Deflategate “is just insane,” according to longtime NBC sportscaster Al Michaels, who will be handling play-by-play during Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1.
Michaels appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Thursday and was asked to weigh in on the NFL scandal overshadowing the New England Patriots’ 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC Championship last Sunday.
“Well, let’s see: The government of Yemen has collapsed. You have terror cells in France. And all three network news broadcasts tonight were led with Deflategate,” Michaels said before concluding the frenzy surrounding the scandal is crazy.
So crazy, in fact, that Michaels claims there is a proposition bet for Las Vegas gamblers that want to guess how many times he and colleague Chris Collinsworth will say “deflated balls” during the Super Bowl.
The league determined earlier this week that the Patriots did, indeed, play with under inflated balls, but the investigation is still ongoing. Although 11 out of 12 balls were reportedly found to be under inflated by two pounds each, it will not affect the team’s eighth appearance at the Super Bowl. Consequences could include a $25,000 fine and losing a draft pick.
Patriots head coach Tom Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have said they were unaware that the balls were deflated in press conferences yesterday. While Michaels called Belichick’s statements “credible,” he said he thought Brady “worked the edges.”
“Today was a day of obfuscation,” Michaels said. “I thought it was very interesting to see Troy Aikman today and Mark Brunell, who is a quarterback, and they basically said, ‘Hey, Brady’s guilty. He had to know what was going on.’ So I think it’s interesting when the brethren say, ‘Hey wait a second, you had to know.’
“One of the more interesting things was, when this was apparently discovered by the Colts after an intercepted pass, think of it in these terms: If the ball is deflated so Tom can throw the ball better, and then a pass is intercepted with a deflated ball, maybe they should go to the over-inflated balls. Maybe that’s the answer,” Michaels added. “It’s a disgrace. This whole thing is insane.”