I'm going to take a small leap of faith and assume that our unbeloved cohort of national internet media bigshots hit this forum frequently. Why wouldn't they? We've smelled and documented the real stink on this story since the moment it broke. Even just yesterday, Dibert was the only known human live-blogging Hargrove.
Let's remember a large basic element of the story. The NFL needed more than PFP - they needed BOUNTY - to justify the draconian punishments.
But as all of us knew instantly and what triggered immediate skepticism at the claims was the instinct and fact that THERE IS NO GAME VIDEO that corroborates the claims. We know our defense, and while they were huge playmakers in 2009, they've been underwhelming since.
So now here we are, and as the NFLPA and players' attorneys force NFL "evidence" out into the public, the NFL is throwing around its faux legal terms like "corroborate." And with no evidence in the game films - the only place it should be - what have they insultingly provided to the "convicted" as evidence?
1. Video tapes of sideline huddles.
2. Audio tape of motivational pre-game speeches, taken by a documentary filmmaker of a former player who has ALS.
3. An "alleged rat" who clearly was on the wrong side of Payton and Williams.
4. Crazy allegations that Loomis was eavesdropping on opponents during games like 8 years ago - when - again, there's nothing on the field that would show anything was applicable.
5. Terms like cartoff, whack, and kill the head that have zero context and would be laughed out of any court after real cross-examination.
6. The overtired video of Lord Favre getting smacked in the 2009 NFCCG. (never mind he had an ankle injury entering the game, or that the Minnesota O-Line stunk and was banged up, or that Favre was a blocker on a reverse that we got flagged on for touching him.
7. The fact that they are still trotting out "new" evidence after they've already sanctioned the coaches and players.
8. What else?
This is what Ginsberg means by "exculpatory" evidence. Evidence that seemingly bolsters or "corroborates" the claims. How nice of the NFL and their kangaroo court to throw this crap against a wall to see what sticks - without any reprisal of challenge from a real legal proceeding or courtroom (to date). [Correction per post that follows this. What I am referring to is "inculpatory" evidence]
Florio, Cole, etc... call out the NFL. They proved and it's never been denied there was PFP. But elevating it to bounties was a smear campaign to justify their loathing of Payton, Loomis, and their culture.
Why didn't the NFL just punish Payton and Loomis specifically for vicodin-gate, or, Ornstein? Why did they drop the ball on that? (I guess preoccupation with $8B in stadium debt or locking out players gets the attention.)
Florio and friends, if you are worth anything - if you want to find the real story - then start unearthing PFP all over the NFL. Unlock the NBC and Yahoo and CBS "informant money," and start interviewing as many recent former players as possible. Uncover PFP league-wide, and show that the punishment against Payton is pure vendetta.
If you cannot do that, then take your little blogs and platforms and