It’s fourth-and-long on Tom Brady’s Deflategate appeal. Does he have a flea-flicker play that might work?
I’m not enough of a legal scholar to rule on that, but Brady and the NFL Players Association aren’t messing around in their choice of counsel. Ted Olsen is their lawyer, the one who is formally requesting that a U.S. Court of Appeals take a second look at its own ruling, and Ted Olsen plays for keeps.
He argued for the winning side in the Bush v. Gore final showdown before the U.S. Supreme Court. There was a presidential election riding on that one, and it was decided in what amounted to double- or triple-overtime.
That gig worked out fairly well for Olsen, who soon was nominated and confirmed to the office of Solicitor General of the United States, a job he worked from 2001-04. The men and women who have filled that role keep an office in the U.S. Supreme Court building and maintain close contact with the justices in cases involving the federal government, which frequently puts them on the short list for elevation to a seat on the Supreme Court itself.
What, you didn’t sign up for a civics lesson?
OK, let’s just agree that Brady is huddling up with one of the Pro Bowlers of the American legal scene, and that it’s not pro bono.
William Howard Taft. Thurgood Marshall. Archibald Cox. Robert Bork. Kenneth Starr. All, like Olsen, were the U.S. Solicitor General at some point in their careers. All had a way of making headlines.
Does any of this mean that Brady will have his four-game suspension reduced or tossed altogether in time for the 2016 NFL season? No, but if anybody can push this Hail Mary effort all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, it figures to be Olsen, who has appeared in that ultimate courtroom many times, including a turn as the NFLPA’s lawyer in the 2001 NFL lockout case.
Frankly, I still figure on seeing Brady in the season opener, riding another wave of legal delays.