It’s Super Bowl week and the New England Patriots have managed to slither their way into the news cycle. Not only that, but they might just be the hottest NFL topic leading up to Sunday’s clash between the Rams and Bengals.
Only the Patriots, right? Of course, it’s not for the reason you would think, though.
On Sunday night, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk sent Twitter ablaze with eye-opening revelations about Deflategate, which famously resulted in the four-game suspension of Tom Brady to begin the 2016 season after he was convicted of ordering the deflation of game-used footballs before AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts in January of 2015.
After coming to terms with Florio’s findings, it might be time for the NFL to repay the Patriots for what has clearly become a fraudulent punishment.
The NFL should repay the Patriots for their ridiculous punishment stemming from Deflategate.
On top of making an example of the most popular player in the NFL, the Patriots were hit with a $1 million fine and docked of first- and fourth-round draft picks. While the league obviously can’t undo Brady’s suspension, it should at least swallow its pride and reimburse the $1 million fine and give New England their draft picks back, no?
The first bombshell Florio dropped centered on the report that ignited the saga. After the AFC Championship Game, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that 11 of the 12 footballs used by the Patriots were under-inflated by at least two pounds each in accordance with the required PSI levels.
In Florio’s new book, “Playmakers,” he reveals Mortensen’s source was NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent. Florio didn’t say whether Vincent intentionally spread false information, but it’s certainly open for interpretation given all the evidence that now supports the Patriots’ appeal.
Either way, it was that report that pinned Brady and New England as “cheaters,” and forced them to go on the defense. We’re no lawyers, but this certainly makes it seem like the NFL launched its investigation based on a lie.
But that’s not all. The second tidbit is arguably bigger than the first.
During an appeal hearing, Vincent noted that the NFL didn’t consider basic science in its investigation. He even claimed he had never heard of the ideal gas law, which explains why a football’s air pressure would dwindle in cold weather.
You’d think a thorough investigation would at least consider the ideal gas law to confirm the Patriots’ guilt or innocence, right?
Not in this case, which looks even worse given Florio further reported that the PSI levels of the balls used by New England against the Colts were accurate with what the game’s temperatures should have produced.
Why is that significant? Because in 2015, the NFL started conducting air-pressure spot checks at the halftime of games. The data, which seemingly undermined the league’s allegations and would’ve flipped the public perception of the Pats, was expunged at the direct order of NFL general counsel Jeff Pash, per Florio.
See what we’re saying? The entire investigation was a sham (or so it seems), which makes New England’s punishment a load of nonsense. In turn, it only seems fair that the league backtracks, admits fault, and repays the Patriots.
It’ll probably never happen, though.