After accusations were made against the New England Patriots late Sunday night, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Tuesday night that the NFL’s investigation revealed that 11 of the Patriots’ 12 game balls during Sunday’s thrashing of the Colts in the AFC championship game were underinflated.
In the last 48 hours, the hashtag has been a trending term on Twitter and produced an assortment of #Deflategate memes in response to the allegations that were initially made Sunday night.
Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted a Tom Brady pass during the 2nd quarter of Sunday’s Conference Championship Game. After making the interception, Jackson returned the football to the Colts equipment staff and believed the ball was under-inflated.
According to NFL rules: footballs are required be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch and weigh between 14 and 15 ounces.
The decision comes during one of the NFL’s most controversy-laden postseasons ever. In the Wild Card round, the league admitted that the officiating crew missed several key penalties in the Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys game and in the Divisional Round, Cowboys’ receiver Dez Bryant’s late 4th quarter reception was overturned due to an NFL rule that determined he did not complete the “process of the catch.”
Mortensen took to Twitter to confirm the NFL’s discovery:
The NFL refused to comment further about the incident:
“We are not commenting at this time,” said Greg Aiello, the NFL’s senior vice president of communications.
According to the ESPN article, one source described the league as “disappointed … angry … distraught,” after spending considerable time on the findings.
The NFL has not yet taken action in response to the investigation’s findings.