By Kaleb Page
January 26, 2015
This past weekend saw the NFL postseason action hit its final stride on the way to the big game to end the year. The first game of the day between the Packers and Seahawks was a great game that saw the Packers jump all over the defending champs to only squander it down the stretch; losing in overtime as Seattle scored a touchdown on its first drive. The second game of the day between the Patriots and Colts has still been getting extended coverage even though the blow out that ensued was nowhere near the game that took place earlier in the day.
Would you like to know how this is possible?
Well first why don’t we all go back to the year of 2007 in order to get background and see how this new mishap has everyone’s attention. A game between the Patriots and New York Jets created a huge controversy that is still talked about to this day. After the game the coach of the Jets at the time (Eric Mangini), told NFL security that he believed the Patriots were videotaping the signals of the Jets defensive coaches in order to know what was coming. After investigating the claims, the NFL did find the Patriots guilty of doing just that. With that being such a blatant act to get the upper-hand on a team, another report surfaced that same year that in the 2002 Super Bowl that the Patriots won, they had videotaped St. Louis Rams practices.
These were huge allegations for the time and got the name of “Spy-Gate” to even add more allure to this controversy. Since that time the Patriots seemed to clean things up, but still had those out there that thought the Patriots were always stepping over the line. Well for those conspiracy theorists the day they have been waiting for has arrived.
After the blow-out that was the AFC Championship game (Patriots won 45-7), the rumors started flying that there was just something off with the footballs used in the game. Typically for a game the air pressure in a ball is supposed to be anywhere between 12.5-13.5 psi. However, for this game reports are saying that 11 of the 12 game balls used by the Patriots were under-inflated up to 11% less than the regulation states.
Now you may be asking yourself, why would you want to deflate the ball? In the game between the Colts and Patriots the weather was a typical outdoor playoff game in New England: cold, windy and off/on precipitation. When the ball is deflated it provides more give on the ball which is helpful in cold conditions where grip is an issue. Thus a possible advantage to grip the ball could lend itself to throwing accuracy improving, being able to throw the ball further and allowing receivers to have an easier time catching.
No matter where you look you can find coverage on this issue. Whether it is ESPN, Fox Sports or even MSNBC (yes, they were even going in-depth on this too) there was discussion on what this all will mean. As it stands now there are just the preliminary results of 11 of the 12 balls being under-inflated, but as the NFL does its full investigation possibly the reason why and who did it will come out.
Am I in the camp of people saying that this advantage was what caused the Patriots to blow-out the Colts on Sunday? No, and I am not even remotely close to being on that side of the argument. I believe that the Patriots are the better team and they could play today with regulation footballs and I think the score would be the same. Yes, I know that the deflated footballs are cheating and the Patriots do deserve to be punished but there is no way you can honestly say that was what would cause the Colts to lose by that huge of a margin.
For those conspiracy theorists out there saying the Patriots are always doing this; here is your day. From Spy-Gate to now Deflate-Gate it sure looks like the Patriots haven’t learned their lesson. While this is just the tip of the iceberg, it is important to wait until everything comes out.
Sit back and enjoy the show, this story is far from being deflated.