League likely will be saying more about ball controversy this morning

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Plenty of folks suspect that the league office will sweep under the rug the question of whether the Patriots deliberately deflated their allotment of balls in order to make them easier to grip on a very wet day in Foxboro.  If that’s what the league plans to do, it will happen quickly and publicly.

The NFL already has acknowledged the existence of an investigation, and a league source tells PFT that statement from the league could be coming very soon — as in this morning.

It’s still unclear what happened and how it happened.  It’s also unrealistic to think that a conspiracy could be kept quiet, if the Patriots were deliberately deflating footballs.  Unless the circle of conspirators was extremely small and the Patriots were able to secure possession of the balls after they’d been given to the referee for testing and supervision two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff, it should be easy to get down the rabbit hole on this one.

Given the franchise’s history, that’s precisely what the league seems to be doing, sooner rather than later.  Surely, the league office realizes the importance of a full investigation and complete transparency; those failures nearly brought down a Commissioner over a topic that had nothing to do with the playing of games.  Anything other than a full and complete investigation of a situation that has an impact on the game could bring down the league.

97 responses to “League likely will be saying more about ball controversy this morning

  1. Either they’re guilty and get punished … or the league is covering it up. Yeah … that’s stupid, but you know that’s what people will say.

  2. The point here is that the balls were deflated after they were in the possession of the refs. Since the other point is that deflated balls are easier to catch why aren’t they investigating the colts who had a game plan of passing. The pats didn’t need to deflate balls with a game plan heavy on the run.

    They hate us cause they ain’t us

  3. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady dismissed the “ridiculous” reports during his Monday morning appearance on WEEI-FM.

    “I think I’ve heard it all at this point,” Brady laughed. “That’s the last of my worries. I don’t even respond to stuff like this.”

    That’s enough for me!

    Oh and Coach Belichick made the heavens open and the rain pour down so Tom could walk on water.

  4. Thank goodness, because, as everyone knows, a slightly deflated ball makes impossible to tackle running backs or cover receivers.

  5. Its not like it mattered, but it just adds to why people hate Belichick. Why do they always have to pull stuff like this? Just play the damn game.

  6. Except…deflating the balls doesn’t give either team an advantage. There isn’t a bucket of balls for the home team and another for the opponent.

    No one in the Patriots organization is stupid enough to do such a thing. This is nonsense.

  7. The only deflated balls last night were anatomically attached to the colts. The Krafts should sue the colts for defamation after this is put to rest.

  8. the balls got deflated when blount crushed and ran over the colts defence, and the colts defensive players sucking air from the footballs, to get oxygen.

  9. It’s probably good the league will be saying something this morning.

    You know, seeing as it was their responsibility to test the footballs and get it right, not the Patriots.

    It’s not as if this was a close game.

  10. The great GOP president and face of the party, Richard Nixon, once proclaimed,”if the president does it, it can’t be unlawful”. Here, if Belichick does it, it’s not against the rules, unless he’s fined and the evidence is destroyed. “I’m not a crook”. Ketchup is a vegetable. Opps, wrong GOP icon.

    Move along, nothing to see here. It’s SB time. Can’t you just go interview Marshawn or something?

  11. I`m not clear on the advantage here. If the balls are easier to grip, does that not hold true for both teams. Is it being suggested that the Patriots used slightly deflated ball, while keeping separate , fully inflated balls for the Colts? How would the Patriots know if the officials didn`t secure the balls properly after inspecting them? There are just a myriad of what ifs and unanswered questions here.

  12. Before everybody say it, I will have to say it, Indy didn’t lose because of some stupid balls, Indy lost because Irsay, since the Manning days, thinks that only one guy will win the SB for us, yes, magically only one guy with no team around him will destroy everybody else, sad but true. We were dominated in all three faces of the game, offense, defense, and even special teams, no excuses, the team was unprepared for the elements.

  13. What the league really needs to investigate is that ridiculous roughing the passer call against Brady. It was anything but. Just another example in a long line of things the NFL does to protect Golden Boy and the Patriots.

  14. First, why is this a patriot’s violation? is it not the referee’s responsibility to make sure the balls are correct? Do they have video of balls being deflated or a ref seeing this happen?

    Lastly, what is the real advantage here. Did it cause Cribbs to mis-play the punt? Or the Colt’s D giving up 160+ yards? Pat’s throwing a pass to an tackle eligible for a TD?

    I am sorry, I don’t get it….

  15. Funny how after every cheating scandal or game changing referee mistake everyone claims it wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the game. It always gets swept under the rug. The cheating (including PED’s) won’t stop until wins start getting forfeited.

  16. And there it is. Nobody is talking about yet another blown call by the officials AND replay that helped decide a game.

    I have no idea if the Pats did or didn’t but I do know the offsides in the GB/SEA game was a bigger deal and is suddenly and conveniently overshadowed now.

  17. Not saying it would have made a huge difference in the game, but- if true- the Patriots deserve a huge penalty for this, given their history. No kid gloves.

    If true- let the investigation play out- and Belichek had something to do with it, he should get the Sean Payton style one year ban, and there should be a loss of a pick or picks.

  18. So the Pats gameplan was to run & not pass? You tell me if in the cold rain, it’s harder to squeeze a hard wet ball or a softer one?

    Do not confuse the issue, it’s about chain of custody of the balls and not so much whether the game was altered.

  19. Here is a novel idea….if the NFL sweeps this under the rug, as they are sure to do, NO ONE should watch the super bowl. That is the only way to get the NFL’s attention. Hit them in their purse.

    The NFL could care less about us the fans. We are the fools that give them our discretionary income in great amounts….and they keep on increasing it because they know we will pay…

    Take a stand and send them a message

  20. I for one did notice how high off of the ground the balls bounced that Luck was throwing. At the time my thinking was “shouldn’t he be throwing them to receivers?” But now I see he was just demonstrating for us how much more air was in the ball he was throwing.

  21. Where is the hole in the rule that allows for deflation?

    Looks like they hand off to the ball attendants. That would have to be the person doing it. I don’t think it makes any sense.

    Rule 2 The Ball
    Section 1
    The Ball must be a “Wilson,” hand selected, bearing the signature of the Commissioner of the League, Roger Goodell.
    The ball shall be made up of an inflated (12 1/2 to 13 1/2 pounds) urethane bladder enclosed in a pebble grained, leather case (natural tan color) without corrugations of any kind. It shall have the form of a prolate spheroid and the size and weight shall be: long axis, 11 to 11 1/4 inches; long circumference, 28 to 28 1/2 inches; short circumference, 21 to 21 1/4 inches; weight, 14 to 15 ounces.
    The Referee shall be the sole judge as to whether all balls offered for play comply with these specifications. A pump is to be furnished by the home club, and the balls shall remain under the supervision of the Referee until they are delivered to the ball attendant just prior to the start of the game.
    Section 2
    Each team will make 12 primary balls available for testing by the Referee two hours and 15 minutes prior to the starting time of the game to meet League requirements. The home team will also make 12 backup balls available for testing in all stadiums. In addition, the visitors, at their discretion, may bring 12 backup balls to be tested by the Referee for games held in outdoor stadiums. For all games, eight new footballs, sealed in a special box and shipped by the manufacturer to the Referee, will be opened in the officials’ locker room two hours and 15 minutes prior to the starting time of the game. These balls are to be specially marked by the Referee and used exclusively for the kicking game.
    In the event a home team ball does not conform to specifications, or its supply is exhausted, the Referee shall secure a proper ball from the visitors and, failing that, use the best available ball. Any such circumstances must be reported to the Commissioner.
    In case of rain or a wet, muddy, or slippery field, a playable ball shall be used at the request of the offensive team’s center. The Game Clock shall not stop for such action (unless undue delay occurs).
    Note: It is the responsibility of the home team to furnish playable balls at all times by attendants from either side of the playing field.

  22. Haha, this is just ridiculous. Not that it matters to intelligent football fans but it will fuel the ignorance amongst the haters.

    #deflate-gate…. Haha!

  23. Because of the Pats reputation, every time a team loses, they cry about something. It deflects attention from the root cause of the losses. Flacco gets no blame for throwing a game costing interception. Pagano gets no blame for being Severely outcoached. Funny how both of these complaints come for the criminally filled Ratbird orginization.

  24. the Patriots are so far into everybody’s heads it’s awesome! I’ve been saying for 10 years did Bill Belichick should have been the director of our central intelligence or the Secretary of Defense because I promise you he did done the same damn thing to all the countries that wish us harm.

  25. Why can’t the NFL keep anything under wraps?

    This is so irrelevant unless they find something…and by something I don’t mean it’s a 1/4 lbs under weight. I mean it affected the actual game.

    Why would this info get out until and after they find something real…anything? This is DUMB.

  26. What a shock: the team that cannot win a Superbowl without blatantly cheating is…wait for it…blatantly cheating.

    It’s stunning


  27. “Ridiculous roughing the passer call”

    Listen I don’t like the rule but that was text book leading with the crown of the helmet and in regards to hits on the QB it’s being called 100% of the time in today’s NFL.

  28. The NFL will ASSUREDLY sweep the deflated ball controversy under the carpet. There is NO doubt whatsoever.

    Their alternative is to call attention to it, demean the Super Bowl itself, enrage their biggest money advertisers and plant a small market almost faceless team in the Super Bowl that just lost 45-7 after a very uninspired performance.

    Oh yeah, the NFL will ensure that this story gets buried.

  29. The Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since Spy-Gate. They were found guilty of illegal spying on other teams andwere fined a million dollars and forfeited a first round draft pick by the NFL.

  30. LOVE IT. The Belichick/Keyser Soze effect once again on full display. He has so much real estate in our opponents brains he basically turns them to mush before they even take the field. Like the greatest trick Belichick ever pulled was convincing teams that it didn’t matter what they did on the field because he’d find a way to cheat and win regardless. Seriously I almost feel like the amount of time that Belichick spends watching game film and devising a game plan, the other team spends studying excuse handbooks for when they lose. Like the Colts, their fans, their beat writers, their owner all knew they were gonna get whipped. So rather than even waste time trying to win they spend all week building an elaborate lie about why they lost. Last week it was deception. This week it’s deflated footballs. I’m sure next week it will be because Belichick used ESP to steal the Seahawks playbook. It’s just one ridiculous excuse after another and these teams probably believe it. They think Belichick is always up to something. Newflash Indy you just lost 9,000 to nothing. We could have played with a bowling ball and crushed you. Pretty sure deflated footballs weren’t helping Blount ram the ball down your throats. Whatever. Just take the draft picks. We don’t need em anyway. Maybe next year all our guys can play with 1 hand tied behind their backs.

  31. If found true, the NFL should send the colts to the sb. That’s the only way to teach pats a lesson

  32. Yep, that game was there for the Colts if only Garoppolo had been forced to use a fully inflated football.

  33. Patriot haters enjoy this while you can. It is totally bogus and will be gone before you know it. Really, this is so stupid.

  34. love this team but this is getting ridiculous. How come they keep having these type of allegations? Somethings going on. You don’t keep getting cheating/improper this or that on all the other teams in regard to game effecting items.

  35. The Patriots need to finally be disciplined harshly for their constant efforts to not follow the rules. It’s always them involved in cheating situations. Always.

  36. Love how the end of this column basically says in so many words, “the commissioner was nearly brought down on a topic as irrelevant to football as domestic violence, if there is not a full investigation on something as important as ball deflating, then this could bring down the whole league!”


  37. Look, I hate the Patriots but this one seems totally absurd. You’re dealing with guys who play and referee football for a living. If balls were significantly deflated, as in enough to make any difference at all, a ref or opposing player would instantly notice.

  38. NE Patriots Cheating since 1999

    Despicable franchise, make sure to destroy the ball Goodell.

  39. I’ll tell you who all the “cry babies”, “cheaters” and who’s balls are really deflated: it’s the fans that don’t have a life, are basically losers themselves and who’s team is lucky enough to win a couple of games. Those who cry foul are usually a little foul themselves. You will never take away the dignity of others, only your own in your vain attempt. Fools do what fools are. Get a life.

  40. I cannot see anywhere an explanation as to why the league are investigating this, where did the complaint come from, who made it??? Can we have some investigative journalism please. The source one has to suspect is from the Colts organization but why is that not public knowledge, makes no sense

  41. What competitive advantage would deflated balls give the Patriots? Colts were among the league leaders in fumble recoveries. Pats may have felt a defalted ball would be easier for their runners to hold onto and that Colts wouldn’t be running much. Regardless of how one-sided the game turned out, trying to influence the outcome illegally shouldn’t be swept under the rug.

  42. I laughed louder than Brady when I first heard this and I’m a Colts fan.
    Another benefit of a deflated ball that I haven’t heard mentioned or read is the ability of the deflated ball carrying RB to compress the ball easier to avoid a strip fumble, which COULD have (shoulders shrug)affected the game outcome considering how many running plays there were.
    Still doesn’t matter, that GAME is history.

  43. The colts should be investigated for showing up for an AFC Championship game with “Deflated Balls.”
    Obviously, they haven’t recovered from last year’s neutering as yet?

  44. let me offer an alternative storyline to the prevailing ‘wisdom’…

    someone from the dolts organization under-inflated the footballs because they had a game plan that was heavy on passing. through dolts-friendly media, the accusation was made public, throwing suspicion on the MIGHTY PATS(who after all, employed a run-heavy game plan), because of their history, and not the real culprits. given the two different game plans, who do you think under inflated balls would benefit?

    any true, informed fan of this sport knew that the patriots would crush the dolts, and didn’t need to cheat–but anyone who let the air out of the footballs who wasn’t affiliated with the patriots organization had to know the MIGHTY PATS would suffer the blame, whether true or not, and other media sensing the controversy, run with it.

    …this is how media manipulation works–whether it’s sports, politics, whatever.

    45-7…i can’t wait until the MIGHTY PATS crush the 12th man…oh, it’s gonna be sweet…

  45. Cheating is still cheating whether you truly gained a competitive advantage or not. Lets wait for the investigation to conclude before we pass judgement. It still smells fishy though.

  46. Look, I’m a life long Pats fan from the mid 60’s. Been thru the one and two win seasons and watched every game. It’s bad enough that after all those losing years I can’t enjoy the 3 championships because there is legitimate doubt. How can there not be after being found guilty, fined and losing draft picks? The Pats are universally hated and not trusted for good reason. If, and I mean a big IF it is found that this allegation is true I won’t settle for anything less than the firing of Bill Belichick. It’s the only way that the organization can rid itself of the constant thoughts that any and all success the Pats have is by hook or crook. I want my team to win fair and square. I don’t want to back cheaters anymore and I won’t. It’s bad enough that the story is out there and the Pats are guilty in the publics mind simply because they have been caught before. Therefore I think the best thing for the Patriots organization is to cut ties with Belichick and move on.

  47. HAHA the harder the hate the better you are.

    which means the Pats must be the BEST TEAM IN HISTORY!!


  48. Sports fans are idiots, and if there’s any doubt just look at the comments above. Every time the pats win they are accused of cheating. Which is rather odd. because they haven’t won the superbowl for 10 years. So either they are possibly the worst cheaters ever, or 3o other teams who didn’t get to the superbowl are envious, with their pathetic wah wah wah baby cries bleating out for all to hear.

  49. SO, wait a minute….if both teams are playing with the same balls (lol!)….how the hell is that supposed to be against the Patriots. Didn’t both teams have the same chance to benefit off said balls??? LMAO!!

  50. Baloney. This is the Patriots and Goodell. Even if he personally saw them tampering with the balls they’ll get a talking too and all we’ll hear is that it was caused by solar flares and el nino…..and there is no way the Pats would have *cheated*.

  51. What happens to the air pressure in the balls when you inflate the balls in a nice warm equipment room then take them out onto the cold wet playing field?

  52. Wouldn’t the refs (or the colts) have noticed slightly deflated balls at some point during the game? They’re all professionals who have lots of experience handling footballs. , you’d think they’d be able to tell if something didn’t feel right.

  53. Funny, just checked all of these articles and none of them mention which teams balls are being checked, the Patriots or the Colts. They both supplied 12 balls each. Maybe its the Colts who were cheating.

  54. Take off the ball photo or use something that format say “”Saints”. We did our time, maybe you need to find someone else to blame. Quit using out team as your scapegoat.

  55. Balls are supplied to the ref’s two hours before game time and are in the officials posession from that point. Neither Patriots or Colts have the balls in their posession.

    IF there was a inflation problem each ball is handled by the officials after each play and again when they set the ball for the snap. Wouldn’t it be noticed?????? BUT OBVIOUSLY NOT NOTICABLE TO EITHER THE OFFICIALS OR THE CENTERS.

    Like someone stated if the ball is perfect in a warm room and taken outside to the cold there will be a temperature change

    I agree with Brady that this is the most ridiculous claim ever. but it is great in that the loser fans, due to ignorance, will get to rant about cheating as if that has anything to do with the outcome of the game

  56. Let’s wait see what happens… Fact is, Belichik often gets credited as being arguably the greatest coach of all time because of how smart he is and how he leaves no stone unturned… Maybe he thought he could get away with a slightly deflated ball (and oh by the way, teams use a different set of balls so Indie would NOT share in the advantage)… As it turns out of course Pats win this game either way, but IF proven true, than yes it would be a taint, and given spygate, the penalty should be severe… Maybe not as much as S. Peyton, but a suspension would be in order. Because between this and spygate as another poster noted you would have wonder what else has the hoody gotten away with?

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