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Patriots alerted NFL to issue with special-teams ball

footballs

Tuesday night’s confusing report from Kelly Naqi of ESPN regarding alleged efforts by the Patriots to introduce a non-special-teams football into the AFC title game was followed by Wednesday afternoon’s confusing report from Adam Schefter of ESPN regarding the termination of a league official’s employment for removing footballs from the AFC title game for private sale.

And now comes the point where we try to un-confuse the situation.  (And quite possibly fail.)

Per a league source with knowledge of the situation, here’s what happened.  After the opening kickoff, a league employee named Scott Miller called for the football that was used.  It was the football marked “K1” by the game officials before the commencement of the contest.  According to the source, video shows Miller getting the football.

It’s not unusual for footballs to be removed from play for later sale in support of charitable endeavors.  Typically, however, the teams are informed of the fact that footballs will be removed — especially when the “K” balls will be taken out of service.  If the team is told that a “K” ball will be removed, the equipment staff prepares multiple “K” balls for use in the game during the limited time teams have to get the new, out-of-the-box footballs ready for use.

In this specific case, the Patriots weren’t told that the ball marked K1 would be removed from play.  After the Patriots scored the first touchdown of the game, the Patriots noticed on the extra-point attempt that the ball had not been prepped the same way that K1 had been prepped.  So the Patriots raised the issue with the game officials, and the process commenced of trying to track down the K1 ball.

In-stadium video, according to the source, shows Miller later bringing the ball back toward the playing area.  In-stadium video also shows Patriots part-time, game-day employee Jim McNally giving a football to the game officials.  Video does not exist of Miller giving the football he had taken to McNally, but it’s possible to infer that Miller gave the same football to McNally that McNally then tried to give to the game officials.

Scott Miller, per the source, is the employee who was fired.  It’s unclear whether the termination arose solely from the incident during the AFC title game, or whether investigation by the league unearthed other evidence of Miller removing footballs from play and selling them on the side.  Predictably, the league declined PFT’s request for comment on Miller’s termination or the reasons for it.

So what does all of this mean?  As it relates to the question of whether footballs intentionally were deflated by the Patriots, nothing.  As it relates to whether the NFL will be able to generate sufficient proof of tampering, plenty.

As we gradually learn more about the manner in which footballs are handled, it’s becoming more clear that the NFL doesn’t secure footballs in the kind of way that would allow a presumptive finding that deflated footballs necessarily means a team employee intentionally deflated them.  Apart from potential atmospheric conditions, too many people have too much access in too many different ways to the footballs to ever conclude that evidence of deflation is per se evidence of tampering.

Absent a confession or other smoking-gun evidence of tampering, the challenge for the NFL will be explaining this in a way that seems at least plausible to those inclined to believe the league office will simply brush the entire matter under the rug.  Then again, some will always believe that the Patriots tampered with footballs no matter what the evidence indicates.  Which means that maybe the league should have considered how hard it would be to prove tampering before pulling the pin out of the integrity-of-the-game grenade.

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173 Responses to “Patriots alerted NFL to issue with special-teams ball”
  1. chiadam says: Feb 19, 2015 1:17 PM

    Stop.

  2. carloswlassiter says: Feb 19, 2015 1:18 PM

    Did Scott Miller work for Mike Kensil (or was he part of Mike Kensil’s organization)?

  3. tigerlilac says: Feb 19, 2015 1:19 PM

    So, given all that, Mr. Florio, why were individuals with ties to either the Colts or the NFL leaking stories to Kravitz and Mortensen with the clear intent of damaging the Patriots? And why have those individuals not been named and terminated?

  4. zorn2largent says: Feb 19, 2015 1:19 PM

    I believe they cheated. They didn’t in the super bowl though. They spanked us in the 4th.

  5. anotheryx says: Feb 19, 2015 1:19 PM

    SMH… at least we got two week worth of ball jokes out of it.

  6. bertilfox says: Feb 19, 2015 1:19 PM

    If this was such a HUGE possible issue, why is there no log of the PSI measurements for each ball? Why is there no Chain of Custody? Why is there VERY LITTLE Security throughout the course of a game?

  7. muslimponder says: Feb 19, 2015 1:22 PM

    Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks for being the true SB XLIX champions!

  8. gstewart400 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:22 PM

    If the Patriots are alerting people about a special teams ball, it kinda doesn’t really make any sense that they would intentionally deflate other balls, given that said officials, now alerted, might start sniffing around a bunch of other balls.

    This issue is now confusingly, comically, idiotic.

  9. jcmeyer10 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:22 PM

    Haha, this is too rich.

  10. blacknole08 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:22 PM

    The league owes Mr. Kraft, Belicheck and Brady an apology TODAY!

  11. denverdude7 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:23 PM

    The Patri*ts confessing to cheating…

    Riiiight, that’s going to happen.

    ****TAINTEDRINGSFOREVER****

  12. lackofabetter says: Feb 19, 2015 1:23 PM

    Can’t they just play football?

  13. ftblfan9 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:24 PM

    So 3 or 4 sources lead Kelly Naqi in a different direction by stating that McNally attempted to insert an illegal ball into the game. Why would they do that within the last 24 hours IF they were aware of an issue with an NFL employee stealing footballs and supplying McNally with the K balls? Is it possible that they Wells investigation is more tight-lipped than we thought and these sources (presumably league sources) are not aware of keys details because the investigation is turning more to the league than the Patriots?

  14. tonyzendejas says: Feb 19, 2015 1:24 PM

    Having won a 4th Super Bowl, having fully vindicated Belichick and Brady from years of child-like “OMG!!1 THEY CAN’T WIN WITHOUT CHEATING!” barbs, having vindicated Gronk from years of “OMG!!1!! THIS GUY WILL NEVER PLAY A FULL SEASON!!” barbs, emerging news about SoftBallsGate becomes more and more obnoxiously irrelevant and sad.

    This is going nowhere, because it was never a “thing” to begin with.

    Enjoy another painful off-season of not being on top, rest of the NFL.

  15. drakost says: Feb 19, 2015 1:25 PM

    Integrity+NFL= Oxymoron

  16. kenberthiaume says: Feb 19, 2015 1:25 PM

    Goddell is a madman. He’s the Al-Queda commissioner, sees it as his duty to root out evil even when there is none.

    A 20 degree fall in temperature would lower pressure by 1 PSI. This issue has never even been addressed by the league, that in game pressures might be different than pre game ones. Especially if the pre game one was pressure tested while the ball was at room temperature.

    So there is no provision in the rules for pressure declining during a game. It’s as though the league hadn’t thought of the ideal gas law…high school chemistry that goes back to the 1700s.

    But Goddell doesn’t care about any of that. There must be punishment! And he is the Grand Inquisitor.

  17. nhpats says: Feb 19, 2015 1:26 PM

    When is the NFL going to reprimand the Colts for attempting to frame the Patriots?

    1) Isray should be forced to sell the team

    2) Grigson should be banned from football for life

    3) The Colts should forfeit their 2015 draft picks to the Patriots

  18. flash1287 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:26 PM

    Then again, some will always believe that the Patriots tampered with footballs no matter what the evidence indicates.


    And we know who those people are.

  19. wizardofgronk says: Feb 19, 2015 1:27 PM

    Just for the sake of conversation, IF the Patriots were this evil, cheating, always looking for an edge football team that skirts the rules and has a history of “systemic cheating”, wouldnt this be the perfect opportunity to cheat with the balls? If an official removes a ball, and gives a Pats locker room employee a new ball to use as a replacement, wouldnt the evil, cheating franchise take advantage of that ability to pass go and collect $200 by putting an illegal ball into play??? The NFL is essentially saying, put this unmarked ball into play, and I trust that you will put this exact ball into play rather than a ball you tampered with…

    But instead of taking advantage and putting an illegal ball into play, the Patriots actually alerting the officials of a game ball integrity issue, removed the ball from play, and forced the league to track down the “legal” ball to put back into the rotation of game used K balls. Doesnt sound like nefarious activities by a team trying to gain an unfair competitive advantage

    If anything these new revelations make the Pats look squeeky clean, victims of over zealous reporting, and malicious information leaks, among other things…

  20. bigbensbathroomseed says: Feb 19, 2015 1:27 PM

    Nothing is coming from all of this so enough already.

  21. kyleka0s says: Feb 19, 2015 1:27 PM

    I mean I guess if I was a jets, bills, Eagles, panthers, Colts or Rams fan id say the patriots are cheaters too rather than face the fact that my team couldn’t get the job done.

    thank god I’m a pats fan.

  22. dewzer says: Feb 19, 2015 1:28 PM

    Can’t wait to hear all the Patriot haters rationalize this.

  23. dumbaseinstien says: Feb 19, 2015 1:28 PM

    The Pats & NFL have both “Lawyered Up” & all these potential possible tampering options & firing of other individuals is by design intended to confuse the conversation & deflect attention from the true culprits. 11 of 12 game balls of the Patriots were greater than 2 psi below the minimum by league rules & the 12th may very well have been below also, just not by “at least” 2 psi. The Colt’s balls weren’t low. This isn’t complex…like lawyers of the League & Team & Pats fans would like everyone to believe.

    Patriots are Cheaters…plain, simple, undeniable!

  24. skawh says: Feb 19, 2015 1:29 PM

    Once a cheater, always a cheater. End of story.

  25. davikes says: Feb 19, 2015 1:29 PM

    If one pile of hot mess lands on top of another, it is impossible to separate the two.

  26. fenway22 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:29 PM

    Have they checked the gassy knoll?

  27. floratiotime says: Feb 19, 2015 1:30 PM

    Well this totally evens up all the cheating the Patriots have done over the last decade.

  28. kd75 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:30 PM

    Now my head is spinning.

    How about one ball per game for both teams, QBs and kickers/punters, to use.

    If a player hands a ball to a fan, he has to go into the stands and get it back.

  29. themanfromtheblacklodge says: Feb 19, 2015 1:32 PM

    Considering each sideline contained, with players, coaches, equipment staff, medical staff, journalists (and other media employees) and miscellaneous NFL employees, probably in excess of 70 people, each of whom could have touched the ball/balls at some point, proving culpability will be nigh on impossible, and always has been.

    In terms of this latest ‘Ballghazi’ incident, it’s just something else the NFL screwed up that season.

  30. tigerlilac says: Feb 19, 2015 1:32 PM

    “Then again, some will always believe that the Patriots tampered with footballs no matter what the evidence indicates.”

    Why, they played better when the balls had a consistent pressure within the norms.

  31. darthbelichick07 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:33 PM

    Apology coming in … 3 … 2 …

  32. gisellichek says: Feb 19, 2015 1:34 PM

    “Which means that maybe the league should have considered how hard it would be to prove tampering before pulling the pin out of the integrity-of-the-game grenade.”

    EXACTLY!!!

    They were bullied into it by jealous , conniving, agenda driven haters (Kinsel, Colts, Ravens) of the best team of the last 15 years who deliberately wanted to cause a huge distraction before the Super Bowl.

    #framegate

  33. norseyapper says: Feb 19, 2015 1:34 PM

    Bottom line, the NFL has never been pro-active enough with their ball security to pursue an investigation of tampering with footballs.
    What should have come out of all of this was a quiet decision by the NFL to change their methodology regarding the handling of game balls to lessen the chance of future problems. That they decided to start blasting away while their own house was in such a state of disorder is laughable, and all to common for the present NFL regime.

  34. gtrav says: Feb 19, 2015 1:35 PM

    doesn’t matter
    won super bowl

  35. raiderufan says: Feb 19, 2015 1:38 PM

    The day the league handles one of these issues quickly and properly the local hospitals better be notified. Heads will explode and hearts will stop.

  36. themanfromtheblacklodge says: Feb 19, 2015 1:38 PM

    Considering each sideline contained, with players, coaches, equipment staff, medical staff, journalists (and other media employees) and miscellaneous NFL employees, probably in excess of 70 people, each of whom could have touched the ball/balls at some point, proving culpability will be nigh on impossible, and always has been.

    In terms of this latest ‘Ballghazi’ incident, it’s just something else the NFL screwed up that season.

    Also, I don’t want another report based on something said by an anonymous ‘league source with knowledge of the situation’. I want names, positions and accountability in order for the story to mean anything.

  37. hahaicansezbelicheat says: Feb 19, 2015 1:39 PM

    “If the Patriots are alerting people about a special teams ball, it kinda doesn’t really make any sense that they would intentionally deflate other balls, given that said officials, now alerted, might start sniffing around a bunch of other balls.”

    This is exactly right. In the least, it takes Belichick completley out of the conversation. He’s not going to order footballs be deflated and then have someone alert the officials about discrepancies with footballs being used on the field. The only theory left that even COULD hold water is that Brady did this behind everyone’s back with the ballboy. Keep in mind I don’t think that’s what happened at all, but just eliminating everything else.

  38. trevor190 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:39 PM

    The take away from this story is that ESPN ran a BS story accusing a man of (at best) underhandedness – complete with his picture and publication of his hometown -, and Adam Schefter had to come along to clean up their mess.

    I’d say ESPN are feeling ashamed today, but we all know better than that.

  39. roverboy1949 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:40 PM

    Pats Fan Forever
    28-24
    That says it all.

  40. vuudu says: Feb 19, 2015 1:40 PM

    When did the NFL know about this individual? Why did they allow him near such an important game? What else does he do that he is not suppose to do? Does he work alone? Does he work with any of the referees?
    Does he touch game balls? Are teams allow to prep game balls on the sidelines and substituted into the game once a ball is taken out properly?
    If so, who approves of such balls before they are allowed?
    Where is Goodell?
    He is supposed to be available to the media 24×7. I hear crickets.

  41. ring5for50 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:42 PM

    Mr. Kraft,

    We are patiently waiting for your announcement of the FRAME-GATE/DEFAMATION lawsuit you will soon open up.

    Please make the announcement at LUCAS OIL STADIUM.

    Top Ten 1st Round Draft Picks are:
    Goodell
    Grigson
    Kensil
    Mortensen
    Shefter
    ESPN
    Brunnell
    AILMAN
    Jerry Rice Cakes
    M.Fransesca

  42. dansardo says: Feb 19, 2015 1:42 PM

    The more and more that comes out about this, the better the pats look and the worse the nfl looks. What really is going to be the fly in the ointment that I am pretty sure is going to be found to be true is that the only truly underinflated ball was in the colts possession. So you may have 2 things going on here: a for profit ball scam overseen by an nfl official and an attempt to use that scam to discredit the patriots on at least the part of the colts and quite possibly the ravens also.

    This is likely to be a huge mess for the NFL that they are going to want to sweep under the rug and the question is if the pats are going to let them simply doing that after what they were put through. Kraft is a nice guy, but I don’t think that nice.

  43. scantenii says: Feb 19, 2015 1:44 PM

    Cheater.

  44. patriotinvasion says: Feb 19, 2015 1:45 PM

    Deep breath of fresh air. It feels great to be the World Champions yet again. Mad haters?

    Patriots = Greatest of All-Time at pretty much everything.

  45. denverdude7 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:46 PM

    Just a Patri*ts smokescreen to mask the real cheating they are guilty of.

    If all the previous cheating hadn’t happened I might be able to believe they are innocent this time.

    That is not the case here though.

    Once a cheater, always a cheater.

    Tuck Rule
    SpyGate
    McDanielsGate
    Aaron Hernandez
    IneligibleGate
    DeflateGate

    Dang New England… just give it a rest for awhile okay?

  46. ring5for50 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:46 PM

    BREAKING NEWS REPORT from C-SPANK:

    Ted Well$ is locked in his office, paramedics cannot get in right now, all that can be determined at this point is the undeniable sound of ‘UNCONTROLLABLE LAUGHTER’

    We will get back to you with updates periodically.
    Thank You

  47. dansardo says: Feb 19, 2015 1:47 PM

    The more and more that comes out about this, the better the pats look and the worse the nfl looks.

    What really is going to be the fly in the ointment that I am pretty sure is going to be found to be true is that the only truly under inflated ball was in the colts possession.

    So you may have 2 things going on here: a for profit ball scam overseen by an nfl official and an attempt to use that scam to discredit the patriots on at least the part of the colts and quite possibly the ravens also.

    This is likely to be a huge mess for the NFL that they are going to want to sweep under the rug and the question is if the pats are going to let them simply doing that after what they were put through.

    Kraft is a nice guy, but I don’t think that nice.

  48. Ralphie says: Feb 19, 2015 1:47 PM

    “Per a league source with knowledge of the situation, here’s what happened.”

    That quote is the consistent lead-in that’s been played in every “breaking” story on “Deflategate,” “BallGhazi”, whatever, by ESPN, PFT, CNNSI and other web sources (and it’s in the story above):

    That “League Source” guy is a slippery devil. He has you all running in circles the past several weeks, wouldn’t you agree?

  49. chiadam says: Feb 19, 2015 1:48 PM

    This is just annoying now. None of this matters. I really dislike that team and their slob coach, but you can’t video tape defensive signals, deflate a few balls, and rip off six Super Bowl trips with four wins. You just can’t. You can’t cheat your way to a dynasty. Hoodie does himself no favors with his constant need to cut corners needlessly; the league does the franchise no favors with their endless buffoonery, but none of that makes you win four rings.

  50. tigerlilac says: Feb 19, 2015 1:49 PM

    Mike, with all due respect, sir, you used the term “integrity of the game” from day one. You need to eat some crow, sir. It is not good enough to say you were duped.

  51. patriotinvasion says: Feb 19, 2015 1:49 PM

    There are a whole lot of extinguished torches and rusty pitchforks all over this great land right now. It must be pure misery for Patriot-haters right now. All their hopes and dreams just crushed again and now it’s Tom Brady week on NFLN to show off the glory of the greatest QB and dynasty of all-time.

    RIP crygaters…RIP indeed.

  52. ring5for50 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:50 PM

    roverboy1949 says:
    Feb 19, 2015 1:40 PM

    “Pats Fan Forever, 28-24 That says it all.”

    ——————————————————————-

    I would add to that – FOUR SB RINGS and a direct quote from Tom Brady:

    “WE’RE NOT DONE YET”

  53. sidepull says: Feb 19, 2015 1:50 PM

    Witch Hunt to attempt to derail the Pats Superbowl bound train. Did nothing but add some more steam to the locomotive as it plowed through the 4t quarter of the Superbowl unaffected by the false accusations and attempted character assassination of the GOAT PATS. When yall goona learn? You mess with the bull your gonna get the horns.

  54. mshawn75 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:50 PM

    I am NOT a Patriot fan, and I don’t trust Robert Kraft… But, people need to “get a life”. It is a “game”. I am a fan of the “game”. I enjoy the “game”. It is entertainment. If you are taking the “game” as more than that, YOU have a problem.

  55. patriotinvasion says: Feb 19, 2015 1:52 PM

    @denverdude7

    Man 43-8 and another one-and-done has you all cranky. Don’t worry, I’m sure Elway will find a way to CHEAT the salary cap again to keep you guys in contention.

    #28-24 > #43-8 – same team, different result with the best QB ever.

  56. ronburgandysscotch says: Feb 19, 2015 1:53 PM

    I wish the report would come out already. If they find no evidence they should offer a public apology to the Patriots. It could have cost them a SB if there coaches and vet players didn’t handle it so well. If there is any evidence that the Colts tampered with a ball they should be docked a high round pick that should go to the Pats. If the Pats tampered with the the balls they should also lose a high round pick. No matter what does come of it the NFL looks foolish. They are in a no win situation I think now because of their poor handling of the whole thing. Leaks, firing employees, etc.. Don’t think we are going to having anything but “confidential source” rumors until later in March though. One thing is for sure. The Pats are going to be hard on ESPN for the way they treated this. Good luck getting interviews, etc.. next year.

  57. 2001asterisk2003asterisk2004asterisk2014asterisk says: Feb 19, 2015 1:53 PM

    cheaters.

    ****

  58. a072455 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:53 PM

    The Pats balls were in play more so than the Colts, this would explain why the Pats balls were subjected to the cold and lose air. The Colts barely used theirs so it was kept on their nice warm bench, hence theirs do not lose any air….. Get it you haters! 45-7, how many times did those Colts used their balls?

  59. weepingjebus says: Feb 19, 2015 1:53 PM

    Running tally of cheaters uncovered by the Deflategate investigation:

    corrupt NFL employees
    Jerry Rice
    Joe Montana
    John Elway
    Don Shula
    Mike Shanahan
    Chris Carter

    So funny, please continue.

  60. dansardo says: Feb 19, 2015 1:54 PM

    @denverdude:

    I guess you don’t realize that denver cheated the salary cap and were penalized heavily monetarily and loss of draft picks. BOTH times.

    And with all the PED’s they have been busted for, not to mention the rampant arrests of front office personal over the last few years.

    I guess the question is if it makes sense for a fan of such a dirty organization to point fingera at anyone else?

  61. sacpete1 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:56 PM

    So Denverdude7, if once a cheater always cheater is your mantra, then I guess your team falls into that category when they got busted back in the late 90’s for circumventing the salary cap.

  62. ring5for50 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:56 PM

    lackofabetter says:
    Feb 19, 2015 1:23 PM

    “Can’t they just play football?”
    ______________________________________________________

    ANSWER: No, the JETS cannot play football.

    This is why Goodell & Kensil ( Former JETS) have started this FRAME-GATE to begin with.

  63. marima07 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:57 PM

    So… what about the previous story about the Colts’ equipment manager being suspicious of an underinflated ball (the one D’Qwell Jackson intercepted) and alerting Mike Kensil?

    Now… the story is that Kensil was alerted by a league official after Patriots ball attendant Jim McNally gave him an unapproved ball to use in the game. That alert sent Kensil to personally inspect the footballs at halftime.

    Both aren’t true – so which is it?

  64. pastabelly says: Feb 19, 2015 1:58 PM

    I don’t believe Roger Goodell will publicly apologize to Robert Kraft. I think it will come out more to effect of regret that any investigation brought into question the integrity of Tom Brady and the Patriot organization. However, it was important that all charges be investigated.

  65. dualprime says: Feb 19, 2015 1:58 PM

    Well if this doesn’t solidify the asterisks on the Pats championships, nothing will!

  66. snackswell37 says: Feb 19, 2015 1:59 PM

    1…..2…..3….4 Patriots Super Bowl Championships in 15 years!

    2 to 0 Championships for your team in 15 years!

    I just wish their 4 championships didn’t have asterisks with them in the records books…Oh wait they don’t.

  67. bmurph says: Feb 19, 2015 1:59 PM

    denverdude7 says:
    Feb 19, 2015 1:23 PM
    The Patri*ts confessing to cheating…

    Riiiight, that’s going to happen.

    ****TAINTEDRINGSFOREVER****

    I can’t put my finger on why, but some saying about people in glass houses throwing stones came to mind when reading this ridiculous post from a Denver fan. Only the funny part, is that Denver DID get fined for salary cap infractions during their recent Super Bowl wins, and the Pats are going to be getting an apology.

  68. theghostofaldavis says: Feb 19, 2015 1:59 PM

    hahaicansezbelicheat says:
    Feb 19, 2015 1:39 PM
    “If the Patriots are alerting people about a special teams ball, it kinda doesn’t really make any sense that they would intentionally deflate other balls, given that said officials, now alerted, might start sniffing around a bunch of other balls.”

    This is exactly right. In the least, it takes Belichick completley out of the conversation. He’s not going to order footballs be deflated and then have someone alert the officials about discrepancies with footballs being used on the field. The only theory left that even COULD hold water is that Brady did this behind everyone’s back with the ballboy. Keep in mind I don’t think that’s what happened at all, but just eliminating everything else.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Not necessarily – the K ball brought back in could have simply been ‘junk’ as far as the Pats were concerned when kicking that extra point (considering how loosely these things REALLY seem to be controlled…) so they wanted the better ball.

    That’s the one thing about systemic, systematic cheaters – they become brash and brazen about it. IF NE is as evil an organization as many fans here believe (heck, as a Raiders fan, I don’t need much more convincing to hate on this team), then pointing out one ‘special teams’ ball to the officials doesn’t do anything more than show they REALLY pay attention to the balls they handle – and definitely have a preference (lol – see what I did there?)

  69. jimmyt says: Feb 19, 2015 1:59 PM

    Everyone knows the Patriots cheat all the time.

  70. 6ball says: Feb 19, 2015 2:00 PM

    The most telling portion of the Naqi piece was that Mike Kensil unilaterally went to the playing field, unilaterally adjudicated the balls as underweight, and then unilaterally reinflated them prior to the second half. Chain of custody must be established before you can hold a lynching.
    .

  71. marima07 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:00 PM

    No single team should be set up to fail and scrutinized more than any other, especially by a Vice President of NFL Game Operations.

    Then it has nothing to do with the so-called “integrity of the game” and everything to do with a personal vendetta.

  72. gdbroker says: Feb 19, 2015 2:02 PM

    Every time I see an ‘*’ I know what it really represents. A fresh troll tear. Keep them coming. This latest report couldn’t have made the NFL or ESPN look much worse in all this.

  73. jamaltimore says: Feb 19, 2015 2:03 PM

    Congrats Patriots. You still skirted the rules against the Ravens with your ineligible nonsense but that wasn’t the only reason you won.

    Cheating is part of your persona regardless of what is reported in this case. Just like Ray lewis will always be a murderer to all the Ravens haters who obviously know nothing about the case. May not be correct but it’s sure is fun to bust on successful teams.

  74. Geniusry says: Feb 19, 2015 2:03 PM

    I hate ESPN almost as much as I hate the Patriots.

  75. scottjameswebdesign says: Feb 19, 2015 2:06 PM

    Yeah, nice work, Kelly Naqi.

  76. Akula says: Feb 19, 2015 2:07 PM

    No apology is required for doing an investigation if someone made a complaint. The apology is required ASAP for the leaks and smears that have come out of the league office.

    We are going to see how much pull Kraft as with the other owners and I would start collecting packing boxes if I worked in the head offices.

    P.S. ….If a source gives you bogus information you are no loonger obligated to protect that source. Are you listening Mort???

  77. briguy5 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:07 PM

    They should have let the Marx Brothers be in charge of gameday footballs. Those gentlemen have a much higher level of competence and integrity than the NFL employees.

  78. lolatpatshaters says: Feb 19, 2015 2:08 PM

    So now from what Grigson was saying the whole thing was a sting operation by the league.

    Meaning… Catching the Patriots >>> ensuring a level playing field for 60 minutes with a Super Bowl berth on the line. Mind boggling.

    Meaning… the Colts were aware of it and inflated the footballs to ensure they stayed in compliance after the natural deflation so they wouldn’t get busted themselves. Which puts the whole “what about the Colts footballs???” argument to bed permanently.

    Also meaning… Goodell needs to be told as soon as it’s possible that he has been immediately relieved of his duties as commissioner of the National Football League.

  79. skawh says: Feb 19, 2015 2:09 PM

    Pats Fan Forever
    28-24
    That says it all.
    ——

    Actually, Brady’s face on the screen with 30 seconds left with Seattle at the 1 yard line said it all. It read 3rd straight SB loss. Then Seattle’s OC gives the ball to NE.

    Stop trying to rewrite history. Everyone saw the same game you did. NE was beaten. And fact, for having the self proclaimed GOAT, how is NE’s 4 SB’s wins a combined 13 points and NE has not had a single blowout in a SB?

    Crickets I know. Whatever. Better to be lucky then good.

  80. lolatpatshaters says: Feb 19, 2015 2:09 PM

    The most telling portion of the Naqi piece was that Mike Kensil unilaterally went to the playing field, unilaterally adjudicated the balls as underweight, and then unilaterally reinflated them prior to the second half.

    —-
    Yup and a blatant violation of Rule 2 in the NFL rulebook which states that ONLY the Referee is in charge of the footballs.

    When Goodell gets fired Kensil can follow him out the door.

  81. justintuckrule says: Feb 19, 2015 2:11 PM

    Just use one set of balls for everything already like in baseball. This is silliness to the nth degree.

  82. snackswell37 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:11 PM

    PATRIOTS WON THE SUPER BOWL, YOUR TEAM DIDN’T! YOU LOSE! WE WIN! NO WORDS YOU POST WILL CHANGE THAT HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    NOT A PATRIOTS FAN? YOU LOSE!

    In the words of Willie Wonka

    You lose.

  83. lolatpatshaters says: Feb 19, 2015 2:12 PM

    Let’s get this thing trending NOW.

    #GoodellMustGo
    #FireGoodell

    Either will do.

  84. zeke2517 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:12 PM

    “So, given all that, Mr. Florio, why were individuals with ties to either the Colts or the NFL leaking stories to Kravitz and Mortensen with the clear intent of damaging the Patriots?”

    Okay, A-Rod. Everybody just wants to damage the Patriots. They are innocent little angels who have never done anything wrong.

    The fact that their balls were outside of the legal specifications… Just blame somebody else, right?

  85. gomybirdsgo says: Feb 19, 2015 2:17 PM

    I am a huge eagles fan and I was heart broke when they lost to the pats in the super bowl, but, I don’t think it was because of cheating. The Eagles lost because the pats were better.

    Brady is the best of all time and BBQ is right there with knoll and walsh as the best coach of all time. That’s it case closed.

    The pats didn’t cheat this past year. They were the best team this past year and that’s that. Now on to the draft and Mariota !!!!!!!

  86. snackswell37 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:17 PM

    Oh my god! Didn’t you guys hear?! They are going to strip the Patriots of all 4 of their Super Bowl victories and give them to YOUR favorite team! Congrats guys!!

  87. abqhawk says: Feb 19, 2015 2:17 PM

    The excuses never stop do they, the hole just bigger and deeper for the NFL the more you speak.

    So what’s next, 24/7 monitoring and periodic measurements of the length of the down chains?

    How about the real accuracy of the various clocks?

  88. stburke40 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:20 PM

    So the Patriots alerted the officials of a game ball integrity issue, removed the ball from play immediately. The Colts didn’t alert the officials, they called the NFL front office and then patiently waited until half-time for the issue to be dealt with…..uh huh. Sounds more like the Pats wanted to play football and the Colts wanted to play “gotcha”!

  89. tindeaux says: Feb 19, 2015 2:21 PM

    wait… so the patriots didn’t cheat after all? are you expecting me to believe this nfl?

  90. whybotherifeverythinggetscensored says: Feb 19, 2015 2:22 PM

    Once a m0ron, always a m0ron. End of story.

  91. weepingjebus says: Feb 19, 2015 2:22 PM

    “The penalties imposed Thursday on the Denver Broncos for violations of the league’s rules regarding the disclosure of deferred compensation to players and the salary cap were the second sanctions against the team for similar infractions in less than three years. In December 2001, the Broncos were fined $968,000 and lost a third-round pick in the 2002 draft for violations reportedly relating to $29 million in deferred payments to quarterback John Elway and running back Terrell Davis. On Thursday, the league announced that the Broncos have been fined $950,000 and will lose a third-round selection in next year’s draft for circumventing the salary cap between 1996 and ’98. The penalties were set in an agreement between the league, the Players Association and the Broncos and resolve a case against the team brought before the sport’s special master by the NFL’s Management Council in January 2003, the league announced. The penalties could be viewed as further vindication for Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, who has said in the past that Broncos owner Pat Bowlen should be suspended for salary cap violations. Davis has contended that the Broncos’ circumvention of the salary cap helped them win the Super Bowl in the 1997 and ’98 seasons.” — “Broncos Penalized Again for Salary Cap Violations,” Washington Post, September 17, 2004.

  92. therealpockets says: Feb 19, 2015 2:23 PM

    Gotta love the people who are so blinded by their hate that they still claim the ineligible receiver plays as cheating even after the NFL and VP of Officials say there was nothing illegal about it…

  93. bushwoodcc says: Feb 19, 2015 2:24 PM

    dumbaseinstien says:
    Feb 19, 2015 1:28 PM

    The Pats & NFL have both “Lawyered Up” & all these potential possible tampering options & firing of other individuals is by design intended to confuse the conversation & deflect attention from the true culprits. 11 of 12 game balls of the Patriots were greater than 2 psi below the minimum by league rules & the 12th may very well have been below also, just not by “at least” 2 psi. The Colt’s balls weren’t low. This isn’t complex…like lawyers of the League & Team & Pats fans would like everyone to believe.

    Patriots are Cheaters…plain, simple, undeniable!
    _________________________________

    Mort’s report of 11 balls being 2 lbs under has been contradicted by multiple other sources. We actually don’t know what the levels were at halftime because those numbers haven’t been released yet (despite your assertion of them being at least 2 psi under). We also don’t know what they were before the game because that information wasn’t logged.

    What is clear is that given all the conflicting reports coming out there is a lot of misinformation being leaked.

    We are now seeing why Goodel went to an outside investigator and why the Wells investigation is taking so long. The league office itself is a mess and too many people have their own agendas.

    At a point where reasonable people are looking at all this conflicting info and asking “WTH?!?!” only true haters are still yelling “cheaters”. The rest of us will be waiting for the actual facts to come out in Wells’ report. Yes, you can speculate on what you think happened, but the minute you claim the balls were a certain amount under at halftime you’ve tipped your hand and shown your bias, because that is one piece of fact we definitely do not know.

  94. scottsdrywall says: Feb 19, 2015 2:24 PM

    Scott Miller was also recently caught for stealing Game Worn jerseys from the NFL AUCTIONS office and private selling them to 1/3 of the retail cost to a man from Connecticut by the name of Mark Demers. (One jersey in particular was a 2012 Aaron Rodgers BCA jersey worth 30K which Miller sold to Demers for 10k)
    Miller was pocketing the cash while Demers sold the jerseys for profit. This is the real issue here. This scums are stealing from our Salute to service and Breast Cancer charities for their own personal gain. Not to mention that Miller lives in NY and Demers in CT.
    They should also be charged with theft and fraud over state lines as well.
    All of this is fact and has already been proven with Psa numbers and Paypal gift payments. It was also recently reported to Miller’s boss at NFL AUCTIONS as well.

  95. lolatpatshaters says: Feb 19, 2015 2:24 PM

    How about a sting operation in the commissioners office. Who knows what skeletons we will find!

    #GoodellMustGo #FireGoodell

  96. scw1993 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:25 PM

    skawh says: Feb 19, 2015 1:29 PM

    Once a cheater, always a cheater. End of story.
    ———————————————
    You should know, with all the enhanced hormones on your team.

    #hawks just aren’t good enough

    Congratulations, NE, on a great win, and to the best franchise in sports.

  97. lolatpatshaters says: Feb 19, 2015 2:26 PM

    Hey NFL! I wanna apply for a job with your league that lets me screw up again and again for 40 million a year!

    #GoodellMustGo
    #FireGoodell

  98. unbreakable02215 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:26 PM

    someone please list the proven transgressions that the patriots have committed….

  99. garbear25 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:27 PM

    Once a cheater, always a cheater.

    Tuck Rule – Was a call made by a ref
    SpyGate – The only thing they actually did
    McDanielsGate – Was not against the rules
    Aaron Hernandez – Our murderer was cut the day he was charged – other teams build statues to theirs
    IneligibleGate – Study the rule biik
    DeflateGate – increasingly looks like it never happened

    This is the legacy everyone keeps harping on – it consists of ONE THING!

    Thanks for posting by the way.

  100. darthbelichick07 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:28 PM

    skawh says:
    Feb 19, 2015 1:29 PM
    Once a cheater, always a cheater. End of story

    28-24

  101. akismet-d566ccc9ddf097554dcac708313d1fb4 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:28 PM

    My favorite response from those who still believe the pats cheated are: Kraft is in bed with goodell. My response: Really??? What about Mara and Rooney family, they are historically documented as closer to goodell than Kraft. Do you really think the rest of the owners would let this supposed cheating slip by? NO. If you still think the pats cheated, I really hope you applied to be an original colonist on mars.

  102. tigerlilac says: Feb 19, 2015 2:29 PM

    “Actually, Brady’s face on the screen with 30 seconds left with Seattle at the 1 yard line said it all. It read 3rd straight SB loss.”

    Actually, Brady’s face on the screen means the Patriots always have a chance to win.

  103. krup1959 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:30 PM

    DenverDude is a clown, good luck next year with Peyton. How did the Broncos do against Seattle ?? Clown. Denver cheated back in the early Elway days. Vaseline in uniforms. Only reason it was no big deal is they always got beat so bad in the SB. I actually use to like the old Broncos. I think the weed is getting to those clowns

  104. johannklein says: Feb 19, 2015 2:31 PM

    It’s looking more and more like there was a botched sting operation against the Patriots from the get-go in the AFC Championship game. A word to the wise from the league to the Patriots would have sufficed, “uh, we’ve heard there is some concern with the inflation of your footballs, so watch out”. No, they let the game go on and try to catch the Patriots red-handed, but the NFL ended up looking like fools in doing so. What a lame way to run a sports league. Goodell must go.

  105. iamapatsfan says: Feb 19, 2015 2:32 PM

    denverdude7 says:Feb 19, 2015 1:46 PM

    Once a cheater, always a cheater.

    ….

    ——

    So what about the Broncos cap violations when Elway actually won his only 2 SBs? Now he’s in charge of that same team.

    Does that mean the “Once a cheater, always a cheater” applies to the Broncos as well?

    I’m just curious if you are a complete hypocrite or not.

  106. tigerlilac says: Feb 19, 2015 2:33 PM

    Kravitz: “If Ray Rice gets two games, Irsay will get 10 minutes”

    Looking back, why would anyone believe anything this guy says?

  107. jrs1972 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:35 PM

    gdbroker says:
    Feb 19, 2015 2:02 PM
    Every time I see an ‘*’ I know what it really represents. A fresh troll tear.
    ———
    No, thats the dynasty asterisk. A badge of honor.

  108. dansardo says: Feb 19, 2015 2:36 PM

    The seahawk fans that are moaning about the pass play as the reason the seahawks lost must not have seen the rest of the game where:

    wilson didn’t complete a pass until a little over 5 minutes left in the first half,

    or the seahawks getting an improbable TD in the last few seconds of the first because of a massive defensive breakdown that included bad coverage and bad tackling that didn’t happen before or after in that game by the pats defense

    or at least 3 if not 7 points taken off the board by brady making a bad mistake in the red zone (hello that was a bad call)

    or one of the 2 catches that are considered the flukiest in nfl history to get them in a position to have a chance to win the game in the first place.

    Apparently, they also missed the pats butt ramming the seahawks for the better part of 3 of the 4 quarters that were played not to mentioning brady clownstomping the “legion of overrated” during the entire 4th quarter.

  109. tigerlilac says: Feb 19, 2015 2:38 PM

    Well, the guy that said he could not talk, Ryan Grigson, is chirping like the con he is at the combine

    Grigson said today that in week leading up to AFC title game, the Colts notified league regarding concerns of deflated footballs.

    Ryan Grigson on notifying league about possible #Patriots deflated footballs: “I just tried to do my job. We had concerns.”

    I smell a rat.

  110. rjpats says: Feb 19, 2015 2:39 PM

    unbreakable02215 says:
    Feb 19, 2015 2:26 PM
    someone please list the proven transgressions that the patriots have committed….
    __________

    They had a camera in an improper location for 6 plays of one game at the start of the 2007 season.

    Oh the humanity.

  111. steelerfanjo says: Feb 19, 2015 2:39 PM

    fIRST BELLACHEAT SAYS HE KNEW NOTHING, AND NOW THIS COMES OUT? This is called a coverup folks.

  112. billswillnevermove says: Feb 19, 2015 2:41 PM

    Funny how all the Patriot trolls come out of the woodwork to try to defend the culture of cheating going on in New England for years. Congrats ****.

  113. bushwoodcc says: Feb 19, 2015 2:42 PM

    skawh says:
    Feb 19, 2015 2:09 PM

    Pats Fan Forever
    28-24
    That says it all.
    ——

    Actually, Brady’s face on the screen with 30 seconds left with Seattle at the 1 yard line said it all. It read 3rd straight SB loss. Then Seattle’s OC gives the ball to NE.

    Stop trying to rewrite history. Everyone saw the same game you did. NE was beaten. And fact, for having the self proclaimed GOAT, how is NE’s 4 SB’s wins a combined 13 points and NE has not had a single blowout in a SB?

    Crickets I know. Whatever. Better to be lucky then good.
    ________________________________

    Lucky? You mean like being on your back and having a batted ball bounce off your legs and into your lap?

    And by the way, there are no extra awards for winning the Super Bowl in a blowout. A 24 point win does not get a bigger Lombardi than a 4 point win.

  114. concrete998 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:44 PM

    @skawh
    Actually, Brady’s face on the screen with 30 seconds left with Seattle at the 1 yard line said it all. It read 3rd straight SB loss. Then Seattle’s OC gives the ball to NE

    Then skawh …why didn’t you turn off your TV with 30 seconds left??

  115. tigerlilac says: Feb 19, 2015 2:45 PM

    “I just tried to do my job. We had concerns.”

    Grigson’s major concern was that they were blowing out his team for the fourth straight time, despite the Colts “lucking” in drafting Andrew Luck, and the Colts couldn’t beat them on the field so Grigson tried to smear them.

  116. snackswell37 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:45 PM

    Remember that time that the Patriots won the Super Bowl and your team didn’t?

    Yeah, that was awesome.

  117. rorr1203 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:46 PM

    Why didn’t the NFL do a better job securing the footballs and tracking psi?

    I’ll tell you why. Because, No One Cared! No one paid attention to psi or who was handling the balls before the game or on the side lines during the game… No One Cared! I wasn’t a big deal until the Colts’ management got their panties all bunched up about psi.

    And after this all done and settled the sun will still rise in the east and set in the west. I’ll still have to pay taxes and I’ll still have to get up in the middle of the night to pee.

    Let’s just move on.

  118. pastabelly says: Feb 19, 2015 2:48 PM

    Kensil’s dad worked for the Jets for 11 years and Kensil worked for the Jets for 28 years until Eric Mangini fired him. Kensil was with the Jets when Belichick resigned to take a position with the Patriots. My math tells me that the person with the integrity problem here is Kensil and not Tom Brady.

  119. jrl6 says: Feb 19, 2015 2:51 PM

    LOL. Beyond stupid at this point.

  120. tedmurph says: Feb 19, 2015 2:51 PM

    Actually, Brady’s face on the screen with 30 seconds left with Seattle at the 1 yard line said it all.

    All I remember is Brady jumping up and down after MButler’s great play. You know, when the Championship was sealed. Never seen Brady so happy. Awesome. Better to be lucky than good? Like Kearse’s 33 yrs miracle catch to get seattle there in the 1rst place. Riiiggghhtt. Revisionist history? Best team on the field won that day. Rightly so.

  121. onlysane1intheroom says: Feb 19, 2015 2:53 PM

    skawh says:
    Feb 19, 2015 2:09 PM
    Pats Fan Forever
    28-24
    That says it all.
    ——

    Actually, Brady’s face on the screen with 30 seconds left with Seattle at the 1 yard line said it all. It read 3rd straight SB loss. Then Seattle’s OC gives the ball to NE.

    Stop trying to rewrite history. Everyone saw the same game you did. NE was beaten. And fact, for having the self proclaimed GOAT, how is NE’s 4 SB’s wins a combined 13 points and NE has not had a single blowout in a SB?

    Crickets I know. Whatever. Better to be lucky then good.

    ____________________

    Laying 14 points against the supposed “league’s best D” in the fourth quarter on the world’s biggest stage. That says it ALL.

  122. S says: Feb 19, 2015 2:57 PM

    Hey fellas…

    When Brady is done with the Patriots, here is what you are going to need to avoid crying about how awful your team is:

    * * * * * *

    Best of all time.

    Enjoy the next couple years😀

  123. metitometin says: Feb 19, 2015 2:58 PM

    Not only are the Patriots owed an apology by the NFL, but the league should compensate them with perhaps an extra draft pick for all the character assassination they have gone through over the past month. Goodell should thank his lucky stars if Kraft doesn’t sue.

  124. vozki says: Feb 19, 2015 3:07 PM

    Give us those “*” hell will take 4 of them. Call our team cheaters. Call our coach evil. Call our QB pretty boy. It will hurt our feelings then all we have to do is think back to that 4th super bowl and how sweet all 4 have felt and will be ok.😉

    Its not going to be that easy for all the haters since this season you will have to call us “Defending SuperBowl Champions”.

    Keep on hating while we keep on winning.

    Got Pats!

  125. eyeandfootballofhorus says: Feb 19, 2015 3:09 PM

    skawh says: Feb 19, 2015 2:09 PM

    Actually, Brady’s face on the screen with 30 seconds left with Seattle at the 1 yard line said it all. It read 3rd straight SB loss. Then Seattle’s OC gives the ball to NE.
    Stop trying to rewrite history. Everyone saw the same game you did. NE was beaten.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    actual history was etched in the face of richard sherman @10 seconds later when he reacted to the interception…

    …and about that expression, pats fans the world over couldn’t have hoped for a more sweet ending.

  126. tb12bestqbevah says: Feb 19, 2015 3:11 PM

    Apology from Goodell? Nah, I’d rather just see him fired.

    But for all these reporters at ESPN and ESPN the Magazine, who have been systematically smearing the Pats, going so far as to call for them to be banned from the Superbowl (go ahead look it up). Let’s see how many of these folks have the integrity to issue mea culpas when (if ever) the NFL gets around to actually releasing a full and detailed report.

    So far not a single person from the Pats has been so much as reprimanded, yet at least one NFL OFFICIAL has been fired. More heads will roll before this is over, and I highly doubt any will be from New England.

  127. spthomas1 says: Feb 19, 2015 3:19 PM

    Notice Grigson’s timing? Just as it starts to become an non-issue Grigson, who refused comments earlier, comes out and try to fire up the fuel to make the Colts obliteration sound like its not his fault.

  128. locoengineer says: Feb 19, 2015 3:20 PM

    Does someone think the Patriots cheated by being the beneficiary of the Tuck Rule call? if you’re gonna pile on, make sure your come correct.

  129. pondbridge says: Feb 19, 2015 3:23 PM

    Can’t wait till this blows up in Harbaugh’s and Irsay’s faces. The D’Olts! have already gone into extreme damage control mode. Hope this gets Irsay thrown out of the league as he should have been a year ago.

  130. ppduval says: Feb 19, 2015 3:24 PM

    I…. just…can’t…take…it…Anymore…

    JUST RELEASE THE GODDAMN report.

  131. castlelong1 says: Feb 19, 2015 3:27 PM

    When the report clears the Patriots and the Colts, who admit to a sting, are at fault for a PR nightmare, should the new commissioner contract the Colts?

    I’m not joking.

  132. Ed Desautels says: Feb 19, 2015 3:29 PM

    Then again, some will always believe that the Colts pinned the football Jackson intercepted, the only one of the balls significantly underinflated.

  133. ring5for50 says: Feb 19, 2015 3:34 PM

    tedmurph says:
    Feb 19, 2015 2:51 PM

    “Actually, Brady’s face on the screen with 30 seconds left with Seattle at the 1 yard line said it all. ”

    VS.

    SHERMAN’s Face when Butler INTERCEPTS the ball with only 20 seconds left in the game!

  134. unbreakable02215 says: Feb 19, 2015 3:35 PM

    Also, remember in SpyGate, they didn’t even try
    to hide what they were doing. They interpreted
    the rule a certain way, were warned not to do it,
    did it any way, warned again, kept doing it, got
    ratted out. The dude was there for 70,000 people to see there on the sideline with his tripod.

    You wanna accuse belichick of something ?

    accuse him of being stubborn…that’s about it.

    And like I always say….In a given season if you
    face a team once and you use certain signals ?

    If you face them a second time that same year and don’t change your signals ? You are an amateur my friends and deserve to have said signals stolen by any means available.

  135. higheriqthanyou says: Feb 19, 2015 3:36 PM

    Translation:

    NFL is trying desperately to throw so much BS at the entire issue that they can claim the Pats didn’t cheat, AGAIN.

  136. psousa1 says: Feb 19, 2015 3:39 PM

    Roger Goodell reading the Wells report:

    “Everyone, but me, is culpable”

    Did they deflate a friggin football – no. The game was 45-7 or whatever it was.

    You have media types who either believe they have to be completely antagonistic and then you have media types (All of ESPN) who believe they are part of the NFL and defend the shield.

    I like Adam Schefter. He is good. The rest of them are either slime (Mortensen for one) or paid hacks (Brunell / Carter ). I heard this Kelly Nagi or whatever her name is say on the radio that she only reported the facts. There are no facts!

    Ridiculous.

  137. stburke40 says: Feb 19, 2015 3:40 PM

    None of you Patriot haters get it. The true genius of Bill Belichick. You all know that Bill orchestrated this whole thing. From manipulating the Colts into calling the NFL front office about some supposedly deflated balls to manipulating Pete Carroll into calling a pass play with less than 30 seconds to go. Yes, it was Bill who was so devious that he ordered balls to be deflated in the AFC championship game only to alert the officials that there was a problem with balls during that same game….the man is evil!
    It was Bill who aggravated people all over the league so that they would get together and leak misinformation to the press making us look bad just so that when the truth came out, he could sit in his office and chuckle at his own deviousness. What none of you get is that we Pats fans love Bill for all this because he knows that we know all the above is crap and when it’s us against the world, the victories are even sweeter

  138. billsfan1 says: Feb 19, 2015 3:47 PM

    I wanted the Patriots to get busted so damn bad, i truly did. They didn’t and they won’t. Doesn’t mean they did it, doesnt mean they didn’t do it. At this point, I no longer care.
    All I care about is how the Commish is going to make up those lost 9 Million in sales. Then I want to hear about how vital it is to Buffalo for us to NEED a new stadium after he gave approval to 200 million plus in renovations this past offseason.
    Not that I am not for a new stadium, mind you…

    So am I the only one who cant wait to see whats in store for this season? Last season will be pretty tough to top off

  139. thingamajig says: Feb 19, 2015 3:52 PM

    In the future I see game balls being stored inside a Brinks truck on each sideline with at least 12 armed guards and an NFL approved air pressure gauge.
    The NFL Director of Air Pressure will check every ball after each series which will take some time so a TV commercial break will be required.

  140. mungman69 says: Feb 19, 2015 3:54 PM

    This has been way too much for way too long.

  141. stagedoorjohnny says: Feb 19, 2015 3:55 PM

    I thought that Bill Belichick was the so-called control freak. Please explain then why we a situation where multiple Patriots employees are tossing footballs into play and others tossing them out for resale, all the while under Mr. Belichick’s nose.
    It’s like where the inmates are running the asylum.

  142. iclarke1204 says: Feb 19, 2015 3:57 PM

    Keep up the pressure Mike. I’m having alot of fun reading your articles exposing the ineptitude of the NFL front office and it continues to put more scrutiny on how lackluster this organiztion operates.

    While trying to put a face on integrity, all Roger and his gang of idiots have done is show the lack of integrity that stems from the very top.

    The emporer has no clothes. Someone send him a tweet.

  143. jaysmack says: Feb 19, 2015 4:02 PM

    It is interesting how pats fans are saying goodell and the nfl is a joke. Welcome to that little place called the rest of the fans! Lol. Goodell destroyed the evidence for spygate and did not even look at the tapes or give anyone else a chance.
    Pats fans did not think the nfl of goodell were a joke when they gave you a Lombardi, why don’t you give them all back in protest? No? Oh we see.
    Yeah, there are those that will always think the patriots are cheaters, right, everyone other football fan outside the Boston area.
    At the center of all this are the cheating patriots. As long as Belichick and Ernie Adams are there you will always be suspect and you wins will have an astericks. Sad days for football fans

  144. lanman11 says: Feb 19, 2015 4:05 PM

    So the NFL has a rogue employee swapping game balls for his own balls that he himself probably inflated, without a gauge, that bypass the ref’s inspection, so he could sell the actual game approved balls for profit. AND, the Patriots employee felt something was wrong and alerted the officials. Is that right? Is that what we have here?

    Thankfully the right team won the Super Bowl, as you would never be able to undue this damage, much like they have never been able to undue the damage of the false report the night before the Super Bowl in 2008 about taping the Rams walk through practice. That report was proven untrue and eventually retracted, but the Patriots were forced to answer for it during the 48 hours leading up to the Super Bowl and the negative press weighed heavily on the team. It was a crime that nobody paid for, and that had repercussions for years.

    Only a prime time broadcast of an apology from the NFL, that pre-empts all stations like a Presidential address, will be enough to make amends for what the NFL, ESPN, the Dolts, and the Mavens have done. Let’s not get into the talking heads like Cris Carter and Mark Brunell, a couple of emotional defectives if there ever was…..

  145. blisi57 says: Feb 19, 2015 4:09 PM

    2015 Super Bowl champions that’s all that needs to be said eat it haters

  146. brohamma says: Feb 19, 2015 4:09 PM

    Come on people.. Kensil was running a side op on a severely weakened commish. It was a power grab plain and simple with the purpose of showing everyone that he could make a difference and should replace Goodell.

  147. blisi57 says: Feb 19, 2015 4:10 PM

    Jealous trolls all teams cheat but were the best at it love it go pats

  148. blabidibla says: Feb 19, 2015 4:14 PM

    So many conclusions. So little facts.

  149. williamshatnerstoupee says: Feb 19, 2015 4:15 PM

    I see no primetime apology forthcoming.

  150. radar8 says: Feb 19, 2015 4:19 PM

    muslimponder says:
    Feb 19, 2015 1:22 PM
    Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks for being the true SB XLIX champions!
    ———————————————————————-

    LOSER

    You sad, bro?

  151. revren10 says: Feb 19, 2015 4:24 PM

    muslimponder says:
    Feb 19, 2015 1:22 PM
    Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks for being the true SB XLIX champions!

    um you did watch the game right the hawks choked in the forth quarter.

    28-24 Patriots Won Tom Brady >Russell Wilson

  152. ftblfan9 says: Feb 19, 2015 4:49 PM

    Kensil running a solo sting rather than ensuring all footballs were within the guidelines before the start of the game. He’s rather catch the Patriots at half time than protect the integrity of the game. Think back to Belichicks second press conference. He alludes to something like this.

  153. daytontriangles says: Feb 19, 2015 5:15 PM

    There are a ton of fines and firings needed as a result of this debacle.

    None of them involve Kraft, Belichick, Brady or anyone else in the Patriots organization.

  154. ring5for50 says: Feb 19, 2015 5:32 PM

    I have been watching this from the beginning and – NO WAY is Adam Shefter free of his share of slander and drooling over the falsehood of Deflate-Gate.

    His reporting of Deflate-Gate was & is horrendous. Shefter was foaming out the mouth right next to his buddy Mortensen. So anyone trying to defend Shefter is just another hater.

    Since Shefter is a chameleon, he will start changing colors just to be on the winning side.

    Shefter is in the same dog pile poop as Goodell, Grigson, Kensil and other haters. Hello, he works for ESPN.

  155. kissmysandwich says: Feb 19, 2015 5:57 PM

    Miller stole game balls and replaced them during the game which is why some were found to not be inflated to standards.

  156. mullman76 says: Feb 19, 2015 6:09 PM

    The NFL is a farce.

    Patriot fans sound like 12yr old girls with every utterance of “hater.”

    I can’t believe we (my fellow NFL fans who like to post on this site) have wasted so much time either defending or attempting to skewer the pats.

    It’s time that we, the fans of the other 31 teams and the lovers of everything brady/bill just let it go, please.

    Enough.

    Go Raiders

  157. blackhawkslove says: Feb 19, 2015 6:17 PM

    The NFL should brush up on the Van Der Waals equation of state. They might learn a thing or two about pressures of gases at different temperatures.

  158. carloswlassiter says: Feb 19, 2015 6:21 PM

    onlysane1intheroom says: Feb 19, 2015 2:53 PM

    Stop trying to rewrite history. Everyone saw the same game you did. NE was beaten.
    ————————————————————-
    I know this is complicated, but stay with me: The winner of a game is determined when the clock reads 0:00, not at some point near the end, or in the middle of the 3rd quarter or at halftime.

  159. pleasestopthesnow says: Feb 19, 2015 6:25 PM

    Its funny how the NFL never has a simple explanation for anything, its football not advanced calculus

  160. nwhmpshr says: Feb 19, 2015 6:41 PM

    Ok, I’ll say it:

    On behalf of NFL fans everywhere, we apologize to the New England Patriots and their fans.

    We salute you while we hang our heads in shame.

    Congratulations on not only beating the Seahawks, but overcoming the world that was against you.

  161. smasonsmith says: Feb 19, 2015 7:02 PM

    We are now seeing why Goodel went to an outside investigator and why the Wells investigation is taking so long. The league office itself is a mess and too many people have their own agendas.
    ===
    If Goodell survives, I expect he’ll probably can a ton of people up to and possibly including Kensil. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s having Wells run a leak-detection campaign by giving targets access to a subtly-personalized piece of leak able information.

  162. smasonsmith says: Feb 19, 2015 7:11 PM

    Enough.

    Go Raiders
    ===
    Yeah. Go to LA.

  163. 1smoothoperator says: Feb 19, 2015 9:17 PM

    Enough already, ESPN should just stop reporting anything on the Patriots until this bogus investigation is done.Then you just change a simple rule about footballs. Each team gets the footballs on Monday morning and do whatever they want to scuff it up, rub it down, inflate to whatever feels good to the QB and or kickers. Now everyone has the football as they want them…boom, problem solved.

  164. ikeclanton says: Feb 19, 2015 9:36 PM

    Stop trying to rewrite history. Everyone saw the same game you did. NE was beaten. And fact, for having the self proclaimed GOAT, how is NE’s 4 SB’s wins a combined 13 points and NE has not had a single blowout in a SB?

    ———————————————————————–
    1. If NE was “beaten” , why are they crowned the SB champs again? Did I miss the championship-level play that won it?

    2. This is where the losers are separated from the winners, blowout boy…

    –you don’t have to dunk to score 2 points when a lay-up
    will do
    –you don’t have to have end-to-end rushes with highlight-
    reel goals when you can’t play team defense
    –you don’t EVER hear Brady or the Pats talk about Pro
    Bowls, stats, individual accolades, etc. They care about
    game planning, clock management, being better in all 3
    phases—-doing the job you were assigned to do.

    …they have bought into doing things to WIN, while teams like the Seahawks are planning end zone poop celebrations, starting fights, and busy getting face-time mouthing the current lead to the nation before the game has finished. The points don’t matter–the WIN matters.

  165. bmcelvan says: Feb 19, 2015 9:38 PM

    Stop trying to rewrite history. Everyone saw the same game you did. NE was beaten.
    ————————————————————-
    I know this is complicated, but stay with me: The winner of a game is determined when the clock reads 0:00, not at some point near the end, or in the middle of the 3rd quarter or at halftime.

    ——————————————–

    I’d have to agree with you…not at some point near the end, or in the middle of the 3rd quarter or at halftime…because if that was the case the NE PATs would have 6 SB rings, not 4. As it is, we’ll gladly take out 4.

    Seriously though, anyone who actually watched the entire game, not just the last three minutes, and still thinks the Seahawks were anywhere close to the level of the PATs that Sunday is delusional. The Pats got outplayed on 2 plays near the end of the first half and for about half the third quarter. Spotted the Hawks a TD (INT) and even had another once in a team-history miracle type play (my Dad calls it fairy dust) and still WON! Clearly the better team that day!

  166. bmcelvan says: Feb 19, 2015 9:48 PM

    The reason the hawks WILL NEVER BE A REPEAT, DYNASTY type team is because they rely almost solely on big plays. Take away 2 or three of their plays on SB Sunday, they lose by 14+ points. The Pats on the other hand are balanced and always reliable…that’s why they’ve been there for what, 13 years. Seriously, 9 Conference Championship games in 14 years…NO ONE DOES THAT ANYMORE, if ever!!

    You want to say the cheat…go right ahead! But remember this…if your team tried its best to cheat (which they all do anyway) you will never accomplish anywhere near the success of the last 14 years!

  167. jasonculhane says: Feb 20, 2015 2:27 AM

    I think this is just a bunch of smoke screen propaganda do the NFL can sweep it under the rug.

    It’s in the Leagues best interest for the Patriots to come out clean, that way their “wins” aren’t at all tainted. It’s like their trying to find ways to back peddle and fantasize stories to cover this whole thing up. Stories that make zero sense, so that the dumbest fans can believe it.

    Like the footballs? Now they were sold? Of course…how convenient…and their talking about this guy with K balls? Who cares, it’s all a ruse to make people miss the point. The point is 11 outta 12 balls were deflated and used by the Patriots. The NFL waited like a decade to do anything about it, so of course it’s gonna be chaotic now to get info.

    I don’t blame the Patriots. They obviously proved that this commissioner is the biggest idiot, enabler known to sports. If anything they have laid the blueprint for other teams to do. You can get caught red handed, break rules and this Goodell guy won’t do anything, small fine or big fine, it’s only money and in the end it’s worth I guess 4 Super Bowls. It’s Goodell who’s flawed, He comes down hard on players for doing things outside the game but when it’s
    Violating actual rules of the game he’s clueless.

  168. afwhigs says: Feb 20, 2015 7:44 AM

    “…Then again, some will always believe that the Patriots tampered with footballs no matter what the evidence indicates…”
    ————————————————-

    Like how people still talk about the Patriots videotaping other teams’ practices, despite that myth being debunked many years ago?

    A couple of things are clear to me at this point (and I’m a Browns fan, BTW):

    1) The NFL, in their charming, less-competent-than-the-Three-Stooges way, tried to set up a sting on the Patriots.

    2) Many in the major sports media seem perfectly willing to put out reports from “sources” which implicate the Pats without providing any evidence.

    3) The NFL, led by former Jets employee Goodell, couldn’t conduct a confidential investigation even if it really wanted to.

    4) If the NFL had ANYTHING to go on, they would’ve issued a ruling by now. They’re stalling, hoping the fervor will die down. Meanwhile, they can’t keep the “sources” from leaking information/misinformation like a sieve.

    Good job Goodell.

  169. ejmat2 says: Feb 20, 2015 8:48 AM

    bertilfox says:
    Feb 19, 2015 1:19 PM

    If this was such a HUGE possible issue, why is there no log of the PSI measurements for each ball? Why is there no Chain of Custody? Why is there VERY LITTLE Security throughout the course of a game?
    ——————————————
    Why? Because the NFL worries too much about non concerning issues instead of ensuring the integrity of the game. Not wanting to compare the two but it’s the same thing as all the domestic abuse going on. It’s all been happening for years. It’s always been a bad thing. However, it takes something to finally happen in a big light for the NFL to actually start worrying about it. If the video never surfaced from Ray Rice do you think there would have been the suspensions for Hardy and Peterson? If this didn’t happen to the Patriots in the AFCCG, would it have been such a big deal? Just saying.

  170. afwhigs says: Feb 20, 2015 12:31 PM

    You know, in thinking about all of this, the NFL is lucky the Pats won. When it all washes out that this was a manufactured controversy by a rogue former Jets employee with an ax to grind, the NFL is going to look very bad. ESPN will look no better than the former Jets employee.

    This whole debacle was a HUGE distraction before the game. And it’s all nonsense. At least that’s what I’m choosing to believe at this point, because I’ve seen nothing to the contrary.

    The NFL: 1) allowed allegedly illegal balls to be used in the AFC Championship game (!) to try to prove a point (I don’t think any balls were illegal, at this point), and 2) they allowed the eventual SB champs to be absolutely crucified in the media for two weeks, over nothing.

  171. fairhooker says: Feb 21, 2015 10:23 PM

    The Patriots make the Lance Armstrong’s honor roll by deceitfully creating mountains of brazen distraction. Now it is this kicking ball introduced as the guilty party and before that they went around and around saying that everyone cheats, this guy cheats, that guy cheated therefore it must be OK for the Deflate Gate and the Spygate and the Receiver Ineligible Gate, this last one even is worse than all of the rest by introducing distractions and confusions so that the referees cannot police players coming into and out of the game in the legal time with the numbers as it is customary.

    I think they are actually better than Lance Armstrong at the lying and cheating… and the fact is that they have been using under inflated and out of regulation balls since after the Chiefs destroyed them they made a decision they were going to do whatever it took and Brady at 37 likes an out of spec ball and his receivers and ball carriers catch better and fumble less. And the NFL has not even interviewed the top Patriots giving them months to prepare to declare themselves innocent, say, another MIT physics snow blizzard by Godfather Lance Belichick.

    What goes on between Goodell and Bob Kraft is without precedent; the favoritism and aiding and abetting is criminal particularly when Goodell destroyed the Saints franchise and suspended players and coaches and Sean Payton for a whole year. Several of the Saints had nothing to do with the BountyGate a state of mind that exists in football even to this day… watch the Patriots get away with this because Goodell destroyed evidence for them before (inexplicably and incredibly) so that the other business partners could not fully see how badly the rogue New England business partner cheats the rest of the teams that are supposed to be on a level playing field.

    As Marlon Brando said in Apocalypse Now… “THE HORROR… THE HORROR.!”

  172. patsrule59 says: Feb 23, 2015 4:57 PM

    ” The Colts should forfeit their 2015 draft picks to the Patriots”

    Yes, and quickly…before they trade all their early round picks for some overrated running back.

  173. j0esixpack says: Feb 23, 2015 10:50 PM

    Just a little Football 101 for those who don’t know their history of so-called Patriots “scandals”

    Tuck Rule – a rule that few heard of which everyone agrees was properly utilized and applied. Unless you want to break the rules any they go the Patriots way, this is not a scandal

    SpyGate – A 2007 violation of a 2006 rule on camera placement (all teams film signal calling, just not from the field after 2006 – that’s why coordinators cover their mouths kids!) If a jealous Patriot-hater can explain to me how a new 2006 rule violation invalidates all Super Bowls of the past, I’m all ears.

    What Spygate is NOT – since there’s clearly confusion. It has nothing to do with filming a Ram’s PRACTICE. That was an erroneous story and the newspaper that reported it had to retract it. Look up the word “retract” if necessary.

    IneligibleGate – no controversy. Belichick knows the rules better than most other coaches, the officials – and most certainly ALL OF YOU

    DeflateGate – with this article we actually see that the Patriots are actually the ones raising concerns to the officials about game ball integrity. That seems odd for a team supposedly in the midst of violating game ball integrity, no? And 11 of 12 balls were not underinflated – just the one in the possession of the Colts and Mike Kensil, both of whom have a huge grudge against Belichick.

    Now go back to ignoring all of this as it gets in the way of your amusing animosity towards even the mention of the name “Patriots”

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