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#DeflateGate is your first Super Bowl controversy

It isn't the first time the Patriots have been accused of cheating.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 19, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 5:56 pm CDT

The NFL is looking into the possibility that the New England Patriots deflated footballs in Sunday night’s landslide, 45-7 victory in the AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts that launched Tom Brady to his record sixth Super Bowl.

WTHR’s Bob Kravitz was the first to report on the potential investigation, and although deflated balls probably can’t account for the one-sided box score, it could have impacted the game. And although the Patriots win won’t be rescinded, Kravitz revealed what it could cost them if they’re found guilty.

According to NBC Sports reporter Mike Florio, a source revealed that several balls were removed from play during the game due to under-inflation.

While Kravitz, a reporter based in Indianapolis, got attacked on Twitter by Patriots fans for posting about the report after the game, Newsday’s Bob Glauber later confirmed earlier reports of the NFL’s investigation. And the loss in draft picks isn’t the only thing the Patriots could lose.

And because a sports scandal isn’t a sports scandal in 2015 without a snappy name that doubles as a hashtag, the deflating controversy is being dubbed #DeflateGate, which started trending on Twitter.

For Patriots haters, this is 2007 all over again. That’s when the Patriots were caught taping the hand signals made by the New York Jets’s defensive coaches, something Patriots head coach Bill Belichick admitted to doing since appointed to the position in 2000. Called Spygate, Belichick was fined $500,000, the team was fined $250,000, the league made Belichick destroy all of his tapes and notes, and the team lost its first round selection in the 2008 draft. Some fans still haven’t let the Patriots forget that, even though there’s no evidence that the tapes helped the Patriots win three Super Bowls since Belichick took the job.

For Patriots fans it’s the same old thing, and they’re left to defend their team yet again to the rest of the NFL, not just the Colts fans.

Some fans have their doubts, though.

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Brady, for one, wasn’t aware of the controversy prior to being told about it on WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan Show, but he didn’t find it surprising.

“I think I’ve heard it all [now],” he said after laughing. “Oh, God. It’s ridiculous…that’s the last of my worries. I don’t even respond to stuff like this.”

He’ll probably be focusing more on the same thing as the rest of the Patriots and the entire Seahawks team are: preparing for the Super Bowl.

H/T Bleacher Report | Photo via SAB0TEUR/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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*First Published: Jan 19, 2015, 1:36 pm CST