Reports say John Harbaugh ratted the Patriots out to the Colts. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

John Harbaugh gives Bill Belichick the “Fredo, I know it was you” hug before ratting him out to the Colts. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

IIWIIOn the heels of the Deflategate controversy comes a report from Fox Sports’€™ Jason La Canfora that some members of the Ravens felt that the footballs they used to kick and punt were not properly inflated during their playoff loss to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 10.

The report credits league sources as questioning the balls after the Ravens’€™ kicks and punts were not traveling as far as usual.

The balls used for the teams’€™ offenses are treated differently than the ones used for the kicking game.

An NFL spokesman told Fox that he had no knowledge of the Ravens filing a complaint.

Well there you have it. The sore loser meter on this Deflategate horsecrap just went from 7.5 to 11.

John Harbaugh called for the Waaamublance after being straight up outsmarted, out thought and out strategized by Bill Belichick in the divisional playoff and it left him with two choices — either take it like a man, go home, read the rule book and work hard in the offseason to make himself a better coach, or he could take the whiny little snot way out, dialing up the Colts and offering to help them because his feelings were so hurt.

And you know what? I love this. Bring it. Embrace the hate. No one team in the AFC can beat a healthy Patriots team so they have to team up. Teams that are supposed to be enemy combatants are joining forces because they know they need a mob of coaches conspiring together to come close to Belichick’s next level thinking.

Remember Pushgate last year? Nobody thought for one second Rex Ryan was smart enough on his own to figure out the Pats‘ field goal unit was bending the rule there. He’d gotten tipped off by his brother Rob in New Orleans, who’d got beaten by the Patriots the week before. Hell, John Harbaugh had Jim Harbaugh on the sidelines with him and still couldn’t match wits with Belichick. These other, lesser coaches are forming alliances like Batman villains because they know they have no other chance against his superior football intellect.

I wouldn’t have it any other way because what this latest development proves is what I’ve been saying from the beginning. This is a witch hunt, brought about by one thing and one thing only, and that is resentment for the Patriots success. No one gives a tinker’s damn when Aaron Rodgers admits to playing fast and loose with the NFL’s air pressure specs. No one’s calling for him to be discount double suspended. Mike McCarthy‘s not on the cover of every tabloid in the nation or the top story on Drudge. Rob Johnson admits to bribing ball boys to tamper with 100 Super Bowl balls in 2003 and Warren Sapp‘s not on TV doubting the validity of his own ring. Jerome Bettis isn’t calling the championship Buccaneers “felons.”

But this is the Patriots we’re talking about. So a couple of PSIs — the football equivalent of doing 45 in a 40 zone — gets treated like a multi-state bank robbing spree. And the real crime they committed here is the unpardonable sin of beating everybody, including a snitch like John Harbaugh. Like I said, I do love it. But a people should know when they are conquered.

Embrace the hate.


Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton




A few random thoughts after watching the Bill Belichick Deflategate press conference:

— First the obvious: He is pissed. This is post-losing-to-the-Jets level Mr. Angry Eyes Bill, and well it should be. He’s coming off one of the most complete and impressive playoff wins in the NFL in a decade, heading to the Super Bowl and here he is — back against the wall fighting off the zombie horde of media to talk about the air in the football? He is seething. And only the fact that he’s the most media-savvy football coach ever kept this from being a future Coors Light ad.

— This will come as no surprise, but I believe him when he says he knew nothing about this until Monday. The Belichick we sat with on Dale & Holley Monday afternoon was nowhere near the rage monster this Bill was. To put in visual terms, Patriots Monday Bill was about here *hand at chest level*, Thursday presser Bill was here *hand at eye level*. No one in the Patriots organization wants to see him here *hand over head*.

— I love the part about how he doesn’t give a damn how hard the football is to hand. That was the perfect defense. As Bill Parcells used to say, “Give players an excuse to lose and they’ll take it every time.” Why on God’s green field turf would a coach who pours water on the ball in practice on a sunny day and practice in arctic temperatures with a perfectly nice practice bubble right next door obsess over how many PSI the ball is?

— That Gillette Flexball ad was the best product placement of all time.

— The knee jerk take from most people in the immediate aftermath was he was throwing Tom Brady under the Jerome Bettis. I take it more as he was telling the truth. He didn’t know. Why would he? He had 99,000 problems Sunday and air pressure wasn’t one of them. I’m glad he didn’t do the perfunctory “As the head of football operations this is all on me”… “Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan”… “Buck stops here” nonsense. Because it’s BS. And it would have just thrown red meat to the jackals who are calling for his head, and possibly cost the Patriots some draft picks. If it was Brady, he’ll get a fine (which he can afford) and have to suffer through a lecture by Roger Goodell, which is punishment enough. If this was all the fault of some equipment guy — well I’m sorry for him but the world needs ditch diggers too.

— Some of my favorite Belichick moments in his whole career are times like this when engages the deflector shields on reporters. Particularly the “real” news types. Like the time that pompous anchorman came to the first day training camp 2013, introduced himself, gave his hard news curriculum vitae and asked about Tim Tebow and The Hooded One just repeated, “Here to help our football team” line until everyone packed their TV trucks and went home. This was reminiscent of that. These empty hairdos are used to dealing with political flaks who have to kiss their asses. They have no idea how to handle a guy who gets his power from winning, not good press.

— That said, “I told you everything I know” and “I have no explanation” are good. But neither have the simple, concise brilliance of “We’re onto Cincinnati.”

— The grandstanding hack who thought he was getting in a good zinger with, “What do you say to critics who are challenging your character, which seems to go well beyond the sport of football?” should find himself a safe house or a relative close by. Lay low for a while.

— Part of me still wishes he’d gone all wrestling heel manager on everybody. “Footballs? We don’t care about your footballs! We don’t care about your air pressure! We crushed the Ravens! We broke the backs of the Colts!  If they’re too stupid to figure out how to beat us, what am I supposed to do? Coach them too? Do you think this brain thing is a gimmick? And Sunday, February 1 we’re gonna do the same think to those pukes from Seattle at University of Phoenix Stadium! Ticket are on sale now! Be therrre!” — Billy “The Brain” Belichick. But I’m a victim of Belichick’s respect for the game I guess.

— The circumstances around this presser aren’t anywhere near what they were on the Aaron Hernandez one, obviously. But I have to say his performance was right up there with that one. He has really refined his technique over the years. I can’t wait to see how good he is with his next major scandal press conference.


Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Celtics at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Bulls, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Nets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: South Florida at Temple, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Ohio State at Northwestern, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Alabama at Arkansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Coast Carolina at UNC-Asheville, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: DePaul at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: George Washington at Fordham, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Maryland at Indiana, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Arizona at Stanford, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Washington at Colorado, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: St. Mary’s at Gonzaga, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tennis: Australian Open, 11 p.m., 3 a.m. (ESPN2)


Andrew Luck, fresh off his loss to the Patriots in Sunday’s AFC championship game, was selected first overall by Team Carter in Wednesday’s Pro Bowl draft. It was the second straight year Luck was tabbed No. 1 overall for the game.

It’s nice, I guess,” Luck said of his selection. “The reality is that everybody is deserving of it. There’s a bunch of No. 1 picks in there, but it’s nice, I guess.”

Team Irvin has a decidedly Dallas flavor, as alumni captain Michael Irvin loaded up on players from his former club, including quarterback Tony Romo, running back DeMarco Murray, tight end Jason Witten and offensive linemen Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick.

Romo and fellow Team Irvin QBs Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford will throw to the likes of Odell Beckham Jr., Golden Tate, Emmanuel Sanders, Randall Cobb and Jimmy Graham. Panthers linebacker (and former Boston College star) Luke Keuchly is one of the anchors of the defense.

Team Carter features QBs Drew Brees and Andy Dalton, running backs Jamaal Charles, Justin Forsett and Alfred Morris, and receivers A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton, Jordy Nelson and Antonio Brown.

Defensively Team Carter has Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and cornerback Aqib Talib.

— The first meeting between the Bills and Jets next season should be interesting, with former Jets coach Rex Ryan now at the helm of the Bills. The talk already has begun, as a former Jets assistant now working for the Bills spoke candidly about Jets QB Geno Smith’s issues this past season.

David Lee, who was the Jets quarterbacks coach before moving to Buffalo with Ryan, assigned some blame for New York’s issues on the second-year signal caller.

“Rex and I talked about it, he had some inconsistency, and the up-and-down part is what killed us,” Lee said. He would get loose with the football. We played good enough defense over there to win both years, but his play, it’ll cost you, and it cost us.”

To be fair, Lee had some positive things to say about Smith.

“He also did some great things,” Lee said. “The last five games this season he was the seventh-rated passer in the league. He had a perfect passer rating in his last game at Miami. The potential and ability is there.”

— Three days after her husband was arrested on suspicion of DUI and she reportedly acted belligerent to arresting officers, Hope Solo was suspended 30 days by the U.S. women’s national soccer team.

The 33-year-old goalie had been in Southern California for training with the team when her husband’s car was pulled over late Sunday night.

“During our current national team camp, Hope made a poor decision that has resulted in a negative impact on U.S. Soccer and her teammates,” coach Jill Ellis said in a statement. “We feel at this time it is best for her to step away from the team.”

Solo, who will miss the team’s matches in Europe next month, accepted her release from camp.

“I accept and respect the Federation’s decision, and more importantly, I apologize for disappointing my teammates, coaches and the Federation who have always supported me,” Solo said in a statement. “I think it’s best for me to take a break, decompress from the stress of the last several months, and come back mentally and physically ready to positively contribute to the team.”

The latest incident occurred shortly after misdemeanor counts of domestic violence against her were dismissed. That was related to an incident last June in which she had been accused of attacking her half-sister and 17-year-old nephew while in a drunken rage.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 22, 2012, in the AFC championship game, the Patriots edged the Ravens, 23-20, after Billy Cundiff‘s 32-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left with seconds remaining. Which Patriot scored the game-winning touchdown early in the fourth quarter?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “[Roger Goodell] might suspend Bill Belichick for the rest of his life. You know what, I hope he does. I hope he suspends him for the rest of his life starting tomorrow.” – Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel, during an appearance on Wednesday’s Dennis & Callahan show, on the Patriots’ possible punishment for Deflategate

STAT OF THE DAY: 574 – Career goals for Jarome Iginla, who scored for the Avalanche against the Bruins on Wednesday night to move into sole possession of 20th on the NHL‘s all-time list

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Russell Westbrook scores on a driving layup with 0.8 seconds left to give the Thunder a win over the Wizards.

From the same game, Kevin Durant posterizes Marcin Gortat.

Old friend Rajon Rondo is up to his old tricks, faking out the Timberwolves en route to an easy layup in the Mavericks’ win.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Tom Brady, on a 1-yard dive on fourth down with 11:29 remaining

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Sam Cooke, who died in 1964, was born on this day in 1931.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

[0:00:21] ... Think shots. And the New York the modern day below or yeah next generations they'll run either Michael or easy it is Thursday. Is an. Yes Thursday. Get negated negated. Doctor's appointment. Writes he's gonna give ...
[0:04:12] ... hole in here wrestling it's also go to YouTube dot com slash White House. It is YouTube asks the president and you hear questions from journalists like this. And globe and mail and I. Dot. Com ...
[0:06:38] ... The judge is going to allow that she ordered him to undergoing mental health evaluation. Going for the insanity plea incidentally buddies agreed to plead guilty this is a good thing I mean this is what brandishing news Woodside New Hampshire do I mean you got a cold. Plead guilty to make one small request. I'm asking for a cell with a view are not asking for. You know special meal little little protein gluten free meal when you think she said. I murdered Mike that's. Now I want their names because I want to be charged with ...

The guys opened the how discussing the latest with deflate-gate.

[0:00:10] ... they had don't feel good Dell made a ruling he decided that Bill Belichick must sit in the room and listen to four hours of like assault. You think that's at three all and then usually ...
[0:04:37] ... on this and we just heard from Tony Kornheiser. Tony Kornheiser says Bill Belichick is what he Bolter yeah Whitey Bulger now I mean organizer. Obviously doesn't leave this news you know living room. But does ...
[0:05:43] ... And some people have lost their minds. What he Bolger to to Bill Belichick. He's the one of these overnight. Shows two stroke and in Texas. Where's the murder weapon in this case where is the ...
[0:06:19] ... murder weapon. I thought for guys scores somewhat muddled she took expected Bill Belichick is the Whitey Bulger of Vienna fill us. You'd go Buick quieter if he's Belichick is like Whitey Bulger and obvious right ...

Mikey, Mut, and Lenny are still taking calls and discussing deflategate and the potential implications it could have on the team leading

[0:02:44] ... in Michael Whitman the patriots win or lose the Super Bowl. Guess Tom Brady isn't going to be shall Guerrero. Would be a little check down you know you helped Foster local pitches he'll go. Isn't ...
[0:08:51] ... gonna head to our. The other one I'm calling I think the Baltimore Ravens are behind this and the Genesis of it that it when Brady stood on the podium and told them to learn the rules. And so they like they're going after him. In a rule that they know every quarterback tries to. There but the odds are Jay Glazer is reporting tonight that's the newest level of this is that there. The NFL was planning to expect inspect the footballs into halftime no matter what because the Baltimore Ravens. Alerted the colts to that that did this deflation thing. And it came from Baltimore that's worth stemmed according to Jay Glazer ...
[0:10:18] ... did not walk off the field with the ball after either reception. D'Qwell Jackson when he caught his. Maybe it is interception in the past game he Tweety he noticed nothing one wouldn't and before that ...
[0:12:36] ... people would ever think of cheating dean. They would check out the Indianapolis Colts. All sorts Pete each have 24 balls and bright. Yet only weighed. Well what about the other twelve or reporter for the ...

Mikey, Mut and Kerry Byrne are joined by Steve DiFillippo of Davio's to talk about his new book, "It's All About the Guest", and to talk about the Patriots and Taste of the NFL.

[0:05:31] ... time on and he retired with. And now it's changing up but Matt light's star yet he's great he's in his beard an image that Boston. Not much food I think it caught in his father's ...
[0:06:19] ... light of which stirred and and I everything before the operatives and Sam Adams and yeah as you had debt. The thing that we had that Lee Harvey yeah we have we had this gone crazy ...
[0:12:52] ... Brady prefer them to be slightly deflated. He said he does. Did Aaron Rodgers say he likes to to be slightly inflated. He said that before that's on the record. So you're you're what you're inferring ...
[0:16:12] ... on the and I think I think I can cherry. I think Jared Allen and me to convert the sport and that probably have been known and yeah it probably would have any treatment they probably ...

Mikey and Mut engage in a heated debate about how the Patriots footballs in the AFC Championship game lost their air pressure and who in the organization could have known or been responsible.

[0:05:43] ... no way they would Travis where where we swayed tonight where is Mike Adams feel after the travel awards and report our Chris Mort it's yet we're about it. Reporting net 11 of the 12 o'clock ...
[0:09:39] ... they're trying to prove that this form of quote cheating by the New England Patriots. Is why they win. Which is crap. Now who touched the balls the refs checked about two hours two hours fifty minutes ...
[0:11:38] ... Findings. You don't just say hop. How do we know that at Indianapolis Colts guided. Didn't sneak in there and alleys and yet we don't actually gonna happen you're right we don't know colts could have ...
[0:14:28] ... issue but got caught red handed doing it by his former coach Eric Mangini okay and got find in debt draft picks taken away OK so because of that sort of you're not getting the benefit ...

Drew Bledsoe talks with Dale and Holley about Deflategate and gets into the nuances of football alteration and what kind of ball he prefered. Drew also has a few thoughts on how two of his former coaches will match-up in SB49.

[0:00:05] ... football league for several teams not the least of which was your New England Patriots former patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe was with a sunny AT&T hotline. Drew thanks for taken a few minutes how are you. I'm Obama and a beautiful there. ...
[0:02:23] ... the micro and on next Saturday and then some British shall vote. Aaron Rodgers I think similar to you said he would prefer the football to be a little over inflated. I'm guessing if you had ...
[0:03:03] ... done with the inflation of the football's. Nobody would do it without Tom Brady knowing about it he's the guy's got to throw the thing. The good guys I. I don't know no idea haven't talked ...
[0:04:12] ... bring up a great point that the job that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have done here over the last fifteen years. Probably spawns some jealousy out there amongst some organizations. And they're probably some folks ...