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Colts GM Warned NFL About Patriots' Deflated Balls Before AFC Title Game

Illustration for article titled Colts GM Warned NFL About Patriots Deflated Balls Before AFC Title Game

According to Ted Wells’s report, before the Ballghazi scandal even broke, Colts GM Ryan Grigson was aware of the Patriots’ tendency to fiddle with their balls, and ratted them out in an email to the NFL the day before the AFC Championship Game.

The section beginning on page 44 of the report states that Grigson sent an email to Mike Kensil and David Gardi, two senior football operations employees. Grigson also attached a message from Colts equipment manager Sean Sullivan, who asked for “a completely level playing field.” Sullivan said he was concerned after he examined two balls intercepted by safety Mike Adams in Week 11’s Patriots-Colts game and wrote that they “appeared to be coated in a tacky substance and seemed spongy or soft when squeezed.”


Here’s Sullivan’s message, which Grigson sent:

As far as the gameballs are concerned it is well known around the league that after the Patriots gameballs are checked by the officials and brought out for game usage the ballboys for the patriots will let out some air with a ball needle because their quarterback likes a smaller football so he can grip it better, it would be great if someone would be able to check the air in the game balls as the game goes on so that they don‟t get an illegal advantage.

Kensil and Gardi forwarded the email along to director of game operations James Daniel, and NFL officiating department members Dean Blandino and Alberto Riveron, who said they would alert referee Walt Anderson.

Photo: AP

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