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Patriots fans sue over lost #Deflategate draft picks

Mike Florio talks about the passion of football fans in light of the news that seven Patriots fans are actually suing the NFL over the team's lost draft picks due to the Deflategate scandal.

Last year, the Patriots chose not to pursue the fruitless path of persuading the NFL to reconsider the penalties the NFL imposed as a result of the #Deflategate case. A group of Patriots fans have chosen to tilt at the NFL windmill.

Via the Boston Herald, a group of Patriots fans have filed a federal lawsuit in an effort to recover the 2016 first-round pick and the 2017 fourth-round pick that were taken from the team by the NFL. Brought by seven Patriots fans from three different states (Massachusetts, Florida, New Jersey) and signed by Maine lawyer Seth Carey, the civil complaint accuses the league and Commissioner Roger Goodell of fraud, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and racketeering.

“In short, after a three-month, multi-million dollar investigation, actual proof of a plot to deflate footballs was never found,” Carey writes. “In the absence of such evidence, it is difficult to understand why [outside investigator Ted] Wells found such a plot ‘more probable than not.’”

As it relates to the allegation that cheating occurred in connection with the January 2015 AFC championship game, many believe that the evidence is lacking at best, non-existent at worst, given the application of the Ideal Gas Law. Yes, the team’s in-house Beavis and Butthead exchanged some text messages that created real concerns; still, the investigation failed to prove, under any relevant standard, that someone removed air from the footballs prior to the game between the Colts and Patriots. If someone had indeed removed air, the application of obvious (but admittedly unknown to the league at the time) scientific principles would have made the PSI measurements dramatically lower than they actually were.

The lawsuit risks crossing the line between having a shred of merit and becoming potentially frivolous by adding Patriots owner Robert Kraft as a defendant for exercising his privilege to not try to persuade the NFL to change its own mind regarding the penalties. As Kraft has explained, he believed that not pushing an issue that most likely would have been futile would assist the effort of quarterback Tom Brady to avoid a suspension.

Patriots fans who believe that a miscarriage of justice occurred don’t appreciate this nuance. They continue to subjectively believe that the team, and in turn they, were screwed. The lawsuit confirms this lingering frustration, even if the lawsuit gets dismissed far faster than any specific stage of the #Deflategate drama was ever resolved.