In honor of Tom Brady’s 40th birthday, we bring back one of his biggest controversies in sports history. For the average football fan, Deflategate was nothing more than a headache. All the world talked about for months, was the fact that Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots, deflated footballs to help get an advantage in the AFC Championship game. Most people, didn’t find this a big issue, but the NFL didn’t feel the same way. After everything that happened with Ray Rice, and the video of him knocking out his girlfriend that year, the NFL was on guard for any issues that might hurt their brand going forward. They decided Deflategate was their opportunity to set an example.
January 18, 2015. Gillette Stadium. Foxborough, Massachusetts. AFC Championship. New England Patriots vs Indianapolis Colts. Tom Brady vs Andrew Luck. Basically, this was a huge ass game! The winner, of course would go on to the Super bowl, so the matchup between the two teams, was extremely over hyped. If we know anything about the New England Patriots, is that they will do anything to get an advantage over their opponents. The Colts were aware of it too, so they warned the refs to keep their eyes open for any foul play. During the game, one of the Colts linebackers intercepted the ball, and after the play, he handed the ball to an equipment manager to save for him as a souvenir. The equipment manager then realized that the ball was lighter than normal. The Colts brought up the topic of the deflated ball to the referees and they decided to check the Patriots’ footballs at halftime. Out of the 12 footballs that were assigned to the Patriots for the game, only 1 ball was at the regulated weight of 2 pounds per square inch. ADVANTAGE FOR THE PATRIOTS: Smaller football equals better grip, especially in the cold ass weather!
The Patriots would go on to win the game 45-7. In the first half, before they checked the deflated ball, the Patriots were leading 17-7. In the second half, after they re-inflated the balls, the Patriots kicked the Colts ass 28-0! Despite the fact that New England did better in the second half, the NFL still thought it was necessary to open up and investigation on the Patriots.
On January 22nd, head coach Bill Belichick said he knew nothing about the deflated balls. Quarterback Tom Brady said the accusations were “ridiculous”. But on January 27th, a video provided by the NFL, showed on one of their surveillance cameras, that one of the Patriots locker room attendants, took the team footballs into a bathroom for 90 seconds before the AFC Championship game. Obviously, with the suspicion that he deflated the balls. On January 29th, NFL officials said that they checked the footballs prior to the game, but didn’t take any records of the weight. The NFL had to even fire one of its officials that worked the game because he sold one of the game balls for his own profit.
After the Wells Report was issued into the investigation, all hell broke loose. For months, top investigators searched everywhere to find any evidence they could to bring the Patriots down. They even wanted to go through Tom Brady’s phone to see if any of his text messages had info of him discussing the deflated footballs. Of course the phone would mysteriously brake after that. In the end, after this long, drawn out investigation, they NFL decided to suspend Tom Brady for the first 4 games of the 2016 season. Wasted everyone’s time for 4 damn games! They made this issue into a circus and nothing really was resolved. One of the biggest controversies in sports history was nothing more than a deflated story. I guess it just gave us sports fans something to talk about.
Information source: Wikipedia
Main picture source: bangordailynews.com