Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Scandalous Super Bowl? Brad Johnson Admits Ball Tampering & Patriots Under Investigation

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My local NFL team, the Seattle Seahawks have just qualified to play in the upcoming Super Bowl and if they win, it will be the second time, and two years in a row that they're coming home with the trophy. So my interest in the NFL and the Super Bowl in particular has been on the increase. Imagine my horror to read this double whammy of a report.

First, the Patriots who the Seattle Seahawks are to meet at the Super Bowl have been accused of deflating the balls that they used in their win over the Colts. As the NFL is investigating whether the Patriots violated NFL rules by tampering with the footballs, former Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson has admitted to paying a bribe to have all the footballs used in the 2003 Super Bowl tampered with.

According to NBC Pro Football

Johnson, whose Buccaneers beat the Raiders at Super Bowl XXXVII, said he paid $7,500 to some people he did not identify so that they would scuff the balls set to be used in the Super Bowl, making them easier to grip. According to Johnson, there were 100 footballs set aside for the game, and the people he bribed tampered with all 100, to Johnson’s specifications.

“I paid some guys off to get the balls right,” Johnson told the Tampa Bay Times. “I went and got all 100 footballs, and they took care of all of them.”

That’s a shocking admission — Johnson is confessing that he cheated to help his team win the Super Bowl, and that people who work for the NFL accepted a bribe to help one team cheat in the Super Bowl.

Jon Gruden, who coached the Buccaneers in that Super Bowl, said today on ESPN Radio that he was aware that Johnson was concerned about being able to grip the balls in that game, but Gruden did not say whether he was aware of Johnson breaking the rules to get an advantage.

The NFL is already investigating whether the Patriots cheated. Now the NFL should broaden its investigation, find out who Johnson bribed, and make sure nothing like that ever happens again.

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