If new reports on the investigation into the New England Patriots allegedly using underinflated footballs during the AFC Championship game are accurate, then as owner Bob Kraft said, someone really owes them an apology.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that only one of the Patriots’ 12 game footballs was two pounds under the minimum of 12.5 pounds per square inch (PSI).
The other 11? They were reportedly under 12.5 PSI but many were “just a few ticks under the minimum,” making Bill Belichick’s explanation of possible weather carry some weight.
Doesn’t it just figure that this news comes out on the day of the Super Bowl?… While for two whole weeks, the world has collectively took a dump on the Patriots due to an initial and inaccurate report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that said 11 of the 12 footballs “were inflated 2 pounds per square inch below what’s required by NFL regulations.”
We can now also throw out the seemingly incriminating report of a Patriots locker room attendant taking the balls into the bathroom for 90 seconds before bringing them on to the field. Turns out, according to Rapoport, he’s an elderly guy in the Patriots’ employ, who, if you know any elderly people, the bathroom visit on the way to the field probably couldn’t wait.
Now on to my title… The new report begs the question – Was the football reportedly to be two pounds PSI under the minimum the one that Indianapolis Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted?
If so, it certainly opens up the Colts to be accused of taking air out of that ball to present to the league.
If you remember, it was reported that Baltimore suspected that New England used underinflated balls in their divisional round loss in Foxborough and tipped off the Colts to it. Prior to Indy, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was Ravens skipper John Harbaugh’s defensive coordinator in Baltimore. See where I’m going with this?
You’ll also remember Harbaugh carrying a big bag of sour grapes over the Patriots’ use of tricky (and LEGAL) offensive formations in the game.
I smell a rat, and it doesn’t involve the New England Patriots.