All of the talk since the New England Patriots destroyed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 in the AFC Championship Game is that they may have had footballs under-inflated. Well, evidence has now come to light that the Patriots actually had 11 of their 12 allotted game footballs under-inflated by two pounds per square inch of air as required by NFL regulations.
ESPN reported that the information comes from a source that is familiar or directly involved with the ongoing investigation.
With the victory over the Colts, the Patriots are heading to their sixth Super Bowl to take on the Seattle Seahawks. The focus is on the so-called #deflategate though, but the NFL isn’t talking just yet.
“We are not commenting at this time,” said Greg Aiello, the NFL’s senior vice president of communications.
Members of the Patriots have gotten a bit defensive with the whole situation, per Yahoo Sports. Quarterback Tom Brady even said that this investigation and the accusations are “the last of my worries. I don’t even respond to stuff like this.”
Other members of the Patriots have even gone as far as to make jokes about the whole idea that they had under-inflated footballs.
The NFL is expected to finish up their #deflategate investigation in the next “two or three days” per Troy Vincent, the league’s senior executive vice president of football operations. It is not known what type of penalties could come down on the Patriots, or if there will be any at all.
There is still more time that needs to be put into the investigation, and that includes determining how the 11 footballs on the Patriots’ side became under-inflated. Referee Walt Anderson was to receive and inspect the footballs for both the Colts and Patriots a full two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff.
After his inspection and approval, the footballs were returned to each team, and league rules state that none shall be altered in any way.
NFL requirements state that all footballs must be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch. They also must weigh between 14 and 15 ounces or they will not be approved for game use.
As the New England Patriots prepare to face the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, they must now also deal with the distraction of #deflategate. They can say that it doesn’t bother them, but it is surely in the back of their minds.
[Image via Getty Images]