Yeah, go read “About Me”…I’m a pats season ticket holder for 21 years. I’m biased Honestly when I first got the report I was devastated. I had been defending the patriots on message boards for 3+ months and felt duped. Ready to hang up my gear and sell my tickets. But, a funny thing happened. I am constantly driving my kids somewhere nowadays and have huge downtime with nothing to do but read or listen to the radio. This week, with this downtime I decided to read the report in detail.
Actual data more interesting than assumptions
- The referee was unsure of what gauge he used to test the balls prior to the game. He is pretty sure he used the Logo Gauge (gives higher reading, good for Pats), but Wells asked him if it was possible that he used the NoLogo Gauge (lower readings, bad for Pats), he said it was. This can be read on top of page 52. The Wells report often does this when recollections (or even written measurements) don’t line up with their predetermined conclusions.
- If No Logo Gauge was used pregame, 3 Patriots Balls were LEGAL and in expected PSI range as explained by Ideal Gas Law. page 113 of the report actually states this.
- If the Logo Gauge was used pregame, the number of legal balls increases to 7.
- Exponent Appendix states that wetness also effects PSI of balls, but it does not state by how much. By reading their graphs, I’m guessing the effect is around 0.2-0.3 PSI. More balls will pass if you take this into account
- When the Patriots balls were tested also effects the measurements as the longer the balls are in the room, their PSI rises.
- One ball was left out of the executive summary. The intercepted ball. Ironically the intercepted ball was legal and within the expected PSI. See page 70 of the main report. So, we know for certain that one legal ball was used during the game!
- So, anywhere from 4-8 balls were legal. Why would McNally only deflate some of the balls? This was the biggest red flag to me.
- The 2nd thing to look at is how much were the balls deflated from their expected value? There were two balls way off, almost 1 PSI, but most of the others were within 0.15-0.5 (again depending on the gauge you use). Does Brady really care about such a miniscule amount of PSI (0.15-0.5)?
- Only 4 Colts balls were tested because the refs ran out of time. This leads me to believe that the refs tested the Pats balls, then pumped up them up before testing the colts balls and the colts balls were in the locker room a whole 10 minutes before they were tested.
- One of the colts measurements was swapped because Exponent assumed it was written down wrong. This swapping helped with their conclusion. Only 1 Pats ball was a full 1 PSI below its expected PSI. Why wasn’t this ball thrown out? Why is it assumed that every Pats ball was recorded and measured correctly? Why did Wells override Walt Andersen’s recollection of which gauge he used?
Texts are damning, but are they?
I honestly believe the balls during the AFC Championship game were not deflated. However, the text where McNally calls himself the deflator in May 2014 before the season and how he isn’t going to ESPN yet is quite disturbing and leads anybody who admits it to themselves that there has been something fishy been going on for years. Still, the other texts shed some doubt on this assumption.
- Page 77 talks about texts flying around during and after the Jets game. Its clear that Brady was really pissed about the footballs. Its also clear that NO DEFLATION OCCURRED during this game. Jastremski talks how he tested some of the balls after the game and that they were at 16 psi. Why didn’t McNally deflate in Jets game?
- Wells report continually states in footnotes that many of the texts messages were recovered and that there are possibly missing texts in the flow of these conversations. Can’t the Pats get the actual full text exchanges from phone company? Rich Levine of CSNSE writes an article about this. Do full texts provide additional context we don’t know about?
- McNally’s explanation of texts is that he was talking about getting tickets sold “done”. Wells doesn’t buy it because you can easily sell them on the exchange. Why not Wells? Did you know that the Pats ticket exchange requires you to sell them at face value!!? You can risk selling them for a lot more money on Stub Hub, but if the Pats find out, they can revoke your tickets. If you are selling them like this, it would be stressful because losing your season tix would SUCK!
- If Brady was ordering, hinting, or suggesting that McNally and JJ deflate the balls, why did he text JJ “You did nothing wrong.”
Not Cooperating? Or just avoiding harassment?
- Wells complains that the Pats wouldn’t let him have a follow up interview with McNally to discuss the damning texts. What he neglects to tell you is that he did not tell the Patriots’ counsel why he wanted to talk to McNally. Since McNally already had been interviewed 4 times, and Wells wouldn’t say why interviewing him would be so important, Pats refused.
- There was a report that McNally offered to speak with Wells again over the phone and Wells refused
- Brady spoke to wells for 5 hours.
- There were mulitple reports that the NFLPA advised Brady not to turn over his phone as it would set precedence.
- Wells already had texts from Brady to JJ and Bird.
Obvious most of media didn’t read the report
When Wells decided to do a conference call with the media, any number of these people could have dived into any number of the holes I found in 1 day reading the full report. They all asked superficial questions with no detail which proved to me none of them read the report beyond the executive summary. Only Mike Florio of Profootbal Talk seems to have done his homework. This is funny because he was one of the biggest Patriots detractors in the beginning. What pissed me off the most is that not one Boston Globe report, Boston Herald reporter, nobody on WEEI, nobody ESPN, nobody on 98.5 Sportshub ever mentions the most glaring red flag and ironic part of the report: THE INTERCEPTED BALL WAS LEGAL!
Deflategate has soured me on football
Finally, this whole mess has really soured me on football. For those of you who don’t know, I actually went to Superbowl 49. My first (and last) Superbowl. It was almost ruined by Deflategate, but Bill Belichicks Mona-Lisa-Vito press conference got me pumped up again and roaring and ready to fly to Phoenix. Now my memories are soured and tainted because I know that I cannot share the Bucket-list experience with anybody outside of New England without being called cheater. Irregardless of whether anybody actually cheated or not. I’m seriously considering giving up my tickets after 21 years. This week I’ve been a miserable bastard and I need to do some serious soul searching of why this whole thing bothers me so much and why I’m so vested in it. Its just a game afterall…