Last week, DeflateGate was a nonsense word that had no meaning to anyone. This week, it’s all football fans can talk about.
The Patriots are no stranger to scandal. We all love to hate them, whether they’re winning the Super Bowl or lording Brady over the rest of the league. And here we are, another year, another juicy piece of news to debate.
What the Heck is DeflateGate?
For those of you who haven’t heard, here’s just how “DeflateGate” came about:
- In the NFL, each team has to bring 12 of their own balls to every game
- Each ball has to be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch
- Both teams provides someone to measure the balls before the game and make sure they are up to code – this also happens at various points throughout gameplay
- Suspicions arose on Sunday after Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted a pass from Brady to Gronk in the AFC Championship game
- Jackson immediately reported to his equipment manager that the ball “felt funny”, which caused a postgame investigation
- It’s since been confirmed that 11 of the 12 balls used by the Patriots on Sunday were deflated by 2 lbs, according to league regulations
Why does it matter?
A deflated football actually does make a difference.
Each quarterback has their own preference for inflation; sometimes an over or under inflated ball can be easier to handle, especially in difficult weather conditions.
As part of their effort to keep things fair, the NFL regulates the balls to remove any unfair advantage. Too bad they don’t feel the same about their Overtime rules.
What does this mean for the Pats?
There are rumours swirling that they’ll be forced to give up their spot in Super Bowl XLIX, but that’s an empty threat for sure.
More than likely the team will end up footing the bill for some fines. They might also have to pay in draft picks, another favoured method of punishment for the NFL.
But I think they’ll be looking for a place to point the blame before they dole out any penalties.
No one has been trusting the Patriots since the “SpyGate” scandal of 2007 anyway, so if nothing else this just solidified Belichick’s reputation and oh-so-clever nickname, “Beli-cheat”.