So, when the New England Patriots play the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Title game, it was discovered at half time that as many as 11 of the Patriots' game balls (each team provides their) own, were under-inflated by about 2 pounds below the league minimum.
Tom Brady denied knowing anything about it, but did admit that different quarterbacks like a different feel to the ball. He likes them softer as they are easier to grip with his small hand size. Others, like Aaron Rodgers of the Packers, would actually like them inflated above the league maximum, because he has big hands and uses a lot of pressure on the ball.
Still, there are rules and limits, and the Patriots got busted breaking them.
"The NFL's report on the Patriots deflated football scandal found that it's "more probable than not" that two longtime team employees — locker-room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski — "participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee."
The report says Tom Brady "was at least generally aware" of the plan to deflate the balls.
One of the most damning parts of the report is a series of text messages dating to October in which McNally and Jastremski discuss Tom Brady's displeasure with balls' inflation levels and reference delivering a needle to change the pressure.
Here are excerpts of McNally and Jastremski's texts, via the report.
On May 9, 2014, before the start of the season:
McNally: You working
McNally: Nice dude....jimmy needs some kicks....lets make a deal.....come on help the deflator
On October 17, 2014, after Brady complained about the ball inflation after a game versus the Jets:
McNally: Tom sucks...im going make that next ball a f------ balloon
Jastremski: Talked to him last night. He actually brought you up and said you must have a lot of stress trying to get them done...
Jastremski: I told him it was. He was right though...
Jastremski: I checked some of the balls this morn... The refs f----- us...a few of then were at almost 16
Jastremski: They didnt recheck then after they put air in them
McNally: F---- tom ...16 is nothing...wait till next sunday
On October 21, 2014:
McNally: Make sure you blow up the ball to look like a rugby ball so tom can get used to it before sunday
On October 23, 2014:
Jastremski: Can't wait to give you your needle this week
McNally: F--- tom....make sure the pump is attached to the needle.....f------ watermelons coming
Jastremski: So angry
McNally: The only thing deflating sun..is his passing rating
On October 24, 2014:
Jastremski: I have a big needle for u this week
McNally: Better be surrounded by cash and newkicks....or its a rugby sunday
McNally: F--- tom
Jastremski: Maybe u will have some nice size 11s in ur locker
McNally: Tom must really be working your balls hard this week
On January 7, 2015, eleven days before the AFC Championship Game:
McNally: Remember to put a couple sweet pig skins ready for tom to sign
Jastremski: U got it kid...big autograph day for you
McNally: Nice throw some kicks in and make it real special
Jastremski: It ur lucky. 11?
McNally: 11 or 11 and half kid
The report suggests Brady was aware of this activity, as after not communicating via phone to Jastremski for six months, there was a frequency of texts and phone calls between Brady and Jastremski starting January 19, when suspicions about the footballs began.
The report says Brady also texted Jastremski, saying, "You good Jonny boy?" and "You doing good?" Jastremski replied, "Still nervous; so far so good though."
Jastremski texted Brady saying, "FYI...Dave will be picking your brain later about it. He's not accusing me, or anyone...trying to get to bottom of it. He knows it's unrealistic you did it yourself."
Read more: http://www.businessi...5#ixzz3ZTNgkHFm
Full report 243 page report here: https://nfllabor.fil...-championsh.pdf
May be much ado about nothing or is Tom a cheater who should be punished?