The NFL may have found their culprit for who deflated the Patriots footballs in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. Turns out it wasn’t Sasquatch, the Loch ness monster, inclement weather, Bill Belichick, or even Tom Brady. It very well may end up being a Patriots locker room attendant however. According to ESPN, per the NFL’s ongoing investigation:
"“The NFL has zeroed in on a New England Patriots locker room attendant who allegedly took the AFC Championship Game balls from the officials’ locker room to another area on the way to the field, Fox Sports reported, citing sources.According to Fox Sports, the league has interviewed him and has video.The league is still gauging if any wrongdoing occurred, but he is a strong person of interest, according to the report.”"
Jan 22, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks to the media at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
However, it doesn’t solve the mystery of who ordered the “Code
Deflate” in order to have him de-pressure those footballs. Chances are that request came from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who likely prefers to throw with slightly deflated footballs in adverse weather conditions.
However, there’s no concrete evidence that can pinpoint him as being guilty of such an order at this time. Yet, it doesn’t seem logical that a locker room attendant would deflate footballs on his own, just for the heck of it, if his team’s quarterback simply didn’t prefer them that way.
It’s looking like the NFL is going to perform their due diligence with this “Deflate-gate” investigation, and the verdict likely won’t be declared until some time after this weekend’s Super Bowl. What was once expected to be concluded by the end of last week, now looks like it may take “several more weeks” per Ted Wells, an investigator hired by the NFL.
Whatever the outcome may be, the NFL can’t be too happy that the biggest story leading into their biggest game of the season in the Super Bowl doesn’t involve the game itself, but rather is an off-the-field controversy featuring the New England Patriots.
Jan 22, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; Members of the media record as New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (not pictured) makes a statement regarding deflated footballs in the AFC Championship game during a press conference at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports