NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Patriots AFC Championship is being overshadowed by some who think the team cheated.
A new report alleges that 11 of the 12 footballs that the Patriots provided for the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts were under inflated. “Do I really think it happened? No I don’t. Nah. I think maybe air pressure or something to do with the weather. You never know,” said Todd Fondakowski of Westhampton.
Cold weather can alter the air pressure in a ball, but temperatures at the game were near 50 degrees.
Deflategate alleges that 11 of the 12 Patriots provided footballs were under inflated by 2 pounds per square inch. That’s may be enough to make it easier to throw and catch, but harder to kick. “I think it’s tough luck for the Indianapolis Colts. Whoever was supposed to be looking out for that sort of thing should think about a way that maybe next time they can do their job,” said James Mathews of Amherst.
Many people we talked to blame the referees. “They have a job to inspect all the balls before the game so if they didn’t do their job it would fall on them I’d say,” said Northampton resident Nick Davis.
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Deflategate brings new life to Spygate, when in 2007, Bill Belichick was fined for having an assistant spy on the opposing team’s defensive signals. “To think that someone would have to do that and not win on their own merit is kind of shameful and I don’t want our team to be known for that,” said Michele Spencer of Florence.
The scandal is being investigated by the NFL. If head coach Bill Belichick is found responsible, it could cost him his job. “I think that some championships should be taken away from them. He needs to be suspended. Most definitely. He needs to be suspended. Quickly, as soon as possible,” said Charles Milton of Bridgeport, Connecticut
Each team provides 12 balls for use when its own offense is on the field. Those balls are checked by the referees, but handled during the game by home team personnel.