“Deflate-Gate” may go back farther than anyone previously realized.
While the NFL mulls over how to punish the New England Patriots, accusations continue to mount against the AFC Conference Champions.
The Baltimore Ravens, who were quite bitter after their Divisional loss, have officially joined the Deflate-Gate fray.
The Ravens allegedly warned the Colts that the Patriots before the AFC Championship match about the possibility of deflated balls.
Apparently this is what led to the investigation following the Colts’ loss.
The NFL looked into the matter, and found that the Patriots had under-inflated 11 of 12 game balls.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick has officially gone on record as having no explanation for Deflate-Gate, the New England Patriots may still have A LOT more explaining to do.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 22, 2015
Recent reports indicate that the Indianapolis Colts were concerned about deflated balls as early as November.
According to ABC News, Colts safety Mike Adams had intercepted two balls during that game. Adams immediately turned over the game balls to the Colts equipment manager to save.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter was reportedly alerted to the possibility of ball-tampering earlier in the season.
This is very troubling for a few reasons.
First, if the New England Patriots tampered with game balls during the playoffs and regular season, there is a possibility that they’ve been doing this all season long.
Whether other teams will come forward to raise grievances remains to be seen.
There is also the fact that it demonstrates that the New England Patriots learned nothing as a franchise from their 2007 hand signal scandal for which Belichick and the Patriots were together fined a total of $750,000.
The unethical behavior of the Patriots also cost them a draft pick.
But this scandal continues to grow to such a degree where minor fine and a lost draft pick may be too mild a punishment in the eyes of a number of NFL fans.
As previously reported at the Inquisitr, a growing chorus of angry NFL fans is demanding that the New England Patriots be stripped of their Super Bowl spot over Deflate-Gate.
Patriots fans argue that this is excessive, claiming that the final score suggests that the New England team would have gone to the Super Bowl regardless of the cheating scandal.
Baltimore radio personality Jeremy Conn thinks that those looking to excuse the Patriots over Deflate-Gate are missing the point as to why New England should be punished:
“The reason I think it’s so ridiculous that people are defending them is because this isn’t the first time the Patriots have been caught trying to gain an [illegal] edge. We all know about Spygate. If you think this is the first game that they have tried this nonsense, then you are totally naive.
“How many games have they tried to gain an advantage in the regular season or even the postseason? Deflated balls are easier to grip and to catch. Brady said in an interview back in 2011 that he preferred deflated balls. How many drives have been extended or games have been altered because of this? We don’t know.”
If the New England Patriots have been accommodating quarterback Tom Brady all season long, then there could be larger sanctions on the horizon.
Do you think it’s possible that the New England Patriots have been deflating game balls all season?
[Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons]