Controversy, Patriots

The NFL Played You With a Deflated Ball…and Won

Based on the public outcry and the reaction from the first day that “deflategate” was born, the NFL knew you wouldn’t care about the full truth of what really happened prior to, during and shortly after the AFC championship game. They knew you wanted to see Tom Brady hang and you wanted the NFL to find proof. They knew the attention wouldn’t be on whether or not they are the true enforcers of the NFL shield, standing for integrity and justice. All you wanted to know was one thing: Was Tom Brady and the Patiots guilty of deflating footballs.

The NFL has spent millions of dollars for your public opinion and you fell for it, hook, line and sinker.

I am not going to try and change your mind about Tom Brady and your stance on deflated footballs. Regardless of whether or not you think Tom Brady is innocent, this is not of concern. You’re entitled to believe what you wish.

But ask yourself this question: Do I trust the current powers that be within the NFL and those who enforce the rules to fairly represent…or investigate my team now or in the future?

Some think this back and forth fighting between the Patriots and the NFL is ridiculous, but they forget who has the real power here. This fight isn’t an equal level playing field. Goodell and the NFL are the enforcers of “integrity” with the power to issue investigations, confiscate personal property, and issue punishments. If you don’t cooperate then be prepared to pay the price.

How else could any team fight back that kind of power? Who is making sure the NFL is living up to the standards it supposedly represents and enforces? Who ensures that the NFL is not corrupt behind the scenes?

If you’ve read the full Wells report (paying special attention to the footnotes) with an objective and critical eye on the NFL’s actions alone, it is more than alarming. It is downright shocking. Some are discovering that it is “more probable than not” that the NFL could care less about being stewards of the shield it represents.

There is far more evidence in the Well’s report that can point to corruption within the NFL than it can point to Tom Brady being the mastermind of a deflated football scandal. Don’t believe me? I dare you to read on.

Here is the list of the evidence laid out in the Wells report that is analyzed in further detail below, offering page numbers of the report and other relevant links that you’re welcome to investigate yourself:

1. The NFL gave the Colts (a team who has been known to possibly illegally deflate their own footballs) an unfair advantage.

2. The NFL has never taken football psi seriously before the 2015 AFC championship game.

3. The NFL flat-out lied to the public.

4. The Wells report wasn’t independent and this is proven with one fatal flaw by Ted Wells and his team of investigators.

5. The K-ball situation…not the Colts interception of the ball…is the key to prove that certain powers within the NFL were not only involved in a sting, it is “more probable than not” that Mike Kensil was involved in a downright set-up:

  • Evidence A: The NFL wanted the Patriots to have the chance to deflate their footballs
  • Evidence B: The NFL wanted secure evidence that the footballs had been tampered with BEFORE inspecting them
  • Evidence C: Mike Kensil and Ryan Grigson have reasons and motive to set up the Patriots
  • Evidence D: The K-ball incident was pre-planned in order to justify a football investigation during the game and headed by Mike Kensil
  • Evidence E: The misleading NFL leaks to the media during and after the AFC Championship game
  • Evidence F: Never in the history of the league, has the NFL spent millions on an independent investigation of a rule break that only issued a minimum of a $25,000 fine for tampering with footballs after the refs inspect them or submitting an unapproved game ball into play.

1. The NFL gave the Colts (a team who has been known to possibly illegally deflate their own footballs) an unfair advantage. Did you know that there was possible evidence that the Jacksonville Jaguars caught the Indianapolis Colts’ ball boys with needles up their sleeve prior to the 2014 season? This was one of the many things the Patriots hoped the “independent” Wells team of investigators would look into as it pertained to the charge they have been accused of.

No where is this mentioned in the Wells report. It was taken for granted that the Colts were completely innocent, and the Wells team of investigators did not feel it was important enough to look into the matter with Jaguars personnel nor questioned the Colts.

How did the NFL give the Colts an unfair competitive advantage? The Colts had emailed the NFL of their concerns that the Patriots illegally deflate footballs after the referees inspect them. They went so far as to ask the NFL league to check the footballs for deflation during the AFC championship game. Something that has never been done in the history of the NFL.

The Colts entered the AFC championship with inside knowledge that an investigation could take place, thus ensuring that they themselves could come out looking squeaky clean on their end. How do we know that the Colts prefer their balls at 13 psi? How do we know that it isn’t their usual routine that they themselves deflate footballs after the refs inspect them? It’s known among other teams behind the scenes that the Colt’s ball boys deflate balls.

We don’t really know for sure that it is common practice for the Colts to illegally deflate balls and neither does the NFL. Nor did the NFL have proof prior to the AFC championship game that the Patriots illegally deflate balls. It was one team’s word against his opponent.

The NFL could have simply issued a memo, warning all teams currently playing in both the AFC and the NFC championship games that an issue of a possible violation of rule 2 in prior games has been raised. They could reiterate that the NFL will ensure an equal level playing field for all teams, and anyone in question of violating these rules will be subject to investigation…thus not giving any team inside information that allows them to prepare themselves (and their own footballs) for a possible investigation against a team who couldn’t prepare in the same way.

A warning to both teams would be the only fair thing to do, since…

2. The NFL has never taken football psi seriously before the 2015 AFC championship game. In fact, NFL officials themselves, have broken this rule on many occasions, thus proving this wasn’t something they felt compromised the “integrity of the game”, nor did breaking their own rule by over-inflating to an illegal 16 psi as stated in the texts, give anyone a “competitive advantage”. If the NFL did/does feel that football psi is so important to the game that it required a 100+ day investigation costing millions, then they have failed to do their job and uphold the integrity of many games.

Aaron Rogers (who played in the NFC championship game) said he preferred his balls over-inflated and hoped a few slide by the refs. If Aaron Rogers didn’t have enough success in getting these over-inflated balls through in the past, then why bother? If the NFL was strict about football psi, then most would give up knowing it isn’t something they can get away with.

Which is it? You can’t have it both ways.

Jim Daopoulos had been an NFL official for 11 years, an NFL official supervisor for 12 years and currently works for ESPN as an NFL rules analyst. The man knows what he’s talking about. Yet he has stated from the very beginning that ball psi was never that important. He went on record saying that the only reason the NFL paid attention is because it was the Patriots. Had it been any other team it would’ve been a “non-issue”.

You can read that article here and you can take a look at his latest commentary on his Twitter page here.

Equal level playing field and fairly representing all 32 teams? I wonder.

3. The NFL flat-out lied to the public. Dean Blandino, the head of officiating, went on record in a press conference stating that he, nor the officials had any knowledge of the Patriots deflating balls until a football came into question during the game. In a Boston Globe article published on January 30th, 2015, Ben Volin writes the following:

“Some reports suggested the Colts became aware of a deflation problem in their Nov. 16 matchup against the Patriots, and warned the NFL ahead of time to catch the Patriots in the act in the AFC Championship.

Blandino said that simply isn’t true.

‘I was not personally aware of any issue after that [Nov. 16] game,” Blandino said. “I don’t know where that came from.’ ”

The Wells report clearly states (pg. 44) that Ryan Grigson, the GM of the Colts, forwarded an email to Mike Kensil and David Gardi expressing his concern of the Patriots deflating footballs. Kensil then forwarded the email to Dean Blandino and Alberto Riveron.  Blandino and Riveron then decided to alert Walt Anderson (the referee who inspects and supervises the footballs) of the Colts concerns that “…it is well known around the league that after the Patriots gameballs are checked by the officials and brought out for game usage the ballboys for the Patriots will let out some air with a ball needle because their quarterback likes a smaller football so he can grip it better…” 

It is common for another team to alert the NFL of what to look for before a game. This is nothing new or incriminating. But why lie about it to the public? Why make the public think this was something surprising and unexpected? What do they have to hide in all this?

Tom Brady is being held accountable in the Wells report and by the NFL for what he expressed in his press conference. Who is holding the NFL accountable? It was only “more probable than not” that Brady could be lying. The Wells report lays out definitive proof that the NFL has lied.

What else are they lying about?

4. The Wells report wasn’t independent and this is proven with one fatal flaw by Ted Wells and his team of investigators. Did you know that there is one and only one crucial bit of testimony in the Wells report that could change everything?

This crucial bit of information could prove that there was no evidence of tampering with footballs. Don’t believe me? Take a look on page 52 where the report states “Although Anderson’s best recollection is that he used the Logo Gauge, it is certainly possible that he used the Non-Logo Gauge (30 footnote).

Let me remind you that the Wells report usually has very specific explanations in the footnotes, but in this one it simply states “For the reasons described in section VII.B, we believe it is more probable that Anderson used the Non-Logo Gauge for his pre-game measurements.”

Let’s forget for a moment that he makes us go on a confusing search for an explanation elsewhere or that he used the words “certainly possible”. It’s either certain or it’s not, but I digress, his play on words throughout the report doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of it all. This is what matters:

Well’s has accepted every other memory and recollection from Walt Anderson on the night of January 18th, 2015, except his memory and belief of using the Logo Gauge. And why? Because if Walt used the Logo Gauge to measure the Patriots footballs before the start of the game as Anderson believed he did, then there would be no founded evidence of tampering with footballs based on the Wells scientific explanation of the Ideal Gas Law.

None.

A former Nobel prize winner rebutted the scientific explanations by Exponent. You can read Professor MacKinnon’s rebuttal here. I highly doubt a former Nobel prize winner would stake his reputation within the scientific community to help out Mr. Kraft and abuse science in the Patriots favor.

As for Exponent, they were hired by a tobacco company in the name of science to help prove that second hand smoke doesn’t cause cancer.  You can read about that here.

Let’s be honest, who do you trust more with scientific analysis: Exponent or a Nobel Prize laureate?

Remember, this investigation is not about whether or not the Patriots deflated footballs in the past, this investigation was about finding evidence to prove the Patriots deflated footballs on the night of the AFC championship game.

If no tampering was found, there would be no need for a 5 million dollar investigation or a 243 page report of reasons why it is “more probable than not” that Tom Brady is guilty of telling his guys to deflate footballs after the refs inspect them. This report is all based on texts where not one mentions Tom Brady ordered anything illegal after the refs inspect the balls. Texts that are open and candid yet prove nothing illegal happened the night of January 18th 2015…or any other game day. Just assumptions that it is “probable”.

5. The K-ball situation…not the Colts interception of the ball…is the key to prove that certain powers within the NFL were not only involved in a sting, it is “more probable than not” that Mike Kensil was involved in a downright set-up. Here’s where it gets really interesting. If the Wells report can piece together evidence that it was “more probable than not” that Tom Brady was “generally aware” that McNally may have deflated footballs, then there is a whole mess of circumstantial evidence pointing to an outright set-up.

Evidence A: The NFL wanted the Patriots to have the chance to deflate their footballs:

  • Walt Anderson had prior knowledge and was alerted by Blandino in a phone conversation and reminded by Riveron the day of the game about the Colts concerns and to be sure to “follow proper pre-game procedures.” And what happens? He loses two large bags full of footballs after he inspected them! Footballs that are supposed to be under his supervision. Video evidence shows McNally walking through a crowded room, with another official looking right at him as he carried the balls out of the locker room with ease.

Evidence B: The NFL wanted secure evidence that the footballs had been tampered with BEFORE inspecting them:

  • As stated in the report, the officials had no knowledge of where the footballs went missing. They had no access to security cameras nor any knowledge that McNally stopped into the bathroom first. They were only aware that the Patriots possibly deflate balls after the referees inspect them. They did not know how or when this was usually done. Was it on the sidelines while ball boys hid needles up their sleeve? Walt Anderson still had an approved bag of back up footballs under his supervision that McNally hadn’t touched. Walt Anderson could have given the Patriots the approved bag of back up balls without delaying game time and confiscated the balls prior to the game when he saw McNally on the field for violation of rule 2 that “the balls shall remain under the supervision of the Referee until they are delivered to the ball attendant just prior to the start of the game.” Why didn’t they do this? Well, if the NFL inspected those balls and came up with nothing, then the NFL would not be able to justify any further half time investigation during the game since they would be playing with approved back up balls. Thus “deflategate” would have never been born.

Evidence C: Mike Kensil and Ryan Grigson have reasons and motive to set up the Patriots:

  • It is “well known around the league” that Mike Kensil has an axe to grind with Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization. Don’t believe it? You can read about the former Jets big wig, Mike Kensil here and here.
  • Colts GM, Ryan Grigson was employed with the Rams when they lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI, but he was also employed by the Philadelphia Eagles when they lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX. Remember “spygate” and how some questioned whether the Patriots Super Bowl win was fair? The Eagles and some of their former players still believe to this day that they could’ve won that game if it wasn’t for “spygate”. You can read about that here.
  • Evidence D: The K-ball incident was pre-planned in order to justify a football investigation during the game and headed by Mike Kensil:
  • None of the officials prior to the game can recall if they saw Walt Anderson’s initials on the K-1 ball (kicking ball), with the exception of Yette. As the k-ball coordinator, it is Yette’s job to supervise and care for the k-balls as they remain under his supervision during the time balls are prepared, inspected, and given to him to take to the field. Yette recalls seeing Anderson’s approved signature on the K-1 ball. Walt Anderson can’t recall if he put his signature on the ball.
  • Yette, as the K-ball coordinator, controls the balls throughout the game and hands the kicking ball to another official for use in the game….not the teams.
  • According to the Wells report, after kick-off, Miller, who was in charge of charity auctions, removed the K-1 ball to be put away for charity as agreed. As mentioned on page 138 footnote 78, Miller is the official who was fired for stealing and selling NFL memorabilia to a private collector that was intended for NFL charity auctions.
  • On page 45 footnote 24 in the Wells report, it mentions that the Colts also asked in their infamous email that they be allowed to prepare their own kicking balls, commonly referred to as “K-balls”. It also states “As discussed in section IX, it was ultimately agreed that the Patriots would use kicking balls prepared by Jastrmeski and the Colts would use kicking balls prepared by Sullivan.” Keep in mind that Sullivan, the Colts equipment manager, is the one who sent Grigson the original email expressing his concerns of the Patriots deflating footballs. Grigson then forwarded this email to Kensil and Gardi.
  • Patriots kicker, Gastkowski demanded to have the K-1 ball back because it was the one best prepared and the way he wanted it. Dave Schoenfeld, the Patriots equipment manager, argued with officials that they did not know the ball would be removed for charity during the game. Officials alerted Mike Kensil, who then agreed to allow the Patriots to have the K-1 ball back. It was Kensil who found Miller when after “several attempts” where other officials could not locate Miller. Kensil ordered Miller to hand the ball to another official. This official then threw the ball to McNally. McNally in turn handed the ball to Yette. Why the officials wouldn’t hand it to the k-ball coordinator themselves is beyond me.
  • Yette looked at the ball and saw that Walt Anderson’s approved signature was not on the ball. He alerted other officials. Yette was ordered to bring that ball to the locker room at half time. As we read earlier in the report, it was Kensil who ordered officials to inspect and measure the Patriots footballs during half time.

The K-ball incident was the justification needed to spark an investigation of the balls during half time. A ball intercepted and illegally measured by an opposing team, could not hold grounds to issue an investigation. This is something that had never been done in the history of the NFL. An email of rumors (which stated in the Wells report was not taken seriously by the officials) and an intercepted ball from the team complaining ahead of time about deflated balls that was in their possession while sticking a needle gauge into the ball to measure without supervision of an official (and thus tampered with), could not hold ground.

The K-ball incident was the only way to ensure that the NFL could spark an investigation of a possible rule violation.

Was Walt Anderson’s approved signature on that ball? The K-1 ball was handled by numerous officials prior to and throughout the first half of the AFC championship game, yet none of them can recall seeing whether or not his approved signature was on that ball with the exception of Yette. This was a ball that was taken off the field after the initial kick off and handed to a corrupt official.

Something stinks about this whole thing. Either the NFL and the officials are completely incompetent, especially after being forewarned to keep an eye on the Patriots footballs, or this was the plan all along.

Is there any proof? No, but given the evidence of events that transpired prior and during the game before half time, it is more probable than not that the NFL set up the Patriots in what is possibly the worst sting of all time.

Evidence E: The misleading NFL leaks to the media during and after the AFC Championship game:

  • The NFL is not supposed to leak information to the media during the investigation. The first leak came during the game at half time. More leaks filled with misleading information surfaced…leaks that only those involved in the investigation could know. No one took it seriously until Chris Mortensen, a respected NFL analyst, tweeted “NFL has found that 11 of the Patriots footballs used in Sunday’s AFC title game were under-inflated by 2 lbs each, per league sources.” “Defaltegate” was born and the media crucified the Patriots as cheaters before any evidence of wrong doing was proven. Your public opinion was being formed, and NFL sources were throwing gas to ignite and spread the fire. If the NFL didn’t want this scandal to get out of control, they could have simply issued a statement that the leaked information was untrue and misleading and a full investigation in process…without having to reveal the correct numbers if speaking about the investigation publicly was not allowed.

Evidence F: Never in the history of the league, has the NFL spent millions on an independent investigation of a rule break that only issued a minimum of a $25,000 fine for tampering with footballs after the refs inspect them.

  • In fact, some have gotten off with a simple warning as this article states.

Who truly profits from this “independent” investigation? Wells and the NFL or the Patriots? Wells got his check and the NFL won over the court of public opinion. For Goodell, it was worth the 5 million to keep his job and his own $44.2 million dollar a year salary.

Tom Brady…a man with no history of crime or reason to question his character…had the pleasure of being publicly humiliated and his reputation defaced because he may have broken a rule of air pressure in a football. A rule of air pressure that even the NFL has broken themselves.

In a league filled with players that have past crime history such as, DUI’s, wife beating, child abuse, drug abuse charges, bounty hits, steroid and PED abuse and even murder, there has never been a scandal with so much attention in the history of the NFL than “delfategate”.

Have you ever just stepped out of the madness and thought: What is going on here?

Add up the circumstantial and definitive evidence laid out in the Wells report of the NFL’s action before, during, and after the AFC championship on January 18th, 2015 and you have a strong case that the enforcers of the “intergrity of the shield” are not only corrupt, but abuse their power against those who possess hardly any.

Integrity? Equal level playing field?

The NFL needs to account and take responsibility for their actions. Let a team hire their own investigators. Let those investigators confiscate the business and private phones of Roger Goodell, Mike Kensil, Ted Wells, Walt Anderson, Blandino, and the every other NFL official who were involved in the AFC championship game and see what you’ll find.

I’d even give up Brady’s phone under those conditions.

Because when it comes down to it, even if Brady did ask a couple guys to let air out of a few footballs, it’s nothing compared to the corruption of those in a position of power: the failing stewards who promised to enforce, protect and uphold the “integrity of the shield.”

#InvestigatetheNFL #EqualLevelPlayingField #Integrity

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11 thoughts on “The NFL Played You With a Deflated Ball…and Won

  1. Oakes says:

    The commissioner gave up his cell phone for the Ray Rice investigation. Anyone who thinks Brady didn’t know what was going on, doesn’t know much about quarterbacks. They tell the equipment guys exactly how they want the footballs.

    Like

    • Thretosix says:

      Right, and Brady liked his footballs within the rules. What your saying is every quarterback is guilty for preparing footballs before the game. Which isn’t a violation of the rules.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tom Davis says:

    I would like to say I’m not surprised by how the NFL is like our Government. How much was spent on the Cliton inveinvestigation? And we were lied to by them as well it amazes me how people can believe what thay want to even in the face

    Like

  3. I knew sports conferences have had no reason to have independent and open investigations since a few of the NCAA ones years ago. From the beginning, last years University of GA investigation stunk of a sting (turned in by the same person who paid the kid for autographs???) and the whole Paterno investigation direction was flawed from day 1 (not one administration member faced any repercussions – it was all a coach who was deceased). FSA, Ohio State, Notre Dame – none of them were unbiased and the league got what it wanted from each of them, not what was the truth. And fines are not consistent across the board – like they play favorites.
    Why would any MONEY MAKING league be any different?

    Like

  4. bronalex says:

    There is more evidence of something fishy in the Wells Report.

    1) The Colts reported the intercepted ball at under 11psi, but the ball was measured 3 times and the report only says that it registered under 12psi each time, but Wells inexplicably doesnt include the readings and takes pains to state that the intercepted ball had nothing to do with the determination of guilt. He tries to throw sand in the eyes of the reader as to what triggered the halftime inspection in the first place.

    2) Wells states the specific rule that officials are supposed to inflate balls to 12.5 if they are under, 13.5 if they are over, and do nothing if they are in range at pregame. Then he says that some officials simply inflate all balls to 13 “for consistency” and completely skirts over the fact that officials are breaking the rules, similar to skirting over the 16psi game.

    3) The biggest evidence of some sort of bias, vendetta, sting, what have you is in the post game measurements. Wells takes pains to say that the post game measurements underwent the exact same process as the halftime measurements. Both the Colts and Pats balls clearly lost air from their pregame readings, as expected from the Ideal Gas Law. The officials pumped up the Pats balls at halftime, but no one took note of the psi measurement that they pumped them to? They aren’t in the report. Remember that they pumped the balls in the higher temperature environment. In the post game measurement, the Pats balls were at about 13.5, the upper limit of the legal range. If Wells is to be believed that the conditions were the same, then the Pats balls must have been pumped to well over the limit at halftime, somewhere around 14.5-15. Did they pump them that high out of spite? Is it believable that no one remembers how high they were pumped at halftime? No one has mentioned this yet. Why were the balls pumped so high at halftime if the officials did everything correctly and there was no bias as Wells states in the report?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mom says:

    A quick note from Beantown Gals mom,

    OK…………We can all gripe and talk til we are blue in’ the face, it all comes down to whom has an advantage………..Well DUH of course the Pats have an advantage, but unfair?
    Their advantage lies in the fact that Bob Kraft took an interest and invested it the POSSIBLE.
    The right, NOT the first, but the RIGHT coache(s) were hired.
    The right talent was kept or brought on board, and not with the advantage of draft picks, but with the smarts and guts of those in charge.
    The talent on the field has to have the heart and passion of a warrior!! And NOT just the quarterback, but everyone on and off the field has to work as one.
    The Pats, in and out of championship seasons have shown this to be true of their team, and NO one can dispute that simple truth.
    OVER INFLATED/UNDERINFLATED this team has proven that with the right attitude and fortitude that any team in the league can do the same, the Pats had been underdogs for years prior to Kraft, Brady, ect………….
    It is their courage, heart and love for football alone that brought them to the forefront of the game, their is NO reason for this madness and it makes any accusatory team seem like children who need to go home to mommy and have a good old fashion foot stomping tantrum followed by pools of tears to get it out of their system.

    Thanks for letting a mom speak………..cripes are we seriously talking about adults here or what!

    Mom

    Like

  6. mom says:

    Darn spell check, sorry there is no reason, not their…letting my passion for what is right or wrong keep me from spell checking spellcheck

    Like

  7. mom says:

    P.S. I WOULD HAVE KICKED YOUR BUTT FROM HERE TO TIMBUKTU AND BACK IF YOU CAME CRYING AND MADE SUCH A BIG DEAL OVER SOMETHING THIS!!!

    Like

  8. Larry Greenberg says:

    How on earth, since Grigson put a gauge in the intercepted game ball, after his equipment manager did, and then gave it to Kensil and said “looks like we’re playing with a small ball” is this not tampering with the evidence? That was the only ball that was out of whack since the others really tested just a 1/2 psi below. The main evidence ball was handled by the complainant prior to turning in into the NFL to the guy (Kensil) he set the scheme up with. This case should be thrown out on that one point alone. Why were Kensil and Grigson not investigated for fraud or attempting fraud for trying to set the Patriots up and subsequently to frame them and Brady.
    This case is so outrageous that it holds no water, or air!!

    Like

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