Ball tampering involving Panthers, Vikings produced a far different reaction

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Many have said through the #DeflateGate controversy that a more stringent standard has applied to the Patriots because the Patriots are The Patriots.  And there’s some support for that school of thought.

As PFT noted back in March, the Panthers and Vikings were caught (literally) red-handed in late November, with ball boys using sideline, jet-engine, gates-of-hell heaters to warm footballs on a cold day in Minnesota.

So what happened to the Panthers and Vikings?  They and the rest of the league received a reminder that this kind of thing is frowned upon.

“You can’t do anything with the footballs in terms of any artificial, whether you’re heating them up, whether it’s a regular game ball or kicking ball, you can’t do anything to the football,” NFL V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino said at the time.  “So that was noticed during the game, both teams were made aware of it during the game and we will certainly remind the clubs as we get into more cold weather games that you can’t do anything with the football in terms of heating them up with those sideline heaters.”

The Patriots case is different, in part because the text messages between John Jastremski and Jim McNally suggest that the deflation scheme had been in place for a while.  There also was an element of skullduggery to the New England situation, with footballs being secretly deflated to make them easier to handle by quarterback Tom Brady.

Still, when the NFL became aware of what the Panthers and Vikings were doing, the NFL said, “Stop it.”  The NFL didn’t do that with respect to the Patriots, opting to set a trap in lieu of alerting them to the concern and warning them to knock it off as the AFC title game approached.

128 responses to “Ball tampering involving Panthers, Vikings produced a far different reaction

  1. Warming balls on the sideline and forming an equipment room conspiracy to do something you knew was illegal are not even close to being the same thing.

  2. When your front-office is ex-Jet, you don’t care about the Panthers or Vikings. Those turkeys (not Panthers and Vikings) ensure the sting was on.

  3. Can’t even compare the two. Zimmer and Rivera probably met at midfield before the game and both agreed to heat the balls and shook on it. The Patriots were gaining a one side advantage. Totally different.

  4. Still pushing the entrapment narrative? How about the impetus narrative, that the Patriots shouldn’t cheat?

  5. Well, also in the Vikes-Panthers game, both teams were doing it, so neither team gained an unfair advantage.

  6. The Panthers and Vikings didn’t try to cover it up. They also weren’t caught videotaping opponents practices in the past. There is a pattern of behavior with the Patriots where they feel the rules don’t apply to them. Let’s keep our eye on what’s important and not compare unlike events.

  7. Walt Anderson is praised for his work with the balls before the game and his recollection of pregame measurements, but can’t remember what gauge he used, which balls he checked first, or whether a certain discussion happened, and he lost the balls.

    For some reason (that may be in there but I haven’t found yet), the standard for what should have happened due to weather is the Colts’ 3 or 4 balls, as opposed to, you know, the basic math.

  8. 3) The fact that two guys supposedly weren’t able to test 23 balls in a full half-time, but one guy could release air from 13 in a minute and a half.

    4) As an addendum to those, if you compare NE’s four highest psi balls and the Colt’s four, the drop in pressure as a percentage of original psi is nearly identical. Why should I assume that the remaining didn’t also drop a little more?

    5) The fact that the ref was supposedly an iron clad witness of original psi, but yet is allowed to misremember, or forget entirely, essential details shortly thereafter.

    6) The fact that the balls disappeared for the first time in said ref’s 19 year tenure – and he was fully aware of Indy’s concern – yet he did nothing about it.

    7) The fact that NE’s balls were supposedly under inflated during the Nov game despite the home team never having access once the balls are turned in (I’m not entirely sure about this one, let me know if it is wrong).

    8) The fact that the most damning evidence – the texts – explicitly say the psi for the first Jet game was 16, so clearly the desired pressure isn’t as important as people make it out to be.

    9) The fact that NE clearly wasn’t doing anything shady for the Jet game despite the report implying this has been an ongoing issue.

    10) The fact that, if ball deflation has been a longer term issue, why was it such a surprise when the balls disappeared prior to the game? Did NE adjust their SOP that time?

  9. 1. Two different gauges were used during the Cots game. One with a Logo one without. During testing the Wells report indicates that the gauges had reading variations between them of + .3-.4 psi and -.07.
    – the report mentions the possibility that the upper end gauge (which would have read the pressure fraudulently higher) could have been used when initially testing the footballs before the game and using the lower reading gauge when testing them at half time? If so then that would have added a minimum of .47 to the discrepancy of the air pressures plus the Ideal Gas law (-1.35) plus wet weather conditions (-.2 to -.3) would bring that total possible pressure loss to a minimum of 1.77 psi to a possible 1.9 -2.07.

    12.5 – 2.07 = 10.43

    The lowest reading found on one of the footballs during half time was 10.5 psi.

  10. The “trap” characterization is off base. In both cases, the NFL didn’t take action until they had evidence that balls had been messed with. In only one case was there an attempt to conceal what was being done to the balls. The trap wasn’t deliberate, but rather the subterfuge (and subsequent lying) was.

  11. “In sum, the data did not provide a basis for us to determine with absolute certainty whether there was or was not tampering as the analysis of such data ultimately is dependent upon assumptions and information that is not certain.”

    -Ted Wells

  12. As far as I know the Vikings and Panthers did not blast the league for telling them to follow the rules and not do it again- and they didn’t. They also did not lie about it, hamper and fail to cooperate with any investigation. They also didn’t scheme to do it for years, nor have they been repeat offenders.

    In terms of real effect on the game, a football heated in freezing weather isn’t likely to stay warm more than a couple plays. While it may become less hard, it may also be more likely to get wet or icy from the heat.

    The comparison here is one between a one-time opportunistic thief and a a group of professional thieves committing many premeditated thefts and repeat offenses.

  13. The Pats have been punished heavily for cheating prior to this incident. They clearly have no respect for the sanctity of the game and should receive a greater punishment.

  14. Sure its the same situation, right.
    I am not sure I remember Carolina and Minnesota getting caught taping other teams signals or trying to squeeze in illegal formations, or bribing ball boys to deflate the balls or doing anything for an upper hand…. but if they had I would be all for trying to catch them “warm balls” and maybe taking one of their many super bowl titles they cheated their way to.

  15. difference between trying to warm up frozen footballs and intentionally skirting the rules for some autographs…

  16. Because the Panthers & Vikings were not trying to cheat! They were not hiding it because it wasn’t deliberate cheating! Unlike the Deflatriots!

  17. A one time thing with both teams holding balls up to heaters does not in any way compare with systematic cheating for a decade.

    Look what Grigson said– the entire league knew they were cheating and were just sick of it.

  18. Traps will be set when you have a reputation for cheating. Fortunately for the Patriots, Mr Kraft owns the NFL.

  19. If you thought someone might be breaking the rules, and you wanted to know if they were really braking the rules, why would you warn them instead of just watching to see if they are actually breaking the rules. If you warn them, you never know for sure if they are rule breakers. Stop playing the victim, Pats fans.

  20. Cheating is cheating. I don’t care what team does it. The difference has to do with the Pats always being accused of it because they’ve been doing cheating for 15 years every week. They don’t care and deny when they get caught. I don’t have anything against Brady. My team beat him in the Super Bowl twice, but if Belichick and Kraft instruct the roster to cheat then they cheat. I don’t have reason to dislike Brady. However, I went loving Belichick as a Giants Asst. Coach helping Parcels win 2 Super Bowls to hating how he handles himself in New England. He’s a different person now. He didn’t lie to the fan base like he does up there. He used to always talk about what they would do to the balls, the weight, and make them impossible to grip as possible so the team can reduce fumbling and bad balls in any conditions. Now, he goes on press conferences saying he never heard of PSI in his life. I don’t know if he’s shutting out the media himself, if it’s Kraft, or if it’s his coaching staff surrounding him. After 15 years of Belichick cheating, I think he’s an embarrassment to former Giants coaching staffs. He won two Super Bowls with him and two against his cheating team. I don’t hate him, but I’m definitely not jealous. Simply embarrassed that a former Giant can behave like that.

    The Panthers and Vikings don’t have coaching that have been cheating for 15 years. As a one off incident, it’s a big deal but not a huge deal. I don’t care about who the QB’s are because I hate offense anyway. They’re just there to get knocked down.

    Brady is just the fall guy for Belichick this time. If they got a different way last year instead of deflated balls then that guy would’ve been his fall guy. They do so much wrong. None of them to cheat, but they do. They can say no and get cut and request a trade.

  21. Using this logic, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez can now say…

    “Steroids is not a big deal, because some guy named Guillermo Mota got caught in 2012 and no one made a big deal about it”

    Lance Armstrong can say:

    Emmanuel Magnien got caught blood doping and no one cared… therefore Blood doping is not a big deal”

    The reality is- The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Cheating is a big deal and you did it to get an advantage. If you didn’t think it would have actually helped you, then why go through the process of cheating??

  22. That’s right , because all this patriots hater wanted them to go down , just like my grandma said when you hate somebody you became very stupid and in this case that what happen . Atlanta pumping fates noise so the opposing team can’t hear play calling to me that a lot worse than what the patriots do but no body say anything about it, why cause they not the patriots,I’m not saying what they did is right but why are you people spend so much time talking about that , that is because it Tom and the patriots and they have win to many games and superbow so all this hater just wait for a little thing to happen so they can go after them , they beat the snitch indi by running all over them not because Tom make45 completion it have not thing to do with how much air are in the ball but all your hater can’t recognize that because you hate them so much and he hole a super bowl completion record by play with the ball that the nfl provide during superbow.
    You people can say he’s break the rule but don’t say he’s win because he cheated

  23. The referee gets his hands on the football before every play. Every week. Every year. If it was a noticeable difference, they would’ve noticed immediately.

  24. There is a former Patriot about to serve a life sentence on nothing more than circumstantial evidence. Circumstancial Evidence MATTERS! It matters a lot! You have to REALLY want to believe Brady is innocent to overlook the preponderance of circumstancial evidence.

    How hard is it to add 2 + 2. Ask yourself, why would these ball boys risk their jobs by knowingly breaking the rules if they hadn’t been instructed to do so by the QB?

    And what about the lying? Brady said in his interview that he didn’t even know the ball attendant’s name, or what his job responsibilities were, yet they found text mssgs between the two six months prior and multiple times after. So that was clearly a bold face lie! FYI, innocent people don’t lie for no reason. He also refused to turn over his text mssgs. Again, innocent people don’t refuse to cooperate for no reason.

    Finally, virtually every former and current QB has said it is ridiculous to think that the QB does not know who the ball attendant is, or to think that the QB hasn’t instructed said attendant on precisely how that QB wants the balls prepared.

    I know the league and the media will be loathe to call Tom Brady a cheater. He is beloved by millions. I am a big fan myself. I am a die hard Michigan Wolverines fan so I have been rooting for him longer than most (unless he’s playing my Lions!). But I’m also a realist. I don’t need a smoking gun to see that the overwhelming evidence, circumstancial as it may be, clearly says that Tom Brady purposely set out to cheat the game. It’s simply just a matter of Common Sense!

    One last point. People continue to state (correctly I might add) that it didn’t change the outcome of the game. But the effect on the outcome is irrelevant. The point is that Brady deliberately and purposely set out to cheat! It is the intent that matters. It speaks to his integrity and sportsmanship, and it speaks loudly. Sports fans will forgive many things. But they have proven many times over that the one thing they WILL NOT tolerate is cheating. Unfortunately for all of us who love greatness, Tom’s will forever be tainted. Just as it was for ARod or Bonds or Clemens or Armstrong, so shall it be for Brady.

  25. If Brady had said “I like the ball a certain way. I had the ball boys get it ready. If they were a little soft that’s on me.” It would have been over. But he said “I don’t know anything.” It’s now the cover up he’s getting in trouble for.

  26. I view it as the same as a pitcher with Vaseline under his cap. So freaking what, it’s been going on For ages. Part of the game

  27. I’m not sure both teams trying to heat balls up on sidelines in plain view of everybody at the game qualifies as anything even remotely similar to what the patriots did. They have too many incidents of cheating since Robert Kraft has owned the team. Kraft has created the culture of win at all cost and don’t worry about breaking the rules. He should be forced to sell his team to an honest billionaire.

  28. I love how you take these text about the ball being hard as a rock 16psi and Brady telling them to make sure it doesn’t happen again as gospel for they’ve being doing this for a long time. Brady was telling them to deflateca ball over inflated by 3 psi. My god can you twist words anymore?

  29. As someone who would find it quite amusing if the Vikings got caught cheating, I have no problem with this, especially since both teams were doing it. Besides it wouldn’t really matter if the Vikings did cheat, they would still lose.

  30. It’s different because the Patriots have been doing it for years, they used this advantage to get the #1 seed in the AFC, against the Ravens and Colts, the Patriots are repeat offenders when it comes to cheating, and they “won” the Super Bowl. The Patriots also lied about it. Tom Brady tainted the entire playoffs and the draft, they ruined the integrity of the sport for all NFL fans last year. We deserve better, I am hoping for justice this time but I’m not holding my breath.

  31. It’s worth a reminder than, just before 2007 and Spygate, the NFL decided to clamp down on recording opposing teams and explicitly told teams to “knock it off”. The Patriots got their just punishment when they decided to ignore that mandate.

    That’s quite a contrast to Deflategate. As with the recording of practices, the NFL showed consistency by first saying “knock it off” with the above ball-heating story. But that wasn’t done with the deflating situation. So, if the NFL is found guilty of violating its own standard procedures, does it get suspended too??? At least let’s suspend Goodell a year, I don’t think anyone would have a problem with that!

  32. A scheme was set up to deltate footballs AFTER officials had checked them for the game. So how can any true fan of the game call this story overblown?!? This is the definition of cheating. If you want to defend this then you’re not a football fan.

  33. I think the biggest difference between the two situations is that both the Vikings and the Panthers were doing it, so nobody gained a competitive advantage. Also, it was pretty clear they weren’t trying to get away with anything because they were hearing the balls right out in plain sight.

  34. Wouldn’t have mattered anyways. I laughed out loud during pre-game warm ups for that game. the Panthers did NOT want to play football that day. It was negative whatever w/ wind chill, you could tell before the opening kick off that game was over before it began.

  35. Don’t officials try to keep footballs dry on a rainy day by rotating in dry ones for wet ones? Wouldn’t that be considered tampering as well? I don’t understand the nfl.

  36. I will wait and see what the NFL does before commenting. Just about everyone on this site downed the falcons for noisegate although they are different infractions they both come back to breaking the rules (bottom line). The difference in the two franchises is the falcons told the truth and the pats lied about it. Well we got our punishment although a slap on the hand (remember we told the truth) NOW let’s wait and see what the liars get.

  37. TOM BRADY=CRYBABY!!! Look at his face in games when he doesn’t get his way.POUT,POUT, and POUT some more. I like the pats but BRADY thinks he is GODS GIFTS. So glad not to be him

  38. So all the teams were warned in November to “Stop it” in regards to manipulating footballs – yet the Patriots ignored the warning just like they ignored the league memo to all teams that told all teams to stop videotaping before the 2007 Spygate bust? Maybe the NFL feels that the only way to stop Patriot cheating is to catch them red-handed.

  39. What makes you think that the league didn’t tell them to knock if off previously? As mentioned, the Viks and Jags and the rest of the league got a warning about messin’ with the balls. Perhaps they intended the Patriots to take a flipping hint.

  40. Over blown…neither team gained an advantage and weren’t trying to cover anything up so it’s not cheating regardless of how much I dislike the Vikings…

  41. This level of outrage over psi is ridiculous. Sure it’s a technical violation of the rules. Did you ever go over 70 mph on an interstate? You would be mighty pissed if one day, with no notice, the cops singled you out for going 71, and let everyone else go. The advantage gained by the Patriots is marginal at best. No one can seriously suggest that deflated footballs is the reason the Patriots are so successful.

  42. @wedemeyer5150
    Wasn’t this caught on TV cameras?

    Anyways, the scandal is mountain made of a molehill. The PSI of the football isn’t going to turn Trent Dilfer into Joe Montana.

    If Brady gets the cheating moniker over PSI, so should Rodgers.

  43. Soft footballs are easier to grip and catch giving the Patriots an advantage. Would’t those same balls be easier to intercept if the defender was in position to make a play?

  44. Caught red-handed with Illegal Sideline, Jet-Engine, Gates-of-Hell Heaters … I suspect future Viking posters to this site will be hearing about this …

  45. Double standard by the NFL. Altering ball pressure should have been handled in the same exact fashion as altering ball temperature. They were out to set a trap for the Patriots.

  46. So the Pats had been warned in advance that this type of behavior wouldn’t be tolerated? Then the NFL can go ahead with the Death Sentence with a clear conscience. They can’t claim they didn’t know.

  47. People saying it’s not the same are stupid. The were tampering with the balls after they had been checked it doesn’t matter if both teams did it. It’s still a violation

  48. Brady was found (in a biased and flawed investigation and report that took four months) to have been ” generally aware” of the “inappropriate activities”, activities that were not admitted but deemed to be “more probable than not”.

    Florio, compare and contrast the offenses with those outlined above and Brady’s alleged offense does not even include him actually violating any NFL rule. Calling for his suspension is certainly not equal treatment. It actually is a call for a higher punishment for a lesser offense.

    It seems people, including yourself, want him punished because he didn’t confess and because he wins.

  49. I’m not a Pats fan, but it’s extremely telling how many posters here will excuse the cheating mentioned in this article, but the Pats are the devil (and again people continue to bring up long-disproven things like videotaping the Rams walkthrough – which has now grown in legend – like Bigfoot – to imply that the original allegation referred to multiple events, which it did not)

    Yes – heating your game balls in cold weather on the sideline is against the rules. Why is this any different than what the Pats are accused of?

    I will also add that when the NFL got wind of the Saints’ bounty scandal, they warned the team to stop. Yes – they gave a warning. But then the Saints aren’t on the radar of the corrupt, bitter ex-Jets in the NFL front office.

  50. grandsonofcoach says:
    May 7, 2015 11:30 PM
    A scheme was set up to deltate footballs AFTER officials had checked them for the game. So how can any true fan of the game call this story overblown?!? This is the definition of cheating. If you want to defend this then you’re not a football fan.


    I agree. And, from the end of the report:

    “In sum, the data did not provide a basis for us to determine with absolute certainty whether there was or was not tampering as the analysis of such data ultimately is dependent upon assumptions and information that is not certain.”

    -Ted Wells

  51. Having experienced 20+ years of downtroddeness, it excites me to no end when comparing simple infrations like ball psi ( a $25k fine) and people say “Yes, but it’s The Patriots.” It just warms my heart.

  52. Blandino’s own words:

    “You can’t do anything with the footballs in terms of any artificial, whether you’re heating them up, whether it’s a regular game ball or kicking ball, you can’t do anything to the football,”

    So what Blandino is saying is that he needs to suspend every NFL referee that has ever taken a towel and dried off a football between plays.

    I still can’t figure out why the NFL doesn’t inflate the balls themselves to whatever PSI that they deem to be proper and then maintain control over the balls throughout the entire game if they truly believe that a difference of 10% or less makes any significant competitive advantage.

    I’m not a fan of any AFC team, so I don’t care about who won or lost.

    I’m a disillusioned football fan and it’s the NFL’s failure to take any accountability for their it’s own failures that bothers me more than anything else.

  53. So the league sent out an email in November not to alter the balls and the Pats still did after the email? So the NFL had already said stop it.

  54. This is no surprise to Pats fans! Panthers and Vikings stink! The Pats are the NFL Elite Juggernaut so of course everything they do is under a microscope. On to 5 baby!

  55. Hahaha! The best people can come up with is: Well the Vikings and Panthers don’t have a history of cheating so this is OK!!??? People love hating a winner! Roll on Pats! The drive for 5!!!!

  56. I also live how Falcons fan is such a noble organization because “We came out and told the truth.” You told the truth all right. Just right after the NFL had proof of you guys cheating and were going public with it! So noble.

  57. The league may have tried to set up the Pats when they were forced to play the Jets with overinflated balls.
    Brady flew off the handle at the equipment guys and told them to quite bringing him overinflated footballs.
    As for Wells going on and on about Brady giving autographed stuff to the equipment guys, it;s common practice for players to tip the low pay equipment workers in this fashion.

    As for the redundant stuff about systemic cheating,
    what does that even mean?
    They “spied” right out in front of 65,000, not even nearly every game, and they never denied it when asked about it.
    Besides that, what else?
    They didn’t tape any prcatices.
    As for allegations over the years, they’ve been an easy target because Kraft just lets it slide.
    Anybody can say anything they want about the team that regularly beats their guys. And they do!

  58. I don’t understand why teams can’t basically do what they want with their own balls whether it be inflation or heating them. As mentioned above the refs try to keep the balls dry during the game so the ball doesn’t negatively impact the game. The rules regarding the balls were mostly put in place to keep your opponent from giving you a rock hard ball or one under-inflated enough where it couldn’t be used properly.

  59. How are you going to call the Vikings cheaters when both teams were doing it, and openly? Have you ever been outside in Minnesota in the winter? Every team SHOULD be allowed to heat up their game balls, especially when BOTH teams are doing it. You people are just…*sigh* Any lame excuse you can use to trashtalk.

  60. whitetrash69 says: May 7, 2015 11:15 PM

    It’s different because the Patriots have been doing it for years, they used this advantage to get the #1 seed in the AFC, against the Ravens and Colts, the Patriots are repeat offenders when it comes to cheating, and they “won” the Super Bowl. The Patriots also lied about it. Tom Brady tainted the entire playoffs and the draft, they ruined the integrity of the sport for all NFL fans last year. We deserve better, I am hoping for justice this time but I’m not holding my breath.

    It really is too bad your Steelers are still allowed in the NFL and haven’t been contracted yet since they’ve proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they cant win titles without cheating (5) or paid off refs (1). let’s look at the evidence:

    7 seasons in 40 finishing over .500 before the cheating started in the 70’s. A perennial NFL doormat in Pittsburgh.

    Became great* by using illegal performance enhancing drugs in the 70’s. Bradshaw even admitted he and his team cheated in the 70’s and apologized for it. Why would he apologize if they did nothing wrong?

    0 playoff wins for the Steelers since Dr Rydze left the Steelers and was indicted with intent to distribute HGH and steroids.

    That of course includes a loss… no… loss doesn’t do it justice… they got WHOOPED by Tim Tebow. Let that sink in. The Steelers, finally being forced to play at their true talent level, got whooped by Tim Tebow. I mean… do we really need to say anything more than that?

    Now that the Steelers are half decent again I wonder how long it will take before the cheating is once again exposed. You know it’s happening. I bet the tell all book is being written right now and I can’t wait to read it. In the meantime it really is laughable that they demand respect as a “dynasty”. Nope. Like the World Champion Patriots dynasties earn their titles they don’t cheat or pay off refs to get it.

  61. The reason not much has been made of the Vikings and Panthers cheating is very simple. It’s the Vikings and Panthers!!! These two teams won’t be playing in any championships probably ever. They can cheat to their hearts content and they will still be in last place.

  62. Why do people have such a difficult time with rules? If the refs inspect the balls and they are made available within a range of lbs, just pick it up and play with it for crying out loud. If both teams are affecting the characteristics of the approved balls, both teams are cheating.

  63. I don’t get it. When everyone argued that it didn’t matter that the balls were underinflated because in the second half when the balls were recalibrated Blount ran all over the Colts and the Pats scored all of their points. People said, “it doesn’t matter if it impacted this game or not because they cheated and they should be punished”. However, the Panthers and Vikings “cheat” and it’s OK because they’re not the Patriots?

  64. cool…

    now let’s get back to crucifying the Patriots shall we. I would give Brady 8 games and kick BB out of the League for a year. Kraft deserves a $250,000 penalty and a loss of of a second round pick.

    …that will teach them the cost of ~ 1 psi per ball.

    SB49 is tainted and should be played again..the Seawhawks playing the Colts, who would have won that game if those balls were properly inflated…

  65. Now I say quarterbacks should get their footballs any way they want. If they want to throw a leather balloon then let them do that. If they want to throw a pancake then let them do that too.

    It’s only kickers and punters footballs that should be consistent.

  66. And then there is the fact that in the same game The Colts also had under-inflated balls! Also the evidence they put forth was text messages dated almost 4 months prior to the game!
    I am not a Pats fan but I smell Conspiracy.

  67. This entire ordeal is beyond reality. Apparently, the only culpability here rests at the feet of the teams? What is wrong with that? Well the teams do not get to make the policies! Apparently the NFL wants to control every aspect of football condition, be it inflation/deflation, warmth, exterior condition, etc… so they create rules. Their problem is, they do not want to enforce them. They apparently want the teams to police themselves? Oh yes, the expect others to do the enforcement piece, but that is failing as well, when the enforcement arm is made aware of a violation they do nothing. When all the people that wants pounds of flesh from the team and the players involved breathe some oxygen, and hopefully it works its way upstairs, they should understand that the NFL has a whole lot of culpability in this, and to punish the teams and individuals after the fact, without admitting their role and mistakes is more than do as I say not as I do hypocrisy!

  68. Well considering the Patriots have a history of doing underhanded things then of course the NFL treat them differently than they would with other teams.Plus for all we know maybe Patriots were warned in the past not to tamper with the balls and they did it anyway.As for the Panthers and the Vikings it could be interesting to see how the NFL found out what they were doing.Maybe both teams were willing to take punishment and not cover up what they did.So if the Panthers or Vikings do it again the NFL might punish them even more Also what the Patriots did happened in the AFC title game and not in the regular season.So that could have played a part in the NFL going easy on the Vikings and Panthers because the spotlight wasn’t on them.

  69. 1) They warmed the balls so they could be used as originally intended, compensating for horrendous weather conditions that were actually detracting from the quality of the balls.

    2) Both teams were doing it, openly, thus no unfair advantage was given to one team over the other.

    3) If the patriots were deflating the balls on the sideline and invited every opponent to do the same do you think “deflategate” would have happened? “gate” is used in reference to the COVER-UP aspect for a reason.

    4) TeddyB and whoever was QB’ing Carolina at the time didn’t go on record denying the “heating” ever took place.

    5) Zygi Wilf didn’t demand an apology or cast blame on the NFL or anyone else for being caught heating the balls.

    The comparison is ridiculous. If you want to compare it to something, Aaron Rodgers admitting to overinflating the balls would be a good place to start.

  70. Compare the following 3 situations:

    1) Both Carolina and Minnesota were doing it out in the open, during the game, so there was no competitive advantage. They were told to stop and they did. END of story.

    2) Atlanta and the noise – They COOPERATED, didn’t lie and took their punishment. They took ownership of it and the penalty, like a man, so to speak.

    3) NE altered the ball’s psi DURING the game. The important word here is “DURING”. They can do that before the game, but not during the game. Then they DID NOT COOPERATE and lied about it.

    I would think situations 1 and 2 are quite different than #3. There is no double standard.

    I don’t hate the Pats or Brady, but c’mon man, don’t play the victim or think we are all haters out there.

    The real problem I have with all this, is not whether they did it or not, but rather want they said/didn’t say and did/didn’t do once this stuff was revealed after the AFC championship game.

  71. I’ll bet anyone a used Viking stadium urinal that warming the balls did nothing to create a competitive advantage.

    That’s nearly impossible to achieve when you look at Viking’s roster. Blind fold the opposing QB, make all the WR’s catch only using one hand and take away the cleats from the entire opposing secondary and you will create an even playing field against the Vikings, a competitive advantage is playing against Edina East.

  72. tokyofilthblaster says:
    May 8, 2015 12:13 PM
    The Purple People Cheaters.


    When both teams are doing the exact same thing, nobody is getting cheated. When Aaron Rodgers admitted he likes to play with his balls over inflated, well…

  73. All that cheating, but they still suffered a humiliating sweep by the 13 time World Champion Green Bay Packers.

    That’s MN incompetence.

  74. It never ceases to amaze me how foolish idiots that are sports fans can be so blind as not to see the truth. ALL TEAMS were taping or trying to gain an advantage. To blame a few people in an organization with out proof that they definitely were involved is not only wrong but it boarder on criminal for defamation . Lets call a spade a spade the reason that so many people claim that the New England Patriots are so bad is because your teams are not as well prepared and talented. As for the New York Giants fan that said his team beat them twice, yes it true the won both game on freak plays but they won and I congratulate them on their victories. But if you want to be the best then beat the best. GO PATRIOTS SPER BOWL CHAMPIONS

  75. Well, it looks like the disgraced MN Vikings have done it again. Shame and humiliation follow this hapless and tasteless franchise around like a bad penny.

  76. Is it just me, I don’t quite get the entrapment angle. Isn’t it true that the whole league received notice after the Vikings/Panthers situation. So the Patriots were given communication the tampering with game balls was frowned upon.


    Both teams were heating the balls, so there was no advantage to just one side.

    Now if the Vikings were heating the balls and did not allow the panthers to heat their balls THEN the examples would be similar.

  78. My two cents is that I think this is all overblown and part of it is to do with the fact that it is the Patriots. That may be unfair but when you are a repeat offender, you will be given more scrutiny than someone who is not. Those are just facts.

    I think the rule is dumb because quarterbacks, running backs, recievers, etc. can wear gloves to get a better grip, officials go to great lengths to keep the footballs dry, and kickers clearly squeeze and attempt to manipulate their balls before kicking… and yet it is a big deal if Brady likes a deflated ball or Rodgers likes an inflated ball? Brady didn’t deflate the Super Bowl balls and he seemed to do just fine. So was he really gaining an advantage anyway other than comfort?

    All that said, comparing the two situations (this one and the Patriots) is nonsense. It doesn’t show a double standard. The Vikings/Panthers were both doing it in the open which suggests they forgot they couldn’t and honestly how much value do you get out of warming up a ball in those temperatures. The effects probably are not long lasting by any means. They were told they couldn’t and stopped. Think of it as a warning when you get pulled over for speeding. This is evident when they said “we will certainly remind the clubs as we get into more cold weather games that you can’t do anything with the football in terms of heating them up with those sideline heaters.”

    The Patriots deflation of the footballs is different since it involved knowingly tampering in a secretive manner. Committing an act in a manner that is premeditated makes it very different. Again, I think the rule is dumb and I think it is gaining traction in part because it is the Patriots (which is wrong) but it is just nonsense to claim they are on equal ground with the Vikings and Panthers.

    For the Packers fans. Are you aware that Rodgers regularly gets air deflated out of his balls by the referees before games? He has commented on this before. Does that make him a cheater too since he is trying to get away with it and they are catching it? Ludicrous right?? A little food for thought before making idiotic comments.

  79. Somehow missed Edenprairie guy who said the same thing near the beginning of this thread

  80. zygizag says:
    May 8, 2015 1:06 PM


    Both teams were heating the balls, so there was no advantage to just one side.

    Now if the Vikings were heating the balls and did not allow the panthers to heat their balls THEN the examples would be similar.

    3 of 4 of the indy balls were illegal

  81. Dude, I was at that game and froze my arse off so trust me, if the game balls were heated up it didn’t last long.

    Also, this was the 7th coldest game in Viking history, they previously played 32 years indoors and Carolina is from the South. It’s nothing like New England that had been tampering with the balls since November and probably earlier

  82. Even if the situations were exactly the same (and from the looks of it, they’re not), the biggest difference here is that the game in question was between two teams who really ended up not having a chance to make it to the playoffs, and the Patriots issue is that they did it *DURING THE AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME*. While the Vikings/Panthers game should get some attention (and some punishments handed out), they should in now way affect the severity of those that are handed to Brady/the Patriots. Why is that you might ask? because the the Vikes/Panthers game didn’t affect who went to the Super Bowl and barely anyone nationwide watched it. You don’t make examples of those that nobody cares about, otherwise nobody cares. The only way to make teams stop doing this is by making an example of the big name guys that do it in the second most important game of the season.

  83. It continually amazes me how some Queen Bay trolls will avail themselves of ANY opportunity that presents itself to dig a spur into the fan base of the Minnesota Vikings. How tasteless… how hapless… how pathetic their lives must be for them to fixate on them in such a way… but jealousy will do that to some.

  84. Look, this whole damn thing could have been prevented by Walt Anderson. If he had any doubts about the footballs prior to the game when he couldn’t locate them, and he was made aware by the NFL and the Colts about the PSI level, once he located the footballs on the field, CHECK THEM AGAIN YOU IDIOT before the kickoff. He had plenty of time because the NFC game ran long. If this was not a sting by the league, why would you allow the balls to be played the entire first half. If Brady gets suspended, then Walt Anderson should be suspended for his incompetence.

  85. One thing they weren’t trying to hide the fact they were heating up the ball on the side lines. The refs didn’t say anything. Both teams didn’t know this as a rule and a soon as he league informed the teams. They stop. New England has been deflating balls behind closed doors since Brady has been in the league. 10 years compared to 1 game that both sides were involved. Tom been doing this since he has been in the league and only the Pats were gaining advantage over the other teams they played. This is a night day issue between the Pats and the Vikings Panther game which no one team had a advantage.

  86. How is under inflating the ball in any way an advantage? It’s not. QBs tailor the balls; slight under inflation is no advantage, and may be a hindrance.

  87. So why didn’t any player or ref even once notice an underinfated? Because it was imperceptible. If it’s imperceptible, then it’s close enough. Fine them $25 k, minor infraction, minor fine.

  88. If I was Brady, I’d one up the League and retire. I’d simply release a statement stating that due to the questionable integrity of the league and it’s investigative process, that I have made the tough decision to distance myself from them and walk away from the game I love.

  89. What Goodell fails to realize is that running a witch hunt does not make your business look good to the general public. Even if the league was unhappy with the deflating of footballs, this is the type of thing that should be handled out of the public eye. Never ever ever bring the integrity of your own business into question, especially in a public forum.

  90. I’m a Pats fan. How about every one else declaring their Fanwood or are you ashamed that your favorite team has been accused cheating also? Oh wait, no other team has ever been accused of /or actually been found guilty of cheating. If the Patriots were the only team to have ever done this, then they should be punished. But to all of you people who think that your team is holier than thou- keep your blinders on.

  91. For the Packers fans. Are you aware that Rodgers regularly gets air deflated out of his balls by the referees before games?

    If they are letting air out before he gets them, it’s because they were already over-inflated and are brought down to the acceptable range designated by the NFL, not because he likes them under inflated. They aren’t doing anything to the footballs for his advantage. In fact, he prefers them over inflated. Go back, look it up, and keep reading.

  92. nfl123 says:
    May 8, 2015 5:12 PM
    How is under inflating the ball in any way an advantage? It’s not. QBs tailor the balls; slight under inflation is no advantage, and may be a hindrance.

    Who are you kidding? An under inflated ball is a godsend for somebody like Bridgewater, who already needs size enhancing gloves to grip the ball.

  93. enfocusauctions says:
    May 8, 2015 10:34 AM

    And then there is the fact that in the same game The Colts also had under-inflated balls!


    The Colts balls were within the NFL regulations.
    Stop defensing them . Maybe try writing a letter to Kraft and tell him to have his teams to stop cheating.We all know nothing much will happen to them, his buddy Goodell will take care of him again.

  94. unmercifulone says:
    May 8, 2015 3:36 PM
    It continually amazes me how some Queen Bay trolls will avail themselves of ANY opportunity that presents itself to dig a spur into the fan base of the Minnesota Vikings. How tasteless… how hapless… how pathetic their lives must be for them to fixate on them in such a way… but jealousy will do that to some.

    5 2

    Your trolls do the same thing, get over it, this is PFT (Pro Football Troll). If you can’t take it, stop reading. I am amazed at the Vi-(Queen) trolls too. The Vikings and Panthers broke the rules, as a fan, you should own it and move on. That is what I did when the Packers choked last year. Instead you whine that your rival fan base is piling on. Pathetic.

  95. There is one, and ONLY one, thing that the AFC title game has in common with the Panthers-Vikings game:

    Both games were blowouts and doctoring of the footballs could have no material effect on the final score.

    That’s it. Nothing else is the same.

    Well, maybe the Vikes managed to get extra-frozen balls into the hands of our punter, and that’s why they blocked those punts….. 😀

  96. TOTALLY idiotic to draw ANY comparisons.
    Now if ONLY the Vikings or ONLY the Panthers were heating the balls (and thereby gaining an advantage) then it would be analogous.
    But BOTH were doing it, therefor this is not ANYTHING like the (alleged) and (allegedly premeditated) actions of the Patriots.

  97. Lol at how delusional someone has to be to compare these two scenarios.

    You cheated, you tired to cover it up, and now you’re facing the music. Take it like a man at least.

  98. This is hilarious. People saying “well both teams were doing it so its ok”. None of you allow that logic when its pointed out that the entire league used to tape signals!

    A rule violation is a rule violation. Should they stop calling holding penalties because both teams do it throughout the game?

    It is painfully obvious that the only reason this is a story is because its the Patriots.

  99. By rule, the home team is responsible for providing the game balls. The footage shown on NFL Network is from the Vikings’ sideline, though there are attendants from both teams on both sidelines and a league source said the Vikings weren’t heating up the balls during the game.

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