While Bill Belichick will not talk about the deflated ball scandal in press conferences and owner Robert Kraft is asking the NFL to apologize to the New England Patriots, a tape reveals that a locker room assistant might have something to do with the removal of air from the game balls, mysteriously taking them into the toilet.
At the moment, this feels like a Republican vs Democrat debate. There’s no middle ground. You’re either 100% convinced that the Patriots cheated in some way and won’t stop looking for an answer until something is revealed, or you’re on the other side of the fence; probably a Patriots fan, who’ll defend the franchise at all costs, and don’t really see why this is still an issue, and can’t wait for the moment this becomes an afterthought.
But it won’t. Not until the NFL gives an official answer to what happened in the AFC Championship game, probably before the game started, at Gillette Stadium. The “scientific” explanations from Belichick have been debunked. Not just by Bill Nye, the science guy, but also representatives from Wilson, the company that manufactures the balls used in NFL games, are suggesting his now infamous press conference “geeky” rant had nothing to do with what actually happens.
And what about the new smoking gun? The tape with the guy taking the balls into the bathroom? Maybe this is the key that blows the door to the enigma wide open? The NFL has reportedly interviewed a locker room attendant who had access to the balls, all the 24 designated to be used by both team’s offenses after the officials were finished handling them prior to the game. Right now, he seems to be the key to this whole, weird, never ending story.
The evidence seems to have come from surveillance footage inside the stadium, a tape given by the Patriots to the league earlier in the investigation. The locker room attendant allegedly took the 24 balls after review, inspection and approval from the officials and went with them into a bathroom, where he was inside for 90 seconds. Is that enough time to doctor 12 footballs and deflate them to the level they were found at when half time arrived? That’s a whole new level of science and questioning that just arose.
Meanwhile, the Patriots are beyond this. Bill Belichick has said all he has to say about the subject. Tom Brady is hurt, which opens up a window for a whole new set of jokes about the quarterback who’ll always be the butt of jokes about his appearance and behavior off the field as well. And Kraft? He wants the NFL, which is supposedly run by someone he might have in his back pocket, to apologize to the franchise, his coach and his quarterback if no wrongdoing is found.
Or maybe it was simply someone taking the balls with him and stopping in the bathroom to do what people usually do in the bathroom? There’s a good chance that the whole story is about someone heeding nature’s call? We still don’t know, as it seems the NFL is either taking it’s time with the investigation to make it cover the entire two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl so we won’t get bored, or possibly the organization, which has showed its incompetence in investigations before, is fumbling something simple again.