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“Deflategate” discussion dominates lead up to the Super Bowl

Every devout NFL fan knows about the controversial coaching styles of Bill Belichick.  Even with his controversial style and illegal videotaping allegations, he is one of the most successful coaches in NFL history. However, it has recently been brought to light that the footballs used by the Patriots in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts were under-inflated, opening up yet another scandal in the Brady-Belichick era in New England.

The 2015 AFC championship game included two of the games’ hottest quarterbacks, Andrew Luck and Tom Brady. The Colts had been rolling, shocking the Broncos the week before in Denver, and were looking for their first Super Bowl berth in the Luck era. Everyone was hoping for a battle between both teams, but the Patriots quickly doused the Colts’ flame to the tune of a 45-7 victory.

After the game, however, it came to light that some of the Colts players began complaining that the footballs hadn’t been fully inflated. Mike Adams, who had picked off Brady during the game called it to the NFL’s attention. Most footballs are inflated to between 12.5 psi and 13.5 psi. Of the balls used during the first half of the game, 11 of the 12 were originally thought to be 2 psi lower than legal, but the league confirmed 10 of them were closer to 11.5 psi, not as low as originally expected.  In the second half the replacement balls were used, which were all tested to be good on psi.

On Jan. 22, Belichick and Brady both addressed the issue with the media. Belichick claims he had nothing to do with the balls, and said he knows nothing about how footballs feel as it is compared to the players. Then Brady came to the podium. Brady called the allegations “ridiculous” and denied any involvement in tampering with the balls.

A week ahead of the Super Bowl, this was not the type of publicity the Patriots wanted to be receiving. After it’s all said and done, I don’t believe the Patriots tampered with the balls and gained any huge advantage from it. Sure, quarterbacks have preferences to ball inflation, but even after the balls were switched out in the second half the Patriots outscored the Colts 28-0.

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