I can’t believe I’m doing this, but...
I’m pretty convinced that DFG all goes back to the Pats-Jets game the season before, where the refs added air to NE’s game balls during inspection, and post-game they were over 16 PSI. If you followed the whole story, you’ll remember... that was actually outside of the “legal” limit. The refs did that. This was all well documented during the investigation. Brady was PO’d and let the equipment guys know it.
So, speculating here... it would be crazy to deflate balls to a point where an NFL ref, who handles the ball between every play and has trained to do his job, would notice. But, if a QB prefers a softer ball, and knows that refs sort of nonchalantly go by a “feel” test (evidenced by the Pats’ balls from that Jets game), without much regard for the actual guidelines, well... maybe your equipment guys know it too. So if the refs add air arbitrarily, take the top off. Not necessarily and deliberately outside the guidelines, but not necessarily within them, either.
That line of thinking is sacrelige to a lot of Pats fans but to me, it’s the most logical explaination. The whole thing was made worse by Brady’s apparent lack of full cooperation, but from the get-go it was totally overblown. An equipment violation subject to a team fine of $25k. Not something that would result in suspending a player for a quarter of a season and dragging his legacy through the mud.
It’s almost as crazy as the idea that you can get some kind of added advantage based on where your camera is located while filming a guy giving signals in front of 80,000 people huh?
Last point and I’ll shut up. Since these 2 “scandals” the Patriots have won their division every year except ‘08 when Brady was injured. They’ve appeared in 5 Super Bowls and won two. Brady has won 3 MVPs. There’s been no drop off, no difference in them really at all since these alleged advantages were exposed to an NFL public that hated them well before 2007, lol...
Does that make them angels, or innocent of the accusations? No, but it should be pretty clear that they don’t amount to very much either way.