Transcript for Pressure on the New England Patriots Over Under-Inflated Footballs
that bomb shell back home in new England. The patriots headed to the super bowl, of course. Amid those accusations they deflated the footballs. Reports that suspicions were first raised when that linebacker intercepted the ball, telling officials it didn't feel right. Well tonight, the NFL is now weighing in, saying they checked those footballs just hours before kickoff. What did they find? Here's ABC's Ryan smith. Reporter: Tonight, mounting pressure on the new England patriots. Our sister network ESPN reports that NFL sources told them 11 of the 12 balls the team used to beat the Indianapolis colts were underinflated by two pounds per square inch, less than the league quires. A referee reportedly inspected and approved the balls two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff. So, what happened? Sometime in the last half hour, leading up to kickoff, those balls are returned to the teams in the bench area and then who had those -- control of those footballs? Reporter: The advantage of playing with an underinflated ball? It's easier to grip and catch, especially in foul weather. ESPN's sports science found a typical NFL player can apply roughly 1.5% more force to an underinflated ball. The accusations setting off a firestorm. Many calling the patriots cheaters and raising questions about their championship record. It'll mean more to the legacy of what the patriots are trying to do than the actual infraction. That's what's too bad. Reporter: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady brushing it off on Boston's sports radio show "Dennis and Callahan." I think I've heard it all at this point and it's ridiculous. Reporter: The patriots have been caught in integrity scandals before. In 2007, the NFL fined bill belichick 500 grand and took draft picks from the team for videotaping an opponent's sideline signals during a game. But now, as scandal swirls around the super bowl, the stakes couldn't be higher. Because they are the dominant team of this era, certainly there are people who believe it does taint their legacy going forward. Reporter: David, we are now learning this may not be the first time the comlts have questioned patriots game balls. Sources tell ESPN, a colts player intercepted Brady passes, suspected deflation, and the colts reported the issue to the NFL.
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