The New England Patriots are pulling out all the stops to try to flush the Wells Report down the drain.
The 243-page report, released last Wednesday, in part implicates two Patriots employees — officials locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski — for their involvement in a plot to deflate footballs before the AFC Championship Game.
On Thursday, the Patriots put that report in context in a lengthy rebuttal, calling its conclusions “incomplete” and “inaccurate” at best. In doing so, however, the team created a few instances of unintentional comedy.
One example: In its attempt to insinuate McNally deflated the footballs in a Gillette Stadium bathroom before the game, the Wells Report cites video evidence that shows him staying in the bathroom with the footballs for approximately 1 minute, 40 seconds.
Here’s the Patriots’ response:
“The report does not address whether one minute and 40 is consistent with the time that it takes a gentleman to enter a bathroom, relieve himself, wash his hands, and leave. In fact, it is.”
Good to know. The response continues:
“Nor does the report consider or acknowledge that, with the start of the game having been delayed, there was no reason for Mr. McNally to rush any efforts to deflate footballs in the bathroom if that was the task at hand. Mr. McNally had already been told that the start of the game had been delayed (from 6:40 to 6:50).
“He entered the bathroom with almost 20 minutes until game time. There was simply no need to rush were he engaged in releasing air from footballs — a process one would suspect would have to be done very carefully so as not to release too much air from any football. The one minute and 40 seconds in the bathroom was far more likely to have been for exactly the reason Mr. McNally gave.”
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