Chris Mason, Boston Herald:
According to former Miami Dolphins quarterback A.J. Feeley, Deflategate is not the first time the Patriots have altered footballs to gain a competitive advantage.

On a Philadelphia radio station, Feeley told a story from his 2004 season with the Dolphins in which he alleged to have seen the Pats illegally sneak practice balls into a game to aid quarterback Tom Brady.

“Prior to Tommy and (former Indianapolis Colts and current Denver Broncos quarterback) Peyton Manning going to the league and saying, ‘Let us doctor our balls,’ we used to all play with the same balls,” Feeley said. “Somehow this beat-up ball from the ball boy was getting thrown in on offense for New England, yet when we were on offense this orange brand new ball was getting thrown in.”

I must have missed that Patriots-Dolphins tilt in 2004. The 24-10 loss by the Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on October 10, 2004 may have been marred by the worn balls given QB Tom Brady. In the October 24, 2004 win over the New York Jets, Patriots' ball boys were relaying supposed ‘approved’ game balls that actually were non-approved practice balls to a game official.

On Page 44 of the Wells report, Wells went on to say: “The then-Equipment Manager of the Patriots described the incident as ‘just an honest mistake.’ There couldn't have too many mistakes because the 2004 New England Patriots finished 14-2.

Statute of Limitations - are written laws passed by a legislative body in common law systems to set the maximum time after an event when legal proceedings may be initiated. The intention of these laws is to facilitate resolution in a reasonable length of time. When a statute of limitations expires in a criminal case, the court no longer has jurisdiction

A plaintiff with a valid cause of action should pursue it with reasonable diligence.
A defendant might have lost evidence to disprove a stale claim.
A long-dormant claim has "more cruelty than justice"

In the court of public opinion, Tom Brady is gaining ground. According to an ESPN/ABC News poll, while 46 percent of all fans see the Patriots' last minute victory in Super Bowl XLIX as "tainted," 85 percent of all fans, including 80 percent of avid fans, believe that others do similar things as may have been done by Tom Brady. The Langer Research Associates survey has a margin of error of five percentage points. That would place you A.J. Feeley in the minority.

The 2004 Miami Dolphins finished with a record of 4–12 after starting the season 0–6.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire. .

Follow me on Twitter at @_prmurphy

For more of my articles, click here.

Paul Murphy 5/14/2015 11:48:00 AM Edit

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