The Ted Wells Report is out. It implicates two Patriots’ employees, Jim McNally, the Officials Locker Room attendant, and John Jastremski, a team equipment assistant. The report also puts some of the blame on Tom Brady, but not on anyone else higher up in the organization.
The report details how McNally had taken the balls to the officials for testing, then the balls, as Walt Anderson described, “disappeared.” McNally took them toward the field, but wound down a corridor and slipped into a bathroom next to the field for approximately 1 minute and 40 seconds. What was he doing? Well, let’s say it involved a needle, and McNally and Jastremski had left quite the text trail starting in October.
From the Wells’ report:
In the weeks and months before the AFC Championship Game, McNally periodically exchanged text messages with the Patriots equipment assistant primarily responsible for the preparation of the Patriots game balls, John Jastremski. In a number of those text messages, McNally and Jastremski discussed the air pressure of Patriots game balls, Tom Brady‟s unhappiness with the inflation level of Patriots game balls, Jastremski‟s plan to provide McNally with a “needle” for use by McNally, and McNally‟s requests for “cash” and sneakers together with the “needle” to be provided by Jastremski. A sports ball inflation needle is a device that can be used to inflate a football (if attached to an air pump) or release air from a football (if inserted alone into a ball).
Some of the text messages include the following exchange after the Thursday night Jets game on October 17th:
McNally: Tom sucks…im going make that next ball a fuckin balloon
Jastremski: Talked to him last night. He actually brought you up and said you must have a lot of stress trying to get them done…
McNally: I told him it was. He was right though…
Then, a few days later, this one that discussed using a needle to get the balls more to Tom’s liking (along with some jokes at his expense)
Jastremski: Can‟t wait to give you your needle this week 🙂
McNally: Fuck tom….make sure the pump is attached to the needle…..fuckin watermelons coming
Jastremski: So angry
McNally:The only thing deflating sun..is his passing rating
Payment in the form of gifts from Jastremski to McNally was also referenced, in the form of shoes and other swag.
Jastremski: I have a big needle for u this week
McNally: Better be surrounded by cash and newkicks….or its a rugby sunday
McNally: Fuck tom
Jastremski: Maybe u will have some nice size 11s in ur locker
McNally: Tom must really be working your balls hard this week
Note that this all began about the time that Tom Brady’s season turned around, from dreadful, to pro bowl caliber as the Patriots surged. Later texts also reference getting payment in the form of shoes.
It’s also interesting to note that Tom Brady denied knowing who McNally was. The Wells’ report found that unconvincing. (page 19 of the report). “In fact, during his interview, Jastremski acknowledged that Brady knew McNally and McNally‟s role as Officials Locker Room attendant. Similarly, McNally told NFL Security that he had been personally told by Brady of Brady‟s inflation level preference.”
The hammer has come down on a part of the Patriots’ organization. There will be no public apology to the owner, though Bill Belichick is, according to the report, uninvolved. Brady, on the other hand, faces some major questions.