With evidence discovered by the NFL of cheating during the Indianapolis Colts AFC Championship Game of January, it is “more probable than not” that Tom Brady’s legacy is becoming as deflated as his game balls. A 243-page report, completed by league attorney, Jim Wells, concluded that it is more than probable that Patriots personnel violated league rules in regards to the intentional deflation of game balls before game time. It is likewise more than probable that quarterback, Tom Brady, orchestrated the deflations and rewarded the perpetrators with signed merchandise.
Patriots Crew Complicit
Jim McNally, Officials Locker Room attendant for the Patriots, and John Jastremski, equipment assistant for the team, reportedly both collaborated on the effort to deflate game balls after the pre-game inspection by officials. The report indicates that McNally took the footballs into a bathroom near the field at Gillette Stadium and stayed there for approximately 100 seconds. Wells believed this was adequate time to have deflated 13 balls without casting suspicion.
Head referee, Walt Anderson, claimed in the report that he was unable to find the cache of game balls immediately before the kick off. This was the first time this has occurred in over 19 years of his service.
Brady Prefers Softer Balls
The scathing report includes colorful text message exchanges between McNally and Johns implicating Brady’s preference that game balls be inflated below the regulation 12.5 pounds per square inch. Brady has intimated historically that he prefers a softer, more pliable ball that improves his control in inclement weather. One specific text exchange between the two Patriot staffers followed the Patriots-Jets game and mentioned Brady’s displeasure with the inflation of the balls during that game. The report shows that a subsequent text exchange between McNally and Johns detailed how, in exchange for taking the risk of deflating the balls under the watchful eye of game officials, McNally would require Brady-signed merchandise including footballs and sneakers. With this disgusting collusion between a Superbowl champion quarterback and New England Patriot employees to tamper with equipment that both teams would use for a championship game, it is definitely more probable than not that Brady has deflated his winning legacy.
NFL Prepares For Disciplinary Action
Former NFL executive, Bill Polian, after spending almost two decades on the NFL’s competition committee, claims that the phrase “more probable than not” has been the standard of proof required for competitive violations in past years. The text messages mentioning Brady and his directions are considered by many sports experts to be the smoking gun in this situation. The Patriots were punished for cheating in 2007 when it was discovered they were videotaping hand signals by New York Jets coaches. The NFL fined the team $250,000 and Coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000. The Patriots also forfeited a first round pick the upcoming draft.
This report by Wells represents a thorough investigation that mimics the oversight of an FBI-level procedure. It is comprehensive and paints a very disturbing picture of intentional cheating that no doubt affected the outcome of the AFC championship game. The Patriots would go on to win the Superbowl. Brady is a gifted, world-class athlete. He is so obsessed with his athleticism that he observes an optimum diet that is comprised of 80 percent alkaline and 20 percent acid. The idea that he would not have immediately recognized a difference of several pounds per square inch in his game balls is tacitly preposterous. Will Brady’s complicity to the deliberate deflation of game balls do so much more to deflate and taint what should have been the sports legacy of a lifetime? “It is more probable than not.”
Opinion by Chris Marion
Headline photo by Keith Allison – Creativecommons Flickr License
Inline Photo (1) by frankieleon – Creativecommons Flickr License
Inline Photo (2) by Matt McGhee – Creativecommons Flickr License