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Entries in Deflategate (5)

Thursday
May142015

Patriots Answer to Wells Report, Says Conclusions are 'Incomplete'

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- After attorney Ted Wells defended his report that led to the NFL's punishment of the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady, the team fired back, creating a website to challenge some of the findings discovered by Wells.

The Patriots' rebuttal is nearly 20,000 words written by attorney Daniel L. Goldberg, who represents the team and was present at all interviews of team personnel conducted at Gillette Stadium.

In creating the website, Goldberg wrote, "Our intention is to provide additional context for balance and consideration."

The website said conclusions in the Wells report were "incomplete, incorrect and lack context."

"There is no evidence that Tom Brady preferred footballs that were lower than 12.5 [pounds per square inch] and no evidence anyone even thought that he did," it said.

It also stated that the Wells report dismissed "scientific explanations for the natural loss of psi" in the footballs by rejecting referee Walt Anderson's memory of which air gauge he used to measure them. The Patriots included a "scientific conclusion" by Nobel Prize winner Roderick MacKinnon that contested the report's findings.

The NFL Players Association officially appealed Brady's suspension Thursday afternoon. The appeal will be heard by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.


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Tuesday
May122015

Tom Brady Suspended Four Games for Role in Deflategate

Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be suspended for the first four games of the upcoming 2015 National Football League season for his role in the Deflategate scandal, the league announced Monday.

Brady was at the center of the controversy after the Indianapolis Colts, Brady's opponents in the AFC Championship Game this past January, complained that the Patriots-supplied game balls seemed to be underinflated. Last week, a 243-page report, overseen by attorney Ted Wells, found that it was "more probable than not that Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of [Patriots employees Jim] McNally and [John] Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls."

Brady previously denied any wrongdoing, saying that he believed he had always played within the confines of the rules.

Brady will miss the first four games of the upcoming season without pay -- returning in time for the Patriots' rematch with the Colts on October 18.

The league additionally fined the Patriots organization $1 million and forced them to forfeit a pair of future draft picks.

Team owner Robert Kraft posted a statement to the Patriots' Facebook page on Monday evening, saying that "despite our conviction that there was no tampering with footballs, it was our intention to accept any discipline levied by the league. Today's punishment, however, far exceeded any reasonable expectation."

Calling the punishment "based completely on circumstantial rather than hard or conclusive evidence," Kraft blasted the entire investigation, calling it "one-sided."

"Tom Brady has our unconditional support," Kraft concluded, "our belief in him has not wavered."

 
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Wednesday
Feb182015

ESPN: Patriots Attendant Attempted to Put Unapproved Football in AFC Championship Game

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New England Patriots have won Super Bowl XLIX, but the "Deflate-gate" non-troversy plods along.

According to "Outside the Lines," 48-year-old Jim McNally, a Patriots locker room assistant, attempted to insert a non-approved kicking ball into the AFC Championship game.

The referee assigned to the game, Walt Anderson, followed standard procedure by marking footballs during pre-game inspection.  McNally attempted to hand a non-marked football to alternate official Greg Yettle on the sideline during the game.  

Yettle found the practice to be odd, as locker room attendants do not have ball handling responsibilities during the game.  Yettle then informed Mike Kensil, the NFL vice president of football operations, who was residing at the stadium in the press box.

The NFL is currently investigating the incident.


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Saturday
Feb072015

Jerry Rice, Who Called Out Patriots, Admitted to "Illegal" Stickum Use

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice had no problem jumping on the band wagon that criticized Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots for their supposed use of deflated footballs in this season's AFC Championship Game. Apparently Rice forgot or didn't care about cheating when it came to himself.

On Jan. 17, 2015, ESPN released a video where Rice admitted to using Stickum, which is a substance that helps make it easier to catch a football, on his receiver gloves. Stickum was banned by the NFL in 1981, and Rice didn't join the league until 1985.  

“I know this might be a little illegal, guys, but you put a little spray, a little Stickum on them, to make sure that texture is a little sticky,” Rice said while laughing in the video.

Just days after that video was released, Rice criticized the Patriots on the Jim Rome Show saying that because of deflategate, they should have an asterisk next to their Super Bowl XLIX championship if they won.

"I’m going to be point blank, I feel like it’s cheating,” Rice said Jan. 22 on the Rome show. "Because you have an edge up on your opponent and it's unfortunate that it happened. I’m not saying the outcome of the game would have been different or anything like that because they got beat 45-7, but they still had an edge."

While Rice surely wasn't the only receiver using Stickum, and most likely would have put up the same great numbers, he probably should have looked at himself in the mirror before passing judgement on others.


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Sunday
Jan252015

Belichick: Patriots "Absolutely Followed Every Rule to the Letter"

Jim Rogash/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick felt compelled to address questions that his team supposedly deflated footballs before the AFC Championship Game, so he did an investigation of his own and than spoke about it.

At an unscheduled press conference Saturday Belichick explained how he learned more about air pressure this week then he learned in a lifetime around football. And after learning exactly how the team prepares footballs before a game, and what can impact a balls weight, he came to a definite conclusion:

"I believe now 100 percent that I have personally and we as an organization have absolutely followed every rule to the letter."

Belichick then got emotional and defended his team, saying, "We did everything as right as we can do it."

After explaining he was embarrassed with how much time he put into investigating this when his team is preparing to play in a Super Bowl, Belichick broke down what he learned.

"When the footballs are delivered to the officials' locker room, the officials were asked to inflate them to 12.5 PSI," he said. "What exactly they did, I don't know. But, for the purposes of our study, that's what we did. We set them at 12.5 (PSI). That's at the discretion of the official regardless of what we ask for, it's the official's discretion to put them where he wants. Again, that's done in a controlled climate.

"The footballs are prepared in our locker room. They are delivered to the officials' locker room, which is a controlled environment. ... When the footballs go out onto the field into game conditions, whatever those conditions are, whether it's hot and humid, cold and damp, cold and dry, whatever it is, that's where the footballs are played with, and that's where the measurements would be different -- possibly different -- from what they are in a controlled environment, and that's what we found."

Belichick would go on to explain some more, before saying he was done talking about "Deflategate" for a good amount of time.

"This is the end of this subject for me for a long time, OK?" Belichick said. "We have a huge game, a huge challenge for our football team and that's where that focus is going to go."


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