Kravitz: Source says NFL investigating if Patriots deflated footballs in DeflateGate scandal

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Bob Kravitz

A source within the NFL tells WTHR.com's Bob Kravitz that the league is investigating the possibility that the Patriots deflated footballs in their 45-7 win over the Colts Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.

The source told Kravitz that officials took a ball out of play at one point and weighed it. His tweet reporting the news shortly before 1 a.m. Monday quickly spread across social media and has been dubbed "DeflateGate."

New York Newsday's Bob Glauber tweeted around 7 a.m. Monday that NFL Spokesman Michael Signora confirmed the WTHR exclusive that the NFL is looking into whether footballs were properly inflated during the Colts-Patriots game.

"We'll cooperate fully with whatever the league wants us to, whatever questions they ask," Patriots coach Bill Belichick told the media Monday.

TUESDAY UPDATE: D'Qwell Jackson interception prompted Colts concern about possible deflated footballs

"I initially thought a softer ball would be tougher to throw, but people who understand physics have since told me it would be easier to throw and catch. Naturally, Boston fans went nuts on me, calling me every conceivable name. Nobody is suggesting the footballs had any appreciable impact on the game; it was a butt-whooping. But if the league believes the balls were deflated, expect the Pats to be fined or be forced to forfeit draft picks. Or both," Kravitz reports. "What a day. And it's gonna get longer."

READ BOB KRAVITZ'S COLUMN HERE.

In an interview Monday, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady called the accusation "ridiculous," saying, "I think I've heard it all at this point. That's the last of my worries. I don't even respond to stuff like this."

"This is one of those integrity of the game, competitive advantage type of deals. Certainly it had nothing to do with the final outcome," said Kravitz on Eyewitness News at 5:00 pm. "We did talk to Andrew Luck, and D'Qwell Jackson, who had that interception. They said they did not see a difference with the footballs. I'm not sure how they could, to be perfectly honest with you."

COLTS FANS REACT TO DEFLATEGATE

"It's the integrity of the game. It's the same thing that went on with Spygate," he added. "The New England Patriots - it's not sour grapes, but the bottom line is, they don't get the benefit of the doubt."

Glauber reported on Twitter that Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said he didn't know about the football inflation/deflation issue until Monday morning. Belichick told Glauber, "We'll cooperate fully with whatever the league wants."

Deflating footballs isn't a new issue in the game of football.

A USC football manager was fired from the team in 2012 after taking the heat for intentionally deflating footballs in a game against Oregon.

This is not the first time the league has suspected the Patriots of blurring the lines.

In 2007, it was called "Spygate" when Patriots Coach Bill Belichick ordered the videotaping of the defensive signals of opposing teams. It turned out the Patriots had been doing it since 2000 - a seven-year stretch during which they won three Super Bowls and five division championships. The 2007 incidents came after the league expressly outlawed the practice in a 2006 memo to teams. Belichick was ordered to pay the NFL maximum fine of $500,000 as a result of the investigation, and the Patriots were fined $250,000.

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