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January 21, 2015

Wow: Belichick, Brady Plausibly Accused of Cheating Again

I thought this story was just a minor bit of collateral interest churned out to get some hits in anticipation of the Super Bowl.

As AllahPundit explains, it's actually a lot more serious than that.

Each team is required to bring 12 footballs to each game. (BTW: Why? Can't The League send 24 conforming footballs?)

The rules specify the pressure each ball is to be inflated to. 11 of 12 of New England's balls were found, after the game, to be deflated -- and illegally.

Deflated balls aren't allowed, because they're easier to catch. (Less bouncy, more pillowy, and Brady favors throwing a slightly deflated ball to boot.)

Here's the Mortensen report at ESPN referred to in the excerpt alleging that 11 of the 12 balls used by the Pats were deflated. At first blush it's hard to understand why that matters: Weren’t Brady and Andrew Luck using the same footballs, leaving them evenly matched albeit with inferior equipment? Actually, no. Each team supplies its own footballs, so Brady was playing with a different set than Luck was -- and, as it turns out, he's admitted in the past to preferring a slightly deflated ball because of the better grip it affords. Even if they were playing with the same footballs, as a Twitter buddy pointed out, Brady would be better prepared to throw the deflated ball since, unlike Luck, he was presumably practicing with one all week. It’s an advantage, if not a decisive one. And rules is rules.

There's a lot of analysis of how much the Patriots beat the Colts by, and how the deflated-ball advantage could only account for two or three touchdowns out of the Patriots' big margin of victory.

That's all kind of stupid. You get disqualified for cheating because you were found cheating. There is no "Well you beat this guy by two minutes twenty seconds and your steroids and blood-doping could only account for one minute and fifteen seconds of that" analysis.

Boot their asses. I'm not anti-Patriots, but enough with the cheating. It's time for consequences.

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posted by Ace at 06:41 PM

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