Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson admits that he paid to alter all 100 footballs supplied for Super Bowl 37.
“I paid some guys off to get the balls right,” the Tampa Times quotes the game-winning QB. “I went and got all 100 footballs, and they took care of all of them.”
The NFL changed the rules on scuffing game balls prior to the 2006 season at the behest of Peyton Manning. When Johnson’s henchmen doctored the balls, the practice violated the rules.
Johnson first made the admission a couple years back at a reunion for the championship team. The admission has gained more attention now that the New England Patriots stand accused of altering the balls like Johnson once did.
He says he paid $75 to ensure scuffed and worn balls. The quarterback had trouble with slick footballs, especially in cold weather. He insists, “I wouldn’t have been able to play without it.”
Johnson turned in a solid performance, throwing for 215 yards on 18 completions out of 34 passes. He passed for two touchdowns and an interception. Oakland’s Rich Gannon threw for two touchdowns against five interceptions.