Another year, another playoff game in New England with an unusual circumstance surrounding the footballs used in the game.
However, this one likely won’t end up with a case in the federal court system.
Scott Zolak, the former Patriots quarterback and color analyst on the team’s radio broadcasts, initially tweeted on Saturday that officials working the game had forgotten air pressure gauges and kicking balls in their hotel room and needed an escort to get them to the stadium in time for the Patriots game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Massachusetts State Police confirmed to CBS Boston on Wednesday that they helped get the missing balls and gauges to Gillette Stadium for the game.
“At approximately 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Massachusetts State police at Logan airport were notified by the Hyatt Hotel on airport property that the officials at Gillette Stadium for that afternoon’s Patriots’ playoff game had left official, specially designated footballs and pressure gauges behind at the hotel,” Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. “The hotel had been contacted by the NFL after it realized the equipment had been left behind.
“State Police contacted an NFL security official at Gillette Stadium. NFL security requested State Police assistance in bringing the footballs and gauges to the stadium. The footballs in question are referred to as K-balls, short for kicking balls. They are the official footballs provided by the league for use in kicking plays.
“A hotel employee retrieved the equipment. State Police Detective Lieutenant Thomas Coffey, who was on duty at Troop F that afternoon, along with the hotel employee, drove the K-balls and gauges to Gillette Stadium, arriving at approximately 3:30 p.m., and turned them over to the NFL.”
The officiating crew in New England was led by head referee Craig Wrolstad. The rest of the crew was compiled from various crews throughout the season.