Saturday , June 15 2024

Fresno State Weighs in on NFL Patriots' "Deflate-Gate"

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<div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">The NFL’s New England Patriots is facing some heat. The team is accused of playing with footballs that were under-inflated during their AFC championship win against the Indianapolis Colts. It’s a rules violation that could have made it easier to hang onto the ball during the cold, rainy weather.</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">Quarterback Tom Brady and Head Coach Bill Belichick both have said they had nothing to do with the under-inflated balls. The NFL is investigating.</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&quot;It was a good football game, I enjoyed it. It’s too bad that it is a controversy,&quot; said Mark Younger, the head equipment manager for Fresno State Football about Sunday night’s game.</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">As head equipment manager for the Bulldogs for 23 years, Younger knows a thing or two about the ball.<br /></font><font size="2"><br />He said, &quot;Consistency is what you’re really looking for. You want the athlete to get the same type of football with the same air pressure all the time.&quot;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">Younger said the Bulldogs practice and play with the football always inflated to 13-pounds per square inch, much like in the pros. In the NFL, balls are required to be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch.</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">On Thursday, Younger showed us one football at 13-pounds and another at 11-pounds and said, &quot;Squeezing them side by side, you really can’t tell.&quot;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">But despite what Younger said is a small difference, the Patriots are being investigated by the NFL for playing with balls under-inflated. ESPN said the team’s 11 balls were two-pounds per square inch lighter than what’s required by NFL regulations.</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">Zach Follett is a former Detroit Lions linebacker, originally from Clovis. He weighed into the controversy and said, &quot;I think it’s smart man, as a football player, as an organization that wants to win, I was always told whether there’s right or wrong, but if you’re not cheatin’ you’re not tryin’. And, I mean, it was wise in my opinion.&quot;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">Follett said he doesn’t believe the under-inflated footballs determined the outcome of Sunday’s game. But he said, in his opinion, under-inflated balls would definitely help Brady hold that ball better.</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&quot;Maybe they did, and that’s what we all sit here and speculate,&quot; said Follett.</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">ESPN reports if the NFL does find the Patriots guilty, the head coach, or the club personnel could be subject to discipline including a $25,000 fine.</font></div></div>

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