, it’s a lot of hot air (no pun intended).
“You just cannot find objective voices of reason up in this part of the world, and that comes as no surprise,” Boston-area trial lawyer and legal analyst Alan Fanger said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “We’re a very parochial sports town. We never think we do anything wrong, and in this case, people are convinced this is just another chapter in a Roger Goodell-ordained witch hunt. Ultimately, they may be proven to be right, but the rest of the sports world has to be laughing watching us being so consumed with our own success and being sort of the arrogant cowboys who we are.”
That includes Tom Brady. Patriots fans can be mad at Roger Goodell and the NFL all they want; the fact remains that Brady has handled this situation horribly from start to finish.
“When you look at Brady’s refusal to produce the texts, people gloss over that and they are say, ‘Oh, come on, why would you want to turn over your phone in an investigation? It contains private information,’” Fanger said. “They failed to note that all Wells was looking for was the paper versions of the texts. He actually allowed Brady’s attorneys complete control over the phone. Just print out the texts and turn them over. That refusal to me is just ridiculous, and I can’t imagine that Tom Brady got legal advice that was that horrible. It had to have been a decision on his part that he just wasn’t going to cooperate to that extent, that he had sat for the interview and five-and-a-half hours of interview was enough and he didn’t have to produce the texts. But I’m just dumbfounded by how people in this part of the world think that this was somehow okay for Brady to ignore that part of the investigation.”
Or deny his relationship with Patriots equipment assistant John Jastremski. Those two hadn’t conversed via telephone in months, but once the story broke, they logged almost an hour of phone time in the ensuing days.
“And that’s the trail that Wells was hot on,” Fanger said. “What Wells wanted to do was simply close the loop by getting the texts so he could get the full picture of the communications between Brady and Jastremski. When he didn’t get that, he obviously (didn’t like it). When you’re the object of a corporate investigation, you’re always better off just coming clean – because if you don’t, then the investigative body is allowed to draw certain conclusions by your non-cooperation and non-production of documents. That’s what happened here. I keep scratching my head, saying, ‘How in God’s name did you end up getting the advice you got not to produce those texts?’ (You’re) always worse off in non-production than you are when you come clean.”