The Patriots Reportedly Deflated 11 Game Balls By Two Pounds Each In AFC Championship Game

So it has been pretty well-established by now that the New England Patriots are just a bunch of cheaters. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but not much — the organization tends to view rules as more of suggestions to follow than unbreakable law. The most recent case of the team’s rule-breaking, of course, is “DeflateGate” — the NFL has been investigating claims that the Patriots deflated several game balls for last weekend’s AFC Championship Game after the Colts had complained that several balls didn’t feel right.

Tonight, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that 11 of the Patriots’ footballs were under-inflated:

For context, the home team provides 24 (there are 36-48 total depending on how many the road team brings) balls for each contest, and they must be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch. So essentially the Patriots deflated roughly one-third of the balls by approximately 15%.

One very common refrain in sports is “if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin'” — do you think this falls under gamesmanship, or is so dirty that it can’t be excused? Regardless, don’t expect the NFL to come down on the Patriots too harshly — that blowout win of the Colts and their upcoming Super Bowl berth aren’t going anywhere. Oh, and Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski really don’t care what you think — they both find this whole controversy hilarious.

h/t Chris Mortensen