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#Deflategate rolls on (Reader Poll—did the Patriots cheat to beat the Colts?)

#Deflategate rolls on (Reader Poll—did the Patriots cheat to beat the Colts?)

It isn’t ISIS, but it looks pretty shady, Mr. Brady.

Today the NFL issued a statement regarding its investigation into whether or not the footballs used in the AFC Championship game were deflated the New England Patriots cheated by using strategically deflated footballs in their battle against the Indianapolis Colts.

To be fair to the NFL, from the looks of the statement it looks like they’re handling things as well as can be expected:

“The investigation is being led jointly by NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash and Ted Wells of the law firm of Paul Weiss. Mr. Wells and his firm bring additional expertise and a valuable independent perspective. The investigation began promptly on Sunday night. Over the past several days, nearly 40 interviews have been conducted, including of Patriots personnel, game officials, and third parties with relevant information and expertise. We have obtained and are continuing to obtain additional information, including video and other electronic information and physical evidence. We have retained Renaissance Associates, an investigatory firm with sophisticated forensic expertise to assist in reviewing electronic and video information.

“…In the coming days, we expect to conduct numerous additional interviews, examine video and other forensic evidence, as well as relevant physical evidence. While the evidence thus far supports the conclusion that footballs that were under-inflated were used by the Patriots in the first half, the footballs were properly inflated for the second half and confirmed at the conclusion of the game to have remained properly inflated. The goals of the investigation will be to determine the explanation for why footballs used in the game were not in compliance with the playing rules and specifically whether any noncompliance was the result of deliberate action. We have not made any judgments on these points and will not do so until we have concluded our investigation and considered all of the relevant evidence.

Various NFL players have come forward to cry foul over Tom Brady’s insistence that he had no idea the balls used during the first half of play weren’t inflated properly. I don’t necessarily blame them—Brady has been a little cavalier about the whole thing:

Facing a ferocious and relentless wave of Deflategate questions from a throng of reporters at Gillette Stadium, Brady was asked what he says to friends who are concerned about him, and inexplicably invoked the bloodthirsty terrorist group.

“Things are going to be fine — this isn’t ISIS,” Brady said. “No one’s dying.”
It was a poor attempt by Brady to deflect the heat currently engulfing him and the Patriots after the NFL found during a halftime inspection in last Sunday’s AFC Championship Game that all 12 of their primary game balls had been doctored.

So, what do you think? did the Patriots doctor their balls to ensure a win in the AFC Championship?

Poll open until midnight on Saturday.


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Ultimately, I expect to find out that it was caused by the dreaded Die Fledermaus. League officals will then call in an exterminator.

listen to the Rush Limbaugh show. He actually looks up the rules. It is possible that there was no intentional under inflation. You will not know this until the inflation equipment and the official test equipment is checked for accuracy. As what has been done by the League is unknown at this point there is not much point in guessing and there will be no resolve until after 02/01/15.

But keeping your mouth shut until there is some kind of a decision is not normal behavior for sportscasters and writers.

    MarkS in reply to OldNuc. | January 23, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    If deflation was caused by faulty equipment the the Colts’ would also be under inflated. Miraculously, only eleven of the twelve balls used by New England were at 10.5 psi and as luck would have it the ball the Patriots used for kicking had the highest pressure. Faulty equipment? Yeah, right!

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to MarkS. | January 23, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      I have not seen a single report that the Colts balls were measured at halftime. If you have one I would like to see it.

        You must have a reading problem. Both sides’ balls are checked before the game and at halftime. All passed the first check, 11 of the Patriots’ 12 were under at halftime.

      Olinser in reply to MarkS. | January 23, 2015 at 10:04 pm

      Which can still be explained by a piece of faulty equipment.

      Regulations say the balls are supposed to be between 12.5 and 13.5 PSI.

      Let’s say the Patriot’s pump was off by 2 PSI. Brady and the rest of the team likes the balls a bit underinflated, so they used the same pump on their balls to set them to 12.5.

      The Colts balls, and the kicking ball, were inflated to the maximum by a different guy who kept them separate, using a different (and non-faulty) pump set to 13.5 PSI.

      There you have the difference in pressure created by a single faulty pump. Not saying that’s what happened, but it’s certainly plausible.

      I would also like to point out that the referees are SUPPOSED to inspect the balls PRIOR to the game.

      I also think its stupid the teams provide balls to begin with. Why aren’t the officials providing the game balls if this was potentially a problem?

      DaveGinOly in reply to MarkS. | January 24, 2015 at 1:17 am

      “…as luck would have it the ball the Patriots used for kicking had the highest pressure.”

      This is simply not possible. The 12 balls on each sideline (24 in total) are supplied by the teams and those balls are used on plays from scrimmage. The kicking balls are separate. They are delivered from the factory in a sealed box directly to the game officials. The officials inflate them and distribute them to the ball attendants. The kicking balls are not handled by either team. So the 12th, properly-inflated ball on the Pats sideline, if it was one of the 12 balls supplied by the team (and if it’s one of the “12,” it must be) couldn’t possibly have been a kicking ball, because they are received, handled, and distributed separately from the scrimmage balls.

Phttt. No es importante.

    Yep. You would think a murder was committed. Death and destruction all around and the media is focused on the air pressure in a football.

    nordic_prince in reply to Ragspierre. | January 23, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    I am firmly in the “who gives a flying fig” camp. Incredible that people are getting their shorts in a wad over this.

      When you take into consideration that the modern equivalent of Juvenal’s “panem et circenses” (bread and circuses) is “Beer and Ballgames” any trifling incident concerning the ‘sport’ is of the gravest, earth shattering, import.

    Estragon in reply to Ragspierre. | January 24, 2015 at 12:33 am

    The rules don’t matter, then?

    When a politician is caught breaking the law, we may say, “They all do it,” but that doesn’t mean we don’t hang the ones who get caught.

      DaveGinOly in reply to Estragon. | January 24, 2015 at 1:25 am

      So when was Peyton Manning or anyone else at the Broncos hanged? The Broncos failed to report Manning’s injury on the injury report prior to one of their post-season games. That’s called “breaking the rules in order to gain an unfair advantage,” aka “cheating.” Where was the uproar?

      When one considers that the minor monetary penalty for the infraction indicates that the league considers under-inflated balls to be a minor infraction, that minor infractions (like not reporting player injuries) happen all the time with practically no notice, and that the Pats beat the Colts 28-7, with their second half points alone (with “regulation” balls), why is everyone so upset about this?

      One word – Haters.

        When the cover-up is worse than the crime, or becomes the crime, we have a Watergate on our hands. Let’s see what develops.

More on target was Sarah Palin speaking of the GOP majority: “The New England Patriots are not the only ones dealing with deflated balls.”

legacyrepublican | January 23, 2015 at 5:04 pm

Does anybody appreciate the irony that the league is under pressure to solve this?

The notion that a pro quarterback did not know the ball as soft is absurd. He makes his living with football. When a defensive back with an interception notices the ball is soft, then only a liar for a quarterback can claim he did not notice.

    MarkS in reply to RickCaird. | January 23, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Former NFL center Trevor Matich has said that he could tell from performing a snap how much air was in the ball. Brady is a liar and the coach has strike two for cheating

    Vince in reply to RickCaird. | January 23, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    The refs should have noticed it as well, right?

    JOHN B in reply to RickCaird. | January 23, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    If low pressure footballs help so much:

    1.Why did they do so much better in the second half when the balls were not under-inflated?

    2. Why would Aaron Rodgers say that he likes the balls inflated higher and that low pressure balls are not as good.

    Based on the above, maybe someone from the Colts lowered the pressure to hurt the Patriots on the field and then report it to the press to make them look bad. Would not put it past Colts’ owner Irsay.

      DaveGinOly in reply to JOHN B. | January 24, 2015 at 1:30 am

      Far more likely that Belichick ordered it done. Not to get an advantage on the Colts – he knew they didn’t need it, as you pointed out. But to get into the Seahawks’ heads. They are now wondering, “How will Belichick cheat against us,” and wasting precious mental energy considering something that probably won’t actually happen. It’s all part of the head game that Belichick excels at.

      This is also one of the reasons he ran the “ineligible receiver” plays against the Ravens. It wasn’t just to confuse the Ravens, but to make the Colts wonder, “What will he try on us?” He got into their heads and they got whooped.

I haven’t touched a football since I was 5 years old so could someone tell me is there noticable difference between a football with 10.5 psi vs 12.5 psi?

It’s Belichick, of course they cheated. Did that win them the game, though? Nope.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | January 23, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Commenter “4fun” passes on this link. It’s a quiz from Congressman Todd Young. The Congressman asks which statements came from the Pats and which were from the Obama Admin.

Three reasons why I don’t give a f**k:

Let start with the NFL:
1-Rush Limbaugh is too controversial to be a co-owner (yes- you are supporting an entity who believes your political views are dangerous)
2-Contrasting with the above, most of the Players are semi literate thugs, rapists, wife beaters and would-be Michael Browns.

Then we’ll move to the fans:
3-86% of the fans are bankrupt on paper, but have money for $100 “12th man” jerseys, flat screens and ginormous cable packages. Geeze if people could get that fired about saving for their own retirement or paying their mortgage off.

you’re all Paul Allen’s bitches in February.

Pro sports represents so much that is wrong in this country in a very bipartisan manner.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to Andy. | January 23, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Hear! Hear!

    I’m sure there are exceptions (follow your heart) but in general: shun pro sports, shun Hollywood movies, and shun MSM channels, papers and magazines.

    I agree. In addition to your reasons, I would add:

    4. The out-of-control political correctness that mandates teams wear pink for one month out of each season.

    5. Last summer ESPN turned itself into the Michael Sam Network. A mediocre seventh-round draft pick who could not even make the practice squad on two different teams!

    6. The endless celebrating, trash-talking and taunting. I am tired of players treating each 2-yard-gain (or loss) like it was a Super Bowl championship. Too often after every snap there are 10-15 seconds of actual play followed by 10-15 seconds of strutting and celebrating.

    Anchovy in reply to Andy. | January 23, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    Agree 100%. While I am sure there are reasonable professional football players, basketball players and baseball players, I simply do not care to watch professional thugism, spitting (what is so wrong with your mouth that you have to spit every 10 seconds?), trash talking, tats, and the mindless after game interview where some professed college graduate solemnly comments that he is only going to play one game at a time (as if he had the option of playing multiple games at the same time).

Tom Brady had no idea this was happening until after the fact. This weekend, we’ll find out that the balls were deflated because of a YouTube video, and the NFL will make sure that the producer of that video is punished.

I grew up in WI, so I don’t care. I just wish the Packers could have tampered with their balls in Seattle, but it was clear that they didn’t have any remaining in the second half.

Let’s look at facts and ignore speculation for the moment.

1. The NFL has not released anything. Nothing.
2. All reports of 11 of 12 balls, 2 PSI under originates with a single sports reporter who is notoriously wrong and his “anonymous source. Everyone else is quoting him.

Why don’t we all sit back and wait for the NFL report?

    Estragon in reply to Sheep. | January 24, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Because the NFL has a history.

    Also, if the report were wrong, that statement would have come out IMMEDIATELY. IF, in fact, all the balls met the rules, there was no reason at all not to come out and deny the report based on the officials’ own observations.

It’s stunning that John Boehner has not weighed in on this, being he is America’s preeminent expert on deflated balls.

If the rules don’t matter, why have them?

The NFL has more rules on this stuff than any other sport. If there is no good reason for limiting the inflation pressure to 10.5 – 12.5 pounds, why be so specific in the rule?

They went all gaga over the Rice case, off-field behavior possibly less serious than Ray Lewis being involved in a murder. If the on-the-field rules count for nothing, well – might as well be pro wrestling, eh?

Something smells awfully rotten here. I just hope eventually we get to hear the truth.

No investigation is needed, they have all the pertinent data they need. Just looking at the fumble ratios the patriots have a highly abnormal low number of them. Its so abnormal that it can’t be explained who all of sudden they basically went from having a crappy fumble rating to being a far and out outlier. Far as I consider it, I have no skin in the game as I don’t follow football, but if you are allowed to deflate your ball by 20% with no consequence, why not let using baseballs and gloves since using regulation footballs does’t matter