Don’t worry, America. If the footballs aren’t up to snuff in Super Bowl XLIX, you now have someone to blame.
The NFL has selected Chicago Bears equipment manager Tony Medlin to oversee the football preparation process for next Sunday’s showdown between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, according to NFL spokesperson Michael Signora.
“Like many aspects of our policies and procedures, there are modifications for the Super Bowl,” Signora said in a statement Thursday. “At the Super Bowl, the equipment manager of another team is in charge of the game balls and arranging for the ball attendant crews, which are hired before the Super Bowl teams are determined. The officials will maintain strict control of the game balls for the Super Bowl.
“Many aspects of the regular-season process are in place. The Super Bowl teams receive balls to work with during practice as per our policies. The balls are then returned to the league late next week.”
Apparently this kind of “strict control” didn’t happen during the AFC Championship Game, as an NFL investigation found that 11 of 12 balls used by the Patriots in their win over the Indianapolis Colts weren’t properly inflated.
Signora also weighed in on the subject, adding that he “would expect that the Competition Committee will review all of these procedures in the offseason.”
Thumbnail photo via Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports Images