Bill Belichick knows nothing. Tom Brady knows nothing. So if neither the New England Patriots’ head coach nor their star quarterback called the play, then exactly who deflated the game balls in the AFC championship game that put their team in the Super Bowl?
In separate news conferences called seven hours apart to address the spiraling scandal about tampering with game balls, Belichick told reporters only Brady could talk about his “personal preferences on footballs,” and Brady said it was all a mystery to him.
“I didn’t alter the ball in any way,” said Brady, who acknowledged joking in a video made several years ago about preferring deflated footballs, presumably because they are easier to grip, throw and catch. He explained that what he meant was that he liked his pigskin inflated to 12.5 pounds per square inch, the precise bottom of the NFL range that extends up to 13.5 pounds. Eleven of the 12 game balls managed by the Patriots in Sunday’s 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts were determined by NFL investigators to be illegally below the threshold, a situation that appears well beyond the realm of coincidence.
“I have no knowledge of anything,” said Brady, clad in a gray sweatshirt and team ski hat. “I have no knowledge of wrongdoing. I have no problem saying that – as far as I know.”
Insisting “I don’t believe I’m a cheater,” Brady said fans are free to believe otherwise. (Read more about what the Patriots QB said HERE)