The league has determined that the Patriots used deflated game balls in the AFC Championship game — 11 of 12 to be exact. What they don’t know and are investigating is how they got that way.
The NFL has strict rules when it comes to the length, size and width of game balls.
According to ESPN’s FAQ on Deflategate, the minimum punishment for this infraction is a fine.
From the game manual: “If any individual alters the footballs, or if a non-approved ball is used in the game, the person responsible and, if appropriate, the head coach or other club personnel will be subject to discipline, including but not limited to, a fine of $25,000.”
Bob Kravitz, the WTHR reporter who first reported the league was looking into the possibility of deflated game balls, said in his coulmn Wednesday that Belichick should be suspended for the Super Bowl.
If Roger Goodell has an ounce of integrity, and he’s not spending all his time going to pre-game soirees at Kraft’s mansion, he will not only fine Belichick and take away draft choices, but suspend the head coach for the upcoming Super Bowl.
The thought of a Belichick suspension has been on enough people’s minds that the sports book at Bovada is taking bets on it.
A Super Bowl suspension is a massive longshot, with odds of +750 that the coach will be suspended and -1500 that he won’t be. You can also bet on whether Belichick will be suspended at least one game. On that bet, odds are +150 that he won’t be and -200 that he will be.
Kravitz also said Belichick should be fired, considering his role in Spygate.
If Patriots owner Robert Kraft has an ounce of integrity, he will fire Bill Belichick immediately for toying with the integrity of the game for the second time in his otherwise magnificent career — the first issue being the SpyGate fiasco that earned Belichick and the team fines and a forfeited first-round draft choice.
Kravitz isn’t alone in holding on to Spygate. Don Schula — the only NFL coach to have an undefeated season that ended with a Super Bowl win — has been heard referring to the Patriots’ coach as “Beli-cheat.”
Gregg Doyle, of the Indy Star, said the Patriots should not be allowed to play in the Super Bowl because of this.
The Patriots should be removed from the Super Bowl. Which means the Colts should be going to Glendale…. Forfeiture of the AFC Championship Game should be the penalty.
Jerry Thorton, of Boston’s WEEI, brought up the fact that Brady is not the first quarterback to doctor game balls to their liking. He called out players like Aaron Rodgers, who likes extra air in his, and Eli Manning, who has the equipment staff spend months getting the grip of his just right, and the league has no problem with it.