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DeflateGate: NFL "Spot Checks" Did Only Focus on Protocol, Not on Science

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Troy Vincent held a conference call yesterday. It was on par with the league’s handling of Deflategate: a farce.

The entire Deflategate saga began with in January 2015 with an e-mail from Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson to NFL Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent. It quickly went downhill from there as the league botched every single step that it took afterwards.

From not notifying the New England Patriots about the accusations, to not properly handling the footballs pre-game, to quickly jumping to wrong conclusions and leaking them to the media, all the way to the "spot checks" the NFL introduced prior to the 2015 season, the league could not have been any less thorough, careful or simply truthful every single time.

Yesterday, we saw yet another example of this when Vincent held a conference call with reporters.

The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin asked one of the central figures of the entire affair about whether those league-mandated "spot checks" – which showed there have not been any violations, according to Commissioner Roger Goodell – also focused on the air pressure levels inside the footballs.

Vincent, completely dodging the question, answered as follows (via the Boston Globe):

There is no need for us to change our pregame protocol that pertains to game balls. We had no violations of that process, we’ll continue to [handle footballs] in the manner we’ve set forth.

We focus on procedure, balls being brought to the stadium. There was no violation of game balls being checked in at the appropriate time. There was no violation of game balls being in the officials locker room, being brought to the field, back to the locker rooms at halftime, and then the balls being brought back to the locker room post game. So it’s the procedure of the balls themselves.

Apparently, everything's fine, folks. Nothing to see.

True to the league’s handling of the entire Deflategate farce, Vincent completely disregards the central point of Volin’s question, just like the NFL disregarded one of the central point of their "spot checks", which, to quote NFL Operation’s own website, include the following:

During halftime, each game ball for both teams will be inspected in the locker room by designated members of the officiating and security crews, and the PSI results will be measured and recorded.

If the Patriots’ innocence can be proven by the data collected, it seems like a safe bet to say that the NFL will under no circumstances make the results public. Vincent’s remarks once again confirm this and show that the league will simply dodge every question raised.