Even if you're not an NFL superfan, you've probably noticed the scandal that's erupted concerning the footballs used in Sunday's AFC division championship playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts.
The footballs that are used in the NFL are required to be inflated to a certain weight—between 12.5 pounds and 13.5 of pressure to be exact—for any league game. But at some point during Sunday's game, it came to the attention of the game's officials that the footballs being used by the Patriots were not inflated properly. The resulting investigation has been dubbed #DeflateGate or #Ballghazi, and obviously, plenty of, uh, ball-related jokes have ensued.
After an investigation, officials found that 11 out of the 12 balls the Patriots supplied for their own use during offense were underinflated by two pounds per square inch, a difference that may seem inconsequential, but could seriously affect the grip a quarterback has on a ball, or the way a punter kicks it.
Patriots coach Bill Bellicheck has already denied any knowledge of the underinflated balls, and quarterback Tom Brady—who would have had the most contact with the allegedly tampered with footballs—held a press conference today in which he claimed complete ignorance of the matter.
"I would never do anything to break the rules," Brady said in today's press conference. "Everyone's obviously trying to figure out what happened. When I pick those footballs out, at that point, to me, they're perfect. I don't want anyone touching the balls after that. I don't want anyone rubbing them. To me, those balls are perfect. And that's what I expect when I show up on the field."
So that's Brady's take on the subject. Referee Walt Anderson inspected the balls 2 hours and 15 minutes before kickoff, so the tampering would've had to occur in a narrow window. If anyone is found to have meddled with the footballs, that person could face up to a $25,000 fine.
The NFL has not yet officially commented on the situation, but the tampering does take on a more serious air given that it took place in a championship game that determined who would advance to the Super Bowl.
What do you think about Deflate Gate? Let us know in the comments.