FOXBORO, Mass. (CAP) - The NFL is investigating allegations that the New England Patriots replaced the regulation cowhide footballs with Nerf footballs in their game against the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots denied the accusation, noting that when they cheat, they are more sophisticated about it.
"Listen, we may have surgically replaced Tom [Brady's] tired arm with Jimmy Garropalo's fresh one at half time, but we did not touch the footballs," said coach Bill Belichick. "Just check the secret video we took during the Colts warm-ups before the game.
"Besides, it was pouring like hell out there," Belichick added. "A Nerf football would have weighed like 50 pounds."
The league first became privy to the swap when eligible Patriots lineman Nate Solder caught a pass one-handed, then squished the ball into a tiny wad in his fist and ran into the end zone for a touchdown. Colts players said they noticed something off about the ball when pieces of it started getting all over the field.
"Yeah, when I intercepted that pass, I remember thinking, since when did the footballs become lime green?" Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson said. "But it was that little propeller tail on the back of the ball that really clued me in something wasn't right."
Colts players became further alarmed after Rob Gronkowski's touchdown pass when he bit off a chunk of the ball before spiking it to the ground. They said they did not think anything of it at the time because Gronk has been known to do that with regular footballs.
"Man, that totally explains how I shanked that field-goal," said Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri. "I felt like I was kicking a piece of paper.
"I mean seriously, I'm Adam Vinatieri," he added. "I don't miss."
The results of the investigation will be published in the league's upcoming Sore Loser Report.
- CAP News Staff