Deflategate leads all three network newscasts

AP

Deflategate is a lot more than just a football story.

Four days after the AFC Championship Game, the question of whether the Patriots illegally deflated footballs is still the most talked-about story in America. In fact, all three broadcast networks led their evening newscasts with the story.

The NBC Nightly News began like this: “On our broadcast tonight, full denial from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and from his coach, as a football inflation scandal remains bigger than the upcoming Super Bowl, as the question remains: Who or what was responsible?”

The CBS Evening News began like this: “Tonight, caught in a pressure cooker: Is Tom Brady a cheater? Quarterback Tom Brady responds to reports that the Patriots used deflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game.”

And ABC World News Tonight began with, “On this Thursday night, the breaking news, the scandal before the Super Bowl. The star quarterback, Tom Brady, answering the question: Are you a cheater? Tonight, how Brady explains those deflated footballs, who handled them after they were handled by the refs, and what now for the football star with the supermodel wife?”

As Brian Williams said during the NBC broadcast, “If baseball is our national pastime, football is something closer to an obsession.” Across America, people are obsessed with Deflategate.

96 responses to “Deflategate leads all three network newscasts

  1. Astericks will be forever attached to these cheaters. Well done hoodie! You’ve now put a mark on this Super Bowl before it happens. Disgusting.

  2. As a Pats fan, I am now laughing like there’s no tomorrow (or like laughing is actually better than sex). This story has now crossed over into the Twilight Zone. This is the most outlandish mystery wrapped in a riddle and full of questions that remain strangely unanswered.

    Were the balls re-inflated at halftime?

    WE DON’T KNOW.

    Why would the Patriots need to deflate balls ina game where they knew they could win by running the ball down the throats of a team they hung 772 rushing yards on in 4 victories averaging like 21 points?

    WE DON’T KNOW.

    If Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are telling the truth, how did the balls lose 2 psi of pressure which according to physics, is not possible even in those weather conditions?

    WE DON’T KNOW.

    Why is the legal pressure of a regulation football 12.5 – 13.5 psi if most people claim a deflated ball is better to throw?

    WE DON’T KNOW.

    How did Bill Belichick not hear about this until Monday and why has no one from the league even approached Tom Brady with questions when you have coaches like John Madden squarely pointing the finger at the QB?

    WE DON’T KNOW.

    As GrantLand writer Sharp points out, how is this just coming to light now? And if this has been going on for years, do we know whether Tom Brady can even throw a regulation football?

    WE DON’T KNOW.

    How did the officials not notice the under-inflation? They handle the balls more than anyone but the possible exception of the QB?

    WE DON’T KNOW.

    If the Colts were aware that this might have happened in November, why wasn’t the deflation noticed earlier in the AFCCG? The Colts could have requested the officials inspect the ball at any point. And why didn’t the league look into the matter in November? And if they did look into the matter, why was the investigation — let alone the outcome — not made available to the league or the public?

    WE DON’T KNOW!!!

  3. Wow, the Pats have just dug a large hole for themselves because anyone with a brain knows they are culpable in this. Tom should have just come out and admitted he had his equipment guys adjust the psi. To say he never pays attention to what the ball feels like? Give me a freaking break dude! This has been going on for a while and they just got caught. Talk about a distraction.

  4. Notice that not one time did Belichick or Brady say that they wanted to find out what happened to the balls.

    All of the Pats balls leaked exactly the same amount of air. Something like that is done by plan and design.

  5. If this was in a court of law, the onus is on the prosecution to present their case and evidence first. This is akin to making the defense state their case first and gaining the advantage of manipulating the evidence to enhance their own stance.

    Instead they have hid in the shadows and let the media do their dirty work. What the NFL (Goodell) has done is unconsionable and inexusable. They have let this get out of control and shown absolutely no leadership.

  6. Nobody outside of Boston will ever believe anything this teams says. It has been proven they cheated, yet you clowns that root for this team still deny it. Dear God….it has already been proven, what more proof do you need? Even the sports guys on ESPN, called Brady a liar. That being Bettis and Brunell and a couple of others. Pardon the interruption, both guys called Brady a liar. Troy Aikman doesn’t believe Brady either. He is flat out lying. Tarnished, tainted organization all during the Bellacheat and Brady error.

  7. “To say he never pays attention to what the ball feels like? Give me a freaking break dude!”

    —————————-

    He’s not responsible for the ball pressure. The officials are. He’s under no obligation to report anything. But I’ll tell you one thing, there are players out there who can’t detect 2 psi change? And in raw conditions, that might be doubly difficult.

  8. If this were a criminal investigation, the police would question those Patriots employees who handled the balls after the balls were cleared and before the game started. And they would roll over on Brady (or whomever). Everyone knows that’s who tampered with the balls. But the NFL doesn’t want that to come out.

    I’m surprised no reporters have tracked those people down yet. If this were 1972, we’d know their names by now.

  9. I have a theory. Because this has now become a huge scandal and there is only one way out for Bill and Tom. They will cut bait like all the other cheaters before the sanctions come down. They retire and ride off into the sunset holding hands, right after their fixed win against Seattle!!! Of course this leaves poor Mr Kraft to pick up the pieces and hand over the reigns to another felon by the name of Josh McDaniels.

  10. As much as I dislike the Seahawks, just give them the trophy. This Super Bowl is already tainted. What’s the point of playing it this year. Although it would be funny if NE won and a couple days later the NFL takes it away from them. I’d pay a lot of money to see their faces.

  11. Paranoia in action.

    Reminds me so much of Nixon and Watergate.

    The president was on his way to a huge victory over George McGovern — but his own paranoia got in his way and he still approved the break-in at DNC.

    It was his downfall.

    No question here, the Colts were heading for a bruising at Foxboro — but but appears the powers that be in the Pats couldn’t resist.

    Like Watergate — this will not go away.

  12. Roger Goodell presents the Super Bowl Trophy to the winning team. If the Patriots win, that image will not look good on his resume when he looks for another job.

  13. Brady says he knows exactly how he wants the balls to feel in one breath and then he says he wouldn’t recognize the difference in the next.

    Yeah right Tom.

  14. Anyway, Patriots are in a n0-win situation. Win the Super Bowl and everyone puts an asterisk next to it assuming they cheated to get there. Lose the Super Bowl and you confirm the theory that you can’t win the big one after Spygate.

  15. This is wrong on so many levels. Whether we’re talking about peds use in the 70s (when players from all teams used them because they hadn’t yet been banned) or underinflating balls in the 2010s, we’re talking about something involving every team. No fans have the right to be on a soap box here. And if you love the game, you don’t rejoice in seeing the game dragged through the mud. If Goodell cared half as much for the integrity of the game as he claims, this wouldn’t be happening.

    This kind of stuff goes on constantly in the league. It’s not an issue of whether that makes it right. The issue is that Goodell knows it goes on. If he cared about it or really thought it could affect game outcomes, he’d have addressed it when Aaron Rodgers spoke publicly about doing it. He’d have addressed it privately after the Pats/Colts game in November. But intstead, he allowed it to blow up into a national news story two weeks before a Super Bowl … the same way he allowed “Spygate” to blow up and “Bountygate” to blow up when there was no video evidence of players engaged in illegal hits.

    Goodell doesn’t address poor officiating, and he allows these scandals to convince casual viewers the game is rigged. He’s the one killing the integrity of the sport. That’s the real crime here.

  16. As a Hawks fan, it’s more annoying that this story has dominated the headlines more than the crime itself. This SB is starting to get ruined because of this garbage. The league isn’t going to suspend anybody for the game, especially Brady so let’s get to the X’s and O’s of the game.

    Brady has tarnished his career and put doubt in people’s minds so even if he is never punished he’s gonna have to live with that. I’m just glad he got caught before the biggest game of the year so can’t pull this crap in the SB.

  17. As a life long Seahawks fan, I find this a complete non story. The two best teams in their respective Conference are about to go at it and that should be the main story.

  18. Jackson said that he is not the one who reported the deflated ball… that he did not notice that the ball was deflated. How about that? This is getting bizarre. Framegate.

  19. Adam Shafter is reporting that the nfl has no evidence of patriots tampering so the on,y asterisks with respect to deflate gate is the one that goes next to the name off he haters who are so obsessed with the patriots as they don’t have much to follow with respect to thier team.

  20. I for one, cannot wait until New England’s first possesion… And the Seahawks throw a red flag to challenge the legitimacy of the ball being used.
    That would be classic.

  21. Seems like an appropriate way to end the NFL season as the league has embarrassed itself all year long with their lack of leadership. How is this any different than the NFL and the mysterious video tape that they didn’t bother asking for yet was FedExed to them. As Goodell stated himself, ignorance is not a defense….. unless the NFL uses it as one…. or the Patriots. Cant believe its come to this, everyone makes it seem like Brady was throwing around a flat football or something 🙂

  22. That this is leading on mainstream networks is huge news. Normally, the NFL would just do their normal Sweep-Under-The-Rug moves for their Patriots but this time it will be hard to let Kraft dictate to Goodell what to do.

  23. This is very much like a PED case from the League perspective. The PED user doesn’t tell the League that they took PEDS. The League doesn’t see them taking PEDS. They simply penalize them on the evidence. Same here. The lying cheaters are not going to admit it. There is probably no video of the deflation. But they have the overwhelming and clear evidence to penalize them. There will be blood.

  24. “Amazing how the country is fixed over 2 PSI in a football.”

    Well, it appears that a massively successful franchise within a multibillion dollar organization which is primarily based on gambling broke the rules in the AFC Championship game.

    That ain’t nothing, friend.

  25. Ok Hawks,focus on biz and don’t fall for this Bellichick game as he plays this up to be bigger than it is and play our game. GO HAWKS!

  26. To be honest, all this has been quite a treat. After the Seahawks win on Sunday I thought I would be two weeks filled with that loud mouth Richard Sherman. We all should be thanking Tom for deflating those balls and stealing the media attention away from Sherman.

  27. Last time someone violated the spirt of the rule, the “Washington Team” and the Dallas Cowboys were severely penalized.

    I wonder if Goodell will keep with this trend or if he won’t do anything to hurt revenue.

  28. Now D’Qwell Jackson is saying he didn’t notice anything wrong with the ball.

    Makes you wonder what other info “sources” got wrong. God knows this wouldn’t be the first time an ESPN employee ran with bad info.

    I think I’ll just wait for the information to come directly from the league.

  29. This kind of stuff goes on constantly in the league. It’s not an issue of whether that makes it right. The issue is that Goodell knows it goes on. If he cared about it or really thought it could affect game outcomes, he’d have addressed it when Aaron Rodgers spoke publicly about doing it. He’d have addressed it privately after the Pats/Colts game in November. But intstead, he allowed it to blow up into a national news story two weeks before a Super Bowl … the same way he allowed “Spygate” to blow up and “Bountygate” to blow up when there was no video evidence of players engaged in illegal hits.
    ******************
    Pretty sure if Brady or BB cared about integrity this wouldn’t be happening either. Epic fail…

  30. Theravensone- where are you getting your information? Absolutely NO source is reporting the status of the Colts game balls. The 2nd half was played with propperly inflated balls and, if you recall, the Pats went off in the 2nd half. As of yet, proof of malice by members of the Pats has yet been proven or reported. Fact is; you hate us, cause you ain’t us. Get readyfor your whooping seachickens.

  31. 11 out of 12 footballs all exactly 2 lbs. underweight. My guess is there was a 12th underweight ball. My guess also is the Pats had 2 sets of balls :12 underweight balls and 12 regulation balls and somehow switched them. There may have had the underweight set already on the sideline. It would be very hard to evenly deflate 12 balls on the sideline during a game. It would be much easier to have 12 evenly underweighted balls prepared and ready to go.
    Not a Pats fan, but I do think Kraft is a class guy and not happy at all about any of this. It’s a shame for the fans because NE was the much better team and never needed any advantage.

  32. Excellent. Now we can all root for the Seahawks, who are only guilty of league-leading PED suspensions and completely ignoring the concussion protocol for Russell Wilson in the last game they played. Certainly not anything as bad as under-inflating footballs, though.

  33. You know what is really interesting in all this? While I worked for Motorolla, as a NFL product manager, I worked on the implementation of the in-helmet communication system. These are the helmets that are designated with a green dot for one offensive and one defensive player who have one-way reception from their coach on the sideline. I worked primarily in the east coast and I was approached by a Patriots representative about the possibility of altering these communications. The NFL rules stated that the communications need to stop with 15 seconds on the play clock, but this was easily adjustable. The Patriots organization was able to persuade me to remove the cut off time at all home games. I would think that an offensive coordinator being able to call audibles, coverages, and even post snap reads (not sure if this happened but the mic was always “hot”) would provide a much larger advantage than a deflated football. Perhaps this hasn’t happened since Bose took over as the on field communications provider but during my 12 year career it did.

  34. All the crap going on in the world, and a slightly under-inflated set of footballs leads off national newscasts? Something is extremely wrong with this!

  35. Now Tom Brady will have to throw fully inflated footballs on Super Sunday. Not a fan of either team, however I’m hoping the Hawks crush em.

  36. Leaked information from inside sources says the NFL saw the elevator tape of Ray Rice and that’s why only a 2 game suspension.
    -Peter King

    Remember that information during the scandal? I think we all know how that turned out.

    Why you guys are taking the 2Psi thing as evidence is beyond me. What if it comes out .2?

    What is wrong with people. If anything has been proven its that the Refs and NFL are incompetent

  37. bullogne says: Jan 22, 2015 10:00 PM

    “Josh McDaniels was caught cheating/videotaping when he was head coach of the Broncos AFTER spygate.”
    **********************************************

    Josh fits right in with the Patriots organizational mission statement. Cheat whenever possible.

  38. It’s not Brady and Belechick on trial. It’s the procedure.
    You can’t nail them for altering the air pressure if you don’t have a valid procedure in place to accurately monitor the pressure.
    Do you have a log? What instrument do you check it with? When was it calibrated? ETC.
    Patriot’s will turn this into a positive and blow out the Seahawks.
    Not a fan of either team but I want a good competitive game.
    Just my 2 cents.

  39. theravens1 says:
    Jan 22, 2015 8:55 PM
    Everyone wants to overlook that – Every one of the Colts Footballs tested passed the rules in the same weather conditions.

    _____________________________

    Except we don’t know what theirs was inflated before the game. If Luck does what Aaron Rodgers does, than his ball would have been perfectly fine if it dropped the same 2 psi. You’re making an assumption based on various reports, many of which have been wrong so far.

    America likes to tear down success. In the everyone gets a trophy country, we don’t like the Brady and Belichick have so many.

  40. The Russians (and many others) are laughing at us! Can you imagine if we had to fight another WWII in today’s world? Wed be too buy tweeting and updating FB from the front to bother fighting. The American century is officially over. Deflated balls indeed!

  41. Before columnists accuse Brady of lying, they should wait for the investigation to conclude. If he’s not acquitted either due to the evidence (or lack thereof), then feel free to violently construe according to your wits and wishes. But I suggest you read this tale first from my own personal archive. I think it demonstrates how someone can appear to be as guilty as sin (and even behave as such because he can’t figure out how the violation occurred), but in the end turn out innocent:

    ParticipationGate

    You have to be careful. I was once suspected of breaking some rules as a PhD student. I was responsible for making sure all my Psych 101 students participated in the required 3 department experiments (otherwise my colleagues would never find volunteers for their research). 700 students x 3 experiments (with a term paper allowable as a substitute for any one experiment).

    At the end of the semester, I thought I had everything tallied. Every student in fact fulfilled the requirements. Then a week after the course ended, a student reached out to the Department Head wondering how he could make up an experiment he missed. Suddenly, the entire department was questioning whether I was even keeping the books. There were meetings. I endured three meetings with a couple faculty members. Three more with my advisor / mentor on the process. The faculty itself all got together as a whole to discuss how to investigate and what the punishment should be. The Department Head called me into his office to announce that he would be placing phone calls to a few dozen students in the class so that they could confirm or deny whether they completed “all their experiments.”

    Around the department, it was dubbed “ParticipationGate.”

    I sweated out the next three months wondering if I’d committed clerical errors and knowing that I would be expelled if the department found so much as a single aberration.

    At semester’s end, I began to wonder why I had not yet been approached about the results of the investigation. I had already begun to assume I was somehow guilty. I must have done something wrong, though I couldn’t imagine what.

    Then in poker parlance, I “called.” After more prodding than should have been necessary, it was revealed that the student who came forward with the bizarre disclosure about not having done “all his experiments” mistakenly assumed he needed to do 4 rather than 3.

    But since the Department Head did not like me (and assumed I was up to no good because he didn’t like my research interest and wished another student could have my funding), he never shared the results of his phone calls with the faculty, allowing the perception of me as a “screw up” to persist. In the meantime, the faculty had already held its end-of-semester student evaluation meeting, and I’d been placed on probation for “being unprofessional by virtue of being unconventional.”

    I’m amazed I ever survived that program to get my PhD.

  42. Personally, I think each team should be allowed to inflate/deflate the balls to whatever the QB prefers. Other QB’s have chimed in about how balls are put in dryers, have sandpaper run over them, all kinds of things. So long as you’re not putting an illegal substance on them, i.e. stickem, it shouldn’t be an issue. Let the visiting team do the same thing with their balls. Brady likes them under-inflated, Rogers likes them over-inflated, cool. Just leave the kicking balls with the officials and let each team prep their own balls the way they like.

    I get that someone on the Pats bent the rules here, but I question as to why it should be a rule. The NFL already has so many rules the refs can’t keep track. I’d like to see it changed.

  43. At first I did not understand the attention surrounding this but now I get it.
    The biggest generation of crybabies ever produced in this nation’s history has come of age and are now in their 20’s and 30’s.
    The whiny and weak generation that HAD to get a trophy for finishing in last place or their self-esteem would be crushed are now just whiny and weak adults and are still shouting their battle cry of “Why not me?”

    Wipe your noses, tie your shoes and get on with your life like a big boy already!

  44. Does anyone else get the sense this is all some ruse cooked up by Belichick to distract the Seahawks?
    ====
    The Seahawks didn’t have to give press conferences yesterday…

  45. “which is primarily based on gambling broke the rules in the AFC Championship game. ”

    —————————–

    If you’re gambling, you deserve to be lied to. Sports wasn’t created for this purpose.

  46. The media should be asking for phone records for Goodell & Kraft since Sunday’ gam. This would be telling. The NFL again looks bad because its idiot commissioner can’t decide on whether to come down on his buddy Kraft! It is simple… the Pats again caught cheating. It doesn’t matter what level of cheating, it is cheating. There are rules for a reason – the Pats once again broke them. Bellichick has a pattern of deception and should be banned from the sports- like Pete Rose from baseball. Kraft should be suspended a year. Brady – 2 games. No 2015 draft picks, and no pre-season home games. If… If… Goodell is a man of integrity and wants to protect the shield, the hammer must fall.

  47. Not sure about anyone else, but that is the least confident I have ever heard Tom Brady sound. I always thank the ball boys and equipment manager for getting the balls exactly the way I like them. I test everything, tack, laces, shape, weight, grip. Everything but the pressure, I never ever ever check the pressure. Gripping is different than squeezing for the record. I am very particular about everything, but then once the game starts I read defenses, grab the ball, throw it. When you see me over there on the sidelines warming up, I am testing everything but the pressure. I sure hope they catch that Gorilla that escaped from the zoo and is deflating all my balls mama!!

  48. This is all fake scripted drama.
    This is a bad reality TV plot.
    I do not believe this is real for a minute, or else it would have been handled already.
    All the evidence really points to a WWE style script at this point with bad acting by Tom Brady to top it off. Goddell=McMann, an authority figure heal everyone can root against.

  49. Here is where we are at.

    1) A disgruntled Indy Reporter (pissed his team lost) exaggerates a story about games balls used by the Pats being under inflated.
    2) Espn’s Chris Mortenson reports 11 of 12 footballs are under inflated (source un-named anonymous)
    3) All Hell Breaks Loose
    4) Brady and Belichek both deny any knowledge of the situation (no-one believes them)
    5) the NFL after 4 days of investigating this story , the league has gone silent (no more leaks) and have as yet produced no evidence that the Patriots cheated…

    The longer this takes the worse and worse it looks for people who broke the story. The Patriots will be vindicated and my list of people who are going to come out of this looking very silly

    1) The NFL
    2) Espn
    3) All the ex-player experts with their outlandish punishments and assumptions of guilt, jealous of the Patriots success
    4) Chris Mortenson and his unnamed source.
    5) the major networks

  50. Deb says:
    Jan 22, 2015 7:34 PM

    This is wrong on so many levels. Whether we’re talking about peds use in the 70s (when players from all teams used them because they hadn’t yet been banned) or underinflating balls in the 2010s, we’re talking about something involving every team. No fans have the right to be on a soap box here. And if you love the game, you don’t rejoice in seeing the game dragged through the mud. If Goodell cared half as much for the integrity of the game as he claims, this wouldn’t be happening.

    This kind of stuff goes on constantly in the league. It’s not an issue of whether that makes it right. The issue is that Goodell knows it goes on. If he cared about it or really thought it could affect game outcomes, he’d have addressed it when Aaron Rodgers spoke publicly about doing it. He’d have addressed it privately after the Pats/Colts game in November. But intstead, he allowed it to blow up into a national news story two weeks before a Super Bowl … the same way he allowed “Spygate” to blow up and “Bountygate” to blow up when there was no video evidence of players engaged in illegal hits.

    Goodell doesn’t address poor officiating, and he allows these scandals to convince casual viewers the game is rigged. He’s the one killing the integrity of the sport. That’s the real crime here.
    __________________________________

    Deb…you’ve got this one right. The real culprit in “deflategate” is Roger Goodell. Now he is faced with the obvious error of a team managing the pressure in their game balls ( which, realistically, shouldn’t even matter ), but more so with the issue of credibility…of which Goodell has…..NONE. Since Goodell has mandated since his encounter with Sean Payton that “Ignorance is no excuse”, he will be compelled to force Belichick out for an extended period…except that he won’t do that to the team of the man that promoted him to be Commissioner, Robert Kraft. The credibility of “The Shield” has plummeted since Roger Goodell took over as Commissioner…that’s one thing that’s an absolute.

  51. For those of you saying that this is a “non-issue, the two best teams from their conferences are in the SB.” Yes, no one is denying that. Pats are the best team in the AFC

    The fact of the matter is, NFL rules are set. If you do anything outside of the rules to gain a competitive advantage in any way, you’re cheating. Plain and simple. Every team should play under the same circumstances. Pats should be no exception. I see harsh punishment coming post SB.

    Why would the Pats think they need to resort to cheating to beat the Colts to begin with? You think they would be plenty confident they’d win the game. What a shame

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