So messing around with the inflation of the ball is something only cheating Bill Belicheat and the Cheatriots would do, right?

This is from the Packers/Patriots game earlier this season. (h/t to @pedroiar for the link)

Nantz: We talked to Rodgers about ‘How do you like your football?’ because you know, you can rub them up before the game, this is something you really kind of created this for everyone else in the league.

Simms: I don’t know if I did, because the quarterbacks got tired of complaining. But he said something that was unique. ‘I like to push the limits to how much air we can put in the football – even go over what they allow you to do. See if the officials take air out of it,’ because he thinks its easier for him to grip, he likes them tight of course he has very big hands and you can tell that by watching him play.

– Play call –

Nantz: …You’ve never heard of a guy really desiring the football to be fat and overinflated, correct?

Simms: Everybody wants it smaller and soft so they can dig their fingers into it. (More on Rodgers’ hands)

Nantz talks more about Rodgers’ hands

Simms: You know, the officials do check those footballs, and sometimes you can get lucky and put an extra half a pound of air in there to help Aaron Rodgers out.

Let’s just move on and talk about what should be an awesome Super Bowl, shall we?

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82 thoughts on “#DeflateGate is over. This Is The Smoking Gun.

  1. I admire the logic that says an LB who touched the ball once is a better judge of weight than the refs which had been handling the ball, between every play, all game.

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  2. “I like to push the limits”

    Good Lord, how f’in stupid are Patriots fans? There’s a huge difference between pushing the limits & cheating. Just accept that you root for a team, coach & organization that cheats.

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    1. Did you watch the video? You don’t think Nantz and Simms saying that he hopes to get lucky and sneak in an extra half pound of pressure means something?

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    2. “I like to push the limit to how much air we can put in the football, EVEN GO OVER WHAT THEY ALLOW YOU TO DO and see if the officials take air out of it.”

      Next.

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  3. Oh man, I remember this. What I remember most, was watching Good Morning America & the Today show when they lead off their shows with the story about Rodgers cheating… oh wait… that never happened.

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    1. Gotta wonder if Park Avenue secretly loves this. We’re talking about the NFL when it’s normally a dead week.

      The casual news networks will mention the SB but only the network covering it really ramps it up, usually relocating all their “elite” talent to wherever it is and doing shows from the SB.

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  4. I am so tired of hearing about Spygate and not winning a super bowl since pre-Spygate and now I have to listen to talk about deflated footballs. I feel like Roger Goodell has no tact when it comes to league matters. He could have downplayed the video taping but he didn’t because it was the blatant disobedience by Belichick and not the act itself that caused him to lay such a stiff penalty on them. I felt like he wanted to make the Patriots twist in the wind. I get the same sense now as well. He could have killed this on the vine on Monday morning with a simple statement downplaying it. I don’t know how the owners don’t see that he hurts the brand by failing to knock down negative stories regarding any franchise. Can anyone remember Tagliabue botching so many issues? I personally cannot think of any. It is going to be very satisfying to watch the air go out of the haters arguments after the Patriots win this Super bowl.

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      1. You’re right, they have such a hard time winning. I don’t know who you root for… I just know they’ve won less.

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      2. The Patriots have also not won the Superbowl since they let go of Reche Caldwell after the ’06 season. That’s just as arbitrary as saying they haven’t won a SB since SG. (hint: neither have anything whatsoever to do with winning the SB, esp when you have been now 3 times since and have the best record in the league since)

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    1. The longer Goodell waits, the worse this looks for the team and the Patriots, no matter the result. They should know this but we’ve come to realize that the NFL is quite absent from reality.

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    2. Tagliabue was a far superior commissioner. No way a fiasco like “Spygate” happens on his watch. It occasionally bothers me that he retired one year before the Patriots assembled such a historic team in 2007.

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  5. Thank you Bruce…I was waiting for you to weigh in on this nonsense. Its a shame there are so few reasonable minds in the world of sports. I need to start a blog and do my part to assist guys like you in illuminating the idiocy so rampant these days…Until then, keep up the great work.

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  6. Do you realize the ramifications of this?

    Wilbon said last night on PI that if the Pats allegations were true the Colts should be sent to the SB instead of the Pats. No joke. He really did.

    Of course if we do that now we need to go void that GB win over the Pats. That means the final game of the year between GB and Detroit was not for the division.

    Restart the playoffs!!!

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      1. The “Fab Five’s” two Final Four appearances in the early 90s apparently never happened either. Absurd is the only correct term to use.

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  7. From Tom E. Curran – “Two officials handle the ball prior to every snap. They are — on a wet night — checking the ball condition constantly and toweling them down. A ball that was deemed too soft would, presumably, be noticed quickly. You don’t become an NFL official without having an extreme attention to detail. And you’re not going to feel a ball that’s a little soft in an AFC Championship game, shrug and say, “Eh, good enough . . . ” and throw it into play so that your colleague can spot it.”

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  8. Have to disagree with you this time, Bruce, but that clip is inapposite.

    That clip is about GB submitting over-inflated balls to the refs and hoping the refs miss some of them during the pre-game ball checks.

    What NE is being accused of (by the Colts and court of public opinion, anyways) is messing with the balls AFTER they’ve been submitted to the refs. Also, the rule in question only imposes a penalty on post-submissal messing with the balls, not submitting them to the refs in an out-of-spec state.

    So unfortunately, that clip doesn’t debunk anything.

    Though it does illustrate the double-standard, because you know that the mediots would have a coronary if NE did what GB did.

    A better “smoking gun” would be the article about Carolina and Minnesota getting caught heating balls during a game:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/minnesota-vikings/post/_/id/11218/nfl-aware-of-game-ball-incident-during-panthers-vikings

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    1. You completely whiffed: if there’s veracity to what Phil Simms says, then LEAGUE officials assisted Rodgers by over-inflating balls by an extra 1/2 psig (after they were submitted, obviously).

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  9. Meanwhile back in real world (a world that is, sadly, uninhabited by most media morons), the Patriots filed tampering charges against the Jets over the weekend. The evidence of tampering is clear cut and unambiguous, unlike the “evidence” that the Patriots did something nefarious to some of the footballs used on Sunday evening. Where’s the media on this? Where is the NFL? Hello? Bueller? Bueller? With regard to Mr. Goodell, I quote Leo Amery’s House of Commons speech from May 7, 1940, in all earnestness: “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.”

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  10. That clip was a great find but I got to say, it’s never going to stop. We’re talking sports here. Opposing fans are ALWAYS going to yell, “Cheaters!,Cheaters!, Cheaters!” Because that’s the only comeback they can think of. The Media will always accuse the Pats of some kind subterfuge because they love controversy and drama plus of course they hate Belichick. I made peace with this crap along time ago….Embrace the hate, Pats fans. Embrace the hate…. you’re fighting a losing battle if you ever expect the other side to ever see the light. No matter what evidence you show them.

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    1. Well said. It would have been awesome to put the cheating stuff behind us with a SB win this year, but that’s no longer going to happen. In the end I really like what Reis had to say about everything in his mailbag:

      “I’d start with today’s media culture, where anyone can pretty much say anything and it can catch on fire. We can’t turn back now, so as a fan, I think the easier thing to do is accept that and then make a choice: Whose opinion matters to me? Just because someone necessarily has a bigger name, or a larger platform, doesn’t necessarily mean that person has an informed opinion. In the end, while acceptance from others would be nice, the only opinion that really matters is your own. So my advice: Enjoy the ride. Someday we’ll look back at all this stuff, probably laugh, and wish we had it as good as we did then. If you’re curious for my own opinion on the deflated footballs, I think it is an overblown story.”

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  11. Add to the list of “journalists who need better editors” straight outta Gregggggg Doyle, who replaced Kravitz @ the Indy Star:

    http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/columnists/gregg-doyel/2015/01/20/doyel-deflating-ball-beneath-most-but-this-is-the-pats/22053049/?hootPostID=%5B%27a058aa77b5920e13bd06d043cf444803%27%5D

    I’ll tell you what should happen: The Patriots should be removed from the Super Bowl. Which means the Colts should be going to Glendale. Will this happen? Of course not, which is why I’m mentioning it way down the story – it has to be said somewhere – but not starting this column with that idea. Because it’s a preposterous idea, not worthy of the headline. The NFL would never, ever remove the Patriots from the Super Bowl, even if it does find they were using illegal footballs.

    Wonder if Mike Wilbon is calling asking for attribution.

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    1. This guy from Indy needs some serious counseling. He’s completely unhinged. They let people like him “inform” the public, right? Scary. I wish the Pats could sue some of the asshats who’ve spewed the most outrageous b.s. over the last 48 hours, but the burden of proof is too high, even though it’s clear that the required “Malice” is there.

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  12. As a Patriots fan, I love that this story is huge. Can you imagine the Patriots players seeing/hearing this crap? People implying that deflated balls played a part in the outcome of a 45-7 drubbing that NE dominated in all three phases? People outright saying that they shouldn’t be playing in the SB? Not that they need any extra motivation, but I like the idea that they are going to have huge chips on their shoulders. Every single one of them. During preparation and in game. Fantastic. I can only hope that whenever a player scores a TD he mockingly squeezes the ball with both hands afterward as if to check its pressure and then hands it to the ref.

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  13. “Let’s just move on and talk about what should be an awesome Super Bowl, shall we?”

    No, Bruce.

    I was a in a bar tonight, that had music playing, with the TVs, tuned into a thankfully muted Comcast Contrarian Network. Over a span of 75 minutes, they showed the replay of the moment at the start of the second half, which actually has nothing to do with the phony controversy, of the referee switching the kicking ball for the scrimmage ball, at least a dozen times. The lead topic for Tanguay, the female Tanguay (Trini Kushnerik), Gasper and Felger, was of course, “Deflate-Gate”. By the way is there a more lazy gimmick in the world of journalism than attached the word gate to the back end of another word for the purpose of highlighting a controversy? WaterGATE was the name of the goddamn hotel! My god, these people are useless.

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  14. To change the topic for a moment. I thought the 20 minutes D&C&M gave to not only exposing Mike Salk as the absolute moron he is, but to then ridicule him and the manager who hired him was inspired radio that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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  15. “Everybody wants it smaller and soft so they can dig their fingers into it.”

    I don’t know if confirming that everyone thinks underinflating the ball provides an advantage is quite the smoking gun you were looking for.

    They are also clearly talking about overinflating the balls a little bit before being checked by the refs, not severely doctoring them (11 out of 12 2+ PSI low) after the refs have approved them.

    Get over the fact that the Pats cheated again. Do what the other Pats fans are doing and just keep repeating that it didn’t affect the outcome of the game and that makes it OK.

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  16. Affirmative action sports media hack Wilbon is apoplectic about this. There is joy knowing that this always-angry curmudgeon won’t get his way.

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  17. This is a bad one…I mean, I get that we’re all Patriots fans, and don’t appreciate the national media piling on, but if you read between the lines of some of these ESPN/SI “thinkpieces,” you can see the NFL’s response starting to gear up behind the scenes – and it’s not going to be good.

    The problem is the perception at the WORST possible time when the NFL wants to be in preening peacock mode – and now it looks like what it is, a bumbling cast of entitled billionaires who can’t run their own cartel. Faced with that perception, a cornered beast will lash back, hard.

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    1. Unless BB/Patriots are exonerated, with Walt Anderson taking the briefcase full of cash and accepting blame, could you see Goodell handing the Lombardi to BB? I can’t. Last thing NFL wants is that.

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      1. You’re right – they actually either HAVE to exonerate the Pats, OR come up with a punishment/explanation right now, not a month from now. That’s why it’s such a mess. It’s not us “defending the Patriots” but the NFL figuring out how to make itself not look ridiculous at its biggest event…and you know the line from the Godfather – “I will not be made to look ridiculous!”

        But, Rozelle gave the trophy to Al Davis, so they can probably handle that part…haha.

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        1. If they’re guilty, Goodell could possibly rehab his image right here.

          Have to wonder, though, if he’d do it. The optics of Goodell partying with Kraft the night before the AFCCG @ his house?

          How does that work? Kraft has his secretary call Goodell’s assistant. How can he say no? He’s his boss. But, then what does another owner who is not as ‘influential’ say?

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    2. I agree that it looks like the league is planning to come down hard on the Pats. This was a preemptive leak by the NFL to Mortensen, who didn’t get this “scoop” by hard-nosed investigative reporting (Peter King’s in a post-Ray Rice cooling-off period for league dime-dropping).
      The problem is, Goodell/the league has no credibility with the public so no one will believe them if the Pats are cleared. And, as we know, they also have no integrity, so they will railroad the Pats in a vain attempt to try to restore that lost credibility.

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      1. Totally correct – unless they say the very possibly legit explanation that Oswald put out there – that the weather affected footballs inflated to the bare minimum.

        But even then, it just looks SO bad. Ugh.

        And yeah, I think Mortensen IS correct and the NFL is leaking to him to try to get ahead of it. That’s why I think it’s so bad.

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        1. What’s SO bad is that it doesn’t matter if the Patriots are proven to have done nothing wrong. Apparently even their supporters assume the team and coach are dirty. SMH.

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          1. You said you think the NFL is corrupt from top to bottom. Not assuming a thing. Just going off your words.

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          2. I don’t think that the Patriots doctored the balls, and we haven’t seen any proof of that either. But Goodell’s MO – from Bountygate to Spygate to Ray Rice – is incompetence and a lack of integrity. He will do what’s in his interests at the time – truth be damned – and that looks like it’s bad news for the Pats. Acknowledging that reality does not mean one is endorsing the point of view that the Pats are guilty and should be punished.

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          3. Right – that’s the big problem. This is a non-event as far as the gameplay and competition, but it’s the perception of the NFL at the absolute wrong time – so now the NFL has to respond in a way that will be out of balance with the actual event.

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  18. First of all, let’s hold off on Mortensen’s “report” being accurate until the NFL confirms it. The guy has a long history of being wrong with such “sources.” Were 11 of 12 under inflated, or were a few? And were they actually under by 2 pounds, or was it an amount that could have been caused by the temperature change? Maybe the Patriots went for the lower end and it lost some pressure during the game. Very possible. The Globe is saying that the NFL did the check at halftime and found that some were under inflated. Nothing about how many or by how much. Also, if the check was done at halftime, didn’t the NFL pump them to regulation for the 2nd half? So let’s wipe out the 17 points that NE scored in the 1st half. 7-0 Colts. Patriots scored 28 points and Indy was shut out from that point on.

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    1. They could have played with a dead pig and crushed the Colts. The game result doesn’t matter. It’s like the Saints’ bounties – it’s the “loss of institutional control” that’s the problem, or god forbid, an actual order from on high.

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      1. But you’re assuming that something nefarious happened. We don’t know if Mortensen’s source is accurate. And, again, just because a ball or multiple ones were under inflated when measured at halftime or after the game, what does that prove? Like I originally said, if the Patriots chose to inflate the balls at the lowest end of the permissible psi scale and they lost pressure during the course of the game — so what?? In fact, I would be SHOCKED if balls didn’t lose pressure during the course of the game. Talking about a loss of institutional control at this point is silly.

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        1. Of course you’re right – as of now. But it’s not “silly.” It is what it is.

          But, you’re absolutely right that the natural weather COULD provide the NFL an out to let the Patriots off the hook and let everything settle back to a normal rythym.

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          1. No, it is silly. You’re jumping to conclusions based on unnamed sources and a report that may or may not be accurate. You even say that the weather COULD provide he NFL an out. You’re acting as if it has been proven that the Patriots did something wrong. You don’t know any facts at this point. The NFL could come out and say that all the balls were measured at 12.5 before the game and some measured below that at halftime. And science could show that all the changes in pressure could easily happen naturally. NOTHING has been proven yet. NOT ONE fact has been revealed.

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          2. Dude, relax. I’m not jumping to anything. I’m not employed by the Patriots or the NFL. It’s NOT silly, because it’s obviously being covered – so blame the media, not me. You’re on a site devoted to talking about the media’s response, and that’s what I’m doing.

            This is the problem – you take offense at me, pointing out the obvious, when all this is is a discussion about what is ALREADY happening. The NFL is ALREADY investigating.

            I don’t need to know any facts, because I’m not involved in the investigation.

            All I”m talking about is how the NFL might or might not react based on the storyline so far.

            Seriously, you’re like lashing out at me – what do I have to do with it? I think the whole thing’s absurd, but I think the NFL is totally corrupt from top to bottom anyway.

            If they come out and say “weather-related” then GREAT – your theroy is correct. Hopefully that’s what happens.

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          3. You’re presenting the overreaction of the media before any facts have been shown and also buying into that thinking. I’m countering with common sense thinking that is rarely seen or heard from the media. You say you don’t need to know any facts — sounds like something Felger would say.

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          4. You’re just a kneejerk Patriots fan – if somebody doesn’t agree with 100 percent of every syllable, you take offense and fly off the handle. It’s no big deal. You’re a fan, I get it. I was like you too. When I was 14.

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          5. Zing! Good one! I remember when I had my first beer.
            I am absolutely a Patriots fan. The kneejerk reaction is coming from you, though. Like I said, I’m preaching common sense and presenting an alternative to the media’s theory of what happened. I’m not jumping to conclusions as to what the truth is, who did what, what the punishment should be, or why the NFL is going to react the way that they will. It’s simple, really. We have yet to learn any facts beyond the NFL stating that they are investigating. Mortensen’s anonymous sources? Could be right, could be wrong. It’s a HUGE problem with modern “journalism.” People put stuff out there from a single source, no confirmation, slap an anonymous label on it, and if they’re wrong — no problem. It’s a joke and ethically embarrassing.

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          6. I 100 percent agree with you about the media.

            The NFL is a corrupt and venal organization that serves only its PR ends. Surprised you’d disagree with that, but that’s fine.

            You aren’t jumping to conclusions – TRUE. But you are also not accepting the problem here – it does not matter about game play, or whether it would have mattered in the game – of course it doesn’t! All that matters is perception, which is what I’ve been arguing – sorry if it got crossed up or not clearly explained.

            I don’t really care if they did it or not – I’m inclined to believe the Patriots use as much trickery as gets them a competitive advantage, and this rule is probably not taken seriously by ANY team. So taken by itsellf, this is of course no big deal.

            BUT that’s not the problem. The problem is perception at the WRONG, WORST POSSIBLE TIME.

            Yes, they’re getting screwed by the media – but that’s why said “it’s not silly.” Because it’s NOT silly – the media is pouncing and the NFL is going into panic mode. Fair? No, but it’s reality. So you can say “this is silly!” all you want, but you need to start dealing with the reality of the situation, and it isn’t good.

            I don’t mean to be snarky, I really don’t – but you’re kneejerking me, when we’re really on the same side. We agree on pretty much 80 percent of this, but you’re hanging on to the 20 percent where I’m looking at the bigger picture maybe more than you are, that’s all.

            The Patriots ARE being treated unfairly, BUT that’s the situation. It does no good to say “it’s silly!” That ship sailed.

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          7. What I said was silly was you referring to the balls being under inflated as — like the Saints putting bounties on hurting opposing QBs — a result of “lack of institutional control.” It’s silly to be assigning guilt and labels on the Patriots or BB before we know ONE SINGLE FACT.

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          8. Ah – yeah, you just misunderstood me. And I misunderstood you.

            The ball’s have ZERO impact on the game. We agree on that.

            I’m saying the NFL – when they go into panic-mode – will punish for the same reason as they punished the Saints. EVEN THOUGH the two “crimes” are totally out-of-balance.

            We agree that “ballgate” is stupid.

            I’m saying I’m worried the NFL is going to overreact unfarirly because of the awful media AND the fact that the NFL is corrupt and awful.

            The punishment the NFL would use is the precedent set by the Saints – but the two incidents are not REMOTELY the same. (and Bountygate was stupid too)

            I do NOT believe that this is a “lack of instututional control.” I’m saying the NFL seems to be gearing up to use that excuse as a means they can punish the Patriots and look good to the media.

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          9. I AGREED with most of what you said, and you still got angry. Relax, settle down, and save your lashing for someone who isn’t basically on your side. Damn.

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          10. I’m having a discussion. If you’re not open to being disagreed with, then don’t post. I’m perfectly calm. Reading emotions from words on an internet message board? Once again jumping to conclusions.

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  19. Just one question. Did they test the Indianapolis balls too? If not, why not? That would give some pretty definitive answers one way or the other.

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    1. Science?! Who needs it? Patriots are guilty! Mort’s anonymous source confirms it! Case closed! Colts should be in the SB! Belicheat should be fired!

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