Fresh off its controversy for allegedly using under-inflated footballs to win its AFC championship game two weeks ago, the New England Patriots are again under an ethical spotlight for allegedly using over-inflated footballs to beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in last weekend’s Super Bowl XLIX matchup.
“We have very clear visual evidence that the New England Patriots used footballs that were inflated far above the regulation level of 12.5 to 13.5 pounds per square inch (psi) in their game last Sunday, so we are officially investigating this potential violation of National Football League rules,” says NFL Executive Vice President Jay Pesh. Over-inflated balls are considered easier to see, a potential advantage for a team like the Patriots, which relies heavily on its passing game.
Pesh wouldn’t disclose the visual evidence league officials have, but images provided by CBS, which broadcast the football game last Sunday, shows New England quarterback Tom Brady throwing balls that appear to be inflated above regulation levels.
Both Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick deny the allegation and say they’re being unfairly singled out because of the team’s dominance over the game over the last 15 years. In a statement issued jointly, Brady and Belichick say they won the game fair and square. “Our intent was to play a good game of football with a good football team, and we believe that’s what we did,” the statement says. “If there is reason to believe the balls were inflated above regulation levels, it’s up to the NFL to explain how such a thing could happen, since the official game balls were handled by the league and not by the Patriots.”
Pete Knowles, a Phoenix residence who attended the game Sunday, says it was obvious Brady “was cheating again,” because the balls he was throwing in the first 20 minutes of the game, which the Patriots dominated, were “clearly larger than the balls [Russell] Wilson [the Seahawks quarterback] were throwing. Brady’s balls were much bigger, and everyone knows it.”
But Bill White, who also attended the game, says it wasn’t clear Brady’s balls were bigger. “In the third quarter, when the Seahawks were walking all over the Patriots, no one was pointing to Brady’s balls and saying his were bigger.”
Even as the NFL looks into the allegation, questions remain over whether Brady’s balls were below regulation level in its AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts two weeks ago. Brady’s ball size dominated conversations in the media during the two-week period leading up to the Super Bowl and the league has yet to conclude its investigation and release a report.
“Too big? Too small? In the end, Brady’s balls will probably be determined to be just the right size,” says Ellen Mays, a fan of the Arizona Cardinals who attended the Super Bowl. “I look at him and that’s what I see: balls that are just the right size.”
This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously.Photos (some modified): jb and ds (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
The two NFL referees who missed the pass interference call against Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman late in the fourth quarter in what would have been a critical play for New Orleans in the 2019 NFC conference championship game were named the game’s MVP recipients. The vote among judges was unanimous. “The two referees were indisputably the most important factor in Los Angeles’ overtime win against New Orleans,” Peter Smith, who oversaw the voting for the MVP pick, said after conferring the award to the recipients, who the NFL asked not to be named to protect their safety. “Although it’s unusual not to name the MVP winners, the circumstances in this NFC championship game warrant taking these extraordinary measures,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall said in a statement. More.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif.—Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump said last night he would name New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady his pick for vice president once he wins the nomination. “It’s going to take winners to turn this country around and Tom Brady is a winner, like me,” said Trump, who spoke shortly after the second Republican presidential nomination debate, hosted by CNN in this southern California suburban community. “Tom Brady wins on the football field and he wins in the court of law. I win in business and I win in politics. Together, we are a couple of winners and we’re going to make America a winner again.” Brady, a four-time Super Bowl champion as the quarterback of the Patriots, said he was humbled by the confidence Trump has placed in him but he also believes he can bring “a couple of tricks to the game” that will help him and Trump win in November and also help the United States win in the four years they’re in office. More.
The widely reported “deflate-gate” scandal in which the New England Patriots allegedly used under-inflated footballs to gain an edge in their AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts last week was conceived and executed by scientists as a way to “make physics sexy” and “get the country talking about physics,” according to a memo that’s surfaced during the NFL’s investigation of the Patriots’ ball-handling practices. “We’re still looking into this, but if it’s true, it’s shocking news to say the least,” says NFL Executive Vice President Jay Pesh. “I want to caution that we are still in the middle of our investigation, which we promise will be thorough and fair. What we’re doing now is looking at the source of this memo, talking with people who are familiar with this memo, so that we can determine what the appropriate next steps will be.” More.
The National Football League is accusing New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady of deflating the ego of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in yet another charge against the four-time Super Bowl championship team. “We have very strong reasons to be believe New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady conspired with Richard Berman, the presiding judge of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, to do irreparable harm to the reputation of National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, and on the basis of evidence we have, we are launching an investigation into this potential violation of League rules,” says NFL Spokesperson Marisa Miller. More.
LONDON—Some of the world’s top women tennis players say their game has struggled as they try to keep their new Nike tennis dress from interfering with their shots, but they also love the way the dress doubles as lingerie for later that night. “Anytime I can pack one dress instead of two while I’m on the road I’m happy,” says Ivana Sveltka, the top-ranked Moldovan player gearing up for the second round at Wimbledon this week. “Being able to play in the dress during the day and then slip it on at night as a comfortable nightie is just wonderful.” The dress, which Nike-sponsored players are required to wear under their sponsorship agreements with the company, breaks the mold in tennis attire by replacing the standard skirt and top design with a single, loose fitting dress that’s notable for its high cut and willowy fabric. More.
WASHINGTON—The Republican National Committee is sending shockwaves through the United States by releasing clearly undoctored photos of President Barack Obama romping with young, scantily clad women in the Oval Office. “It is with a heavy heart that we release these genuine and authentic photos depicting our president acting in a way that can only be described as unpresidential,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said at a hastily called press conference today. More.
The iconic comb-over of real estate billionaire and 2016 presidential aspirant Donald Trump is under investigation by U.S. immigration authorities on suspicion of being in the United States illegally. “We can only confirm that the comb-over of Donald Trump is a thing of interest to the United States concerning its immigration status and beyond that we have no comment,” John Goodman, director of fraud detection and national security for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), says in statement released by the agency today. April Sayers, a spokesperson for Trump, calls the allegation ridiculous. “Mr. Trump eagerly awaits the agency’s report and certainly expects his hair to be exonerated,” she says. More.
Calling clowns creepy and not funny, lawmkers in both houses of Congress today passed legislation outlawing entertainers who wear makeup, big red noses, and floppy shoes in a belief that people find them funny. “I know there’s a tradition, dating back to the days of court jesters, of entertaining audiences by wearing costumes and makeup in goofy ways while engaging in antics, often with balls or bicycles,” says Rep. Snowden Baxter (R-Texas), principal sponsor the legislation. “But not all traditions are destined to survive in perpetuity, and clowns are one of those traditions whose time should come to an end.” Baxter pointed to overwhelming support from members of both parties for his bill and cited it as an example of the kinds of things Congress can get done when the need is clear and compelling. More.
AKRON, Ohio—Touring a wire coat hanger factory in what was once a blighted industrial area here, President Barack Obama said the United States is returning to its roots as a manufacturing giant and he took a stab at critics who say the country risks losing more manufacturing jobs if a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is passed. “Like this wire coat hanger I have in my hand, the United States is strong,” Obama said, speaking before the 75 employees of the Ace Wire Company. “Anyone who needs evidence that the United States can compete with anyone in the world just needs to look at the factory floor that surrounds me. Every day, more than 10,000 coat hangers are made here and distributed to dry cleaners and hotels throughout the United States and throughout the world. America is back!” More.
Trent Sanders says he had no idea the world was filled with other people like him until someone pointed it out after he had been driving around town with music blasting out of his car. “It was like a light went off in my head,” says Sanders, 25. “I was just driving around like I always do and while I was sitting at a stop light this guy pulled up next to me, rolled down his window, and yelled, ‘Other people live in this world, asshole! Not everyone wants to listen to your f**ing music!’ Then the light turned green and he peeled off. And I just sat there, stunned.” Sanders says he just automatically assumed he was the only person in the world, which is why he thought it was perfectly okay for him to blast his music while he drives around. “Did I know other people were driving around, too, some trying to listen to their own music? I confess, I did not.” More.
Now that the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) has stripped the Redskins football team of trademark protection because the term is considered a racial slur, scores of businesses have grabbed the famous name. “I know it’s a terrible word and I myself don’t harbor a racist bone in my body, but because I own a business that turns your skin orange, I knew I needed the Redskins name as soon as it became available,” says Graham Little, owner of Redskins Tanning Salon in Dallas. “Get your orange skin at Redskins. As you can see, the marketing potential is enormous, especially here in Dallas, where orange skin is the mark of a wealthy woman.” Redskins Radiation Partners is the new name of Culver Radiation Partners in Orlando, a switch managing partner Jeff Reed made after hearing the trademark news. “Who can remember ‘Culver’?” says Reed. “I sometimes have to look at my own company credit card to remember what the hell we’re called. More.
Back in the good ol’ days you could get away with things like makin’ up stories from a war zone,” Brian Williams says. The well-known NBC Nightly News anchor is on leave from his job following revelations he misled the public about his experience in Iraq while reporting on the U.S.-led invasion there 12 years ago. “It’s social media that’s ruining everything. Facebook, Twitter—how’s a guy supposed to buff his image when he can’t even tell a little tale without the whole frickin’ world knowin’ about it?” We caught up with Williams at a bar in New York City to find out how he’s doing since stepping down from his duties at NBC. We were joined by other prominent figures who’ve been ground up in the social media maw. More.
You might have thought nothing but a trip down memory lane awaits legendary pop-rock band Journey, whose radio staples like “Lights” and “Wheel in the Sky” provided the soundtrack to today’s forty- and fifty-somethings’ early adult years. But if you thought that you would be wrong. Because WBIG in Cleveland has just released the results of its listener poll and found that Journey is the “It” band for 2015, proving that time isn’t a factor for bands that are forever cool. “It was a ‘rock-us’ competition, but our listeners left little doubt who rocks their world,” says WBIG Program Director Rex Bartlett. “Our winner got quite a bit of heat from ABBA, Styx, and Kansas, but when the dust settled, it was Journey all the way!” The band released its 14th studio album, in 2011, which rocketed to 13th on the Billboard charts. More.
Elegant British super spy and womanizer James Bond is ditching his iconic Saville Row suits and other formal wear to sport a more casual look, an MI6 spokesperson says. “Agent 007 isn’t immune to the times,” the spokesperson says. “He understands business is conducted in an increasingly casual atmosphere and that spy craft is similarly changing. I’m not saying Bond will be stepping out of his Aston Martin in anything less than a nice shirt and maybe some khakis, but when he’s just puttering around London, Paris, or New York, you might just see him in a T-shirt and jeans. I’m not saying it will happen, but you might see that. He’s a secret agent, after all.” More.
George and Helen Murphy are pretty much over each other but they plan to stay married. “We took a vow before God that we would stay married in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, so that’s what we’re going to do,” says Helen, 48. When the two of them were married, in 1987, they kind of liked each other, although it was never clear if they were in “love.” “Neither of us dated much,” says George, “so when we saw that we kind of got along, at least most of the time, we thought, ‘This is it! I guess we’re the ones. No one else is really coming forward.’ it was kind of exciting at the time, and it seemed like it was what we were supposed to do.” More.
Saying he should have gone along with the state legislature last year and signed the bill decriminalizing personal possession of marijuana, West Dakota Governor Cody Stevens pardoned himself after he was arrested last night for possession of the illegal substance. “I realize it was a mistake that I didn’t sign the bill that both houses of our legislature passed,” Stevens said as he signed an official Governor’s pardon, which lets him go free and clear from his drug arrest. “I still believe pot is a gateway drug that ensnares our children and ruins families, but deep inside I also believe that some people can use it responsibly, and had I signed last year’s “Responsible Possession of Marijuana Act,” I wouldn’t have gotten arrested and set a bad example for our kids.” More.