Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Blank says Pats’ “failure to acknowledge” caused hammer to fall

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank pauses while speaking at a news conference announcing that Mike Smith has been fired as head coach, Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)


When the NFL investigated the Falcons for pumping fake crowd noise into the Georgia Dome, they took a novel approach.

They fessed up, got rid of a scapegoat, took their punishment and didn’t write a 20,000-word screed explaining that it was just Jim McNally’s step class mix tape.

And Falcons owner Arthur Blank seemed to suggest that was the difference in penalties between his team ($350,000, a fifth-rounder and three months of team president Rich McKay on the competition committee) and the Patriots ($1,000,000, a first- and fourth-round draft pick and four games worth of quarterback Tom Brady).

“That seems to be the general feeling, that some of the frustration whether on an individual basis or organizational basis, was the failure to acknowledge,” Blank said of the Patriots punishment, via the Associated Press.

Blank said he wasn’t familiar with all the details of the DeflateGate investigation (they keep the 10-foot-poles with which to not touch things on Aisle 37 at Home Depot), but couldn’t help but see the differences in his case and Robert Kraft’s.

“Of course you think about it,” Blank said. “The league feels a tremendous sense of responsibility, as do all the owners, in reinforcing the culture of the NFL, the shield and make sure the game remains as balanced and as pure and as true to its integrity and its ethics as can be done. When they find any organization or any individual has gotten off those tracks it’s their job to remind them of that and bring them back on the tracks and do it in a way that really reinforces what the league is about.

“I think in the case of New England they have done that.”

Blank also said that Kraft remained one of the influential owners in the league, and thinks he’ll be able to weather the storm.

“I think after things are processed, Robert will be in a good place, I think the commissioner will be in a good place, I think their relationship will be a good one and they will continue to work for the benefit of the National Football League for a long time,” Blank said.

Of course, that relationship is going to need some work in the time being, and Blank may have to offer a discount on some spackle and a can of paint to get it patched up.