GLENDALE AZ - OCTOBER 10: Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints prepares to snap the ball during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 10 2010 in Glendale Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Saints 30-20. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Drew Brees
Saints QB Drew Brees recently compared the NFL's investigation of a bounty program existing among the New Orleans Saints to former U.S. President George W. Bush's insistence of Iraq's ownership of weapons of mass destruction. For obvious reasons, his comment made headlines, but Brees apologized for the comment later on.
The question is why?
Essentially, what Brees is saying is the league is operating off evidence Brees (and the four suspended Saints players, Anthony Hargrove in particular) doesn't feel is credible.
Seems to me it's a perfectly valid comparison.
If NFL fans were told there were "weapons of mass destruction" enough times, they'd believe it. But what happens when you don't find any????— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) June 19, 2012
He's not calling the NFL anything in particular, he's simply pointing out a recent historical event that he feels summarizes his stance on the entire affair.
He didn't quite back off the statement, but did offer his explanation for using the reference.
My WMD comment has nothing to do with politics or our brave military. Merely an analogy to show how media influences public perception— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) June 19, 2012
Hargrove didn't reference anything, just simply said the voice in the tape the NFL allegedly has isn't his. Maybe that's a bit thin (it's understandable the person accused of a violation doesn't agree he is guilty), the league certainly is certainly doing what it can to further its agenda.
Through league mouthpiece Mike Florio, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) is getting involved, and in Florio's words:
Though Goodell may not specifically blame the players, their lawyers, and/or the NFLPA for trying to frustrate that objective, he may not need to.
He's exactly right, he may not have to outwardly blame the players. He can simply call in a favor from a U.S. Senator, do a grip-and-grin photo opportunity and, through the league's top-notch media manipulation techniques, send out the impression they're so serious about their evidence, they have the backing of a prominent U.S. politician.
Is that any thinner than what Hargrove is saying?
Maybe it's time for the league to call the players' bluff, if they're so convinced that's what's happening here, and even though it may cause some short-term damage and headaches, let the public see and hear the evidence. Goodell created the breach of trust in 2007-08 when he ruled fines and docked draft picks on the Patriots during SpyGate, which is essentially the reason why the players are fighting this as hard as they are.