BOSTON (CBS) — In case you missed it, the NFL is investigating whether the Patriots used under-inflated footballs during their victory in the rainy AFC Championship Game on Sunday night.
No, really. Under-inflated footballs. A real investigation. It’s happening. The same league that put in no effort to obtain video of a star player knocking out his wife inside of an elevator is expending time and energy to look into some potentially deflated footballs.
To some (mostly the conspiracy types, loons, Steelers fans, etc.), these accusations are just further confirmation that Bill Belichick and the Patriots are dirty, rotten cheaters who never follow the rules on their way to sustaining unparalleled success.
To others (mostly those with brains, the ability for complex thought, etc.), the whole situation is pretty hilarious. I mean, really? Deflated balls? They were so deflated, yet not one official who threw the ball into play or set the ball down at the line of scrimmage or tossed the ball out of play noticed? Come on now. What are we talking about?
Nevertheless, the league is looking into it, so it is a real story. And while you’ll never get current Patriots to express their opinions on the matter (they’re “on to Seattle,” if you didn’t know), you will get to hear plenty of responses from former Patriots.
Former linebacker Rosevelt Colvin, a regular guest of Toucher & Rich, had perhaps the best. Here it is in all of its unedited/slightly hard to follow but still entertaining glory.
“Now people crying about balls being deflated?!?!? STOP IT!!!” Colvin posted on his Facebook page. “So they used this one ball the entire game or was every ball flat and they decided to play anyway? So if the ball was used less in the second half they would’ve scored more…wait maybe the deflated ball was the reason they only scored twice and had a 10 point lead vs a 21 point lead in the first half. Man my tires on my car got a slow leak because It’s cold…rubber balls, little balls…big balls.. all shrivel up and loose a little air! I bought a ball from Dick’s and it wouldn’t stay inflated…SO I took it back!!! #deezballs #balls Are we really talking about BALLS!! #yougotsomeballs (In my Jim Jones voice) BALLING! #ontothesuperbowl #patriotnation #calmdown”
That pretty much covers it.
Matt, another former Patriots linebacker, chimed in on Twitter. He, too, got silly.
Former Patriots center Dan Koppen knows a thing or two about handling the football, considering he snapped the ball to Tom Brady for a decade. Koppen didn’t weigh in personally, but he did retweet a meme that was made by yours truly and ended up getting retweeted by Denis Leary.
(The league is reportedly “weighing” some footballs that were used in the game, hence the joke, you see? OK? OK.)
The final word on the matter belongs to Tedy Bruschi, who was asked if it “gets old” as a player to get accused of cheating after every big win.
“You’re exactly right, Brandon. It does get old,” Bruschi said in his weekly chat on ESPN. “Coaches complaining they weren’t ready for formations. I’ve heard it all. There is a long line of people who want to find some excuse for how the Patriots have had success for so long, and the bottom line is that it’s good coaching coaching and good players.”
UPDATE! Rob Gronkowski has weighed in on the subject, and he’s accepting blame for the lack of air in the footballs.