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Published: Monday, January 19, 2015 @ 8:27 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 5:16 AM
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The NFL is investigating the possibility that that New England Patriots purposely deflated footballs during Sunday night's AFC Championship game, NFL spokesman Michael Signora said.
The Patriots routed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7.
A reporter from Indianapolis was first to report the news of a story that was quickly dubbed "deflate-gate." In a series of tweets, Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com said, "A league source tells me the NFL is investigating the possibility the Patriots deflated footballs Sunday night. More to come."
Two minutes later, he tweeted, "I'm told at one point the officials took a ball out of play and weighed it. Should hear more tomorrow on this subject."
During his Monday morning radio appearance with Dennis & Callahan on WEEI, quarterback Tom Brady called the claim ridiculous.
“I think I've heard it all at this point,” Brady said, adding it was the last of his worries.
"I don't even respond to stuff like this,” Brady said.
Deflating a football makes it easier to throw and catch, especially in the rain, which was falling in buckets for portions of the second half.
According to the NFL rulebook, the home team is required to send 12 official game balls to referees more than two hours prior to kick off. The balls are tested for pressure. The rulebook also says the balls then remain under a referee's supervision until they are delivered to a ball attendant just before kickoff.
Here's the actual rule from the NFL rulebook: The home club shall have 36 balls for outdoor games and 24 for indoor games available for testing with a pressure gauge by the referee two hours prior to the starting time of the game to meet with League requirements. Twelve (12) new footballs, sealed in a special box and shipped by the manufacturer, will be opened in the officials' locker room two hours prior to the starting time of the game. These balls are to be specially marked with the letter "k" and used exclusively for the kicking game.
The game operations manual also notes that people who alter footballs or allow an unapproved football to be used in a game can be disciplined with fines or other punishments.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick says the team will cooperate fully with the NFL's investigation.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 1:59 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:59 PM
— Springfield High School teammates RaHeim Moss and Leonard Taylor have been named to the All-Ohio Division I boys high school basketball teams.
The Division I and II teams were announced on Tuesday by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association. The Division III and IV teams were released on Monday.
»RELATED: Springfield coach, “we’ll be back”
Moss, a 6-foot-3 junior guard, was named to the second team. He led the Wildcats (21-5) in scoring at 16.2 points. Also a football standout at linebacker, he remains verbally uncommitted but continues to receive offers in both sports. The University of Cincinnati and Kentucky are among the programs to offer him in football.
Taylor, a 6-5 senior and three-year starter, averaged 12.9 points and led the Wildcats in rebounding (8.9). He signed to play football at UC.
Springfield handed Wayne its only regular-season loss. Both teams were knocked out of the playoffs in a D-I regional by Cincinnati Moeller.
Wayne senior Darius Quisenberry and Myles Belyeu, a senior at Trotwood-Madison, were first-team picks.
A 6-1 guard, Quisenberry averaged a team-high 18.5 points for Wayne (25-2). He played his final two seasons at Wayne after transferring from Tecumseh and has signed with Youngstown State.
»RELATED: Trotwood-Madison back to final four
»RELATED: Boys state final four pairings
Belyeu, a 6-4 guard, leads the Rams in scoring (25.2). A three-year starter, he has scored more than 1,500 career points. He will announce which team he’s signing with after this weekend’s D-II state final four in which the Rams will participate in for the second straight season.
Another junior, Samari Curtis of Xenia, was a D-I third-team pick. He was among the state’s leading scorers (30.4) and is verbally committed to Xavier.
»RELATED: Boys regional results
»RELATED: Girls state final four results
Landing on the D-II third team were Trotwood junior Amari Davis (21.2 points) and Meadowdale senior Jabali Leonard (23.0).
The players of the year were Dave Goodwin of Upper Arlington (D-I) and Pete Nance of Richfield Revere (D-II). Coaches of the year were Hilliard Bradley’s Brett Norris (D-I) and Chad Burt of Wauseon (D-II).
»RELATED: Moeller bumps Wayne off tourney trail
The Ohio Mr. Basketball is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday. Teams were chosen by statewide media panels and based on coaches’ nominations.
Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 12:29 PM
— After 25 years, the Beast is back.
The Milwaukee Brewers are known for churning out entertaining videos -- remember their bullpen dance-off against the Chicago Cubs? -- and spring training was no exception last week as several players contributed to a shot-by-shot reenactment of a famous scene from the 1993 movie, “The Sandlot.”
The 1993 comedy was about a group of friends who loved playing the game but only had one ball. So when one player hits the ball over the fence, where a snarling, mean dog lives, the game is apparently over.
In the 2½-minute video, several players reprise the roles from the film, WTMJ reported. Stephen Vogt played Hamilton “Ham” Porter, who hits the home run. Brett Phillips plays Scotty Smalls, a newcomer who volunteers to retrieve the ball, while Eric Sogard has a memorable cameo as Squints.
Other players in the video include Christian Yelich as Benny, Hernan Perez as Yeah-Yeah, Jeremy Jeffress as Kenny, Josh Hader as Bertram, Chase Anderson (Tommy Timmons) and Jett Bandy (Timmy Timmons).
Plus, Hank the dog plays “the Beast.”
The scene is faithfully done, although Vogt bats left-handed. Ham bats right-handed in the 1993 film. And the Beast steals the scene.
There's heroes and there's legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die. pic.twitter.com/z7mKroaOQ1— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) March 19, 2018
Here is the original clip from the 1993 movie:
And here is what the Brewers do when they get bored in the bullpen:
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 5:06 PM
— WHIO-TV Sports Director Mike Hartsock spoke at length with Hall of Fame Cincinnati Reds announcer Marty Brennaman for the latest episode of his “Stay Right There” podcast. Get the latest on the Reds from one of broadcasting’s greats.
Catch the latest episodes of Mike Hartsock’s “Stay Right There” Podcast or catch up on previous episodes.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:53 PM
— Remember how the catch rules in the NFL have been a disaster the last few years?
Apparently that might not be the case anymore.
I hesitate to be too quick to rubberstamp the announcement made by NFL director of officiating Al Riveron, but I would say it’s OK to be optimistic things will be better next season.
After much deliberation & input from coaches, players, @NFLLegends, & club executives, the @NFL Competition Committee will recommend the following language simplifying the catch rule at the Annual Meeting next week. pic.twitter.com/hJwH5YYBRK— Al Riveron (@alriveron) March 21, 2018
If the NFL competition committee recommendation is accepted, figuring out when a catch has occurred should be much easier.
If you see a player obtain possession of the ball with two feet (or another body part) on the ground and make a football move, you will have seen a catch.
How is that last part defined?
A “football move” can include a third step, reaching or extending for the line to gain (or goal line presumably) or the ability to perform such an act.
Absent is language about players “surviving the ground,” which is an area from which much of the confusion has come in recent years because for some reason rulesmakers thought the process should be different if a player is going to the ground than if he was not.
A controversial non-catch by Steelers tight end Jesse James was among plays included in a video Riveron tweeted as an example of plays being reviewed as changes to the rules are considered.
.@NFL Competition Committee proposal noted in the previous tweet simplifies the catch process & allows for plays such as the @DezBryant (2014 post-season) and @JJames18_ (2017 season) to become catches. pic.twitter.com/K2caIndpGZ— Al Riveron (@alriveron) March 21, 2018
James brought the ball in with two feet down but lost it as he turned to try to stretch across the goal line. It was initially ruled a touchdown but overturned upon review because James had not maintained control of the ball after hitting the ground.
This play, in a crucial late-season game between the Steelers and Patriots, was one of several high-profile examples of the current rules making sense to few people outside the league offices because extending the ball seems like “a football play,” but it was not being ruled as such.
That is set to change.
The same ruling on a similar play cost Tyler Eifert a touchdown for the Bengals in a game at Baltimore in 2015.