Jim McNally likely deflated Patriots’ footballs in bathroom, got autographs in return
The Ted Wells investigative report regarding “Deflategate” seems to conclude that Patriots officials’ locker room attendant Jim McNally deflated footballs in a bathroom prior to entering the field in the AFC Championship Game, and that he received autographed memorabilia in exchange for his actions.
According to the Wells report, the Patriots’ footballs prior to the game were all around the 12.5 psi level. By halftime, all 11 of the Pats’ balls that were checked were well below that amount of pressure. A scientific experiment concluded that no external factors could have been responsible for this change. Additionally, the difference between the drop in the Pats’ footballs and Colts’ footballs indicates something specific happened to the Pats’ balls. The report says the average pressure drop of the Patriots game balls exceeded the average pressure drop of the Colts balls by 0.45 to 1.02 psi.
That combined with video evidence showing McNally entering a bathroom after the balls were checked by officials plus some text message evidence led the Wells investigators to conclude McNally was intentionally deflating balls.
Some speculated that maybe McNally was just using a restroom to relieve himself and that 1:40 was not long enough to deflate footballs, but the investigators concluded otherwise.
Based on a series of simulations, Exponent (science lab) determined that the air pressure in thirteen footballs could be readily released using a needle in well under one minute and forty seconds.
They even caught McNally lying to them:
Following the game, before he left the stadium, McNally was interviewed by members of NFL Security. During that interview, McNally did not mention that he had taken the game balls into the bathroom. Instead, he stated that he walked directly to the field and that nothing unusual occurred during the walk from the locker room to the field. In subsequent interviews, McNally provided varying explanations for the bathroom stop and his decision not to utilize readily available bathroom facilities in the Officials Locker Room and adjacent Chain Gang Locker Room.
In text message conversations with Jastremski, McNally talked about receiving autographed memorabilia. The report states that on Jan. 10, McNally received two footballs and a game-worn jersey autographed by Tom Brady.
On January 7, 2015, eleven days before the AFC Championship Game, McNally and Jastremski discussed how McNally would have a “big autograph day” and receive items autographed by Brady the following weekend, before the playoff
game against the Baltimore Ravens. McNally and Jastremski exchanged the following text messages:
McNally: Remember to put a couple sweet pig skins ready for tom to sign
Jastremski: U got it kid…big autograph day for you
McNally: Nice throw some kicks in and make it real special
Jastremski: It ur lucky. 11?
McNally: 11 or 11 and half kid
On January 10, 2015, immediately prior to the game between the Patriots and the Ravens, in the Patriots equipment room with both Brady and Jastremski present, McNally received two footballs autographed by Brady and also had Brady
autograph a game-worn Patriots jersey that McNally previously had obtained.
The evidence is pretty conclusive that McNally was intentionally deflating footballs because that’s how Brady wanted them.