NFL covered up Deflategate facts and leaked misinformation, new book says – Boston Herald

In January 2015, Deflategate exploded from a quiet league investigation into a national story thanks to an erroneous ESPN report claiming that 11 of 12 footballs the Patriots used in the AFC Championship Game were undershot. inflated by at least two pounds.

The report was later debunked, but it nonetheless sparked an immediate wildfire of controversy that enveloped the Patriots and later the league. The NFL imposed unprecedented penalties on the team and Tom Brady for allegedly deflating footballs, despite the fact that, under ideal gas law, the air pressure inside the balls would naturally decrease during games played in cold weather.

According to a published excerpt from an upcoming book, “Playmakers: How the NFL Really Works (And Doesn’t),” NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent leaked this initial misinformation to ESPN. .

The book, written by Mike Florio of NBC Sports, does not specify whether Vincent knowingly lied to ESPN. This, however, provides more evidence that the league sought to punish the Patriots instead of conducting an honest and scientific investigation.

Because the following season, the NFL began conducting air pressure checks at halftime of various games. None of the data collected has ever been made public. According to Florio, it was intentional.

From his report“According to a source with knowledge of the situation, and as reported in Playmakers, the NFL suppressed the numbers. It happened on direct orders, the source said, from NFL General Counsel Jeff Pash.

“Why would the league remove the numbers? It’s simple. On cold days, the numbers were too close to the actual numbers generated by New England footballs at halftime in the playoff game against the Colts. Which means that the numbers generated at half time of the AFC Championship in January 2015 were not proof of cheating, but of the normal operation of air pressure inside a rubber bladder when the temperature drops. As it was foreseen. »

Florio later writes that he emailed the league offering an opportunity to respond to his reports. The NFL reportedly did not respond.

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