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Leinart says “every” quarterback tampers with the ball, except one

Leinart Getty Images

It took a couple of days, but #DeflateGate is officially a full-blown NFL controversy, inflating ratings and page views throughout the sports media.

Adding to the intrigue is the vague notion that other quarterbacks have doctored footballs.  Former Super Bowl-winning quarterback Brad Johnson has admitted paying ball boys to scuff up footballs before the 37th installment of the NFL’s premier event — although he insists he violated no rules.  Now, a former Heisman winner who never quite made it at the pro level contends that most quarterbacks do something to the football.

Every team tampers with the footballs,” Matt Leinart said on Twitter.  “Ask any Qb In the league, this is ridiculous!!”

Leinart then carved out one exception:  “Actually my guy @kurt13warner didn’t tamper w the footballs because he wore gloves,” Leinart said.  “Used to irritate me..So correction, almost all QBs!

Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal, who’s currently in Mobile, Alabama for the first significant pre-draft event, supports the notion that tampering is commonplace by noting that “NFL head coaches here at Senior Bowl seem downright offended that people think this deflation stuff is a big deal.”

While the rules are the rules (brilliant!), the question of whether the rules regarding ball inflation/deflation are commonly ignored become as relevant to the final analysis of #DeflateGate as does the Patriots’ past transgression from 2007.  If, that is, the NFL concludes that 11 of 12 footballs used by New England in the first half of the AFC title game were two pounds per square inch below the minimum due to deliberate misconduct.

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128 Responses to “Leinart says “every” quarterback tampers with the ball, except one”
  1. h0c2000 says: Jan 21, 2015 3:58 PM

    It would mean more if it came from a QB who used to play in the NFL.

  2. mzew233 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:01 PM

    What the H do NFL coaches know? Aren’t columnist hot takes from just beaten Balt and Indy nd PFT better gauges?

  3. vincentbojackson says: Jan 21, 2015 4:01 PM

    He played at USC so he’s an expert on the topic of cheating.

  4. truthfactory says: Jan 21, 2015 4:02 PM

    People have admitted to “tampering” which is within the rules.

    I have yet to hear someone admit they inflated/deflated balls after they were approved by refs.

    Apple and orange

  5. detroitsfinest981 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:02 PM

    I’m an equipment manager for a division one school from one of the power conferences and I can tell you without a doubt every single team does this. It’s all about the QB’s preference. The balls are suppose to be around 12-13 PSI and it makes the ball have very little give to it. Drop it to 10-11 and it has just a little more give. Having work with footballs every day of my college career I can tell you that it honestly doesn’t make that big of a difference. It helps with QB’s with smaller hands but it also won’t cut through the air as effectively. Every school/team has their own little tricks.

  6. pmuraus says: Jan 21, 2015 4:03 PM

    No way.My Jaguars don’t tamper those balls. Isn’t it obvious? If they do, they suck on that too. Go Jags!

  7. 3 Finger Lenny says: Jan 21, 2015 4:03 PM

    Matty should have stayed in college forever

  8. truthfactory says: Jan 21, 2015 4:04 PM

    The Colts were playing in Cold weather in windy conditions and obviously didnt deflate the balls.

    “Everyone is doing it” is cliche… But not an excuse. Bring down the hammer for the multiple offenders.

    Thought this was the one time they could win without cheating… But now thats out the window too.

  9. stoopidfool says: Jan 21, 2015 4:04 PM

    didn’t take long for mike to return to the stupidity aisle

    if everyone does it is relevant since the addressing it now would be an acknowledgement that the rules are applied selectively.

    If the colts complained in november and nothing was said or done, then there’s no justification to say something should be done now

    tough crap for the NFL not enforcing it’s own rules.

  10. marvsleezy says: Jan 21, 2015 4:05 PM

    My 2 cents – after this year, maybe change the rules to allow a little more leeway on air pressure.

    Another point. They say Brady has smaller hands, and Rodgers has larger hands and thats why they like the ball a little different.

    So that leads me to believe if your hands are in between Rodgers hand size and Bradys, that you would be just fine with a perfectly legally inflated ball.

    And once again, we should stay on point here, we should only be talking about air pressure, not all the other stuff they do to the ball WHICH IS LEGAL.

  11. jjeagle says: Jan 21, 2015 4:05 PM

    leinart is not (never was) an NFL QB….so his opinion does not matter

  12. derpadeederpjetsyjet says: Jan 21, 2015 4:05 PM

    Pitch forks and Torches at the ready boys. Let the derp fest begin…

  13. zvikes says: Jan 21, 2015 4:05 PM

    If you read the rest of his posts, he talked about messing with the footballs days before the game. In other words well before the refs test the balls. So not the same thing as what the Pats are accused of doing.

    In other words, Leinart failed at cheating. Maybe that was his problem all along!

  14. babyjunkie says: Jan 21, 2015 4:05 PM

    Nok su cow, Kurt!

  15. mrozma says: Jan 21, 2015 4:06 PM

    Maybe if he had a “lion heart” he would get some respect.

    P.S. For those who didn’t get the joke…
    “lion heart” = Leinhart

  16. magnumpimustache says: Jan 21, 2015 4:07 PM

    Brett Favre? What say you?

    Peyton Manning please stand upm

  17. yagru says: Jan 21, 2015 4:07 PM

    This is another one of those situations where this 1 incident is going to ruin it for every other quarterback who likes to prep the football. You have to believe every club does something that presses the bounds of the rules.. Do they really want to get into a situation where they are nitpicking every little infraction.

    In this case you are going to piss off a league full of quarterbacks who can no longer overinflate, underinflate or scuff the ball.. when before today there was not a single complaint from seemingly any nfl player.

  18. rr2000k says: Jan 21, 2015 4:07 PM

    Doing, and getting caught are 2 different things.

  19. casualmalexlfan says: Jan 21, 2015 4:08 PM

    Lienart spent more time tampering with hot tub heat settings than learning to be a quality NFL quarterback.

  20. stealthjunk says: Jan 21, 2015 4:08 PM

    Apparently the Colts are not “every team” because while their game was deflated, their balls were not.

    Regardless, cheating is cheating. There are studies showing that steroids only helped batters hit the ball a couple of extra feet, if anything. Does that mean taking steroids “isn’t a big deal” or that Barry Bonds’s home run record is legit because his home runs were flying all the way into McCovey Cove? Of course not. There is nothing in the rule book that makes it “OK” to cheat just because the game is not close. In fact, one could argue the game was not close because of the cheating. Maybe Brady struggles in the first half, the Colts grab some momentum, and run away with the game. We’ll never know because of the cheating that occurred in the first half.

  21. dyims says: Jan 21, 2015 4:08 PM

    TWO LBS per square inch!!!!!???????? There would be any air left in the ball or very little of the ball itself. Maybe someone might want to check on that stat again.

  22. distracted9 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:09 PM

    I’m not a Patriots fan but I have a ton of respect for their organization.. Hate all you want but be honest with yourself, who wouldn’t want Brady/Belichick heading up their team? I was also wondering why there’s no mention of the Colts having 7 deflated balls themselves.

  23. indymarc says: Jan 21, 2015 4:09 PM

    Patriots cheat. End of story.

  24. sammyias says: Jan 21, 2015 4:10 PM

    LIEnart knows Romo does?

    Rogers?
    Gabbert?
    Manning?
    Manning?
    Brady? (never mind that one)
    Brees?
    Vick?
    Flacco?
    Dalton?
    J. Football?

    etc … etc.

    Leinart doesn’t know squat about what “Every” Quarterback does.

  25. dutchman1350 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:10 PM

    @detroitsfinest981 – Devin Gardner is a lousy QB, so the PSI is irrelevant.

  26. ufanforreal says: Jan 21, 2015 4:11 PM

    Every QB tampers with the ball:
    Ok lets say they do, were they stupid enough to get caught, and if it’s no big deal then why is there a rule addressing it?

  27. touchdownelvis says: Jan 21, 2015 4:11 PM

    jjeagle says: Jan 21, 2015 4:05 PM

    leinart is not (never was) an NFL QB….so his opinion does not matter

    So… when were you an NFL QB, “jjeagle”?

  28. stealthjunk says: Jan 21, 2015 4:12 PM

    stoopidfool says:
    Jan 21, 2015 4:04 PM

    if everyone does it is relevant since the addressing it now would be an acknowledgement that the rules are applied selectively. If the colts complained in november and nothing was said or done, then there’s no justification to say something should be done now

    tough crap for the NFL not enforcing it’s own rules.

    ===============

    More like “tough crap” for the Patriots for not being punished for cheating the first time but finally being punished the second time (and who knows how many other times). Nice try though.

  29. ragnarthemagnificent says: Jan 21, 2015 4:14 PM

    Warner wore gloves huh? #teddybridgewater

  30. whyamiacowboysfanagain says: Jan 21, 2015 4:15 PM

    maybe he should have…..

  31. weepingjebus says: Jan 21, 2015 4:15 PM

    Yep. Saddest “scandal” ever. That a franchise that engaged in the worst tanking I’ve ever seen to land Luck has to now disguise his repeated failures by claiming the equipment did it is truly sad. “I’m shocked, shocked to discover that game tampering is going on in here!”

  32. mark4steelers says: Jan 21, 2015 4:18 PM

    1) So, cheating should be considered ok because a bunch of has been QB’s jumping on the “I wanna get my named mentioned for any reason possible” bandwagon appear out of the depths of obscurity to say “hey, I did it too (when I actually had a career)?

    2) How would he have any clue what QB’s who he never worked with did as preparation with game balls? And apparently by his own admission, 50% of those he did work with didn’t do it…so consider the source.

  33. crappygovernment says: Jan 21, 2015 4:19 PM

    Just when you thought NE had escaped the Tebow Curse, this scandal pops up! Join the crowd of cursed losers including DEN, JAX and NYJ.

  34. bigbensbathroomseed says: Jan 21, 2015 4:19 PM

    mrozma first rule of telling a joke is if you need to explain it, not funny.

  35. richndc says: Jan 21, 2015 4:20 PM

    NFL coaches would not be doing PR damage control–no way. I seem to recall Jimmy Johnson defending spygate saying ‘we used to do it all the time’. Except no one else remembers taping coaches on the sidelines when he was with the Cowboys in the 90s. Why? Because it didn’t happen. Did they used to go through opponents trash to see if they left anything? yes. did they ever find anything. no.

  36. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Jan 21, 2015 4:21 PM

    Stop the presses —- Mr. Peter Pan complex is weighing in on the topic.

  37. gregmorris78 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:21 PM

    paralysis through analysis

    can we move on yet??

  38. skawh says: Jan 21, 2015 4:21 PM

    Leinhart just had to find a way to put his insignificant former career back into the spotlight once again.

    I mean, if you can’t even qualify as a 3rd string QB in this league, as a former Heisman winning QB, how bad were you that not one of 32 teams want your services.

    Heck, Leinhart played so poorly even his former team, the Cardinals, declined to enlist his services when they were recently in dire need of QB help!

  39. aristokrat18 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:21 PM

    Everyone does it, and the NFL just has never cared that much. I’m sticking with the speed limit analogy: the cops don’t care if you push the limits, just be reasonable. Some of you guys are acting like we should jail everyone who goes a mile over the speed limit.

  40. apkyletexas says: Jan 21, 2015 4:22 PM

    Pats have no business being allowed to play this Super Bowl. They altered the balls after the refs inspected them. Anything less than a year suspension for Belichick, like Sean Payton got for “lack of institutional control”, will be a complete whitewash of the issue.

  41. tigerlilac says: Jan 21, 2015 4:23 PM

    “Every team tampers with the footballs,” Matt Leinart said on Twitter. “Ask any Qb In the league, this is ridiculous!!” Great. Let’s talk football instead of form over substance compliance with regulations that the NFL itself ignored.

    Can Belichick deflate Beast Mode like he did when he played for Buffalo?

    Can Wilson throw deep against the Pats like he did in 2012?

    Can Blount do to the Seahawks what he did against Indy?

  42. vottorific says: Jan 21, 2015 4:26 PM

    I really believe this is a non issue. Each QB has his preference and his own ball. Big deal. I would think it would effect a wide receiver more than anyone.

  43. eeeeeerik says: Jan 21, 2015 4:27 PM

    Yeah, the NFL officials used to shorten the field by a couple yards when Cowboy running backs were near the goal line so I guess since 27 other teams got screwed just to promote the Cowboys it is all good. No harm no foul right?

    I am sick of the cheating.

  44. thelastwordyaheard says: Jan 21, 2015 4:28 PM

    And just why exactly should I believe guys who’ve played & coached in the NFL? Surely these “journalists” are much more credible sources.

  45. hooterdawg says: Jan 21, 2015 4:28 PM

    You just know that anytime the Pats get caught cheating for something, their fan base will claim ‘ everybody does it’. While people assume that the balls were deflated to help Brady, it’s just as likely that a softer ball provides a better grip to help prevent fumbles.

  46. laces out says: Jan 21, 2015 4:30 PM

    “It took a couple of days, but #DeflateGate is officially a full-blown NFL controversy, inflating ratings and page views throughout the sports media.”

    You certainly did your job, PFT

  47. theravishingrachelnichols says: Jan 21, 2015 4:31 PM

    Is this thing like George Brett’s pine tar home run? Sure it’s a rule, but does anyone really care?

  48. ckent516 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:31 PM

    “If, that is, the NFL concludes that 11 of 12 footballs used by New England in the first half of the AFC title game were two pounds per square inch below the minimum due to deliberate misconduct.”

    Some reports have said that at halftime the officials took the balls, retested them, and found they were under then minimum. Okay… so wouldn’t that mean 1 of 2 things? Either they re-inflated those same balls back to their required amount, or they replaced all the balls with new ones so they were the required amount. Either way, the officials would have had to sign off on all 12 balls again before allowing them back into play. You would think anyways. If not, that should be the fault of the officials.

    So the Patriots get their re-inflated footballs back, and at which point, proceed to score 28 unanswered points against the Colts in the 2nd half of the game.

    At the very least, I really don’t see an argument for the Colts on winning this game if the balls hadn’t been tampered with.

  49. MostlyRight says: Jan 21, 2015 4:31 PM

    How awesome a guy is Warner when even the guy he took the job of calls him “my man” and has nothing but compliments for him?

  50. unbreakable02215 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:31 PM

    They used backup legal balls for entire second half. Balls that were tested….You know this IS similar to Spygate in
    that a practice that other teams do something similar…but
    since the Patriots are so despised….other teams and people in general are so sick of seeing them win, that they turn them in for stuff that many teams engage in and league fans gladly embrace these notions that they are doing something other teams “wouldn’t DARE do”…its really an example of what human nature can be like…simply put, jealousy.

  51. tigerlilac says: Jan 21, 2015 4:31 PM

    Based on Leinart’s tweet it seems the Colts, probably in concert with the Ravens, two teams that couldn’t beat Belichick on the field in the playoffs, wanted to “Swiftboat” him because he embaressed them. I’ll let you guys that only watch football Google that analogy.

  52. dietrich43 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:33 PM

    The point of letting each team bring a dozen balls, is that the team can scuff, break-in, inflate to max or min, etc. But, there’s a set of parameters that the balls need to fall within. Once inspected and approved, they are not to be altered. It’s like NASCAR – each team can alter their cars, but it has to pass inspection. Whether it matters or not, if an employee of the Pats was breaking the rules and altering the balls, the NFL needs to lay down some punishments, both for individual(s) and the team. Whether it was the work of a single employee ‘acting on his own’ or not, it doesn’t matter – they were an employee of the team, and the team needs to take some punishment.

  53. azarkhan says: Jan 21, 2015 4:33 PM

    Hope Kurt Warner is a first ballot Hall of Famer.

  54. jrs1972 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:33 PM

    I want brady and rogers tossed out of the nfl.. also whoever qb’s the titans and vikings.. both those teams were also caught this year..

    ban all of them for life!

  55. Deb says: Jan 21, 2015 4:35 PM

    I cannot believe Goodell has allowed this nonsense to become a full-blown controversy or that he’s allowed it to drag out half a week. How many players have to say they’ve monkeyed with the balls before this guy stops making a mountain from a molehill. The man who talks incessantly about protecting the integrity of the game is the one chipping away at it bit by bit.

  56. indytom87 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:39 PM

    When it was raining, Peyton would practice throwing and catching by dunking the footballs in a bucket of water – not deflating the ball.

  57. gacoltfan says: Jan 21, 2015 4:40 PM

    distracted9: Not sure where you are getting your information that 7 of the Colts balls were under inflated. The report from Chris Mortenson and all others that I have heard said that all of the Colts balls were within the legal specification.

    I am not delusional enough to think the Colts could have won that game without the Patriots cheating, but maybe they could have beaten the Ravens (as they did in the regular season). A little bit of cheating absolutely could have made a difference in the Ravens game.

  58. thepftpoetisacrossdresser says: Jan 21, 2015 4:41 PM

    detroitsfinest981 says:
    Jan 21, 2015 4:02 PM

    I’m an equipment manager for a division one school from one of the power conferences and I can tell you without a doubt every single team does this. It’s all about the QB’s preference. The balls are suppose to be around 12-13 PSI and it makes the ball have very little give to it. Drop it to 10-11 and it has just a little more give. Having work with footballs every day of my college career I can tell you that it honestly doesn’t make that big of a difference. It helps with QB’s with smaller hands but it also won’t cut through the air as effectively. Every school/team has their own little tricks.
    _____________________________

    I can agree here. Official in WI that has worked college and high school for 25 years. There are all sorts of tricks out there that have been attempted.

    After the coin toss and coach intros/meetings I will get with both sidelines one by one and we check the balls and mark 3 or 4 balls with an X on both ends on the top panels in the white stripe. I use a small green sharpie.

    If at ANY point in the game…kicking off, FG, try…whatever, that a ball is brought in, it is rejected and sent back out if it doesn’t have my X on it. I added air to probably 25% of the balls I checked last year just during the high school season and playoffs and took air OUT of about 10%.

  59. tigerlilac says: Jan 21, 2015 4:42 PM

    Former NFL quarterbacks Rich Gannon and Boomer Esiason have also called the story ridiculous.

  60. tigerlilac says: Jan 21, 2015 4:43 PM

    I will say it again, Deb the Steelers’ fan for commissioner.

  61. nfella says: Jan 21, 2015 4:43 PM

    I find it strangely interesting that this was reported by the Colts in November, and nothing came of that – Rogers says he likes his balls big and pumped above standards, and nothing came of that – yet days after the Pats file a tampering charge on the Jets Woody Johnson, the NFL is in their ballbag at half-time and making some noise. You know, the same Jets Goodell once worked for…

    Funny thing that absolutely nobody has addressed – I am assuming that since the deflated balls were identified at half-time, that they were then restored to proper pressure and maintained as such throughout the second-half?

  62. vesh31 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:45 PM

    If Matt Leinart says it you know it has to be true.:/

  63. tjirish34 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:45 PM

    This is ridiculous. I have a question. In baseball when a pitcher uses vaseline or whatever on a baseball. It seemed to me it was a game to try and catch him doing it. Same thing to me about this issue. If Pats did get caught then come down hard on them with fines or draft picks. But these IDIOTS in media saying they should not be allowed in SuperBowl or Bellicheck should be fired are complete morons. One thing I have realize is that sports reporters are not the brightest bulbs in the world. They went to college and got a journalism degree WOW Sarah Palin has a sports journalism degree. I also agree with the speed limit analogy.

  64. willycents says: Jan 21, 2015 4:46 PM

    I cannot believe Goodell has allowed this nonsense to become a full-blown controversy or that he’s allowed it to drag out half a week
    ——————————————–
    I have neither heard nor read of Goodell saying anything. He is being wise by letting any investigation run its course before doing anything

  65. erom43 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:47 PM

    Please excuse my ignorance if this has already been discussed. But, how did deflated balls in the game benefit Brady, but not Luck? Are the balls marked, and the QB’s get to hand pick them? Does each quarterback have his own balls? Oops, that didn’t sound right.

  66. liffie420 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:49 PM

    It seems to me that lowering the pressure in the ball buy a little doesn’t help at all except give you a slightly better grip to throw the ball and when thrown it doesn’t fly as far so you are gaining a bit of grip and the sacrifice of distance. Now I was reading an article on a different site and the author just did a very unscientific test, he took a ball and inflated it to proper pressure, at which point there was basically no give at all when the ball was squeezed, and then he dropped it 2 psi and tried squeezing it again his conclusion it still had basically no give when squeezed BUT it had a very very slight bit more give than before, but he also added that at proper inflation they are MUCH harder than %95 of the footballs you generally handle. I think this is all a little overblown myself, but then again not being a massive football fan or follower I didn’t know teams provided thier own balls for the game. So super simple solution NFL provides game balls from now on, and maybe do a bit of what MLB does with the “mud” they rub on brand new balls and scuff the game balls up just a bit to help with grip.

  67. crappygovernment says: Jan 21, 2015 4:50 PM

    Kurt Warner is a nice guy and great QB but kind of a pantywaist who let others including his wife speak for him. He never came close to Tebow’s charisma or message. He would admit that.

  68. steeloven89 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:53 PM

    so some rules dont need to be followed. I will have to remember that

  69. kylewilson980 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:54 PM

    Why is everyone making a big deal about this, everyone does it, I should know, I’m a high school quarterback, and I’ve done this in most, if not every game I played, you deflate the ball slightly for more grip, it’s not an I forced rule, the pats may have tampered with the ball, but they didn’t break any rules that rant broken by everybody else!!!

  70. rayburns says: Jan 21, 2015 4:54 PM

    Its amazing how many false equivalencies and straw men are being utilized by Patriots’ fans. It’s like a political debate.

    It does not matter if the violation has a material impact on the outcome of the game. It is a violation regardless.

    It does not matter that ‘everyone else is doing it’. Try using that argument to get out of a speeding ticket and see how it goes.

    The question is, “Did the Patriots or anyone in the employ of the Patriots knowingly violate the protocols regarding the allowable psi for their footballs before the game?”

    Anything beyond that is meaningless.

  71. jchipwood says: Jan 21, 2015 4:55 PM

    Patriots are cheaters. Do they cheat? Yes. So that makes them cheaters. It’s easy if you understand English.

  72. chargertab says: Jan 21, 2015 4:57 PM

    If you’re an NFL QB or a former NFL QB, you need to understand one thing.

    Stop talking about this. It can do you no good at all.

  73. beauch11 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:57 PM

    This is a total joke. We are talking about 1-2 psi here. It in no way, shape, or form altered the outcome of this game. I’d be willing to bet every single team’s QB has told the ball boys how they like them. If the ref’s change it, so be it. Another thing, if the balls are inflated in a warm room in the stadium, then brought out into the cold, physics says the ball is going to lose pressure. Being that it wasn’t all that cold, could it be possible that the balls were inflated in an extremely warm room to make the psi decrease the most without actually cheating? No I’m not a Pats fan.

  74. dowhatifeellike says: Jan 21, 2015 4:58 PM

    “Everyone else does it” doesn’t fly in 3rd grade, let alone in adulthood…

  75. steeloven89 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:59 PM

    no different from pitchers doctoring baseballs. But that is ok too, right?

  76. jchipwood says: Jan 21, 2015 5:00 PM

    It’s cute a qb here and a qb there says they mess with the ball. When the other hundreds of qbs come out saying that then i’ll believe it

  77. steeloven89 says: Jan 21, 2015 5:00 PM

    how about no players get punished for doing pot? everyone does it, just let it go

  78. newgod99 says: Jan 21, 2015 5:02 PM

    This is the equivalent of going 65 in a 55.

  79. 48colorrainbow says: Jan 21, 2015 5:03 PM

    “Every team tampers with the footballs,” Matt Leinart said on Twitter. “Ask any Qb In the league, this is ridiculous!!”

    Even the Browns?

  80. hawkfanwtf says: Jan 21, 2015 5:04 PM

    This reminds me of there being to much curve on a hockey stick. Yes illegal, but not a major infraction. Technically pass interference is cheating as well

  81. whyrunbackwardsyoullvomit says: Jan 21, 2015 5:04 PM

    Every team also had some type of bounty program at one time or another. The NFL made an example of the Saints because they got caught. How does this differ from that?

  82. maximus929 says: Jan 21, 2015 5:12 PM

    One thing to scuff a football. It’s another to deflate it by two pounds.

    It is way easier to throw and catch an underinflated ball.

  83. dumbshets says: Jan 21, 2015 5:15 PM

    I know it take balls to play football, but why can’t they play with each others balls? Why are they allowed to only play with their own balls? One set of balls being handled by both teams seems to be in everyone’s interest.

  84. whybotherifeverythinggetscensored says: Jan 21, 2015 5:16 PM

    I have yet to hear someone admit they inflated/deflated balls after they were approved by refs.
    __________________________________

    I have yet to see any proof that the Pats did that either. By proof, you have to show how, or who did it, specifically, instead of all this conjecture.

    I would also love to know where that guy heard that 7 of the Colts’ balls were deflated. That would pretty much put an end to this debate. Frankly, I have not seen one shred of evidence that the Colts’ balls were actually tested.

  85. raymondtx says: Jan 21, 2015 5:16 PM

    Rubbing a ball down to get a better grip is one thing…deflating a ball is totally different. I am willing to be the one ball (out of the 12) that wasnt “deflated” was probably the kicker’s/punter’s ball.
    Man, I have never said “ball” so many times in my life.

  86. Deb says: Jan 21, 2015 5:18 PM

    The issue isn’t that a quarterback here or there is saying they mess with the ball while others are saying nothing. The issue is that those quarterbacks said they messed with the ball prior to Sunday’s championship games yet no investigations were launched. Officials have removed underinflated balls from play in games prior to Sunday’s championship games yet no investigations were launched.

    Why launch an investigation now? What makes this incident so egregious it warrants opening an investigation a fortnight before a Super Bowl? Regardless of the outcome, the investigation implies the Patriots have “cheated” when this would not have affected the outcome of the game, and it’s apparent that this is a relatively commonplace occurrence. Why would the league put one of its own teams in the middle of such a firestorm? It’s a question that deserves an answer.

  87. councilofargos says: Jan 21, 2015 5:18 PM

    Look this is an issue because its a product driven league the product the NFL wants to sell is Andrew Luck.

    if the NFL actual did an investigation they would have taken at least half of the Colts balls as well for inspection. Its not as a Pats fan I am accusing the Colts. But if the Colts balls were deflated as well it would be from weather conditions. The Balls were probably originally measured in a 70 degree heated and dry locker room then stored outside. After sitting around in 40-50 degrees and raining and colder with the windshield the air pressure outside changed changing the air pressure of the football.

    Tom Brady drops the F Bomb and 100 + sports writers write an article. Andrew Luck and the Colts score a touchdown, and due to the fact football is an emotional game swore some dropped some F bombs and not 1 article, about the Colts swearing the heads off after their score

  88. AZ Dem says: Jan 21, 2015 5:19 PM

    Warren Sapp, on the NFL Network, has stated that every QB he’s ever played with doctored the balls. He said that QBs have pine tar on their uniforms which is why you’ll see QBs wipe their fingers as they approach center.

    And do you people honestly believe that receivers have stopped using Stickum on their gloves? It was banned by the NFL in 1981, but all they have to do is to change gloves.

    Those of you crying foul, . . . you’re just exposing the fact that you know nothing about the game.

  89. wichitachiefsfan says: Jan 21, 2015 5:20 PM

    I call B – S on this story, there are several NFL QB’s including Favre and Michael Vick that threw so hard they broke fingers on their receivers. That’s not likely to happen with deflated footballs. Also other teams would have caught on over the years if a QB was always doctoring their teams footballs because when a DB or LB makes an interception he would probably notice if it was soft.

  90. biggdawg49 says: Jan 21, 2015 5:23 PM

    Once again this Colts team came out and stunk up the joint in a big game and got creamed. This whole thing is sour grapes in that the Colts are trying real hard to point a finger at something other than their dismal play in explaining that loss. I would also hope that the league tested the Colts balls too.

  91. fleabay2013 says: Jan 21, 2015 5:23 PM

    ha, wow, so much usc/leinart hate! i guess many people here can’t stand to see a backup qb (of six years) make more in one year than they do in their entire life.

    as for the usc cheating comment? i’m not gonna get dragged down to and beat at that level of idiocy….

  92. pierrodelon says: Jan 21, 2015 5:27 PM

    Haven’t seen anything suggesting other QBs mess with inflation pressure. Scuffing the surface and deflating by 15-20% significantly different.

  93. paulhoss1 says: Jan 21, 2015 5:28 PM

    He shouldn’t bring attention to himself.
    But I guess not smart enough, otherwise, well you know…….

  94. bonniebengal says: Jan 21, 2015 5:31 PM

    I seem to remember the “everyone does it” defense during Spygate. And here the Patriots go again.

  95. yourejustbutthurt says: Jan 21, 2015 5:31 PM

    h0c2000 says: Jan 21, 2015 3:58 PM

    It would mean more if it came from a QB who used to play in the NFL…………………………………………….

    Rich Gannon and Boomer Esiason qualify?

    GANNON
    “Ask any quarterback, and this is a non-issue. Everybody does something, to them. It’s like a pitcher, he wants the ball a certain way. Take Tiger Woods, you wouldn’t tell him after he’s been hitting a 10.5 degree loft all week with a certain ball that, ‘Hey, now we’re going to switch your ball out.’ That’s his thing, and it’s that specific feel that you want. That football is how we make our living and it sounds crazy, but it’s a sacred thing. It’s got to be a certain way.”

    ESIASON
    “It really does seem totally ridiculous that this story has been blown so far out of proportion. If you look at the footballs that the quarterbacks are playing with and throwing for the last six or seven years, just realize that everybody is doing the same thing.”

  96. mankato98 says: Jan 21, 2015 5:33 PM

    If every QB (except Aaron Rodgers) prefers a 10-11 psi ball, then why not change the specification?

    Also, if it’s so important for the balls to consistently meet a spec to be fair, then why rely on two sources (the teams) of game balls? The league could supply 24 balls, and bill the teams if cost is the issue.

  97. getyourownname says: Jan 21, 2015 5:35 PM

    The old “no punishment, everyone does it” argument – if you accept it – would mean there should not be a court system because no matter what a defendant has been charged with, someone else has done it, too, thus don’t bother punishing them. Not to mention, don’t dare discipline your kids (sure, we all tried that argument as kids, but as adults we all know it’s bogus).

    For the people who say “but it was not a close game” – do you really believe this is the first and only time the Pats did it? Why would they have just thought of doing it in this one game, now, when they were so heavily favored? How do you know what effect it might have had on other, close games? Maybe some regular season games that would have kept them from getting home field advantage if they lost?

    And even if it doesn’t create any obvious physical advantage – if it only creates a psychological advantage (by being more “comfortable”) – that still means better performance. So why should we allow a team to generate any sort of advantage by breaking the rules?

    If it’s a pointless rule, then lobby to get it abandoned so the playing field is level. Nobody appointed Belichick as God, able to decide which rules he would follow and which he would not.

  98. arpy911 says: Jan 21, 2015 5:36 PM

    The NY Times story on the Giants handling of the footballs make it clear … the team is allowed to pick the game balls for the quarterback … rough them up, soak them in water, use them in practice so they feel worn in … that’s all legit. Then inflate them properly before the game, have them expected and leave ’em alone. Doesn’t have to be a shiny new ball. That’s not tampering. Letting air out after they are inspected by the officials … that’s tampering.

  99. yourejustbutthurt says: Jan 21, 2015 5:47 PM

    getyourownname says: Jan 21, 2015 5:35 PM

    You’re missing the point. There are three instances of known ball tampering this season alone and no one, I mean NO ONE, has made a big deal of it. But when the Pats do it, it requires a grande investigation. That’s 14 years of sour grapes.

  100. sportsfanjay says: Jan 21, 2015 5:48 PM

    I wish Jay Cutler would tamper with footballs. Go Bears!

  101. patsfan1820 says: Jan 21, 2015 5:54 PM

    steeloven89 says:
    Jan 21, 2015 5:00 PM
    how about no players get punished for doing pot? everyone does it, just let it go
    ———————————————————-
    Bad analogy sir.

  102. jacktatumsforearm says: Jan 21, 2015 5:57 PM

    kylewilson980 says: Jan 21, 2015 4:54 PM

    Why is everyone making a big deal about this, everyone does it, I should know, I’m a high school quarterback, and I’ve done this in most, if not every game I played, you deflate the ball slightly for more grip, it’s not an I forced rule, the pats may have tampered with the ball, but they didn’t break any rules that rant broken by everybody else!!!

    ———————————–

    And this is exactly why if the Pats broke the rules they need to be punished. A high school kid is looking at this asking what’s the big deal.

  103. toledotigerfan says: Jan 21, 2015 5:59 PM

    Back in my old boys leagues, high school baseball, and mens leagues pitching days, I would intentionally throw warm-up pitches in the dirt and against the backstop to scuff-up the baseballs. Scuffed balls broke better and moved better than unscuffed new balls. Of course, there weren’t millions of dollars at stake as there is in the NFL, but the principle was the same.

  104. smackingfools says: Jan 21, 2015 6:02 PM

    Scuffing the balls is a little different than taking air out.

  105. fan3576 says: Jan 21, 2015 6:05 PM

    I am of the opinion that every football teams does something to give them an advantage when they play in their home field. Some teams have players that enjoy playing on the edge of being dirty, to being just dirty player. But it isn’t just the cold air that affect the pressure in the football, other things like 200+ lbs players pounding on the football as they go down on the ground, might cause the football to loose pressure. I don’t think a ref is gonna check the pressure every time a football is pounded on as the game progress here. Has anybody done tests to seeing how the football pressure is changed as the game progress just to see the effect of the way the football is handled during the game? We shouldn’t be jumping to conclusion that the football is lower in pressure due to someone tampering with it. We need to do a fair evaluation on how a football pressure changes during the use of it in the game and check its pressure at different intervals to establish a chart. Just a suggestion here.

  106. toledotigerfan says: Jan 21, 2015 6:05 PM

    It’s different, but the principle is the same. Trying to get an edge that isn’t naturally there.

  107. ruggerlad says: Jan 21, 2015 6:13 PM

    It is easier to catch an under inflated ball. Many QBs have a preference for being near the top or bottom of the psi set standards but not every team has them as low as the Pats did. Pats have been caught before so it is not like it is their first attempt to cheat here.

  108. indy420 says: Jan 21, 2015 6:16 PM

    @weepingjebus…apparently you don’t know what tanking is. A team WOULD NOT win 2 of last 3 games if they were tanking a season!!! Has it ever occurred to you that Curtis Painter is actually a horrible quarterback and that Peyton meant that much to a team. Again, you don’t win 2 of last 3 games if you are tanking. Luck has been in the league 3 years, with a complete overhaul on staff and players, so please explain his repeated failures…. ranking 1st in pretty much every qb category for 1st 3 years of a career…wow, sounds like a huge failure..he must be a bust!!! 11-5 each of his 3 years, getting a game further into playoffs each year. The Patriots were the better team, no doubt about the outcome. The question is why are 11 of 12 balls under inflated?

  109. vikingferd says: Jan 21, 2015 6:36 PM

    Even cheating, he couldn’t cut it in the NFL. Hey Matt Lienart, go back to doing your Dish Network has-been commercials.

  110. dliwsrekoj says: Jan 21, 2015 6:37 PM

    Leinart you can’t mix them funny cigarettes with those drinks they just don’t mix.

  111. cshearing says: Jan 21, 2015 7:26 PM

    This sounds like just another spygate and the bounty thing. Everyone does it, but it gets out about one team and the media demands an example be made. I guess success breeds the watchers, as it has only been successful teams that go through this. You don’t hear whining when Jacksonville doctors the footballs.

  112. bhlobos says: Jan 21, 2015 8:05 PM

    If they “all” did it, then why did the footballs from the Colts test fine at halftime?

  113. fearthehoody says: Jan 21, 2015 8:33 PM

    Don’t worry trolls! The mass media will ignore the likes of Leinart, Brad Johnson, Sapp, And the dozens of FORMER AND CURRENT PLAYERS, all who are on record as saying this is a non issue

  114. tonybot3 says: Jan 21, 2015 8:36 PM

    I was Bernie Kosar’s backup in Cleveland the year we won the Superbowl, and i can attest that we never deflated the balls after a ref approved it.

    Leinart is a cheat, pure and simple.

  115. stonedrichards says: Jan 21, 2015 9:39 PM

    The notion that tampering with game footballs is commonplace is not an argument in favor of tampering. Rather, it illustrates expectation bias, much in the same way that cannibals would find it puzzling that civilized society frowns on their practice.

    The notion that scuffing a football is equivalent to over or under inflating a football misses one important point. The NFL has a standard regarding the air pressure of a game football and the NFL requires the officials to ensure that the standard is met.

    However, the notion that coach Belichick will use the rules to his advantage may provide the missing piece to this puzzle. It is known, for example, the great Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, likes under inflated footballs. So what might coach Belichick do to use the rules so as to accommodate his quarterback?

    Assume that coach Belichick routinely has the ball boy or some Patriots employee make sure that the game balls are inflated at the lowest amount of pressure that is within the rules. Assume next that this perfectly legal ploy occurs inside the facilities at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. Assume further that the execution of this machination has some technical error associated with it, error that tends to make the pressure slightly lower. Finally, assume that there is a 20 to 30 degree drop in temperature from the confines of the facility, where the machination took place, and the game day field.

    My guess, is that all of these assumptions just might account for what happened. In any event, absent no other explanation, the Patriots would be wise to make one up that is similarly excusable on the grounds that there was no intent to actually skirt the rules: acceptable error limits and physics explains the rest.

  116. tedsteakhouse says: Jan 21, 2015 9:56 PM

    Seems like an easy solution here. Each team selects 12 balls to their preference. Those balls are kept under the care of a league paid employee from the time they are weighed through the end of the game. During the game, the 24 balls are alternately used by the refs during the game. Maybe switch up every so many plays or so much time elapsed. Seems like a current system is an invitation to cheat for those teams with QB’s that prefer a ball inflated below league standard.

  117. erom43 says: Jan 21, 2015 10:26 PM

    I am gathering from the lack of response to my previous post (why the deflated ball wouldn’t have benefitted Luck as well) that each team is apparently responsible for their own balls. If so, I am having difficulty understanding how the NFL would allow this, and not require the same ball to be played by both teams.

  118. elderls3 says: Jan 21, 2015 11:56 PM

    Really!!! All this foolishness over “footballs”…these reporters need to find a new line of work because it’s obvious that they have absolutely nothing better to do. This is the kind of foolishness that women cackle and gossip about. A bunch of girly men acting like women, how repulsive. The Colts just got waxed…and besides the refs handle and place the balls after every play (if this were such a problem why didn’t the refs stop the game and say something) — let it rest, end of story!!!

    Not a Patriot fan but I hope this foolishness fuels them to clip the Seahawks wings!!!

  119. cwjim says: Jan 22, 2015 12:48 AM

    I am going to root for the Pats now. This is ridiculous.

  120. bencoates57 says: Jan 22, 2015 8:44 AM

    Game. Set. Match.

    Thank you, Matt.

  121. bencoates57 says: Jan 22, 2015 8:48 AM

    Easy solution: anything goes.

  122. rrhess1529 says: Jan 22, 2015 10:54 AM

    One word RELAX…….

  123. just2040 says: Jan 22, 2015 5:30 PM

    I am by no means a Patriots fan, but this is why they win. They play every angle. They try to get an edge in every aspect of the game. They are obsessed with winning, and will do whatever they can legal or not to win the game. And they do not care if the public likes them or not. They just want to win.

  124. inanedmonds says: Jan 23, 2015 10:43 AM

    Cheating is giving yourself an unfair advantage over your opponent. That being said, the article mentions Brad Johnson admitted paying ball boys to scuff up the footballs for superbowl XXXVII. What it doesn’t tell you is that it was agreed upon by both Brad Johnson and his opposing QB Rich Gannon that they would not be able to grip the ball properly and they agreed to have the new balls being used scuffed up. That is not an unfair advantage, it affected both equally.

    As far as this situation with the Colts and Patriots. Was it agreed upon by both QB’s to deflate the balls to allow both of them to grip the ball better? Maybe Andrew Luck likes the football fully inflated. If it wasn’t agreed upon, that is an unfair advantage and is considered cheating. Now the question is, what will the NFL do?

    On a personal note, I, myself, like the ball a little deflated. I can throw the ball more accurately when the ball has a little bit of cushion to it.

  125. travlinful says: Jan 23, 2015 5:01 PM

    And Marshawn gets fined for just scratching his balls. Go figure.

  126. haansel82 says: Jan 25, 2015 5:55 AM

    So the balls were deflated by 1 pound/ sq inch. Odds are they were set at 12, and after they were scuffed as desired, they dropped by an additional half pound/ sq inch. Having a ball deflated some has its pros and cons. Most receivers in the league would prefer the ball deflated some, as it can sometimes lead to miraculous one handed catches. Most running backs would prefer to have the ball deflated some so the ball doesn’t bounce as much when being hit, thus limiting fumbles. Most Quarterbacks would prefer to have the better grip of a slightly deflated ball, however, as stated, it would also affect the deep passes, it is something that must be game planned for.

    The big question is would the game have been altered if every ball on both teams were the same pressure? Odds are no. If you are allowed to scuff, mark, or rough up the game ball, adjusting the psi should not affect the outcome of the game since every team has its preferences.

    The fact is the Colts with their inflated egos put up 7 points against a stout NE defense. The Colts did not belong in that game, and Luck played worse than Wilson. I guess instead of arguing about the psi of their balls, the argument should be placed onto the coach and staff for not preparing a better offense.

  127. gibbo3884 says: Jan 25, 2015 6:10 PM

    Anybody with half a brain knows Patriots are 100% innocent. This piling on hate-gate is legally actionable. Spy Gate as crap. This is crap. Pats are 100% innocent. This is jealousy rearing its ugly head and losers jumping on band wagon. Pats will beat an apology out of all you haters. Winners win. No cheating has ever been proven. Never. Get a life haters!

  128. pongonfl says: Jan 26, 2015 4:15 PM

    everyone with half a brain knows the Pats are guilty, this is who the Pats are.
    everyone with 3/4 of a brain knows its kind of a silly issue, until the Pats denied it.

    The cover up baby…that’s the issue.

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