Tom Brady and his football scandal have been called “Deflategate” because he was accused of ordering footballs to be deflated during certain games. The allegations say that Tom Brady, a New England Patriot’s player, ordered the deflation of footballs during the 2014 American Football Conference Championships Games. In particular, it is alleged that the deflations were ordered for the games between the Patriots and the Indiana Colts.
By the time the dust settled, Tom Brady was suspended for four consecutive games and The Patriots were fined $1 million. The team was also required to forfeit two-section drafts for the 2016 season. NFL officials ruled that Tom Brady knew of the offense and chose to do nothing about it. Originally, the suspension was from the league who forbade him from playing in the following games. Roger Goodell who is the NFL commissioner upheld the suspension, but when the matter was taken to the federal court, Judge Richard M. Berman re-instated Brady, and he was allowed to resume his duties of playing for the Patriots for the whole 2015 season.
However, that was not the end of the matter. After the 2015 season concluded, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals suspended Brady again for four games. Brady sought a new hearing of the case, which he lost. After that, he announced to the world that he would go ahead and accept the suspension. This was the hottest news around that time and remained the main topic of discussion throughout the 2016 season. During the season, the Patriots won the Superbowl and Brady was even named the MVP for the season. The scandal, however, caused the NFL to reconsider their ball pressure monitoring procedures.
What Are The Rules About Pressure?
So, you may be wondering what the big deal with ball pressure is. Well, the rules of the NFL usually require that footballs should be inflated to a pressure of around 12.5 -13.5. This is per square inch. It should be measured by the referees. The rules, however, do not specify the temperature of the ball and there is usually a positive correlation between the pressure and temperature.
Before the 2006 changes, the NFL rules stipulated that it was the responsibility of the home team to provide all the balls for the game. The rules were however altered such that each team was allowed to use their balls for the offense. Teams therefore rarely handled any balls that had been used by another team, except after recovering from an interception of a fumble. Brady and Peyton Manning who were the starting quarterbacks for the game in question argued that the rules should be changed.
Reports indicate that the Baltimore Ravens and the Colts were the first to suspect that the balls the Patriots were using had been under-inflated deliberately so they could gain an advantage over the opposing teams, which is illegal.
What Offense Did The Patriots Commit?
The Patriots won the game against Indianapolis with a winning points margin so wide that deflating the footballs seemed unnecessary. Normally each team prepares around 12 balls to be used for the offense and they are checked beforehand by officials. The NFL reported that they confirmed that the balls used by the Patriots were properly inflated before the game started.
But when they caught an interception during the second half of the game, D’Qwell, who is the Colts Linebacker noticed that the ball he received was less inflated than was usual. As a result of this, the officials ended up checking all the balls the Patriots were using and found them to have been underinflated. They deflated by around one or two pounds of pressure per square inch. At that point, they were re-inflated to the proper levels of pressure and stayed in that way throughout the second half of the game.
Do We Know What Really Happened?
Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, claimed that the balls being moved from a warm room to the cold outdoors might account for the drop in pressure in the balls. Investigations however discovered a video that showed a part-time staff member for the Patriots, Jim Mcnally, taking the balls from officials and getting permission to bring them to a bathroom. This happened a little under two minutes before the game started.
No one knows for sure what happened in that bathroom, but really, why would anyone take the balls into a bathroom? For what reason? According to text messages from previous months, McNally had been exchanging text messages with the equipment team and the messages looked pretty suspicious. This whole episode was a historic moment in sports, but definitely of the negative kind.
Tom Brady Football Scandal Conclusion
Deflategate remains one of the most controversial and strangest scandals in football history. To date, no one really, truly can be sure of how much Tom Brady knew and what his part was in the whole ordeal. What we do know, however, is that NFL officials and U.S. court judges determined he was definitely not an innocent bystander.