Patriots quarterback Tom BradyJust when you thought you’ve seen it all, an alleged minor equipment violation morphs into an eight-month affair that devolves into angry emails about pool covers.

Welcome to the alternate universe that is Deflategate, the now-infamous ball deflation scandal that all started Jan. 18 after the New England Patriots trounced the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.

The result of the NFL’s subsequent investigation was a $1 million team fine, a loss of draft picks and a four-game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady administered by an NFL commissioner who essentially served as judge, jury and executioner.

The end to all this nonsense (hopefully) is in sight, as U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman hope to rule on the latest appeal by Sept. 4, before the regular season begins.

It’s been a wild several months, with “My Cousin Vinny” references, absurd mustaches and grown men cry on television. So as we prepare to put this whole thing behind us and actually see some football, let’s look one more time at some of the craziest, weirdest moments this fiasco has produced.

Click to see the nine most absurd Deflategate moments >>