Leftridge: The Hubbub About Balls


In case you’ve been somewhere under a rock—or, you know, not in front of a television or a computer or a newspaper or a radio for the past couple of days—here’s the biggest story in the week-and-a-half leading up to the Super Bowl:

In the AFC Championship game, Indianapolis Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted a second quarter Tom Brady pass and said, “Holy shit. This feels a bit soft, son.” He then handed the ball to the ref and expressed his concern. An investigation into the soft ball was made and it led to the revelation that 11 of the 12 balls used by New England didn’t meet the NFL’s inflation requirements, which is a thing you probably didn’t even think about being a thing until now.

But it is.

balls2See, according to a bunch of internet comments that I’ve now read, underinflated balls are easier to catch and MUCH easier to throw than properly inflated balls. (The catching part makes sense to me; the throwing part, maybe not as much.) Anyway, I guess it’s a rule and the rule was broken and now everyone is flipping their shit. I’m not, though. Look:

The Patriots are lousy cheaters.

We know this. Apparently, it’s kinda their “thing.” What’s that quote about how if you’re not cheating you’re not trying? It’s sort of head coach Bill Belichick’s mantra. The thing is, they suck at it though. They’re always getting caught. And they’ll probably get fined a trough-full of money and it might cost them something draft-wise, but ultimately their legacy will remain untarnished because, from soup to nuts, they’re better than videotaping practices or jacking with equipment. These two things alone–no matter how many times they engaged in such nefarious activities– did not make them a dynasty. (It maybe just helped here and there.)

New England wouldn’t have lost this game, regardless.

The Patriots completely thrashed the over-matched Colts. Had league rules permitted Colts QB Andrew Luck to throw two balls at once for the entire second half of the game, I still don’t think Indy wins this. The Patriots—balls be damned—were just too good.

If everyone does it, do away with the rule saying you CAN’T.

Allow more variance to the inflation guidelines. Before their week 13 matchup with these very same Bostonian Super Villains, Green Bay Packers QB and Handsome Man Aaron Rodgers told CBS broadcasters Jim Nantz and Breathing Tree Branch that he likes to overinflate his balls. Other professional QBs have also talked about how they like their balls as well. Some prefer them rugged, scuffed and saggy; others still prefer large, smooth balls. Why don’t we just let them do what they want with their balls? Are minor differences in uniformity THAT big of a deal?

AFC Championship - Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots

“No means NO, Mr. Belichick!”

Teams handling their own balls is dumb.


How silly is this? By allowing each team to present 12 balls of their choosing, the league is practically BEGGING for shit to be tampered with. How about all of this nonsense is taken out of their hands? If they can’t legally doctor the balls to their own preference, what’s the point of even delegating ball duties to them?

Have an impartial league ball boy handle all of the balls and tell him to use a rape whistle if Belichick approaches him on the sideline.

In the end, none of this matters.

The Colts were beaten soundly and I’m willing to bet the Patriots will only use properly inflated balls in the Super Bowl and going forward… they’ll just find new ways to cheat and we’ll all find something new that causes us to shit our collective pants in anger.

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31 Responses to Leftridge: The Hubbub About Balls

  1. Brandon Leftridge says:

    Balls. Absolutely.

  2. Lance The Intern says:

    Harley’s already decided that “they [the Patriots] should love all their draft choices for a decade”

    Maybe Harley should volunteer to both handle their balls AND love their draft choices?

  3. hahhararley says:

    thanks dudes…for being followers/readers and disciples of Harley.
    Iappreciate it.
    spelling mistake…(like theres none on here from even hearne)..I meant
    lose….not a big deal…even lefty can’t spell.
    as far as the dude…90% of what he says is about disgusting items…
    like this recent quote…”No surprise here that you would like a cheater team that chugs the man chowda” in reference to an article by glaze.
    the guys got some kind of sexual problem and maybe a night with glaze
    might help him. All he talks about are d*cks/sucking/and peeing. I don’t
    need to be a psychiatrist to figure this dude out…he’s one sick puppy.
    That’s all his comments contain. we know who he is so its no a big deal…
    but he needs to tone it down according to hearne’s new clean it up policy.
    I hope you will advise the dude that this is a place for fun and entertainment..
    not a place to release your personal ideas of sex from a third grade level.
    go look at most of his comments…we have screen shot….theyre nothing but about filth.
    butagain…even lance the intern reads my pieces. I find that flattering
    since I usually have the most interesting and most informative writing
    items on this site…

    • the dude says:

      You are just jelly you can’t think of great material like mine, harlinator.

      • hahhararley says:

        dude….yes…your material is funny sometimes…
        but you’re a sick old man with a demented mind.
        go back to the nursing home….therres a silver alert out
        for you in kc.

  4. Kerouac says:

    “but ultimately their legacy will remain untarnished”

    – BS… not for/in the eyes of some, including Kerouac.

    “New England wouldn’t have lost this game, regardless.”

    – BS.2… no one can say for certain. Claims are not the same as evidence. Because we ‘think’ it does not make it so (says ‘M0’mentum, gained or lost in the process.)

    “Teams handling their own balls is dumb.”

    – MLB invented ball girls (some would claim one religion invented altar boys, too)…


    Kerouac posted the following under a pseudonym on another site in response another author’s comments:

    “Even if New England was using under-inflated balls Sunday, it’s hard to imagine the Colts winning that game.”

    – “even if”… where do you draw the line? Just don’t get caught? Such an attitude is why there is chaos in the world at large as well at home: people variously deciding which laws, rules and regulations etc. that they’ll follow or ignore. No need for one standard for all – it’s a free for all…may the best cheater win.

    What if beside NE tampering with their balls (nyuk nyuk nyuk), we also insert/allow any these –

    A pitcher (variously) doctors his balls and shuts down the opposition

    A hitter uses PED’s to gain advantage and becomes all-time hr champion

    A driver/his team skirts the rules using illegal means to win an race

    A basketball player/other takes a bribe & a dive on the field of play

    …there are many more examples of ‘cheating’; to plead ‘everybody is doing it’ would be not only incorrect, such indicates a lack integrity/sportsmanship is acceptable… it isn’t.

    “It’s hard to imagine [insert] winning?” Really? No, it’s not hard to imagine at all.

    Why is it NE so often involved in these matters and been found guilty previously?

    Chance? No. Jealousy? No. Reward as measured place in history & dollar$ & cent$? BINGO.

    Why did the 1960’s Green Bay Packers – still unmatched and unrivaled as the greatest football team(s) ever assembled – not get accused or viewed with an jaundice eye? An small town team & time when $ did not drive the game to deceit & corruptness the like seen today.

    Same era past, the Boston Celtics and Montreal Canadians flourished as dynasties, like the Packers. The only thing NE has accomplished is create a taint & legacy of doubt as to their football merit.


    Would the Chiefs, wandering the NFL wilderness for nigh on half a century, resort to cheating variously if it meant they could win a Superbowl? Merely get there? Win an single post season game? Unknown. Guess it depends on their own sense of fair play, individually and collectively.

    • Kerouac says:

      If you can’t beat em(ulate em)…

      When Hunt hired Pioli – he of the Patriots resume – the talk was ‘wanting to create an organization like the Patriots’ (mention was made of emulating the Steelers success too; PITT was one of the first NFL teams that started using steroids the early 70s; AFL, the SD Chargers partook as far back as 1963.)

      Upshot: if the Chiefs ever would (did) cheat, obviously they haven’t done it particularly well, based on results. Does KC still want be like New England’s Patriots?

  5. Nick says:

    Haven’t heard this much ballsy talk since my rugby days.

  6. Orphan of the Road says:

    “Air pressure drops when temperature drops, so it seems theoretically possible that New England could have cannily inflated its balls to the right pressure in a well-heated room, gotten them approved right away, and then let the 50-degree-ish weather in the stadium do its work. (In this scenario, Indianapolis perhaps inflated its own balls outdoors in the cold and thus didn’t see a pressure drop because there was no temperature change.) One seemingly well-informed contributor to this thread of nerdy Michigan football fans asserts that the observed loss in air pressure could have occurred if the Pats inflated their balls at 85 degrees F.” Slate.com

    So if this is what happened is it cheating or using science to your advantage?

  7. gayle says:

    If they would have won anyway (they’re so damn good), why do it? Another wonderful example we’re setting for our youth.

  8. Kerouac says:

    Article 8.13 of the NFL constitution states the Commissioner shall review accusations against teams for violating rules “affecting competitive aspects of the game” and issue an appropriate penalty.

    The NFL rule requiring game balls be inflated to between 12.5 to 13.5 pounds per square inch does not appears to make exceptions (tho, Goodell’s discretion will likely be the final arbiter: ignorance of NFL law (and weather conditions) appear be no excuse. Perhaps too the Patriots growing ‘rap sheet’ would be taken into consideration.

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      No mention of psi in the rulebook, nada.

      “The ball shall be made up of an inflated (12 1/2 to 13 1/2 pounds) urethane bladder enclosed in a pebble grained, leather case (natural tan color) without corrugations of any kind. It shall have the form of a prolate spheroid and the size and weight shall be: long axis, 11 to 11 1/4 inches; long circumference, 28 to 28 1/2 inches; short circumference, 21 to 21 1/4 inches; weight, 14 to 15 ounces.”

  9. CG says:

    According to ESPN experts tonight the deflated balls meant nothing at all. Not 1 per cent help or hurt. All BS…Brady likes it soft, Rogers hard…maybe that was all it was..the rain changed the velocity by a few percentage points..was more important…all this was about nothing really, just like spygate, everyone watches all teams try and get slight advantages..but in the end the play is what counts and bad calls by the refs…a ton more.

    New England is the best franchise in the NFL and has been for 12 years…a great team. Likely to win Super Bowl.

    • hahhararley says:

      you’re smarter than that and usually have some funny
      valid points
      You’re going to get glaze’s wrath…bet on it!

      • the dude says:

        I am fine med-boy. Keep dreaming big.

      • the dude says:

        I doubt it ballboy.

        • hahhararley says:

          I agree with K….its b.s….and I think it might have a serious
          distraction on the pats game. All this extra stuff and wait til
          media day and the real coverg4e that starts on Monday….
          itwill be a feast on the pats with all that media in phoenix
          one on one with each player.’
          Very interesting statement….from bill: I’ve spent all this
          time on this subject instead of what we’re preparing for.
          And guarantee this story doesn’t die. IN fact….don’t be
          surprised if more comes out once all the light is focused
          on the pats and everyone is in one location in Arizona.
          Can’t be good for pats to have to deal with all this…
          but one things for sure…as I said (and bill Nye) said…
          there’s a lot of b.s. to keep this story going.
          Commissioner of nfl hasn’t talked with brady yet…he doesn’t
          want to because if brady says the wrong thing or more info
          comes out his superbowl is a joke.

    • hahhararley says:

      sorry glaze…your record in football the last 3 years has been a major
      your number in 2014=2015 would be about 30% or less…a sure fire
      loser big time in vegas.
      If you expect people to take your seriously with your sports “always wrong”
      stories you have to wait til you get above at leat 50%
      til then….we can watch sportscenter or listen to others to get our
      as far as espn expert saying this means nothing…you are wrong.
      Many including the real players like troy aikman know that
      brady or someone there messed with the footballs.
      So till next year…please refrain from making any predictions on kcc.
      thanks in advance

  10. Rick Nichols says:

    So now when the Chiefs lose, don’t blame it on bad calls –
    “It’s elementary, dear Watson … a simple case of bad balls!”

  11. Kerouac says:

    Have to disagree CG, wrong is wrong and always has been/will be. Whether corked bats the days of Ruth, more recent PED use batters/pitchers as well doctored balls pitchers Whitey Ford & Gaylord Perry 1960’s to date, wrong.

    Kerouac is big on integrity in life’s venues, including sports. It has never been an case of ‘everyone’s doing it’ whatever ‘it’ is, but with each new revelation a bit more luster fades from memories. No Santa Claus, Easter Bunny or tooth fairy is one thing…no value in anything but a ‘W’ quite another, end justifying the means (what self-centeredness & money begets.)

    As son of a former police officer and polygraph examiner & having worked in corrections at a state penitentiary myself while in college, the guilty proclaim themselves innocent and/or framed almost without exception. That after the fact guys like Pete Rose, Brad Johnson and Lance Armstrong among others admit they cheated (not to mention the quiz show scandals dating back to the 50’s) suggests the lais·sez-faire attitude toward integrity & sportsmanship is certainly embedded & far reaching if not necessarily pervasive.

    Superbowl 49, hard for Kerouac to root for either NE or SEAT: one is a fluke entrant & the other embraces cheating, ad nauseam. Never heard of the 60’s Packers resorting to said; if it ever materialized that in fact they had, all bets are off.

  12. Pingback: Patriots Cheat! So What? | KC Tailgater

  13. CG says:

    Before everyone kills the Pats lets see who did what. My guess is not much punishment will come from this as I’m not sure how much it helped anyone. Remember Pats scored 28 points in second half after they went to fully inflated balls on both sides..maybe the deflated ones were better for Indy’s game since Pats had only 17 in first half…who knows..everyone who spoke on this mostly said it was not a big deal. Wrong if they did it and they should suffer some punishment…but its been done before and the refs should have checked the balls out before the game.

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