New England Patriots

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For  workers and unions, there hasn’t been much to celebrate on Labor Day in recent years. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says things may finally be looking up.

Judge Richard M. Berman’s decision to vacate Tom Brady’s four-game suspension is a stunning victory for the New England Patriots quarterback and a stinging blow to the National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Think of the NFL as the Roman Empire of sports in America and Goodell as Caesar. Magnificent stadia dot the landscape from coast to coast, and every week from September to January gladiators clash to the cheers of hundreds of thousands of loyal subjects.

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The NFL lawyer who investigated the deflation of footballs by the Patriots last season says he has direct evidence quarterback Tom Brady knew about the incident.

Following the investigation the NFL hit Brady with a four game suspension, which has some fan scratching their heads.

Bradford Griffin from Woonsocket said it seems unfair to give Brady a four-game suspension when another player was suspended for just two games in a case involving domestic violence.

  Sports World has lost its mind. Again.

Why would the NFL suspend Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of the 2015 season because an investigator concluded that it was “more probable than not” that Brady had something to do with footballs being deflated for the AFC Championship game last January? No concrete evidence. Just “more probable than not.”

Why would the league fine the Patriots $1 million when the investigation did not implicate the owner Robert Kraft or the head coach Bill Belichick?


Office of the Press Secretary

April 23, 2015


South Lawn

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  Welcome to the White House.  Please have a seat.  And, well, maybe before you have a seat, give it up for the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots!  (Applause.)  All right, now you can have a seat.

Keith Allison / via Flickr Creative Commons

New England Tech has landed a big speaker for the school’s 75th commencement – former New England Patriot and fan favorite Vince Wilfork, one of the NFL’s best defensive tackles.

Wilfork, at 6 foot 2 inches and 325 pounds, was with the Pats for eleven years and was a member of the 2015 Super Bowl champions. He recently became a free agent and will play next season for the Houston Texans. His jersey was number 75.

Aaron Read RIPR

  We all know that Tom Brady grew up in San Mateo, Calif., played football at Serra High and Michigan, started in five Super Bowls and won three.  We also know he will start his sixth Super Bowl Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

Aaron Read RIPR

  Snowmageddon 2015 will melt into history in a week or so. Deflategate unfortunately, will take a bit longer.  So let’s turn our attention to Super Bowl XLIX, or Super Bowl 49 for those of you who slept through Roman Numerals in elementary school.

Specifically, let’s turn our attention to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady because a long time will pass before we see another like him.

Did anything happen this week not involving the New England Patriots and deflated footballs? Indeed. So read on, dear reader, and thanks for stopping by. As always feel free to share your tips/thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

Deflategate is a migraine for the National Football League and an embarrassment for the New England Patriots, but for the nation’s sports media, it’s a gift. A Big,Beautiful, Wrapped Present.  Think Christmas morning, and the largest box under the tree is labeled: To Reporters, From The Patriots.

That’s Deflategate, the ball controversy swirling about the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots. Did the Patriots deflate game balls last Sunday, possibly making it easier for quarterback Tom Brady to throw and tight end Rob Gronkowski to catch in the rain? If they didn’t, who did?

Bernard Gagnon / Wikimedia Commons

The New England Patriots dominated the Indianapolis Colts Sunday despite the wind and rain at Gillette Stadium.  They won a commanding 45-7 victory in the American Football Championship. Next, they head to the Super Bowl, where they will face the Seattle Seahawks.  Seattle come off a from-the-behind win over the Green Bay Packers. 

Bernard Gagnon / Wikimedia Commons

As the Patriots hurtle towards the American Football Conference championships this weekend, the Attorney General’s office is warning fans not to fall for ticket scams. 

For high profile games like the AFC Championships or the Super bowl demand for tickets goes up, and with it, the opportunity for scams.  The AG’s office reminds local fans not to let themselves be tricked just to get a real-life glimpse of the grid-iron.  If you missed out on regular tickets don’t go to sites like Craigslist to find one.

Hockey fans of the Boston Bruins will be able to show their allegiance on their Rhode Island license plates under legislation approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

Under the law, the new Bruins plates will cost hockey devotees an extra $40, half of which will go to the state and half will be allocated to charities affiliated with the Boston Bruins Foundation. The money must be spent on Rhode Island-based charities.

It seems sometimes like every Rhode Island business and political leader points to the better economy in Massachusetts. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay looked across the state border and finds more myth than reality.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Yesterday was a pivotal day in the life of Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. He was charged with murdering a friend and fired from the team all in the same day. Rhode Island Public Radio's Flo Jonic was on hand for his arraignment in Attleboro District Court.

Aaron Hernandez was dressed in the same clothes he was arrested in: a white, v-neck tee shirt and red shorts. He showed no emotion as Bristol County prosecutor Bill McCauley laid out the state's case against him.