In three days, the Super Bowl will be watched by thousands as the Seattle Seahawks take on the New England Patriots.
An investigation by the NFL confirmed that under-inflated footballs were used in the first half by the New England Patriots in the team’s winning AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots are cooperating with the NFL in the “Deflategate” probe.
National Football League has tapped Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison to lead the “Deflategate” probe of the New England Patriots.
Each football team submits one to two dozen balls for use by their offense. This is done a little over two hours before the game and the balls are inspected by officials under NFL rules, according to the AP and the New York Times (reg. req.). The footballs are then handled by home-team personnel during the game.
Anonymous league sources told ESPN that 11 of the Patriots’ 12 footballs had been underinflated. The ending score between the Patriots and the Colts was 45-7, which increased speculation in the case.
The Paul Weiss investigation will determine “specifically whether any noncompliance was the result of deliberate action,” the NFL announced in a written statement provided to CNN. “We have not made any judgments on these points and will not do so until we have concluded our investigation and considered all of the relevant evidence.”
The Patriots will still be able to play the Seattle Seahawks in Sunday’s Super Bowl.
February 6, 2015 UPDATE
“Deflategate” is slowing deflating. The balls the Patriots were accused of underinflating in the AFC Championship Game is still apparently under investigation, though the NFL has yet to announce any findings. Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, boldly stepped to the podium at the start of Super Bowl week demanding the NFL to apologize. Even though the Patriots won the Super Bowl, Kraft still has a few burning embers of his pre-game anger over the deflate-gate controversy.
During a ProFootballTalk, a new controversy is brewing involving Jerry Rice and the deflate-happy, world-champion New England Patriots. During an ESPN segment on NFL gloves that aired one day before the infamous AFC championship, Rice admitted that he used to add and adhesive substance (stickum) to his gloves to improve his pass-catching abilities. Rice went on to say, “I’ve played in cold weather. I know how hard the football is and you can grip the leather [if deflated] just a little bit better.”