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Catching the Accusers: A True Detective Story Solving a 100-Million Dollar Scandal of Public Deception Where Leaked Information Shows Only the Accuser (Paperback)
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84% of Americans have it wrong. A 100 million dollar sports scandal frequently covered in the national news isn’t what people think. It is fake accusations that made real news. Only the accusers are guilty. They framed the innocent by withholding information and misconstruing other information. In an added twist, the guilty organization violated the very rules it claimed to be enforcing. Fortunately, the accusers didn’t scrub their testimony and data hard enough to fully wash away the proof of innocence.
In popular culture, Deflategate is about Tom Brady and the Patriots getting caught letting air out of their footballs to gain an unfair advantage. It was easy and convenient to believe the Patriots cheated; don’t all teams cut corners? There appeared to be a lot of incriminating text message evidence. This is the true-life detective story of how the author discovered that the NFL had the data to completely vindicate the Patriots but withheld it from the public. The information accidentally leaked out in ways no one expected. The alleged conspiracy of blackmail, bribes, secret codes, sneaking away with footballs and a needle, and “the deflator” falls apart. A key question was this: NFL investigator Alberto Riveron “took the intercepted ball from Daniel and walked into the dressing room area”: why? The NFL’s report doesn’t say. What did Mr. Riveron do to that football in the privacy of the dressing area that was so unspeakable that the NFL’s PG-13 report couldn’t tell us? Why did Mr. Riveron appear to let the opposing team’s footballs warm up and dry out for 13 minutes before checking them to see if the cold, wet weather made their pressure drop just like the Patriots footballs?
The NFL’s character-assassination hit-man Ted Wells accidentally revealed the answers to these and other questions when he let slip two tiny details that his co-authors had carefully omitted from their report. Why did the NFL's scientists omit the temperature data they gathered while testing moistened footballs? These and other details prove the Patriots and the Alberto Riveron innocent and Ted Wells guilty. Told in the style of TV Detective Columbo, using invented dialogue, the true story follows the author's old-fashioned detective work of crosschecking witness accounts, building time lines, and parsing carefully lawyered statements. The detective work applies science and the NFL's own data. An appendix has science fair projects that provide better science than the NFL got for their $600,000.
Deflategate should become a rare example of the public overcoming misinformation and tribal thinking. Instead of supporting an unjustified penalty against a rival team, the public should bring enough pressure to make the rich and powerful put things right. Ideally, this experience will help people be less accepting of misinformation and more willing to consider information that contradicts their preferred beliefs. This would make for a better-functioning democracy. The reader can participate in serving justice in the court of public opinion.
About the Author
Rob Young is abnormally angered by the kinds of injustices that are caused by public failure to care about getting the facts right, and by people exploiting that failure. He has a liberal arts degree and a Master of Business Administration, earned with class rank tied for two and tied for one, and an engineering degree, all from prestigious schools at Dartmouth College. He has worked as a software engineer and as an engineer turned to the dark side (a.k.a. a sales engineer). By day he often does technology detective work to undue over-zealous sales and marketing claims by competitors. He hopes his work on Deflategate is just the start of solving larger problems of public collaboration on getting the facts right. Deflategate brings all these things together, including pondering his next steps while driving the tractor around his field, when he’s not standing in it.
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