Another day in the National Football League, another day dominated by coverage about Tom Brady, the New England Patriots and DeflateGate.
There was a massive information dump late last night that saw hundreds of pages of documents regarding the Wells Investigation released to the general public. They revealed all sorts of things about Brady's interview and the Ravens tipping off the Colts about deflated footballs.
And then there was something else, something small but amazing which shows you just how far players will go to get even the most minute of advantages: The weird ways that Brady alters with footballs.
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Brady gave a lot of non-answers during his DeflateGate testimony and at other points, he wasn’t entirely sure about anything. However, he was quick to regale the investigators with his tips and tricks.
They really are incredible, with the tricks being used by Brady including using gloves from wide receivers to remove bobbles as well as moistening the ball with leather conditioner.
Sandpaper, dirt and more
"Well, I don't know all the specifics," Brady started off as saying. "I know there's sandpaper. I know there's dirt. I know there's a leather conditioner that we use that I got from my old college coach that we use on the ball quite a bit."
Brady went on to talk about the receiving gloves, stating that the leather on the gloves was good for getting rid of the bumps on the balls.
"And we take leather receiving gloves that the receivers use and we try to get the tack from the leather on the receiver gloves and really rub that into the -- (indicating) -- each of these balls have nubs on them. Sometimes if the ball is too nubby, I like to sand down the nubs. I don't like it when there's no nub because then there's no traction on the ball."
So you want your hand to be able to grip the ball, but you don't want it so flat that you can't. So they try to, basically, moisten the ball with the leather conditioner. And it's -- it's -- that has been a very helpful way to break in a new ball quickly, not that there is any way to break in quickly.
Everything that Brady stated as doing to the balls here is completely legal, if a bit weird. But in a sport like the NFL, a team will do everything they can to gain even the slightest of advantages.
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