Carl Paganelli handles a game ball during the AFC title game.Getty Images

On the Deflate-gate front, Tuesday was something of a victory for Patriots fans.

It no longer looks as though Tom Brady is the prime suspect in the NFL's investigation into New England using under-inflated balls in the AFC Championship Game, as a "locker-room attendant" has been targeted by the league. Also on Tuesday came a report that NFL referees did not properly inspect the footballs prior to the AFC title game.

According to Rich Shertenlieb, of 98.5 FM The Sports Hub:

Toucher & Rich


10 hrs·

According to my sources:

One thing that has been reported over the last week, as we’ve been learning about how footballs are treated and measured before a game is that before every game, a referee measured with a pressure guage each football to see if the pressure in each one is between 12.5 and 13.5 PSI.

But that apparently isn’t always the case. As a matter of fact, from what I’ve been told, may times the refs don’t test the pressure of each ball with a guage at all. Sometimes the refs hold the ball, squeeze it, briefly inspect it, then sign off on it. Next ball. It’s never been a problem before. This is apparently a well known fact in the NFL.

Now according to my sources, The Patriots turned in their footballs to the refs at a pressure that was just below the allowable PSI.

If it’s a situation where the refs DID use a guage, the refs would see that the balls were underinflated, and inflate them to their proper size. But in this case, the balls were approved and given back to the Patriots under-inflated.

Thus, the underinflated balls. The Patriots according to my sources played with league approved deflated balls.

The "sources" of Schertenliebmay have to be called into question here a tad considering he is the co-host of a Boston morning radio show that - later on Tuesday - asked Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowskito read aloud an excerpt of the erotica book, "A Gronkingto Remember." (Gronkowski obliged, of course). But given the amount of stories by supposed "real" news sources out there that haven't yet come to fruition on this matter, who is to say Schertenlieb's"sources" aren't on the money?

Latest From ...