The Deflategate Report by attorney Ted Wells was released Wednesday and it stated it was likely employees of the New England Patriots purposely deflated footballs during the AFC Championship Game.
Jim McNally, a Patriots locker room attendant, was named along with fellow staffer John Jastremski in the report.
In particular, we have concluded that it is more probable than not that Jim McNally (the Officials Locker Room attendant for the Patriots) and John Jastremski (an equipment assistant for the Patriots) participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee. Based on the evidence, it also is our view that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady (the quarterback for the Patriots) was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.
According to ESPN, the NFL is considering discipline for McNally, Jastremski and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. But that decision is “days” away.
McNally’s name is all over the report, which can be read in its entirety at the bottom of this post.
The issue surrounding the under-inflated footballs had died down leading up to the Super Bowl, until Wednesday’s report was released.
The Patriots crushed the Colts 45-7, then defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in a dramatic Super Bowl win two weeks later.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. McNally Has Worked Patriots Home Games For a Decade
McNally is 48-years-old has worked at Gillette Stadium for Patriots games for a decade.
He is in charge of the officials’ locker room at Gillette Stadium, a job he has held since 2008.
McNally is a part-time employee of The Kraft Group, which is Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s company.
Said Kraft in a statement in response to Wells’ findings:
While I respect the independent process of the investigation, the time, effort and resources expended to reach this conclusion are incomprehensible to me.
2. He Tried to Get an Unauthorized Ball Into The Game
McNally attempted to give the unapproved ball to an official who was in charge of the special teams footballs in the Patriots-Colts AFC Championship Game.
Each game ball is inspected by an official – in this game’s case referee Walt Anderson – prior to the game and specifically marked.
The special teams kicking balls, also known as “K balls,” can only be used in the kicking game and not for offense.
According to the report, Greg Yette, the official, notified Mike Kensil, the NFL’s vice president of game operations, when he noticed the football McNally gave him didn’t have the proper marking on it.
That prompted Kensil, who was at the game, to go down to the officials’ locker room at halftime to check the game balls himself.
3. McNally Was The Attendant Who Brought Footballs Into a Bathroom
Fox’s Jay Glazer reported in late January that a Patriots locker room attendant allegedly brought a bag of footballs into a bathroom for 90 seconds before bringing them out to the field just before the game.
The report identifies that person as McNally.
According to the report:
McNally removed the two bags of game balls from the Officials Locker Room. He is seen on the security footage at 6:30:35 p.m. walking away from the locker room and turning left into the center tunnel that leads towards the field. At the end of that tunnel on the left-hand side, just before reaching the doors that lead to the field, is a relatively large, single-toilet bathroom that locks from the inside. McNally entered that bathroom with the game balls, locked the door, and remained in the bathroom with the game balls for approximately one minute and forty seconds. He exited the bathroom at approximately 6:32:27 p.m., and took the bags of game balls to the field. McNally did all of this without the knowledge or permission of Walt Anderson or the other members of the officiating crew.
According to Anderson, other members of the officiating crew for the AFC Championship Game, and other game officials interviewed during the investigation, the removal of the game balls from the Officials Locker Room by McNally without the permission of the referee or another game official was a breach of the standard operating pre-game procedure.
4. McNally Called Himself the Deflator
McNally and Jastremski are friends and in a text message sequence from May 2014, McNally calls himself the “deflator.”
From McNally to Jastremski: You working
Jastremski to McNally: Yup
McNally to Jastremski: Nice dude….jimmy needs some kicks….lets make a deal…..come on help the deflator
There is no record of a response to this text.
This exchange occurred before the start of last season.
This section of the report can be found on page 75.
Another deflating reference comes on page 87 of the report, when McNally sent a text to Jastremski on November 30, 2014, during a Patriots’ away game at Green Bay. The text read: “Deflate and give somebody that jkt.”
There was no response and investigators were not able to discuss the text with McNally because Patriots council refused to make him available.
5. McNally Received Autographed Items From Tom Brady
According to the report, McNally received autographed merchandise from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. This portion of the report begins on page 87.
More texts between McNally and Jastremski show McNally asking for items from Brady, including courtside seats to the Celtics and shoes. McNally says the texts were made in a joking manner.
The report states:
McNally described these texts as jokes, which we think is likely the case. Specifically, on December 5, 2014, the Boston Celtics were playing the Los Angeles Lakers in Boston and McNally had been asking Jastremski to get them tickets to a Celtics-Lakers game for years. McNally said the joke was that Brady should get them courtside seats for the game. With regard to the Uggs, McNally said that around the holidays each year Brady gives Uggs footwear to certain Patriots staff members, but that McNally has never received them. He explained that his message was a humorous response to a news report on Brady‟s distribution of Uggs in 2014.
On Saturday, January 10, 2015, in the Patriots equipment room prior to the divisional playoff game between the Patriots and the Ravens, McNally did receive certain items autographed by Brady. Leading up to that game, McNally and Jastremski discussed that McNally would receive footballs autographed by Brady and other items of value.
The Patriots had denied any wrongdoing all along.
Read the entire Deflategate Report below: