Sportress of Blogitude

Tony Dungy: Perhaps a disgruntled Patriots employee is behind ‘Deflategate’

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Tony Dungy on Monday morning made an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” and of course the issue of “Deflategate,” a controversy that otherwise should be known as “The Scandal That Refuses To Go Away,” was one of the central topics of the interview.

Dungy, who lamented how “Deflategate” has dominated the narrative thus far heading into Super Bowl XLIX, was asked by Patrick about his thoughts on the scandal and the former NFL head coach shared his recollection of how footballs were handled when he was coaching the Indianapolis Colts, specifically in how he was or was not personally involved in overseeing the process.

Dan Patrick: Do you believe that Belichick had no idea?

Tony Dungy: I don’t know what happened. It couldn’t have just been an accident, we do know that. So, what happened, I guess we will have and wait to find out.

Dan Patrick: Do you have any idea what the footballs were inflated with when Peyton was your quarterback?

Tony Dungy: Oh, absolutely. I don’t feel it but I know the protocol … I know what happens and how they are inflated, who examines them and where they go after that.

Dan Patrick: So, if this happened when you were with the Colts when you were there, you would know the person to go to?

Tony Dungy: There’s a couple of guys who handle the balls and you go them and say, “What happened?” and you find out.

Patrick then asked Dungy specifically about how his quarterback at the time, Peyton Manning, may or may not have had knowledge regarding any potential doctoring of the footballs.

Dan Patrick: But nobody would do this without talking too quarterback, coach, right? I can’t imagine someone going, “Hey, sorry, I deflated those.”

Tony Dungy: I don’t know about New England’s situation, I do know this in Indianapolis with Peyton Manning…

Dan Patrick: If somebody had done that to Peyton Manning…

Tony Dungy: He would know exactly what’s happening with those footballs … unless it was sabotage … a disgruntled employee who goes off the handle is the only other way to explain it.

Dungy seemingly made the statement about sabotage somewhat in jest, but given the other outlandish theories that have been thrown out there, the esteemed NFL analyst’s joking suggestion might as well be thrown in the hopper with the rest of them.

Bill Belichick performed a veritable verbal contortionist act in attempting to explain away the Deflategate scandal over the weekend, while the Patriots organization as a whole is navigating a high-wire act as the team tries to balance devoting attention to quashing the scandal while simultaneously attempting to prepare for Super Bowl XLIX in earnest despite the distractions. It’s arguably surprising the team itself didn’t throw out this conspiracy theory before Dungy did.

Even if there is a way to pin the entire controversy on the antics of a lone, disgruntled employee conducting an act of sabotage, the Patriots in all likelihood already considered that possibility and debunked it.. But as Deflategate continues to nefariously captivate the general public heading into Super Bowl Week, anything that can divert attention from the scandal would be good for not only the Patriots, but the NFL as well.

(photo credit: Rick Osentoski/AP)