The season's over. The Patriots are champions. Whether you put an asterisk next to that in your own mind is up to you. Still, we got "Deflategate" news because even though many of us forgot about it, we still haven't heard the conclusion regarding who was ultimately at fault.
Today Outside the Lines added further intrigue to the world's most inconsequential of mysteries by revealing that one of New England's locker room attendants tried unsuccessfully to enter an unapproved ball into the "controversial" AFC Championship:
The attendant is reportedly 48-year-old Jim McNally who has worked for the franchise for more than a decade, and has been responsible for Gillette Stadium's officiating room since 2008. On the night of the Pats/Colts 45-7 clash, McNally entered a 'K' ball (i.e. kicking ball) to the official in charge of special teams pigskins. At that point the official reportedly became "suspicious."
From the sound of the report, it at least sounds plausible that McNally had no idea what was going on despite at least seven years in his current position. According to OTL:
"The alternate official, Greg Yette, became suspicious when he noticed that the football McNally handed him did not have the proper markings on it, three sources said. One of those sources added that Yette found it surprising that the officials' locker room attendant was on the field, trying to hand him a ball, because officials' locker room attendants don't typically have ball-handling responsibilities during NFL games. Once McNally tried to introduce the unapproved football into the game, the source said, Yette notified the NFL's vice president of game operations, Mike Kensil, who was at the game in the press box."
It's also unclear whether or not McNally is the same locker room attendant as the one who (according to earlier reports) took the Patriots' footballs with him into a bathroom for roughly 90 seconds.
Guess we'll have to wait for more info to come out on the situation (again). That's just the reality of in-progress investigations.
Odds are you'll find out when you no longer care. Assuming, of course, that that time hasn't already passed.
[via Outside the Lines]
Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org