Several people have come forward in a video and claimed responsibility for deflating footballs used by the New England Patriots in their demolition of the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL’s AFC Championship Game two weeks ago.
In a video that aired Thursday on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and John Krasinski, among other celebrities, all claim to have deflated 11 of the 12 Patriots footballs, setting off a scandal.
Mr Damon claims he deflated to footballs to cure his nephew’s bronchitis.
“So I go and I take a football. I don’t want to squeeze all the air into his little lungs because, you know, I don’t want to ruin the football, so I just take a little bit of air out of them, like 11 out of 12 of them, and it does the trick, it absolutely saves his lungs,” he said in the video.
The deflated balls have led many to accuse the Patriots of cheating and the controversy has been dubbed “deflate-gate”. Eleven of the Patriots' balls were deflated to below NFL standards and the league is investigating whether the Patriots had anything to do with the deflations.
Deflating footballs makes them easier to grip when they’re wet and therefore easier to throw. It was raining hard during the Patriots-Colts game, meaning deflated balls would have given the Patriots an unfair advantage. In the NFL, each team supplies their own balls and the Colts balls were properly inflated.
Mr Krasinski said he was a tutor to one of Tom Brady’s children and said he was forced to suck air out of the footballs to save the Goodyear blimp from crashing.
“I start sucking air out of the regulation balls in order to save those people’s lives,” he said. “I saved 17 people’s lives. Tom Brady had nothing to do with it. But let me tell you something: If he did, he would have done the exact same thing. Because he’s a g****** hero.”
The video is done in good fun ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl, but the investigation is serious and if the Patriots are found to be culpable for the deflations, they could face stiff punishment from the NFL.
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