So, the Wells report in the Patriots alleged deflated footballs from last year's playoffs has concluded. And based on the results, it seems the fallout will be squarely on Tom Brady and a couple of equipment assistants he instructed to deflate his footballs below NFL football regulations.
Several damning statements and findings in the report could have Tom Brady facing discipline. Certainly nothing that wouldn't cause him to do it all over again, because he got a ring out of it just as he did after the Tuck Rule Snow Job and Spygate, but discipline of some kind.
Here are a few of those statements from the Wells Report:
"it is more probable than not" that Patriots personnel violated playing rules.
"We do not believe there was any wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing by Patriots ownership, Bill Belichick or other Patriots coaches." Thus removing responsibility from the coaching staff and Robert Kraft.
"Absence of a credible scientific explanation for Patriots measurements tends to support a finding that human intervention may account..."
"Tom Brady's refusal to provide us with his own emails, text messages and phone records . . . limited the evidence available."
"It is unlikely an equipment assistant and a locker room attendant would deflate game balls without Tom Brady's knowledge and approval."
Locker room attendant Jim McNally texts about getting autographed footballs and shoes from Tom Brady; "Nice dude....jimmy needs some kicks....let's make a deal.....come on help the deflator."
And this is not a new thing. There were investigations into McNally and the Patriots footballs as far back as 2004. "The NFL security representative assigned to New England, that incidents revolving Patriots ball boys relaying supposed "approved" game balls that actually were non-approved practice balls to a game official during an October 24, 2004 regular season game." The Patriots won the Super Bowl that year.
So, there's a shocker, right? The guy whose claim to fame began with the misuse of the tuck rule -- which has since been removed from the rule book -- and whose team was punished for spying on the other team to steal signals, is now in trouble to having someone illegally suck the air out of his balls for over a decade.
That means after his three previous Super Bowls were marred by a ball tucking controversy and his team spying on other men, you have to wonder if having someone suck the air out of his balls will taint his legacy.
If it hasn't been tainted yet, why would it start now?
And even if it somehow did, the league won't be taking any rings off anyone's fingers, you can count on that. He'll probably just receive a short rest/suspension early in the season and then play out his career on his way to the Hall of Fame. So, for him, it's totally worth it.