An NFL-commissioned report released today on the notorious Deflategate of this year’s AFC Championship says that “it is more probable than not” that Patriots’ personnel did in fact deflate the team’s footballs during the playoff game against the Colts. The report also claims that Tom Brady — who was later named Super Bowl MVP — was “generally aware” of such inappropriate activities.
The report points to ongoing text message conversations between locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski about plans to deflate the team’s balls that dates back to October 2014. It also alleges that prior to the championship game, Jastremski had taken the game balls into a bathroom for one minute and 40 seconds.
“Based on a series of simulations,” the report says, “[Consultant] Exponent determined that the air pressure in thirteen footballs could be readily released using a needle in well under one minute and forty seconds.”
After the Colts complained that several of the game footballs were underinflated, the NFL confirmed that 11 out of 12 were under the required 12.5 and 13.5 psi measurement.
The report states that a “contrary conclusion requires the acceptance of an implausible number of communications and events as benign coincidences.”
Patriots CEO and Chairman Robert Kraft responded to the report:
“To say we are disappointed in its findings, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship game, would be a gross understatement.”
Tom Brady has not commented.
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