Political Football: Senators Pile on Patriots

AP Photo-/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Congressional leaders are piling on the New England Patriots for allegedly deflating game balls used to wallop the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 during Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.

Politico reported that Senator Dean Heller, Republican from Nevada, said on Thursday that the NFL Players Association and the league need to join forces before the Super Bowl on Feb. 1 and determine what measures they should take “to restore the credibility of the game.”

Heller said in a statement on Thursday, “I am seeking decisive actions ensuring all teams are playing according to the rules.”

Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady insisted on Thursday that they had no idea how the balls got deflated. Nevertheless, both have been criticized, especially in view of the Patriots being subject to a previous integrity breach in 2007 by videotaping opposing coaches signals in violation of a new NFL rule.

Heller didn’t say what action he thought the NFL should take on the under-inflated game balls, but insisted that, “This type of behavior should never be tolerated.”

Indiana Sen. Dan Coats tweeted on Thursday that he knows  what action the league should take:

The Republican, whose Colts fell to the Patriots last Sunday, acknowledged that he partly jested in his tweets.

Former boxer and current Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), looking like the day after a fight-club exhibition match, chimed in saying, “I can’t believe the National Football League, with the billions of dollars it makes, couldn’t at least determine how much air should be in a football.”


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