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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