"Evidence was also provided that Indianapolis ball boys, in a prior season, had been seen by Jacksonville personnel with ball needles hidden under their long sleeves." [my emphasis, for short attention span skimmers out there.]
Presumably, this was not made public because NFL league matters are typically not leaked when it involves a complaint from Jacksonville because who cares about the Jags, amirite?
Now that Deflategate has brought these issues to the forefront and media makes it into a bfd, here is the Executive Summary of the Deflategate 2 Independent Investigation into Colts Getting So Busted As Judged by Wed Tells Esq., (Please make massive checks payable to the firm, please. Note it doesn't all go to me personally. Overhead is really high, you know.):
1. Direct Evidence. There are eye-witness reports from Jacksonville personnel of Colts "ball boys" "hidden" "ball needles." This is a grave rule violation that harms the integrity of the game because neither team is allowed to gauge the football after the referee has approved the balls for use. This is also more contemporary eye-witness evidence of wrong doing than what is contained in the Wells Report.
2. Repeat Offenders. The Wells Report said that a Colts intern "gauged" an intercepted football during the Colts-Patriots playoff game, and then brought their concerns to the NFL somehow (shhh, I'm not going to write up these details because they don't look good for NFL), and then the NFL did their own measurements.
No one denies this. It appears to be a pattern and practice. A conspiracy. Innocent explanations of this? NO NO NO and HADES NO. Direct evidence of cheating + prior eye-witness accounts of cheating subterfuge = oooh pal, you are so in trouble.
3. Colts sensitive to ball inflation issues because they've been doing it themselves? Why would the Colts suspect that underinflated balls are being done intentionally by the Patriots and provides performance benefits? Why wouldn't they just go, "You know, that Tom Brady is a handsome fellow and one of the best all time quarterbacks." You'd think everybody could take judicial notice of that, even jealous Colts fans.
I wouldn't have thought about ball inflation being a way the Patriots cheat. Ball PSI has rarely been discussed. Why wouldn't they think that ball deflation just happens naturally during a game. Huh? Huh? HUH???!!
More likely than not the Colts made these accusations because they were doing it themselves. Projecting. Like when you keep accusing your girlfriend of cheating because you know how much tail you've been chasing. Basically, they knew this was happening, or had general knowledge of such a scheme on their team given all this sideline gaugery they've been deflating for years.
I feel deep in my heart, and spleen and various bodily organs (you thought I was going to say balls) that the Colts were doing this themselves. I'd mark it as proven guilty, IMO.
4. Colts quarterbacks are unusually good at their jobs. Yes, perhaps the Colts won the quarterback lotto by getting Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck back to back. Look at these stats some guy put together. Goodness gracious those numbers are unusually good. Wow. Such outstanding, long-lasting quality performance more likely than not is due to a scheme by needle and gauge wielding Colts ball boys, so sayeth my heart.
5. Peyton Manning cares deeply about his balls. (This is the part of The Deflategate 2 Report where bloggers are supposed to excerpt it and make ball jokes on Twitter. High-five!). Both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning pushed for a rule change in 2006 that allowed visiting quarterbacks use their own balls. Because different quarterbacks like different balls.
Therefore, ergo, do not pass go, combined with the needle/gauge evidence about Colts ball boys, this must mean more likely than not that Manning wanted to violate the rules by tampering with air quantity after the referees had already approved the balls. Or had general knowledge of the ball boy actions. (You see what I did there? I get paid the same no matter what inferences I make wheeee. Have a problem with it? Wha? Wha? I can't hear you through my diplomas and money phone).
6. Colts Failure to Cooperate. If the Colts have nothing to hide, then they wouldn't mind me looking for text messages and emails that support my conclusions, yes? Because I bet my group of associates would be really good at ignoring what people say about the text messages, and coming up with our own interpretations. And so many billable hours.
You see, in an independent investigation, the evidence of what people actual say about something is to be completely and utterly disregarded. Counts as no evidence whatsoever. They denials are just obstruction, what all guilty people say, and of course, the Colts would deny all of this.
Since I didn't get the Colts phones after my very broad request, their punishment should be worse for failure to cooperate. Weakass sort of thing to rely upon, but exercises of unchecked power trump people's reputations.
Also, I want to reemphasize, all of this is IMO.
Wed Tells, Esq., Experienced Lawyer Guy Who Is Never Wrong, Never in Doubt Unlike All Other Humans Including the Pope Even IMO
P.S. Please note, I have some extra availability right now. Please let me know if there are any other teams you want me to independently investigate with a full and complete and neutral recitation of the relevant facts, and then judge with all the fury heat. I can replicate this sort of report all day long. Inferences and logic remains the same, just change the names.
P.S.S. I prefer reports where I get to talk about balls a lot because the jokes write themselves.
P.S.S.S. I did not interview NFL VP of Game Operations Mike Kensil in person. In my mind, he looks and sounds exactly like Clarence Beeks from Trading Places. He probably doesn't though. :(