May 7, 2015 7:11 p.m. ET
Tom—First off, delete this message after reading. We’ve got enough problems without you adding to them. That hack right-wing writer Peter Schweizer just put out a book, “Clinton Cash,” on us, so we appreciate you taking the tabloid spotlight for a bit.
Second, terrific job responding to all those ankle-biting reporters in January about the deflated pigskins you used during the Patriot’s AFC championship game against the Colts: “I didn’t alter the ball in any way.” Of course, you didn’t. Your ball boys did. That’s what flunkies are for: Doing things you don’t want to get caught doing and then taking the fall.
When asked if you had cheated, you replied honestly: “I don’t believe so. I feellike I’ve always played within the rules. I would never do anything to break the rules.” We added the italics. In admiration. We couldn’t have obfuscated any better. Of course, you don’t believe you did anything wrong. And neither do we.
Also, nice job stonewalling Ted Wells, the NFL’s special investigator, by refusing to hand over your texts and emails. (We can tell you stories about special prosecutors that’ll pin your ears back.) FYI, you should delete those files asap since Congress might decide to pile on and launch its own investigation. Republicans never met a rabbit hole they didn’t want to dive into. Then declare that you only deleted personal correspondence like notes between you and Gisele—no one, not even nosy Republicans or sleazy reporters, has the right to read the correspondence between a husband and wife. Even if it comes to, like, 30,000 emails.
If asked about those autographed footballs and game-worn jerseys that you slipped to the ball boys, claim that they were really gifts that were intended to be auctioned off for fill-in-the-blank charity. We know that Gisele is already checking off the do-gooder box by serving as the “Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme,” but now also might be a good time for you two to set up a putatively philanthropic foundation. You’re making millions, but you still gotta pay the bills.
Most important: Deflect, deflect, deflect like one of those monster Packers defensive linemen batting down one of your passes. For starters, denounce the Wells investigation as a league conspiracy—a “sting operation” as your agent Don Yee said on Thursday. Your dad got it right when he called it “Framegate.” Remember that the NFL front office may be the only governing body in the U.S. that’s less popular than Congress.
It should be clear to fans that the league has had it out for you and Coach Belichick since 2007 when a Patriots video assistant was caught secretly taping Jets defensive signals. But the media back then got distracted by other things—like our presidential campaign. Now here you are all these years later taking the heat off us! Don’t worry though. Reporters have a very short attention span, and lucky for you the NFL is full of screw-ups, maybe even more than on Capitol Hill. Johnny Manziel just came out of rehab. How long can that last?
But if reporters won’t stop hounding you, hold a press conference. Don’t actually answer any of their questions, just keep calling audibles and try to confuse them. Here’s a line you can use, an oldie but goody from Hillary in ’96 that we still love: “It is possible that I did once know something more that would be responsive to these interrogatories. But if I did, I do not recall it now.’’
Hope this helps. If you need any more advice, just holler. Oh, and maybe you could contribute to the Clinton Foundation?
—Bill and Hill
Ms. Finley is an editorial writer for the Journal.