When you win big, or win a lot, it’s the human nature of others to wonder if you’re somehow skirting the rules that govern the contest you’re winning. If you repeatedly excel above your competitors in business, sports, or various personal contexts of your life, folks will start to speculate if you’re on to something that your competitors aren’t. Just ask NASCAR’s highly successful crew chief Chad Knaus or baseball’s Barry Bonds. Some overachievers have been caught at cheating too – further fueling speculation about overachievers everywhere. Google Sammy Sousa.
So it should come as no surprise that one of the NFL’s widely known overachievers, the New England Patriots found themselves being accused of cheating after they steamrolled the Indianapolis Colts (45-7) in the NFC Championship game on Sunday January 18th 2015. The fact that this is not the first time the Patriots have faced allegations of cheating, and in one instance was found to actually have done it.
So just how are the Patriots supposed to have cheated in the January 18th Championship game?
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport confirmed via NFL spokesman Michael Signora that the league is looking into the apparent use of overly deflated footballs by the Patriots during their win.
Midway through the game, a ball was taken off the field and out of circulation, Signora told Rapoport.
WTHR’s Bob Kravitz first reported the news Sunday night.
Per the NFL rulebook, game balls must be inflated with between 12.5-13.5 pounds of air. Each team must provide 12 primary balls for testing prior to the game.
Deflated balls are easier to catch and keep a grip on, particularly in cold, wet conditions such as the conditions were the championship game was played under.
Okay now I saw the game and right around half-time I was thinking something wasn’t right with the game too. I chalked it up to the Colts just never figured out what to do with the Patriots. It also crossed my mind that maybe the Colts were scared the end zone was infected with some strain of the flu virus and were attempting to avoid it all costs.
But deflated balls? That’ boat won’t float. The Colts were playing with the same balls as the Patriots so any advantage afforded the Patriots would be afforded the Colts too. Unless – the Patriots had foresight the balls would be lacking the correct pressure and they practiced with balls at said pressure. Hmm – elementary Watson, elementary.
But the Patriots would need the refs to play along on this one and I just don’t see the refs risking their jobs and reputations just so the “Hoodie” could make a sixth Superbowl appearance. I don’t see the refs buying into that unless the refs themselves had been brought – which is doubtful.
Past cheating escapades notwithstanding, could it be that the Patriots simply beat the Colts by such a wide margin because the Colts weren’t prepared for Brady and company? I think so. How about you?
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