The Owner Strikes Back: Bob Kraft Makes Specific Charge of Deception against Ted Wells

The Associated Press

New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft is standing by his man.

Wednesday’s report on “deflate-gate” issued by Ted Wells concludes that two Patriots employees “probably” conspired to let the air out of footballs and that quarterback Tom Brady “probably” knew of the malfeasance. In an animated statement issued by the team, Kraft accuses Ted Wells of misleading the public on an important point in his report and points out that a majority of Colts game balls inspected at halftime registered a reading below the league’s mandated psi level by at least one referee’s gauge.

Kraft explained in the prepared statement:

What is not highlighted in the text of the report is that three of the Colts’ four footballs measured by at least one official were under the required psi level. As far as we are aware, there is no comparable data available from any other game because, in the history of the NFL, psi levels of footballs have never been measured at halftime, in any climate. If they had been, based on what we now know, it is safe to assume that every cold-weather game was played with under inflated footballs. As compelling a case as the Wells Report may try to make, I am going to rely on the factual evidence of numerous scientists and engineers rather than inferences from circumstantial evidence.

“I was offended by the comments made in the Wells Report in reference to not making an individual available for a follow-up interview,” Kraft writes. “What the report fails to mention is that he had already been interviewed four times and we felt the fifth request for access was excessive for a part-time game day employee who has a full-time job with another employer.”

“The Patriots provided cooperation throughout the investigation, including by making personnel and information available to us upon request,” the Wells Report concedes. “Counsel for the Patriots, however, refused to make Jim McNally available for a follow-up interview requested by our investigative team on what we believed were important topics, despite our offer to meet at any time and location that would be convenient for McNally.”

The report mentions a previous interview with Jim McNally but omits any reference to four previous discussions. Contradicting the report’s claim that the Patriots refused to permit a follow-up interview, the owner says the team actually made McNally available for three follow ups.

McNally toted the game balls to the field, making a one minute, forty second pit stop in the bathroom en route. During that time, the report states, McNally conceivably could have deflated the the twelve balls in the bag. Wells charges that McNally went to the restroom “without the knowledge or permission of Walt Anderson or the other members of the officiating crew.”