As expected, the NFL filed its opening brief in its Deflategate appeal on Monday. Perhaps unexpectedly, the NFL compared Deflategate to a notorious scandal that plagued Major League Baseball nearly 100 years ago.
In the NFL's appeal, the league compared the Patriots' underinflated footballs to the 1919 Black Sox scandal -- the scandal in which eight members of the White Sox were accused of purposely throwing World Series games for money from gamblers.
As you can see in the sample above, the league makes the argument that its "success depends on its integrity and the public's confidence that its games are fair." The NFL then uses the Black Sox scandal as an example of what happens when "those core values are diminished."
Of course, there are a few key differences between the scandals, namely that the NFL does not have definitive proof that Brady deflated the footballs below the NFL's allowed PSI level. During the Black Sox Scandal, two of the players under investigation confessed. While all eight players avoided criminal punishment, they were all banned from baseball.
It's also worth noting that the NFL's appeal isn't necessarily dealing with whether or not Brady committed any wrongdoing. Instead, it's focused on Judge Richard Berman's decision to nullify Goodell's decision to uphold Brady's four-game suspension.
Whether Tom Brady "did it" isn't the legal issue. It's whether Judge Berman wrongly vacated Goodell's decision to uphold TB's suspension.— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) October 26, 2015
Brady's attorney and the NFLPA have until Dec. 7 to issue their response.