The glory that is the New England Patriots doesn’t quite have the asterisk that, say, Sammy Sosa’s home runs have. But the Pats have been punished for cheating once by the NFL, and accused more than that, even by such figures as Hall of Fame coach Don Shula. (Shula won more NFL games than any coach in history.)
The NFL is now looking into whether the footballs used for the AFC Championship Game at the Patriots home stadium in Foxboro were insufficiently inflated. It’s absolutely certain that the Colts were deflated after a 45-7 defeat, but were the balls also lacking air? Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com reports that a football was removed during the game to be weighed. The NFL rules require game balls to be “inflated with between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds of air.” A marked difference in air pressure can really make a big difference in how a football travels.