You Don’t Think Tom Brady Is Innocent, Do You?

Although Tom Brady continues to fight it, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the National Football League and reinstated his four-game suspension for Deflategate. In the last 15 months there has been much discussion, debate and legal wrangling over the alleged deflation of footballs in the 2015 AFC Championship game when the New England Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts.  Brady, I believe, is the most well-liked athlete in all of Boston sports. Because of his reputation, I think, fans are blinded to the fact that Brady is guilty. Before and during the 2015 AFC Championship game, Brady most definitely directed team equipment managers John Jastremski and Jim McNally to tamper with the psi of the game balls. I have read the Ted Wells report, which is the investigative report concerning footballs used during the game and that report is what NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell used to justify Brady’s suspension. Not many people have read the entire report, resulting in uneducated opinions on Deflategate. Based on my reading of the report, here’s why I believe Tom Brady should be suspended.

Pregame of the AFC championship game: Jim McNally has been employed by the Patriots for 32 years as a seasonal equipment manager. His responsibility is to deliver both teams’ game footballs to the officials’ locker room. Once brought into the locker room, the game referees use an air pump gauge to measure the psi of all 12 footballs that each team will use during the game. All game balls must be inflated between 12.5 psi and 13.5 psi. Once both teams’ balls were within the legal limit, they were ready to be taken to the field. McNally took the balls to the field without the consent of any of the officials, passing a bathroom on his way out of the officials’ locker room. This is something head official Walt Anderson said he had not seen in his 19-year career. Right before entering the field and out of sight of the officials, McNally took the balls into a bathroom which locks from the inside. He was in the bathroom for exactly one minute and 40 seconds. A study was done within the Wells Report to see if 11 footballs could be deflated in the time McNally was in the bathroom. Results showed that all people who participated in the study finished well under one minute and forty seconds, showing that McNally very well could have deflated the 11 balls while in the bathroom.

Half time of the AFC Championship game: During the second quarter, Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted a pass thrown by Brady. The football that was intercepted was brought to the Colts sideline and Colts officials felt that the ball was under-inflated. They requested at halftime that all footballs be tested for their psi level. Referees Clete Blakeman and Dyrol Prioleau tested the psi of the Patriots footballs and the results are in the chart below. Remember the legal amount of psi is between 12.5 and 13.5.   

Patriots Balls Blakeman Prioleau
1 11.50 11.80
2 10.85 11.20
3 11.15 11.50
4 10.70 11.00
5 11.10 11.45
6 11.60 11.95
7 11.85 12.30
8 11.10 11.55
9 10.95 11.35
10 10.50 10.90
11 10.90 11.35

Only four of the Colts footballs could be tested during halftime due to time constraints and all four of them measured between 12.5 and 13.5 psi on at least one of the two gauges used by Blakeman and Prioleau. A common argument is that because of the cold and rainy conditions, the balls were naturally deflated. The ideal gas law does not support that argument. Besides, if the weather was a factor, then why were only the Patriots’ balls under the limit? If the conditions were the reason for the loss of air pressure, both teams’ balls would have been deflated. The facts from the halftime tests show it was only the Patriots’ footballs which were deflated.

Communication between McNally and Jastremski: On October 17, 2014, following a game against the New York Jets, Brady expressed to Jastremski and McNally how he disliked the inflation of game balls. The following quotes are from text messages between Mcnally and Jastremski. Jastremski: “Talked to him last night. He actually brought you up and said you must have have a lot of stress trying to get them done…” Talking to McNally, Jastremski refers to Tom Brady as “him,” indicating Brady told Jastremski to tell McNally to take more air out of the balls for next game. On October 23, 2014, Jastremski texted McNally: “Can’t wait to give you your needle this week :)” This obviously refers to McNally’s instructions to tamper with the air pressure of the game balls. The next day, Jastremski wrote, “I have a big needle for u this week.” McNally replied: “Better be surround by cash and newnicks….or its a rugby sunday.” Jastremski then texted:“Maybe u will have some nice size 11s in ur locker.” When interviewed in the Wells Report, both said that giving rewards (like “cash,” “new kicks” and “size 11s”) were a joke and McNally never received any extra benefits. Lastly on January 10, 2015, McNally texted: “You working;” Jastremski replied: “Yup;” McNally answered:“Nice dude….jimmy needs some kicks….lets make a deal…..come on help the deflator.” Jim McNally refers to himself as the deflator. I don’t believe it can be any more clear that Tom Brady was definitely aware and instructed Jastremski to have McNally tamper with the psi of game footballs. Once the story about the footballs broke to the media and became a big headline, Brady and Jastremski contacted each other at least once over a three-day period. Prior to the story breaking, they rarely communicated but once the news broke, they began to talk much more. Some of the exact text messages contain explicit vocabulary but if you wish to read them, they can be found on pages 74-94 in the Wells Report.

Based on all these facts and many other specifics in the Wells Report, I think it’s clear that Tom Brady was aware of the illegal activity going on and instructed it to happen. However, I think Brady’s suspension of four games was much too significant of a penalty. Major offenses like domestic violence and illegal substance abuse are common illegal actions worthy of a four-game suspension. The league was absolutely correct in suspending Brady for his actions, but the length of the suspension is absolutely wrong.

8 thoughts on “You Don’t Think Tom Brady Is Innocent, Do You?”

  1. While this article is clearly a column/opinion and not a news article, it still cites numerous evidences as confirmation while not citing potential counter arguments. There were credible reports the NFL intended to inspect the Patrior’s balls anyways, regardless of Jackson’s interception. Citing only the Well’s report as evidence of guilt well failing to mention numerous reports by people of elite standing in the scientific community exonerating Brady and the Patriots takes all credibility away from your point. You cite McNally’s going to the bathroom, something Walt Anderson had never seen before, as potential for the crime to be committed. However NFL testimony clearly states other referees interviewed say McNally had never engaged in similar conduct in games they worked at Gillette. You say weather should have affected both balls but if you look at time of possession, it is cleae the Patriots were on offense for longer periods of extended time, leaving their balls more susceptible to the conditions. Also, all of the Patriots balls were tested prior to the Cots balls. The Colts balls had more time in a warm, controllwe environment to efectively partially reinflate. A report by Mike Freeman now says that a majority of his NFL sources have flipped and believe the Patriots and Brady are in fact innocent, why are you still holding onto evidence and views from January 2015 we are now in May of 2016.


    1. There was no need to talk about counter arguments. Even though for the sake of bias Patriots fans and people who only listen to the Boston media I did. Talking about the ideal gas law. If you possibly think that the time of possession in the first half and the “warmth” of the room at halftime in which the balls were tested in all restled in the Colts balls fluctuating back to the legal amount of psi you couldn’t be more wrong. I’m very curious to what you think McNally did in that bathroom. I’m not holding on to any views but my own. I read the investigative report involving the events. The Wells Report isn’t someone’s views. Only facts. Give it a read sometime and you’ll understand.


  2. Are you trolling?

    Along with his own other non-empiracal findings, The Wells Report IS the findings of Exponent, the company the work was contracted out to, which is the basis of the NFL’s VIEWS on the entire controversy not to mention the basis where Wells draws HIS conclusions of what happened from. Conclusions that are not defined as facts just because he says them in print. Are facts worded “more probable then not”? To say definitively that they are correct when many sources can claim that scientifically they are wrong at best means you can call the science a gray area, not a point for the NFL.

    It’s a good question what McNally was doing in the bathroom, 1:40 seconds is certainly a reasonable amount of time to take a wiz not just delfate balls. Your headline is about Tom Brady’s innoncence, not Jim McNally’s. Yes I understand the connection but if this is supposedly a scheme the Patriots had been running for a whole season, as some texts try to indicate, explain why this the only bathroom instance brought up and other referees deemed McNally’s past actions credible.

    If you really listen to the Boston media, like Felger and Mazz or Ron Borges, not just Homers like Zolak and Thornton then you know there are still people who believe the Patriots are guilty in Boston. Obviously the main narrative pushed here is Goodell is out to get us and Brady’s god, certainly a refutable claim but trying to actually convict Brady and validate the NFL is going to be a hard sell anywhere now, not just New England.

    I think when you say there is no need to talk about the counter arguments you’re doing yourself a disservice, ask your English teacher sometime what makes a good argumentative essay. Part of it is at least acknowledging and trying to refute other opinions on the issue, if you can’t do that, maybe your on the wrong side.

    Give it a read sometime and then you’ll understand. (I understand that part of it has been refuted but the part about the Colts’ ball in warm environment for longer duration has not)


    1. It seems you struggle with accepting facts. Like every scientific fact in the Wells report you seem to think it’s not true and your “God Tom Brady” did nothing wrong. I also noticed you have not talked about the text messages between McNally and Jastremski or the Brady and Jastremski messages once. Take away all the science if you wish. What are they talking about in those messages? Also, what happened to Brady’s first phone? Very interesting it disappeared when the league asked to see it. Here’s the problem. If you actually read the report, it’s so blatantly obvious there was illegal activity going on. No need for a counter argument. You’d like Dave Portnoy, he’s a very delusional patriots fan who also seems to not grasp a lot of facts. I watch Felger and Mazz everyday and there’s not a person on that program who thinks Tom is innocent. Go watch this video. There is no one who knows Boston sports better then Mike Felger. Maybe Dan Shaughnessy. You’ll find Felger and I saying a lot of the same things.


  3. Dude you literally didn’t read what I wrote. I’m not even exonerating Brady. I like to think of the antithesis of a Portnoy follower . I just think what your using to say he’s “guilty” definitely isn’t enough to say he’s guilty. If I have a problem “accepting facts”, you have a problem accepting Ted Wells could be wrong. Like pretend the NFL is a governing body, which it is. Our government has certainly prosecuted innocent people with incorrect or falsified evidence. They’ve even gotten innocent people convicted. Doesn’t mean they were correct. That’s comes off as been a conspiracy theorist, but my point is the NFL can be wrong. There are numerous cases where they (the NFL) have overturned rulings on appeal because they were wrong in recent history. Clearly they don’t think they’re wrong here but that doesn’t mean they’re right.

    If you remove the science, yeah it doesn’t look good. Felgers stance is they probably did something. The shows stance really. But there’s other shows in NE who think he’s innocent. Mike Felger is also a talk show host. He’s certainly a voice of the opposition but I think someone like Jeff Howe, Mike Reiss or even Ben Volin would be more respectable in terms of actual inside knowledge in my opinion. Pretty sure Volin thinks they did it, honestly don’t know Howe or Reiss’ opinion.

    The deflator texts are incriminating for sure. Although not impossible, I’d say theres 98% chance deflating has nothing to do with weight. Ok cool that incriminates them and to an extent the Patriots. Does it mean there was a deliberate and consistent effort Brady to have balls deflated to his likening? Not proven.

    What happened to his phone? Again certainly not a good look. But they had Jastremski and McNally’s phone in which no incriminating texts turned up. Of course he could’ve talked someone else about it and we’ll never know. Still why destroy it if you’re not guilty? There’s plausible reasons but none are real good reasons. Point NFl.

    But Which is my whole point if you ready my previous comments. I never said Brady was innocent. Gun to my head he did probably prefer balls at lower PSI and told the equipment guys as such. But I don’t think there’s real evidence he instructed them to break the rules and I don’t think the evidence from the Colts game is a conclusive as it needs to be, especially when it comes to Brady. My own personal belief is it is more probable than not Brady did not know rules were being broken (if they actually were?The whole reason I even initially commented is the due the certainty they are guilty that this column is writtsn with when really if you look around, there’s evidence to support both sides and coming to a conclusion without acknowledging that is a mistake.


    1. The NFL sucks and Roger Goodell sucks. I couldn’t agree more in that. The league constantly handles things wrong and makes poor decisions. Wells and his legal team who wrote the report are in no way of affiliated with the NFL. I feel there are too many red flags to say he didn’t do anything wrong and I understand your not saying he’s innocent. Point is to inform people of details of the report and my take on the entire report.


  4. I love when an article sparks lively discussion. Despite differing opinions, you both stayed civil – – a rarity in this age of Internet discussions.

    The one thing I would ask is that you post as yourself. There’s no need for anonymity. It appears that you can use any name and anyone’s email address when you post a comment, and that’s something I will work to fix. In the meantime, please post as yourself and not cite someone’s name unless it’s your own. Thanks!


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