Ken Belson, NYTimes:
The results of a nearly four-month investigation stated that “it is more probable than not” that New England Patriots personnel intentionally deflated footballs to gain an advantage against the Indianapolis Colts in the A.F.C. championship game in January, and that Tom Brady, the Super Bowl’s most valuable player, was probably aware of it.
The investigation, which was conducted by Ted Wells and the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, concluded that it was probable that Patriots personnel were “involved in a deliberate effort to circumvent the rules.”
The NFL requires balls to be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch, and each team is responsible for the balls it uses on offense. The Colts must have only used their air gauge after the interception by veteran linebacker D'Qwell Jackson who gave the football to an equipment manager. It was noticed that the football seemed deflated.
They surely didn't use it on offense in a 45-7 thrashing by the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
The report, which was released Wednesday, said that Jim McNally, an attendant in the officials’ locker room, and John Jastremski, an equipment assistant, were involved in releasing air from the footballs. It said that besides those two and Brady, no other Patriots personnel, including Coach Bill Belichick, were aware of any wrongdoing.
The 243-page report said league investigators found no evidence that coach Bill Belichick and team management knew of the practice.
“To say we are disappointed in its findings, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the A.F.C. championship game, would be a gross understatement,” Bob Kraft said in a statement.
The NFL report said "it was more than probable than not" that Jim McNally, the officials' locker room attendant, and John Jastremski, an equipment assistant for the Patriots, were involved in "a deliberate effort to release air" from the footballs after they were examined by the referee.
The report includes text messages between McNally and Jastremski -- sent in October and January -- that imply Brady was requesting footballs deflated below 12.5 pounds per square inch. They described requests from McNally for shoes and signed footballs from Brady in exchange for deflating the balls.
Now I know why Tom Brady did not go to the White House. " What did he know and when did he know it?"
Who wants to listen to inflation or deflation, anyway? Anybody up for reading the new 243 page book by Ted Wells?
Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire. .
Follow me on Twitter at @_prmurphy
For more of my articles, click here.