The New England Patriots deliberately deflated footballs used in last year’s AFC Championship game. According to an NFL official investigation, the Patriots deflated 11 of 12 footballs they provided in the championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.
According to Wednesday’s report provided by Ted Wells, Jr., the footballs were actually deflated by two pounds under the league minimum of 12.5 pounds per square inch.
The report also cites that quarterback Tom Brady knew about the footballs being deflated and didn’t say or do anything to put a stop to it.
The report was conclusive in two main points. First, after the referees examined the teams’ game balls, the Patriot’s locker room attendant, Jim McNally, and the team’s equipment manager, John Jastremski, purposely tried releasing the air from them.
Second, the report states Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady knew about what Jastremski and McNally were doing and failed to stop the action.
On October 17, 2014, following a Thursday night game between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets, Tom Brady voiced his concern about the state of the footballs.
The Wells report provides evidence of McNally and Jastremski’s text messages pertaining to Brady’s concerns about the footballs.
McNally: Tom sucks…im going make that next ball a f**kin balloon
Jastremski: Talked to him last night. He actually brought you up and
said you must have a lot of stress trying to get them done…
Jastremski: I told him it was. He was right though…
Jastremski: I checked some of the balls this morn… The refs f**ked
us…a few of then were at almost 16
Jastremski: They didnt recheck then after they put air in them
McNally: F**k tom…16 is nothing…wait till next sunday
Jastremski: Omg! Spaz
According to an article by SB Nation, Tom Brady did not cooperate fully with Ted Wells or his group of investigators. Brady refused to turn over text messages, emails, and other electronic communications.
Robert Kraft, the New England Patriots owner, responded to the recent report and allegations by providing the following statement.
“Throughout the process of this nearly four-month investigation, we have cooperated and patiently awaited its outcome. To say we are disappointed in its findings, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship game, would be a gross understatement.”
Under-inflated or deflated footballs are easier to throw and catch. During the 2014 AFC Championship game, the New England Patriots offense used the deflated footballs against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts became suspicious when Colt’s linebacker, D’Qwell Jackson, intercepted a pass thrown by Tom Brady and was able to feel the difference.
The New England Patriots eventually won the game by a score of 45 to 7. The team went on to beat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.
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