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Deflate Gate Investigation: Tom Brady Aware of Deflating Balls

May 7, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Deflate Gate Investigation: Tom Brady Aware of Deflating Balls

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady smiled away the Tuck Rule on the way to his first Super Bowl victory, flashing that dimple-chinned grin that said, “I had it all the time.”

The New England Patriots’ illegal videotaping. His name popping up in baseball’s steroid investigation. Shenanigans with the NFL injury list. An out-of-wedlock child with the actress he jilted before marrying the world’s richest supermodel.

Nothing stuck to Teflon Tom.

But the league investigation into the deflated footballs used in this year’s AFC championship game might do what none of the other controversies and near-misses could: tarnish the legacy of Tom Brady, a four-time Super Bowl champion and the title game’s reigning MVP.

“What I see is that he goes from being ‘Tom Perfect’ to ‘Tom Not-So-Perfect’ in some people’s eyes,” Marc Ganis, president of sports business consulting firm SportsCorp, said Wednesday after the release of the NFL’s report on the scandal that came to be known as “Deflategate.”

In a 243-page report, NFL investigator Ted Wells found that Patriots employees violated the league rules covering game balls, and that Brady was “at least generally aware” of the plans to doctor the footballs to his liking. The report found some of Brady’s claims were “implausible,” adding: “It is unlikely that an equipment assistant and a locker room attendant would deflate game balls without Brady’s knowledge and approval.”

The news prompted one NFL league source, who told the Daily News, “I’ve known for a long time that he is a cheat,” hours after Ted Wells officially revealed that the future Hall of Famer was “generally aware” that team employees were deflating footballs.

The findings were forwarded to the league’s disciplinary chief for potential punishment. Brady could be fined or face a suspension that would keep him out of Week 1 — the marquee league opener at which the Super Bowl banner would traditionally be raised.

The Patriots did not respond to a request for a comment from Brady or coach Bill Belichick, who was exonerated in the report. The team canceled a previously scheduled availability for Thursday.

The investigator’s report into “Deflategate” cited a series of texts between two New England Patriots employees as key evidence in the conclusion that the Patriots likely deflated footballs in the AFC title game and Brady probably knew about it.

The texts were between Jim McNally, the officials’ locker room assistant, and John Jastremski, an equipment assistant for the Patriots.

The texts were published in the 243-page report issued Wednesday.

The NFL report said while many of the exchanges were an attempt at humor, investigators believed the jokes were based on actual events. Attorneys for the team said that the exchanges referred to a friend, not Brady, but investigators rejected that explanation.

Here’s a few examples of the conversations:

WHAT BRADY SAID TO THEM:

The texts suggest Brady mentioned to Jastremski that McNally must have “a lot of stress” trying to get the footballs “done.”

McNally: “Tom sucks…im going to make that next ball a f—in balloon.” (Oct. 17, 2014)

Jastremski: “Talked to him last night. He actually brought you up and said you must have a lot of stress trying to get them done…” (Oct. 17, 2014)

INFLATION LEVELS:

The two shared thoughts and jokes on how to overinflate the balls, and they had some choice words for Brady. They also said Brady was correct when he had complained that some of the footballs from the Oct. 16 game against the Jets were overinflated: Some had measured nearly 16 pounds per square inch, well above the 12.5-13.5 range the NFL requires.

McNally: “Make sure you blow up the ball to look like a rugby ball so tom can get used to it before Sunday” (Oct. 21, 2014)

McNally: “16 is nothing… wait till next Sunday” (Oct. 17, 2014)

McNally: “F— tom….make sure the pump is attached to the needle…..f—in watermelons coming” (Oct. 23, 2014)

BRIBES:

The report describes exchanges that indicate the two Patriots employees wanted sneakers and signed footballs in exchange for tampering with the balls for Brady.

McNally: “Better be surrounded by cash and newkicks….or its a rugby Sunday” (Oct. 24, 2014)

Jastremski: “Maybe u will have some nice size 11s in ur locker”

McNally: “Remember to put a couple sweet pig skins ready for tom to sign” (Jan. 7, 2015)

Jastremski: “U got it kid…big autograph day for you”

McNally: “Nice throw some kicks in and make it real special”

DISSING BRADY:

McNally: “The only thing deflating sun..is his passing rating” (Oct. 23, 2014).

WERE THEY READY TO RAT?

One text message from McNally referring to himself as the “deflator” suggests that he might contact the media.

“jimmy needs some kicks….lets make a deal…..come on help the deflator” (May 9, 2014)

“Chill buddy im just f—in with you ….im not going to espn……..yet.”

AFTER THE INVESTIGATION:

After the complaints about deflated footballs became public, Brady called Jastremski for the first time in more than six months. They had multiple conversations for a total of nearly an hour, then met in the quarterback room — the first time Jastremski had ever been invited there in his 20-year career. Brady then began texting Jastremski.

BRADY: “You good Jonny boy?”

“You doing good?”

JASTREMSKI: “Still nervous; so far so good though”

“FYI…Dave (Patriots head equipment manager Dave Schoenfeld) will be picking your brain later about it. He’s not accusing me, or anyone…trying to get to bottom of it. He knows it’s unrealistic you did it yourself…”

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Source: NFL’s “Investigative Report Concerning Footballs Used During The AFC Championship Game On January 18, 2015”

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