Reports of reports have been greatly exaggerated.
Jay Glazer reported that the NFL had “zeroed in” on a New England Patriots locker-room attendant who before the AFC Championship Game transported footballs “to another area on way to field.”
Most major sports sites in America immediately picked up on the story with commenters noting their suspicions about the secret room away from security cameras. But this smoking gun now looks more like a dud.
It turns out this other “area” away from video surveillance was the bathroom and the pit stop took all of 90 seconds. That’s about the time it takes for someone to relieve themselves and clean their hands. Few people believe it’s enough time to deflate eleven unwieldy footballs, let alone do so to Tom Brady’s precise specifications.
“The Patriots may well have ‘done something wrong,'” Kevin Draper concedes at Deadspin, “but the only wrong thing that happened in that bathroom was when the attendant sat the footballs that Tom Brady knows so intimately on the piss-soaked floor.”