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Vilma a scapegoat?

Discussion in 'All Other Team Discussions' started by cupacker, May 3, 2012.

  1. morningwood

    morningwood Cheesehead

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    Please ask any attorney who you know if you have the right take on Mary Jo's role. I think that without exception they will tell you that you are wrong.

    She was hired as a PR move and to give "cover" for Goodell. She was hired to place her stamp of approval on Goodell's actions and that is exactly the service she performed.

    If her job is to merely advise, then why the public statements by Mary Jo? Why is her opinion being paraded about?

    Her job is to influence the public. I would like to think that people could easily see through that.
     
  2. packa7x

    packa7x Cheesehead

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    Come on now, really? Her representation of the document wasn't grossly exaggerated. It proved he lied. Lying about the Bounty scandal proves participation. If you drive the getaway car in a murder, you're still a participant. I understand the NFL pays White, but really? You don't think she's providing the NFL with sound legal advice? As a lawyer yourself, would you ever advise your client to do something if you thought it wouldn't have a chance?
     
  3. packa7x

    packa7x Cheesehead

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    I'm not praising the owners for being innovative, but I am saying that their money turned football from a game into a business and thus created the large pot of money for all the players. You're right, someone else would have monetized the game if the guys who did didn't do it, I'm not debating that. What I am saying is that the assets they provided and provide are necessary for the continuation of the game. I'm not against the players trying to get more. They have every right to. I'm against calling it unfair/wrong that the owners get more.
     
  4. morningwood

    morningwood Cheesehead

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    You need to read the affidavit again. Hargrove may have very well have lied. And, he may very well have participated in a "bounty program." However, he does not say that in his affidavit.

    Also, notice in the last paragraph that he specifcally uses "alleged" to describe "bounty program."

    You can argue that there is a reasonable inference that he lied, but you can't say that he actually states that he lied.

    Furthermore, there is absolutely nothing in his affidavit that indicates that he "participated" in a bounty program.
    I am not sure what you meant when you said, "lying about the Bounty scandal proves participation." Given the fact you followed that statement with your "getaway driver" analogy I presume you meant he was guilty as an accessory after the fact.

    If that is the case, it would have been more accurate for you to have declared, "lying about the Bounty scandal constitutes participation." In any event, I don't think that Mary Jo was trying to convey that theory when she stated that "Hargrove submitted a signed declaration to the league that established not only the existence of the program at the Saints, but also that he knew about and participated in it."

    Again, read the affidvit.
     
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  5. jaybadger82

    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    Well because the NFL pays White, it's misleading for anyone to call her "independent." There's a difference between offering sound legal advice to a client (typically in private) and making a remarkably misleading public statement that exaggerates the nature of the primary evidence against Hargrove in a move clearly calculated to sway public perception. Can't say I'm proud of such pandering by an attorney when it so clearly bastardizes the reality of the actual statement. (Morningwood explains this nicely above: the statement was clearly drafted very carefully to avoid directly confirming the existence of the bounty program and/or any direct participation by Hargrove. The statement was clearly drafted by a lawyer and an attorney such as White should have known better than to characterize it as she did.)

    Again, a more public discipline process before a neutral arbiter would probably eliminate such tactics. Since fans would be able to evaluate the body of evidence themselves, it would eliminate the rampant speculation about the league manufacturing a case against these players. And it's much harder to complain about punishments being excessive when they're levied by a neutral party...
     
  6. packa7x

    packa7x Cheesehead

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    Agreed it's a little misleading to call her independent, but I don't think it makes her opinion invalid. No reason for White to lie about anything and I don't think she mischaracterized anything. Hargrove lied about the bounty system no matter how he phrased it. We know there was one. Williams, Payton, Loomis, etc all admitted to one. Because we know one exists and Hargrove said in his statement that he was told to deny the existence of a bounty program, one can reasonably infer that he knew about the bounty program and actively obstructed the NFL's investigation. The NFL never claimed he contributed money, just participated in it. If you're going to go into semantics about what "no knowledge of a bounty system" means, then you also have to accept the loose interpretation of "participation."

    I just don't see the point in making this "acceptable" and "fair" for fans. Goodell needs some power with punishment. He has a duty to ensure the image of the league is up to his standards and he should have some say in disciplining players. He's offered opportunities for all the players to speak to him about their punishments. They chose not to. Big Ben accepted Goodell's offer in 2010 and was able to get his punishment reduced. A lot of guys go and talk to Goodell (like Ndamukong Suh for example) and have genuinely good conversations and come out understanding his POV. Sure, an arbitrator may look at the Ben case and say "he wasn't convicted of anything so no suspension" but that's not the point. Ben made the league look bad. I guess my point is that an arbitrator may not have the league's image in mind.
     
  7. packa7x

    packa7x Cheesehead

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    One can gather from that document...

    -Hargrove knew of the bounty system
    -Hargrove lied about his knowledge of the bounty system
    -Hargrove's lies helped protect the bounty system which in turn makes him an active participant of the operation of the bounty system.

    Yes, he doesn't come out and say there was a bounty program, but we already know there was. Williams admitted that. With that in mind, Hargrove had to have known about a bounty system because he was being investigated because he apparently spilled the beans about it to another player. He was told to "deny knowledge of it" by coaches. One can gather that the denial of the bounty is him participating in the operation of the bounty system. None of it is outright, but you're looking at the document in a vacuum.
     
  8. morningwood

    morningwood Cheesehead

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    Mary Jo came out and told the public "Hargrove submitted a signed declaration to the league that established not only the existence of the program at the Saints, but also that he knew about and participated in it."

    She says that Hargrove submitted a signed declaration that established:

    -The existence of the bounty program;
    -That Hargrove knew of the existence of the program;
    -That he particpated in it.

    The declaration does none of the three.

    Here is the thing that you are missing. At the time Mary Jo publicly characterized the affidavit it was not yet available to the public. She wasn't merely arguing about what she infered from a document that was available to everyone so that they could decide for themsleves whether they agreed with her or not. She was mischaracterizing evidence at a time when the listeners were dependant on her to accurately describe the evidence.

    This should tell you two things: 1. Mary Jo is an advocate, not a neutral, and 2. it is important to see the evidence itself and not rely the NFL's characterization of the evidence.

    As Jay noted the affidavit was drafted by a lawyer -- the contents were carefully selected. Moreover, this is not the result of Mary Jo being a poor reader. She is a lawyer, and she knew what the affidavit said and what it did not.

    Think about this, the NFL claims to have reviewed 50,000 pages in its investigation. Out of those 50k pages the NFL has selected exactly two pages to parade before the public. The Hargrove affidavit and the Ornstein e-mail. Neither is the smoking gun that the NFL claimed.

    I am not saying that "nothing happened." I am saying that it is time to quit accepting everything the NFL claims at face value.

    A mentor of mine used to say, "I first learn what my case is really about when my client is deposed." Cross examination is a powerful tool for getting to the truth. We have not had that here and Goodell is just as prone as anyone else to making the mistake of falling in love with his "case."
     
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  9. packa7x

    packa7x Cheesehead

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    Don't look at the document in a vacuum. Since we know a bounty system existed, the "affidavit" (it's not really an affidavit) Confirms what we know. Even if we didn't know it...

    "Williams said he was going to deny the existence of any bounty on any player to the NFL, and I should deny it, too. Coach Vitt also said he was going to deny the existence of any bounties. Coach Williams said: "Those motherf-uckers [the NFL] have been trying to get me for years," and if we all "stay on the same page, this will blow over."

    "They told me that when the NFL asked me about any bounty or bounty program, I should "just play dumb."

    Coach Williams said the NFL has been trying to get him for years on the bounty scandal, which he admitted to, and if we all "stay on the same page, this will blow over," is telling. Because we know a bounty system exists, we know that "staying on the same page" means all lying together since Hargrove was instructed to deny the existence and Vitt and Williams would do the same.

    So we clearly have him lying and we know for a fact the bounty system was in fact there even if this was corroborating evidence. So yes, it established a bounty system. In turn, that establishes Hargrove's knowledge of it. If we know there was a bounty system, Hargrove knew about it because he was told to deny the bounty system. Because he actively lied about the bounty system, that establishes his participation in it. The NFL never claimed he contributed or received money, just that he participated. Lying about it is being involved and participating.

    Again, stop looking at this in a vacuum. As a lawyer, I'm sure you don't base your cases off of one affidavit with no other evidence.
     
  10. packa7x

    packa7x Cheesehead

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    Also, "just play dumb" is very telling. Play dumb? If you're playing dumb, you're willfully acting ignorant on a subject you know about, correct?
     
  11. morningwood

    morningwood Cheesehead

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    There certainly is a lot of mental gymnastics, circular reasoning and leaps in logic required to defend Mary Jo's characterization of Hargrove's statement. It sounds like Abbot and Costello's "Who's on First" routine.

    "We know he particpated because he lied. We know he lied because we know the bounty program existed. Ah hell... I was supposed to be arguing that the declaration established the bounty program, well forget that -- don't look at the evidence in a vacuum!"
     
  12. packa7x

    packa7x Cheesehead

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    If you look at anything in a vacuum, it requires plenty of mental gymnastics. A murder weapon in a vacuum is just a gun. By itself it doesn't tell you anything. Even if the gun is registered to the killer. They could just have a gun. But if only 1 shot was used to kill the victim and there's one shot left in the gun, the bullets match the one that killed the victim, and the gun has the killer's fingerprints on it, you've got a murder weapon. You're still assuming. Could someone else with the exact same gun shoot someone? Sure. It's possible. But not likely.

    Plus for the thousandth time, this isn't an fn court case.
     
  13. morningwood

    morningwood Cheesehead

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    Again, it's the way that Mary Jo, who had the benefit of reviewing the document, chose to describe it the public who had not seen it. From the way she described the document one would expect that at the very least Hargrove had explicitly said:

    -A bounty program existed during the time a was a member of the Saints;
    -I was personally aware of the existence of the program;
    -I particpated in it.
    In fact, because Mary Jo boldy stated that the declaration "established" (as opposed to merely stating that he alleged), one might reasonably have expected that he had provided details of the program. For example, "I received a bounty for...." or "I contributed....."
    It seems to me that every time we get a glimpse of the hard evidence we see that the NFL has chosen to exagerate and/or mislead the public. It has been that way from the beginning.

    For example, I will bet that after reading the NFL's initial press release you came away thinking that the NFL had 18,000 documents comprising over 50,000 pages of evidence. Am I right?
     
  14. jaybadger82

    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    Yeah, morningwood explains it very clearly above in post #58. It's misleading to call her independent and White was misleading the public in her statement about what Hargrove directly admitted to. The falsity of her statement didn't become clear until an actual copy of Hargrove's statement was leaked.

    We're well aware that you've reached your own conclusions about Hargrove's participation in the bounty program. The only reason we're talking about Mary Jo White is because you cited her in support of your position in post #47. We know two things about White: (1) she is biased and (2) she made misleading public statements concerning the content of Hargrove's statement. My original advice remains: it's foolish to cite White as some kind of credible, independent support for your position...

    Well, it's the NFL's business to appeal to fans and it's handling of this matter has probably stirred some lasting resentment amongst Saints fans. Had the league disclosed more of its evidence against the suspended players it would have softened such resentment. Basically, the commissioner could have easily handled these punishments in a manner that invites less criticism...

    Regardless of your or my opinions on the matter, the legal dispute currently revolves around whether Goodell actually possesses the authority under the new CBA to issue suspensions in this case. (The Big Ben situation occurred under the old CBA and dealt with a simple personal conduct issue, which was clearly within Goodell's authority to discipline.) Under the new CBA, the NFL agreed to send certain matters to third party arbiters. The question here is whether this matter represents one of those that should be decided by an arbiter.

    Your concerns that an arbiter may not have the league's image in mind might be answered by pointing out that the commissioner has only the league's image in mind. As you're so fond of saying, you can't look at this in a vacuum: Given the concussion lawsuits facing the league, Goodell has a strong interest in being severe and uncompromising with these players. (I suspect the league's reluctance to produce greater evidence supporting these suspensions has a lot to do with fears that it might appear casual in its investigation and eradication of bounty programs. These programs were only wiped out recently and this probably would not play well with a jury in a civil trial.) Your concerns about arbitration are foolish: an arbiter would more likely come to an unbiased decision that balances both the league's interest in reigning in bounty programs and a penalty actually warranted by the evidence.
     

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