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#pounditFriday, April 16, 2021

NFL exec Dave Gardi lied to Patriots about how underinflated ball was

deflated football

Tom Brady’s appeal hearing transcript has further confirmed what we already knew — the NFL’s process of testing the air pressure in footballs at halftime of the AFC Championship Game was a complete mess.

The hours and days after the Deflategate scandal were so messy that even NFL executives were lying — whether intentionally or not — about the exact air pressure that was recorded in the game balls the New England Patriots had been using.

The day after the Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts, NFL senior vice president of football operations Dave Gardi sent a letter to the Patriots informing them that 11 of the 12 game balls they used were below the legal limit at halftime. He also wrote that one of New England’s balls measured at 10.1 psi and that none of the Colts balls were under.

Troy Vincent confirmed all of this while being questioned by Tom Brady’s lawyer, as noted by Deadspin.

Q. Okay. Let me ask you this. If you look at this letter on the second page, it talks about the fact that one of the game balls was inflated to 10.1 psi. Do you see that?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Now, I am going to give you another exhibit, which is NFL 14. And you will see these are notes, I believe, that were taken when the testing was done. And you signed them in several places. If you will look at page 256, I think it’s the first time your signature appears; is that correct?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you signed this as a witness of the halftime testing; is that correct?

A. That’s correct.

Q. Okay. And if you look at the listing of the pressures that are written down for the Patriots’ eleven balls, none of them are as low as 10.1; is that correct?

A. That’s correct.

Q. Okay. So do you know why Mr. Gardi thought that a ball was as low as 10.1 when none of those measures were here?

A. No.

Despite Gardi seemingly pulling the number 10.1 out of thin air, Vincent testified that he did not believe there was any confusion with the ball-measuring process. If you remember, three of the four Colts’ balls that were measured fell below 12.5 psi on one of the gauges. However, Vincent said Gardi was referring to the higher of the two gauges in his letter, yet he made no mention of two gauges being used. How was anyone supposed to know that before the Ted Wells report came out?

Mistakes like these are a horrible look for the NFL, even if Brady and the Patriots are guilty. Gardi’s letter to the Patriots and this alleged quote from an NFL official make it obvious — in my opinion — that more than a few NFL employees were licking their chops at the thought of having busted the Patriots.

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